Annex A - Some Citations for bravery and service to Corps and Nation

 

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Robert Keith Hill, Australian Staff Corps: The Military Cross

Captain Hill has commanded the First Armoured Personnel Carrier Troop of the Prince of Walesís Light Horse since the arrival of the unit in South Vietnam in June 1965.

In addition to supporting First Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, to which the Troop is attached, Captain Hillís unit has participated in a number of operations under command D Company, 16 Armor Battalion of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate). It was during one of these joint operations that on the night of 28 June 1965 that Captain Hill distinguished himself in a display of conspicuous gallantry.

While in a defensive position in the abandoned hamlet of Phuoc Loc in War Zone D, an attempt to infiltrate Captain Hillís Troop perimeter was made at about 0200 hours. Captain Hill rushed to the point of contact and assisted in repulsing the Viet Cong by throwing hand grenades. During this action, he repeatedly exposed himself to fire and was wounded in the right side. Although in great pain, he refused to be evacuated and continued to direct the efforts his men during the action and for the remainder of the night. He was finally evacuated at approximately 0900 the next morning.

His bravery inspired those around him and was singularly instrumental in preventing the enemy from penetrating the Troop position. Captain Hillís actions on the night of 28 June 1965 are indicative of the service he has rendered since coming to South Vietnam and reflects great credit on him and the military service.

 

Warrant Officer Class Two Percy White: The Distinguished Conduct Medal

On 28 December, 1967, WO2 White was serving as an adviser to the Second Troop, 4th Armoured Cavalry Regiment, Army of the republic of Vietnam near Dien Ban in Quang Nam Province. At 1220 hrs, the troop was ordered to attack an enemy force which had just ambushed a nearby Vietnamese Ranger Battalion.

The Troop of APCs with a company of infantry mounted, immediately moved to attack the enemy force with WO2 White on the vehicle. (APC) The enemy retaliated with heavy small arms, machine gun and anti-tank fire, killing the Vietnamese commander and another soldier on Whiteís carrier and disabling the radio. The infantry were ordered to dismount and attack the enemy who were entrenched in a wooded, fortified position less than 100 metres forward of the carriers.

The infantry attack was halted by the intense fire and WO2 White, unable to communicate with the remainder of the force and seeing the precarious position the infantry company were in, left the relative safety of his carrier and dashed across 50 meters of fire swept ground to assist the infantry commander who was without an adviser.

With complete disregard for his own safety, WO2 White placed himself in the forefront of the action and by his example and initiative played a major role in the final assault of the fortified enemy position which resulted in at least 32 Viet Cong KIA.

WO2 White again distinguished himself on 30 January 1968 during an attack on Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province. Three battalions of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army troops gained a foothold in the city. During a three hour battle for an engineer compound, the Senior Province Adviser was seriously wounded and WO2 White, although wounded, repeatedly exposed himself so that he could better direct the fire and movement of the relief force over his radio. WO2 Whiteís outstanding bravery and leadership were a major factor in the ejection of the enemy from the compound.

On a number of other occasions WO2 White has shown outstanding conduct under fire. His leadership and personal bravery have been an inspiration to the Vietnamese troops and advisers with whom he has served and he has brought great credit on himself and the Australian Army.

 

Second Lieutenant John Fredrick Crossman: Mentioned in Dispatches

Second Lieutenant Crossman commenced his tour of duty as a Troop officer and then later became the Squadron intelligence and liaison officer. An extremely dedicated and competent young officer, he approached his responsibilities in a most professional manner.

As Squadron intelligence officer, Second Lieutenant Crossman was very thorough in the performance of his duty and constantly sought ways and means to improve his knowledge. On several occasions he devised new ambushing techniques for cavalry, which he personally put into practice.

During Operations Harvest, Capital and Goodwood between October 1968 and January 1969, he deployed as a liaison oficer with the United states Army units working to support the Australian Task Force. His exemplary conduct, bearing, cooperation and grasp of military affairs at all times enabled him to be held in the highest regard by the allied units to which he was attached.

 

Corporal John Carter: The Distinguished Conduct Medal

When contact was made with the enemy, Corporal Carterís vehicle was engaged by fire from a 57 millimetre recoilless rifle, machine gun and small arms fire. The projectile from the 57 millimetre recoilless rifle missed his vehicle and exploded against a rubber tree. Corporal Carter returned fire using his .50 calibre machine gun. The gun jammed. He then grabbed the driverís Owen Machine Carbine and with out hesitation leaped on to the top of his vehicle and returned fire, killing the 57 recoilless rifle team a fraction after another 57 millimetre round had been fired. This round exploded and dazed the crew and passengers. Corporal Carter, still undeterred, continued to fire, killing five other enemy.

By his action, Corporal Carter drew additional fire onto himself enabling the other vehicles of his Troop to advance.

Though the action was fought at close range, Corporal Carter showed outstanding courage, initiative and determination. His actions were an inspiration to all his comrades and contributed greatly to the success of the assault by the relief force, the heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy and immediately afterwards, the relief of D Company, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

 

Final unbidden memory

Do you want to go back to Vietnam? If your attention wavers for a moment, and a diesel engine vehicle goes by, or a news chopper passes overhead, through the magic carpet of memory, all the lang syne is stripped away and every sight, sound and smell is there. One way or another, you and Vietnam are bound forever.