In Memorium: Noel V. Crouch

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the death of Noel V. Crouch

… the fatal action in Vietnam …

” We were lucky people as we were all in some way wounded, some seriously. In many respects we were extra lucky, as when we assaulted the position we were confronted by bunkers which we didn’t use for cover for some reason, perhaps a sixth sense. I have since reasoned that we didn’t use them because they were unoccupied by the VC. We found later that these bunkers were rigged with trip wires and instantaneous grenades”.

The Australian force withdrew to evacuate its casualties. As this was occurring, 3 platoon and A Company Headquarters, led by Major Chris Thomson, were moved by armoured personnel carriers from the Horseshoe to the contact area. When they arrived, Major Thomson called for helicopter gunship support. Three Australian Bushranger helicopters pinned down the estimated 50 man Viet Cong force in bunkers within 100m of the company until the A Company group re–assaulted the position. During the battle the Hoi Chanh shouted out to his mates in the bunkers, waited for them to appear and very happily blazed away at them. The entire position was secured by 1600 hours. The enemy casualties were five killed and three prisoners of war. A large quantity of food, documents and stores were captured. A Company suffered one soldier, Private Noel Crouch, killed in action. When Corporal Powell saw that Private Crouch had been killed, in a retaliatory act of bravery, he charged the
bunkers and was wounded himself. There were twelve Australian soldiers wounded in this action.

May he Rest in Peace.

In Memorium:Bobby Hughes

hughes robertToday marks the anniversary of the death in action of Pte Robert(Bobby) Hughes.  He was involved in a bunker attack with 4 Pl B Coy designed to allow the Company to withdraw it’s wounded.  An RPG struck a tree just above Bob and the shrapnel blasted down on him. He was killed instantly.

Rest in Peace

In Memorium: Graham Kavanagh

kavanagh grahamToday marks the anniversary of the death of Pte Graham Robert KAVANAGH. Graham was 21 years of age when he collapsed from heat exhaustion and died.  He was in 6 Pl B Coy.  The fact that his fate was contributed to by the harsh climatic conditions and the arduous insertion into the operation by foot compounded the tragedy of his death

 

Rest in Peace


In Memorium:Mathew Hopkins

Operation SlipperCorporal Mathew Hopkins, known as ‘Hoppy’ to his mates, was born on 27 August 1987 in Christchurch, New Zealand and arrived in Australia with his family in 1988. He was a Brisbane boy through and through and a passionate supporter of the Broncos and the Maroons. All Mathew ever wanted do was be in the Army and serve his country – he joined up as soon as he could after finishing his studies at Kenmore High School in Brisbane. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 28 March 2005. After completing Recruit training he was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He was posted to the School of Infantry where he qualified as a rifleman after completing his Initial Employment Training on 9 September 2005.

He was posted to the 5/7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment with effect 10 September 2005, where he fulfilled a number of junior soldier roles and qualified as a M113 Crewman Driver.

Corporal Hopkins deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Slipper within 1st Reconstruction Task Force from November 2006 to April 2007. His military decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal with International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) clasp, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Medal and Infantry Combat Badge.

He remained with the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment upon the delinking of both battalions and later qualified as a M113 Crewman Commander in November 2007. He was temporarily promoted to Lance Corporal in June 2007 and made substantive in April 2008. He was promoted to Corporal before his 21st birthday in August 2008.

Corporal Mathew Hopkins deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Force Protection Combat Team (FPCT) known as Combat Team Tusk, serving with the 1st Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. Corporal Hopkins was a Section Commander with FPCT.
His mates in the 7th Battalion described him as a very professional soldier, but always a bit of a larrikin having a joke when the chips were down. Corporal Hopkins was always keen to get the job done which gave his subordinates something to emulate. He was a good leader and a good mate who would go out of his way to provide any assistance within his capacity.

