Home' Army News : April 28th 2011 Contents In the footsteps of heroes
For their sacrifice we are forever grateful
Their spirit will live forever
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Army April 28, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
AN IMPORTANT part of the
Royal Australian Regiment's
history will be commemorated
by 1RAR in Townsville in May
during the 43rd anniversary of
the Battle of Fire Support Base
Commemorations will start
with the Coral Day Parade on
May 11, which will include the
retirement of the unit mascot,
Septimus Quartus, after 18 years
service and the enlistment of his
son, Septimus Quintus, as his
Former COs and RSMs of
1RAR and horse handlers of
Septimus Quartus have been
invited to the commemoration.
The Lavarack Barracks parade
will be followed by an open
night, which will showcase the
capabilities of 1RAR and its
supporting units. The open night
will feature a variety of displays,
a free barbecue and a children's
concert by the 1RAR Band.
During the morning of May
12, a highly-anticipated cricket
match for the Billy Watt Trophy
will be contested between the
officers and senior NCOs against
the ORs, leading into a battalion
cocktail party for 1RAR soldiers
and their guests.
All current and ex-serving
members of 1RAR, their families
and members of the community
are welcome to attend the Coral
Day parade and open night.
For more information on each event
and access to Lavarack Barracks, go to
Battle of Coral
commemoration Journey of valour
By LCpl Mark Doran
OPERATION Pilgrimage is preparing
to commemorate the centenary of the
Gallipoli landings and the participants'
message is simple -- lest we forget.
Lady Joan Cutler, the widow of Sir
Roden Cutler VC, launched the project
at a function in Sydney on March 20
and the Victoria Cross and George Cross
Association secretary, Didy Grahame,
was the keynote speaker.
The aim of the project is to honour
and tell the stories of the 98 Australians
and 31 New Zealanders in a photo-
graphic exhibition that will tour towns in
Australia and New Zealand.
Members of the ADF who served
from the 1950s-70s plan to visit the
graves of Australian and New Zealand
Victoria Cross recipients and compile an
exhibition to tour the two countries in the
lead up to Anzac Day 2015.
Chief executive of the Op Pilgrimage
Group, Allan Miles, a former member of
1 Cdo Coy, said the group would visit
the 19 countries and document the sites
where VC recipients were buried or had
"The VC recipients are not only a
benchmark for their honour and valour
but can also carry the banner of our serv-
ing personnel through all conflicts," Mr
"With this project we can tell the
story of Gallipoli, the Anzacs, the ADF
and all who have ever donned the uni-
form and been prepared to serve this
country in times of conflict."
Mrs Grahame said those few who
had received the Victoria Cross were an
inspiration. The stories of their incred-
ible actions and selfless bravery contin-
ued to influence and amaze those who
learn of them, she said.
"Op Pilgrimage is the most admira-
ble project. By visiting places identified
with individual VC holders, the exhibi-
tion will have a major influence.
"It is bound to make new generations
feel a sense of pride in their heritage, as
well as giving examples of the outstand-
ing things men have done for their fel-
low man and their country."
The free exhibition In the Company
of Heroes will start in February next year
and travel Australia for 1056 days and
New Zealand for 192 days.
The members of Op Pilgrimage have
been involved in 11 projects in the past
20 years, including Operation Jaywick
which traced the journey of the MV
Krait on its raid of shipping in Japanese-
occupied Singapore, and have raised
more than $1 million for charity.
Lest we forget: Operation Pilgrimage participants will visit the graves of
Australian and New Zealand Victoria Cross recipients for an exhibition to
coincide with the anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.
Crosses may be awarded
to more than a dozen peo-
ple when the independent
Defence Honours and Awards
Appeals Tribunal completes
an inquiry into recognition
for past acts of gallantry.
Two Army personnel are
among the 13 servicemen being
considered, but the inquiry will
mainly focus on sailors who
went down with their ships pro-
tecting their comrades.
Secretary David Feeney direct-
ed the tribunal to recommend
on the eligibility of the ser-
vicemen to receive the Victoria
Cross or other recognition.
The personnel considered
include several prominent
figures in Australian military
folklore, such as Ordinary
Smn Teddy Sheean, who went
down with HMAS Armidale
in 1942 and Pte John Simpson
Kirkpatrick who befriended a
donkey and ferried the wound-
ed at Gallipoli from the head
of the Monash valley down
Shrapnel gully to the beach.
Submissions to the inquiry must be in
by June 30. Guidance on making sub-
missions is available at
Thirteen brave men
THE Battle of FSB Coral is con-
sidered one of the most famous
actions fought by the Australian
Army during the Vietnam War.
FSB Coral was situated 7km
north of Tan Uyen. It was estab-
lished to intercept and disrupt
enemy forces withdrawing from
the capital Saigon.
It was still under develop-
ment when about 3.30am on
May 13 it was attacked by North
Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces
after a brief but intense rocket
and mortar barrage. The 1RAR
mortar platoon position was
overrun, along with one of 102
Fd Bty's six 105mm howitzers in
the base. With the aid of exten-
sive air support, the attack was
beaten off by 6.30am and the
captured gun was retaken.
At 2.30am on May 16, FSB
Coral again came under attack,
this time from a force estimated at
three battalions strong. The base
was now defended by armoured
personnel carriers of A Sqn, 3
Cav, and 1RAR's rifle compa-
nies, all of which were heavily
engaged. The attack was repelled
after four hours of fighting.
On May 22, FSB Coral was
subjected to yet another rocket
and mortar barrage, but this time
the NVA troops were dispersed by
return fire from 1RAR's mortars
as they formed up to attack.
Days of fighting
Gnr Albert Neil Cleary
Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick
Midn Robert Ian Davies
Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms
Leut David John Hamer
Leut-Cmdr Robert William Rankin
AB Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd
Ordinary Smn Edward Sheean
Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp
Leut-Cmdr Francis Edward Smith
Leut-Cmdr Henry Hugh Stoker
LS Ronald Taylor
Capt Hector Macdonald Laws Waller
More acts of bravery to consider
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