Military Honours Cpl Dench
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australian infantryman's combat badge

  Cpl Michael Dench
Corporal Michael Dench MM.

Citation accompanying the award of the Military Medal to
Cpl. Dench.

Corporal Michael Dench enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in January, 1966. During 1966/67 he served with 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam. He was posted to 5th Battalion in December 1967 and arrived in South Vietnam in February 1969 as a Section Commander with 3 Platoon A Company.
On the 8th August 1969, 3 Platoon was part of a half company group in heavy contact with an enemy company, entrenched in bunkers. During the initial assault against the enemy position, Corporal Dench's section was pinned down by accurate rocket, claymore and machine gun fire. Corporal Dench at great personal risk, deliberately exposed himself several times to draw the fire away from other members of his section then calmly directed the section's fire. When ordered to pull back, Corporal Dench remained forward covering the withdrawal of all of his men and would not leave his position until his men were safe despite the appearance of snipers in trees and the movement of enemy troops forward in counter attack.
On 21st August, Corporal Dench was commanding his section when the same small A Company force attacked what proved to be an enemy battalion bunker system. 3 Platoon took heavy casualties. After covering by fire the evacuation of his wounded, Corporal Dench took over temporary command of his platoon. Under accurate and intense mortar, rocket and sniper fire he continued to move around the platoon, reorganising defences and instilling confidence amongst his men. Corporal Dench displayed personal courage of the highest order, devotion to duty and professional competence that reflects great credit on himself and The Royal Australian Regiment.

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