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Australian decorated for bravery



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TRALIA

ARMY PRESS RELEASE h n

EMBARGO: NOT FOR BROADCAST OR TELECAST BEFORE 6.30 AIVIFRIDAY APRIL 10, 1970.

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED BEFORE FRIDAY APRIL 10, 1970.

NO. AP15

AUSTRALIANS DECORATED FOR BRAVERY

Statement by the Minister for the Army, The Hon. Andrew Peacock, M.P.

Two Australian soldiers have been decorated for rescuing, under enemy

fire, five comrades trapped in a burning armoured personnel carrier in South

Vietnam.

Announcing this today, the Minister for the Army, Mr Andrew Peacock,

said both soldiers had been awarded the Military Medal.

The soldiers are:

• Corporal Ronald Charles Macey , of Nowra, New South Wales, a Crew Commander with B Squadron,-3rd Cavalry Regiment, based at Nui Dat in South Vietnam;

Lance Corporal Barry Keith Coe , of Penrith, New South Wales, a member of 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, based at Nui Dat, South Vietnam.

List: A and B

Further information:

CANBERRA: P. Blazey (73-2889)

9 April, 1970 Press Secretary

NB: A copy of the citation is attached.

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CITATION

Corporal Ronald Charles Macey and Lance Corporal Barry Keith Coe

On 18th February, 1970 during Operation HA1IWI IERSLEY in the Long Hai Hills, Phuoc Thy Province, a company of infantry mounted in armoured personnel carriers was engaged by heavy enemy anti-tank and small arms fire. One armoured personnel carrier was hit by two anti-tank rounds,

severely damaging it and causing it to catch fire, Attempts by other armoured personnel carriers to recover it, failed because of heavy enemy anti-tank fire. Two crew members and five soldiers were trapped in the crippled and burning vehicle.

Corporal Macey and Lance Corporal Coe who were travelling in an adjacent armoured personnel carrier, saw the plight of the soldiers trapped in the burning carrier and despite heavy small arms and grenade fire from enemy bunkers, dismounted in full view of the enemy and ran to the disabled vehicle. Together they forced open the heavy rear door of the carrier and with complete disregard for their own safety, Corporal Macey and Lance

Corporal Coe rescued the five trapped soldiers and their weapons. All five, two of whom were unable to move, were in a dazed and shocked condition and had to be led or carried to safety.

Corporal Macey and Lance Corporal Coe again ran to the burning carrier, intending to rescue the two trapped crew members. In the face of increased enemy small arms fire being directed at the disabled vehicle, their task had become even more hazardous. As they reached the burning carrier, a satchel charge exploded making the recovery of the crewmen impossible.

Corporal Macey and Lance Corporal Coe by their immediate actions undoubtedly saved the lives of the five passengers in the disabled carrier. Their courage and complete disregard for their own safety was an inspiration to all and reflects great credit on themselves and on the Australian Army,

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