The Australian High Commission Defence Attaché presents Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry at Long Tan to Morrie Stanley on Sat 24th July at the Stanley home in Campbell's Bay, North Shore City (AK-10-0453-008tn)
17 Sept 2010
Vietnam veteran and battle of Long Tan hero Morrie Stanley passed away peacefully yesterday in Auckland.
Then a Captain, Morrie was the officer in charge of an Artillery Forward Observation (FO) Party from 161 Field Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, during the battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966.
His FO Party was attached to Delta Company 6 Royal Australian Infantry Regiment which engaged the Viet Cong (VC) 275 Brigade and elements of the Local Force Battalion. The party radioed in more than 60 artillery fire missions in support of the 108 Australian soldiers from D Coy.
Facing impossible odds Capt Stanley’s FO Party called in accurate and devastating artillery fire to repel the estimated 2500 Vietnamese soldiers bearing down on their position.
Many, including the Long Tan veterans, current New Zealand Army personnel and military historians credit the skill, professionalism and gallantry of Morrie Stanley in keeping much of the enemy at bay. At critical points during the battle he was directing artillery to within 50 metres of the Australian front line positions.
Morrie received an MBE in 1967, and retired from the Army in 1976
In further recognition of his efforts Morrie was presented with the Australian Unit Citation (UCG) for Gallantry at a ceremony in Auckland earlier this year. In an unprecedented move, due to Morrie’s failing health, both the Australian and New Zealand Governments fast tracked the offer and within a few hours of the offer being made the New Zealand Prime Minister had approved it.
Morrie will be farewelled by family, friends and servicemen in a service next week.
Contact: MAJ Kristian Dunne 021 478 574.