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Australians sustain more casualties



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army press release

inci. i n

Directorate of Public Relations, Army Headquarters, , CANBERRA. A*C,T.

No. 6102 .

AUSTRALIANS SUSTAIN·MORE CASUALTIES

Nine Australian Soldiers lost their lives and 29 others we're ■ · · ' ' ■ ' \ ■ ■

wounded in- three separate incidents in Phuoc Tuy Province yesterday

(February 28),

Two of these incidents involved enemy mine explosions in the

Long Hai hills* in which 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regimentj

and supporting engineers suffered eight killed in action, one member 1 >

died of wounds and 15 others were wounded.

Elements of the battalion were proceeding Cautiously over

rough terrain to an ambush position yesterday morning (February 28) when

an enemy booby trap mine was sighted. While avoiding this, a second eneiny

mine was triggered* causing some of the casualties.

A helicopter bringing, in engineers to prepare a pad for the

evacuation of the wounded by air; caused a second mine to explode,

inflicting more casualties* .

The RAAF Iroquois helicopter, although slightly damaged, was

flown by its crew back to base. ·

■ Other RAAF helicopters were quickly on the scene to evacuate

the injured troops.

Because of the rough, rock-strewn nature of the country, most

of the casualties were winched from the ground to hovering aircraft, but

in some cases helicopters settled onto rock outcrops to load the more

serious cases.

Army Sioux helicopters were also used to take wounded from the

area.

The 8th Battalion was deployed in the Long Hai mountains area

12 days ago to prevent operations planned by the enemy as a high point

of their post-Tet activities against civilian populated areas.

2

>

In a number of clashes, the battalion has killed 39 enemy, .

uncovered 201 -enemy bunkers and captured large quantities of enemy

weapons and equipment.

However, reports from local civilians indicate that enemy

casualties have been much higher, ·

Some report as many as 100 killed.

In a separate and unrelated action in the Due Thanh area, about

six miles north-east of Nui Dat, elements of 6th Battalion, The Royal

Australian Regiment/ New Zealand (ANZAC), made contacts with outposts

of an estimated enemy company,

j These contacts occurred early in the evening.

I In the initial clashes, some casualties were inflicted on the

/ enemy, who retaliated with rocket-propelled grenades, wounding 14

/ members of the battalion. ,

I The enemy position was immediately engaged by supporting

/ artillery. ' ·

/ The results of the shelling are not yet known*

. Notification of next of kin of Australian casualties is

proceeding.

The following details have been released.

Killed: ' ■ ■ ■

Corporal R.J. Jackson, of Greta, NSW; Private L.J, Maclennan,

of Oak Park, Victoria; Private P.M. Richter, of East Gippsland,

Victoria; Private Τ.Ξ.Α. Pesonen, of Mt. Isa, Queensland, all

soldiers of 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment; and

Sapper R.N. Hubble, of Perth, WA, 1st Field Squadron, Royal

' Australian Engineers,

. Died of wounds:

Private G.M. West, -of Hobart, Tasmania, also 8RAR. .

. Wounded: . . .

i Private D.P. Lethea, of Toowoomba, Queensland, very seriously

‘ ill; Private J.A. Blake, of Westmead, NSW, very seriously ill; / . _ ’ ” ~

/ Private J.F. Fay, of Sarina, Queensland, seriously ill; Lance-Corporal A.J. Kingdom, of Southbrook, NSW, seriously ill;

Private A.J. Marshall,, of Greenwich,. NSW, satisfactory; Private

D, Hilber, of Khancoban, NSW, satisfactory; Private L.J. Palmer,

of Mackay, Queensland, satisfactory; and Private J.T. Childs,

of Parramatta, NSW, very satisfactory, all 8RAR soldiers;

»../Private

j PrlVatalff.K. Wilsonj of West Hobart, Tasmania* seriously.

ill; Lance-Corporal P..F. Titchener, of Armadale, Victoria, ■ j · ’ ■ 1 '

seriously ill; Private. J.E. Weeks, of Mordialloc, Victoria,

satisfactory; Private'j . K ♦ Latham;■of Hobart, Tasmania;

. satisfactory; Private, A. McKenna," of West Geelong, Victoria,

very satisfactory; Private, · M .T . Niiiness,of Wallsend, NSW; .

very satisfactory; Private, D.J. Laird, of Kaniva, Victdria.,

very satisfactory; Lieutenant S.G,.. Thornton, of Rosewat/ .

SA, very satisfactory; and Private D«R. Sorens'a, of Gyrapie,

Queensland, very satisfactory, all soldiers of 6th Battalion,

The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC); and Sapper

T.R; Binney, of South Hurstville, NSW,.seriously ill; and

Sapper J.A. Miller, of Merrylands, NSW, satisfactory, both .

1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers.

A further casualty list will be advised when confirmation of

advice to next of kin has been completed.

1 Match 1970

CANBERRAi

List: A

Further information:

Lt Col L. Logan

(65-4124) (81-6546)

ADPR AT COMMAND HEADQUARTERS STATES: