Private Colin John Cogswell MM.
accompanying the award of the Military Medal
October 1966 during Operation Canberra in
Phuoc Thy Province South Vietnam, B Company
5tb Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment
was directed to clear the Nui Till Vai Hills
which was a large rocky. steep, densely
covered feature. The area was known to be
heavily booby trapped by the Viet Cong.
Private Cogswell and another soldier as
forward scouts located a booby trap deloused
it and a few minutes later heard voices of
enemy close by. Private Cogswell advised his
Platoon Commander by hand signal and covered
by the other scout moved forward to
investigate. Initially he sighted fifteen
Viet Cong then later thirty Viet Cong.
Private Cogswell and the other scout
remained in a position of observation for
approximately fifty minutes; at times the
enemy came within five yards of their
position but the scouts were not seen.
Based on the information passed back by
Private Cogswell and the other scout and
other information it was concluded that the
Viet Cong could be up to battalion strength
and B Company was ordered to withdraw four
hundred metres to allow artillery and air
strikes to be made on enemy positions.
Both scouts then skilfully extracted
themselves without disclosing their presence
to the Viet Cong and so alerting them.
Artillery and air strikes were then made on
the enemy base which was later successfully
The skill, courage and determination
displayed by Private Cogswell was of a very
high order and enabled the area to be
cleared without casualties to his platoon or