Long Tan hero dies
Former New Zealand Vietnam war hero Morrie Stanley from Campbells Bay in Auckland, who was recently presented with an Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry, 44 years after the renowned battle of Long Tan in Vietnam in 1966, has died aged 79. Captain Stanley was in the thick of the action, directing artillery fire in torrential rain to land the artillery shells on the enemy soldiers within 3m of the Australian soldiers. “It was like an exceptionally violent thunderstorm, supplemented by the crack of the rifles and machinegun fire and the noise of detonating shells — it really was bedlam,” Stanley told NZPA at the 4th anniversary commemoration of the battle in Sydney in 26. He was also awarded a military MBE and a US Presidential Unit Citation. In Australia, Stanley is viewed as the New Zealand hero of Long Tan and the Australian War Memorial dedicated a special part of its Long Tan exhibition to recording his role. After his army service he worked for the former Auckland Area Health Board.