5RAR Association Website
May

 

 

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

 

Pte. Errol W. Noack

Private. Errol. W. Noack, 21
Adelaide, South Australia.

Pte. Noack was the first national serviceman to die in Vietnam. A fisherman and committed Lutheran, Pte Noack was called up on July 1, 1965. He did not want to go to war but accepted conscription as his duty. During 'Operation Hardihood', Pte. Noack was critically wounded and died of his wounds in 36th Evacuation Hospital on May 24 1966, 16 Days after he said farewell to his family in Adelaide.

 

Lt Errol J. Lee

Lieutenant Errol J. Lee, 22
Ashfield, NSW.

Lieutenant John Lee graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1967. He was posted to 5 RAR and appointed Platoon Commander of 1 Platoon, A Company. He married Barbara Kirk in late 1968 just a short while before he departed for active service in South Vietnam.

Lieutenant Lee was a very competent and aggressive young infantry commander whose platoon had the honour of having the battalion’s first contact with the enemy forces during its second tour in 1969. His well-trained platoon was to have many more successful battles with the enemy.

On 11 May 1969 A Company was operating on the northern slopes of the Nui Thi Vai hills. While moving up a spur, Lieutenant Lee's platoon came under fire from enemy forces concealed in caves. Lieutenant Lee moved forward of his platoon position to conduct a reconnaissance in preparation for an attack but was shot and severely wounded by a well-camouflaged enemy. Repeated attempts and assaults were made by A Company over a period of several hours in attempts to extricate Lieutenant Lee from his position just 10 metres in front of the heavily defended cave system. Repeatedly withering enemy fire halted those rescue attempts. Finally, elements of 3 Platoon, supported by a flame-thrower from the Assault Pioneer Platoon, succeeded in reaching him but, tragically, this fine officer had been mortally wounded.


 

Pte. Andrew Drummond
Private. Andrew Drummond, 27
Carnarvon, Western Australia.

A farm hand before enlisting on November 7 1967, Pte. Drummond was a forward scout when on May 30 1969, whilst on patrol, he was killed by an accidental discharge.

A mate remembers:
I will never forget the moment we ' lost ' Andy. It was gut wrenching, difficult to accept. If anyone was bullet proof in 4 Platoon it was Andy.
Andy was one of the most popular members of B Company. Many blokes relied on him to get them home in one piece after a heavy night out.

RIP Mate

 

Lest We Forget

 

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