THEY were known as 'The Team', the "first Australian team in and the last Australian team out" of Vietnam during the war years.
Yesterday, those who are left of the 1000 or so members of what was the nation's longest-serving and most highly decorated Vietnam War unit, the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, gathered at the Kokoda Army Barracks in Canungra, Queensland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their first landing in Vietnam.
In what has become the "spiritual home" of a unit that had no base, the memorial was witness to the laying of wreaths for the 33 members who did not come home and those who have died since.
Tribute was also paid to the New Zealanders who served with the unit, the American and allied troops who worked in conjunction with them and Brigadier Francis Philip ''Ted'' Serong who commanded the unit from 1962-1965.
The AATTV's job was to work with the Americans in a training role, as well as with the South Vietnamese and other allies. Much of their work was confidential, as Australia did not enter the war in a combat sense until 1965.