August 18, 1966 – In its most significant battle of the Vietnam War, Australian troops defeat a much larger force of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers who are attempting to destroy the Australian base at Nui Dat.
The battle is fought during monsoonal rains in a rubber plantation, with D Company, 6RAR, bearing the brunt of the attack. After a savage day’s fighting, the North Vietnamese retreat, leaving the battlefield strewn with dead. They never attempt to attack Nui Dat again, giving the Australians the freedom to extend their operations in Phuoc Tuy province and eventually restore stability to the region.
Eighteen Australians were killed in the battle. August 18 is now commemorated as Vietnam Veterans Day.