235141 Major Ewart John O’DONNELL
Military Cross (MC)
Major Ewart O’Donnell graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon on 10 December 1958. He served with distinction as the Intelligence Officer of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in Borneo and was then posted to 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on 15 November, 1965 arriving in South Vitenam with the Battalion in April 1967.
Major O’Donnell is the original Officer Commanding of A Copany. He has displayed a high degree of skill and leadership in the past nine months on operations. Commencing with Operation Lismore his comapny killed five enemy and wounded 12 others in a rapid succession of contacts. Major O’Donnell has led his company during fifteen Battalion operations and fifty one enemy contacts.
At the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha on 76 August, 1967 his company fought a company of the 274th Regiment during which the enemy suffered crippling casualties. In this battle he continuously deployed and redeployed his company as the varying circumstances of the battle dictated. On one occassion he moved forward and personnally directed fire from behind an anthill only ten metres from the enemy.
While occupying this position his company medical orderly was wounded and called for Major O’Donnell who dashed thirty metres through enemy fire to locates the medical orderly. Major O’Donnell then carried the medical orderly on his shoulders to a covered position where the soldier could be evacuated to the rear. Major O’Donnell then returned to his forward position and personnally assisted in repelling an enemy attack.
Through courage, leadership of an outstanding calibre, coolness under fire, calmness in directing the resources at his disposal during the battle, in particularly armed helicopters, strike aircraft, artillery and mortar fire, Major O’Donnell succeeded in repelling and overwhelming force and inflicting on the enemy a severe blow.
Extract from: Vietnam Veterans Honours and Awards by Alexander M Palmer