5RAR Association Website
July
 


 


 
australian infantryman's combat badge
Killed in Action or Died of Wounds Month of July

 

Pte. Robert J. Lubke

Private. Robert J. Lubcke, 23
Whyalla, South Australia.

Pte. Lubcke was a member of D Company, when a VC sniper shot the rifleman 23 kilometres north of Vung Tau, Phuoc Tuy Province. He died of his wounds on July 2 1966, on his 23rd birthday.

 

Lance Corporal Marinko Tomas
Lance Corporal Marinko Tomas, 21
Nannup, Western Australia.

A farmer, just outside Nannup WA, when he was called up on June 30, 1965. He died from shrapnel wounds fired by friendly artillery fire on July 8, 1966 in Phuoc Tuy Province.


 

Pte. leslie J. Pettit
Private. Leslie J. Pettit, 21
Sydney, NSW.

Following six months service with the Citizens Military Forces, Les Pettit volunteered for national service and joined 5RAR as a rifleman. Known as "Wombat" to his mates, he was distinguished as a soldier who would never give up or surrender to overwhelming odds. Although not a big man he was happy to carry and use the section M60 machine gun, a heavy task usually reserved for bigger men. His comrades-in-arms were proud to have served with this courageous soldier who died in action from a mine explosion on July 4, 1969 in Phuoc Tuy Province.

 

Lance Coporal Paul L. Smith
Lance Corporal. Paul L. Smith, 19
Mackay, Queensland.

A small, slightly-built man, Lance Corporal Paul Smith hailed from Mackay in Queensland and was aged only nineteen when he died for his country During Operation Esso on 4th July 1969 whilst on a land clearing and night ambush patrol. Nine Australians were killed and 58 wounded in the same operation. Paul was initially wounded by an enemy mine explosion and despite his grievous injuries he continued to assist in the evacuation of his wounded comrades. Then he was mortally wounded by a second enemy mine explosion. He was evacuated but died in the US 24th Evacuation Hospital.
Paul was a true gentleman, a man of courage and is remembered as having the genuine ANZAC spirit.

 

Pte. Hans L. Muller
Private. Hans L. Muller, 21
Passau, West Germany.

Private Hans Muller was wounded by an enemy mine explosion on July 4 1969, near the Long Hai Hills of Phuoc Tuy Province and died of his wounds in 1st Australian Field Hospital, Vung Tau, the following afternoon. Nine Australians were killed and 58 wounded in the same operation.
One of his comrades remembers Hans in the following way: a small, extremely tough man of German origin, Hans was grievously wounded in action but despite his mortal wounds he did not complain
it wasn't in his nature.

 

Pte. James C. McMillan
Private. James C. McMillan, 20
Albury, NSW.

Private Jim McMillan joined C Company 5RAR as a National Serviceman reinforcement following severe losses to 7 Platoon in early July 1969. At 1615 hours on 31 July during Operation Camden in the Hat Dich Secret Zone, C Company fought against an enemy force of at least company strength occupying a well-defended bunker system camouflaged in the thick jungle. Despite very aggressive offensive action taken by 7 Platoon, the enemy's heavier firepower from accurate RPGs, machine guns and AK47s forced 7 Platoon to withdraw. Jim died bravely engaging the enemy in this close quarter battle. An extremely enthusiastic member of his platoon and company he will always be remembered for his raw courage and loyalty to his fellow soldiers.

 

Lest We Forget

 

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