Mathew was an approachable bloke with a genuine caring attitude for his soldiers. He upheld the Army values as a source of inspiration particularly courage and mateship. He was a soldier who led from the front, never from the rear and always looked out for his mates and most certainly for his soldiers. He was a keen sports player; he particularly enjoyed rugby within the Battalion and the competition within the Brigade.
Mathew was recently married to Victoria and was present during the birth of their son, Alexander

Corporal Hopkins was serving with the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF) in Afghanistan when he was killed while conducting a patrol near Kakarak when he and his team were engaged by a group of around 20 Taliban on Monday 16 March, 2009. Twenty-one-year-old Corporal Hopkins was a valued member of the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.Mathew was a fine, professional and courageous soldier.
He died while serving his nation and his sacrifice should never, ever be forgotten

Ray Patten & Alan Talbot

Today we commemorate the death of Pte Ray Patten who died of wounds after a mine incident south-east of Phouc Buu in Phouc Tuy Province, South Vietnam.  Doctors and Ray fought for his life for 5 days to no avail.

Ray was severely wounded 5 days earlier on the 1st of Feb 1971 when Noel (Shorty) Godbold stood on an M16 mine whilst Recce Pl were on layover waiting for further orders. Alan Talbot died instantly on that day and Noel (Shorty) Godbold, Sgt Dick Williams and Pte Phil Ryan were wounded .

Sad footnotes:  Sgt Dick Williams was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 1973 and Noel Godbold, who lost his left leg in the incident, committed suicide in 1984.

Lest we forget.

Maori Farewell

A video of the passionate haka performed by the comrades of three fallen New Zealand soldiers has gone viral, with tens of thousands of people around the world watching the clip.

The 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment performed the moving tribute for Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and Private Richard Harris, 21, at their funeral service at the Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch on Saturday.

The trio were killed instantly when a roadside bomb destroyed their Humvee in Afghanistan’s northeast Bamiyan Province on August 18.

Paul Nevarre

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Private Paul Navarre.
On 6 June an eleven man ambush from 9 Platoon C Company sited close to Route 44, 2 km south–west of Phuoc
Hai, had a contact at 0325 hours. It was a dark, wet and miserable night. One enemy soldier was wounded.

The next morning’s clearance of the ambush site triggered an M16 anti– personnel mine. Private Mick O’Halloran, the only survivor of the search group, received shrapnel wounds and was evacuated by Dustoff helicopter to Vung Tau. He later returned to the battalion and a period of light duties. The Australian soldiers killed by the explosion were Private Stanley Larsson, Private Stephen Dickson and Private Paul Navarre.

Rest in Peace

Stan Larsson

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Private Stan Larsson.
On 6 June an eleven man ambush from 9 Platoon C Company sited close to Route 44, 2 km south–west of Phuoc
Hai, had a contact at 0325 hours. It was a dark, wet and miserable night. One enemy soldier was wounded.

The next morning’s clearance of the ambush site triggered an M16 anti– personnel mine. Private Mick O’Halloran, the only survivor of the search group, received shrapnel wounds and was evacuated by Dustoff helicopter to Vung Tau. He later returned to the battalion and a period of light duties. The Australian soldiers killed by the explosion were Private Stanley Larsson, Private Stephen Dickson and Private Paul Navarre.

Rest in Peace

Steven Dickson

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Private Steven Dickson.
On 6 June an eleven man ambush from 9 Platoon C Company sited close to Route 44, 2 km south–west of Phuoc Hai, had a contact at 0325 hours. It was a dark, wet and miserable night. One enemy soldier was wounded.

The next morning’s clearance of the ambush site triggered an M16 anti– personnel mine. Private Mick O’Halloran, the only survivor of the search group, received shrapnel wounds and was evacuated by Dustoff helicopter to Vung Tau. He later returned to the battalion and a period of light duties. The Australian soldiers killed by the explosion were Private Stanley Larsson,

Private Stephen Dickson

and Private Paul Navarre.

Rest in Peace

Commemorative Walk Seymour

Travelling in Victoria in March or have a burning desire to see Seymour and Puckapunyal again?

Then here is a ready made excuse.

The Mitchell Vietnam Vets group and Mitchell Council have established a Commemorative Walk at Seymour which will be opened on Saturday, 9th March this year. It’s the Victorian Labour Day long weekend. There is other Military history stuff on over the weekend as well as a (non-related) Bike Ride and Seymour is booked out accommodation wise, we are told.  The Walk includes a series of glass panels with the names of all who served. It’s expected to be a big event – State Premier, PM etc attending and includes a concert.

More detail here and here