2018 Australian Fifty Cent Coin - Coral & Balmoral the Battle of the Fire Support Bases - Uncirculated and Carded
Some of the most intense fighting experienced by Australian Forces during the Vietnam War occurred at Fire Support Bases Coral & Balmoral between May and June 1968.
The Australians successfully held both bases, but at great cost. The Royal Australian Mint has proudly released this 50th Anniversary coin to commemorate this event.
During the 'Mini-Test' offensive mounted by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in May 1968, the 1st Australian Task Force deployed two battalions to an area 20 kilometres north of Bien Hoa City.
The Australian established a number of fire support bases to provide firing points for artillery and mortars.
These could cover foot patrols carried out by the infantrymen of 1RAR and 3RAR.
One of these bases was Fire Support Base Coral; which was attacked several times between 13 and 22 May. In the first attack, the 1RAR mortar platoon position was overrun. With extensive air support, the attacked was beaten off and the gun-pit recaptured.
On 26 and 27 May the enemy attacked Fire Support Base Balmoral, but on both occasions were driven off by troops from 3RAR, supported by Centurion tanks.
When the fighting ended, 25 Australian soldiers had died and over 100 were wounded.
The coin's reverse features a depiction of two soldiers manning a M2A2 Howitzer, along with a Centurion tank and Iroquois helicopter.
Each coin is finished to the Royal Australian Mint's high uncirculated standard.