To commemorate Australia’s last major action in the Vietnam War, the Royal Australian Mint released a new commemorative coin, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Nui Le. This coin is the second release in a series commemorating the Last Battles of the Vietnam War. Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said that this coin is an important tribute to those Australians who took part in the battle and more broadly the sacrifices all soldiers made during our involvement in the Vietnam War. “The release of this commemorative coin in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Nui Le is an opportunity for Australians to reflect on the courageous troops who fought in this conflict during the Vietnam War,” said Minister Sukkar.
“The coin is a symbol of the service and bravery of those who fought in the Battle of Nui Le. By recognizing these brave soldiers who served and died during the battle, this coin memorializes a significant moment in Australia’s military history.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defense Personnel Andrew Gee said the Battle of Nui Le was part of Operation Ivanhoe and was the last major battle Australians fought in during the Vietnam War.
“The Battle of Nui Le sought to prevent enemy forces from gaining a foothold. Launched on 19 September 1971, it was a search-and-destroy sweep that saw Australian forces engage in a series of heavy contacts with the 33rd NVA Regiment,” Minister Gee said. “Five Australian lives were lost in the intense fighting, with many more wounded. This commemorative coin honors the service and sacrifice of all Australians who fought for our nation in the Battle of Nui Le, Operation Ivanhoe and the Vietnam War.”
Developed in collaboration with members of the 4th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand, (4RAR/NZ – the ANZAC Battalion), the coin shows a scene inspired by the elements of the Battle of Nui Le. It features the iconic Iroquois helicopter, which was used to evacuate wounded Australian soldiers during the battle, which was part of Operation Ivanhoe. Former member of the 4RAR Greg Shannon worked with the Mint on the design of this coin, to ensure it was an accurate representation of the battle.
“The intricate design of this coin captures the key aspects of the Battle of Nui Le, recognizing those who fought in the battle, and keeping alive the memory of those whose lives were lost” said Mr Shannon. Taking place on 21st September 1971, the Battle of Nui Le was the final battle that the Australian Task Force took part in during the Vietnam War. During the Battle, five soldiers died and another 30 were wounded.
The commemorative Battle of Nui Le 2021 50c Uncirculated Coin has a limited mintage of 27,500.
For further information, visit the website of the Royal Australian Mint.
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Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia published an account of the Battle of Nui Le.
The Living History channel presents a video on the Battle of Nui Le: