Biography of Paul Z. Trzecinski
Paul “Ziggy” Trzecinski was born in Germany on the 3rd October 1946.
He served in Vietnam with the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, from the 19th April 1967 to the 28th August 1967 … and …from the 24th September 1967 to the 27th January 1968
… the fatal action in Vietnam …
Private Trzecinski was one of the members of the Assault Pioneer section which had been attached to
D Company for the operation and he had left the perimeter to relieve himself. The Assault Pioneer section was commanded by Sgt Eric McCoombe. McCoombe recalls reminding Trzecinski to let the appropriate people know that he was leaving the perimeter. He did apparently let someone know but the message was not passed on to the sentry. On his return to the perimeter, Trzecinski was mistaken for a VC and shot dead. Not long after the shooting a Dustoff helicopter evacuated his body. Sgt McCoombe escorted him back to ensure that his body found its way back to the correct Australian destination.
Private Trzecinski had been married on R&R leave five months earlier. His son, born after his death, joined the Army and has served with 5/7 RAR.
On 17 September 1989, members of the 7 Battalion Association were present when a new bridge was opened
on Maitland’s inner city bypass road. The bridge was called ‘The P.Z. Trzecinski Bridge’ in memory of Paul (‘Ziggy’), who was the first Maitland man to enlist for the Vietnam War and the only resident of that city to be killed in that conflict.
He is also remembered by a plaque in the Maitland Polish Association Hall.
A memorial in Newcastle’s Civic Park to local soldiers killed in Vietnam includes the names of Private ‘Ziggy’ Trzecinski, Corporal Tom Blackhurst and Private Stephen Dickson
NSW – Rookwood Military Cemetery Lawn EE – Grave 576A