Battle of Coral/Balmoral
An aerial shot of Fire Support Base Coral taken on 13 May 1968, the day after the base was established and after the first attack on the base the previous night. [AWM P03022.008]
Australian, New Zealand and United States forces were involved in a series of actions between May and June 1968 at Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral some 20 kilometres north of Bien Hoa city. Sitting astride a route used by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces approaching or departing Saigon and nearby Bien Hoa, the bases comprised defended positions for artillery, mortars and armoured vehicles which in turn supported infantry patrols of the area.
The North Vietnamese launched several strong attacks in an attempt to drive the Australians from this important area. The Australians also initiated combat during their many patrols outside the bases. These actions, over a 25-day period, made up Australia's costliest and most protracted battle of the Vietnam War.
Members of 131 Divisional Locating Battery on 12 May 1968 waiting to fly into Coral. Like many Australian units, their move to the new base was delayed. [AWM P01766.002]