Home' Army News : September 13th 2012 Contents Army September 13, 2012
PTE Nathanael Galagher was serving with the
SOTG in Afghanistan when he was killed in a
helicopter crash on August 30 (Afghan time).
Pte Galagher was known for always putting
110 per cent into everything he did. He had a
"can-do" attitude, always wanting to get the job
done and taking everything in his stride.
Pte Galagher is survived by his partner
Jessie, parents Wayne and Sally, and sister
"Nate was a country boy at heart. Nate
wasn't a 'showy' kind of guy, but rather one
who would demonstrate his love through the
little things which meant the world. He was so
loving and grateful. We never heard Nate say
a bad thing about anyone," his family said in a
"Easygoing is the perfect word to describe
Nate. Nothing was a problem to him.
"Becoming a father was so important to
Nate. You've never seen a man so happy to
hear the news that he had a baby on the way.
We will miss Nate's caring, loving ways and he
will always be a hero to all of our family, includ-
ing his unborn son.
"Nate idolised LCpl Mervyn McDonald, who
was also killed in the crash. Merv was generous
PTE NATHANAEL JOHN AUBREY GALAGHER
LCPL MERVYN JOHN MCDONALD
QUICK witted with a positive energy is
how LCpl Mervyn McDonald, 30, has been
described by those who worked alongside him.
He was serving with the SOTG in
Afghanistan when he was killed in a helicopter
crash on August 30 (Afghan time).
LCpl McDonald is survived by his fiancée
Rachael, his mother Myrna and stepfather
Bernie, and brothers Percy, Roger and Gary.
"Merv was the warmest guy you'd ever
meet. You could see it in his eyes, they had a
special sparkle," Rachael Sprigg-McKinnie said
in a statement.
"He was a real Aussie bloke with a passion
for his country, especially its natural splendour.
"Even after several tours, he felt a real
sense of duty to return to Afghanistan and he
was committed to sharing his experience with
his team and 2 Cdo Regt."
LCpl McDonald was born in Carnarvon,
WA, in 1982. He joined the Army in 1999 and
was posted to 1RAR. On completion of his
selection and training course and reinforce-
ment cycle, LCpl McDonald was posted to
then-4RAR (Cdo), now 2 Cdo Regt, in 2008.
LCpl McDonald was on his sixth Afghan tour.
His last visit to Carnarvon a couple of
FALLEN commandos Pte
Nathanael Galagher and LCpl
Mervyn McDonald, of 2 Cdo
Regt, have been remembered as
dedicated and skilled Special
Forces troops during ramp
ceremonies in the MEAO and
Pte Galagher, 23, and LCpl
McDonald, 30, were killed in a heli-
copter crash in Helmand province in
the early hours of August 30 while
serving with the SOTG.
The soldiers were farewelled
from Tarin Kot in Afghanistan by
fellow Australian and coalition
soldiers who lined the route and
saluted the slow-moving convoy of
long range patrol vehicles carrying
them to the Hercules for their jour-
At a moving ceremony, mates
paid tribute to Pte Galagher and
LCpl McDonald, honouring their
lives and their service.
CO SOTG Lt-Col I praised the
"For these men, their contribu-
tion will live on in the memory of
our lives, their spirit and achieve-
ments always in our hearts and
minds," he said.
"Tell others -- tell them what
these men did. History will not
remember what we say here today.
History will remember however,
what these men did."
Speaking at RAAF Base
Richmond on September 4, CDF
Gen David Hurley expressed his
condolences to the families of the
"Today we receive home five
Australian soldiers who have made
the ultimate sacrifice in service to
our nation," he said.
"The thoughts and prayers of
the entire Defence community are
with their families, friends and col-
leagues on this very difficult day.
"We are indebted to these men
for their courage and selflessness in
choosing a life of service and for the
pride and honour with which they
The Australian Special Forces
and their partnered Afghan National
Security Force unit were participat-
ing in a targeted mission when the
The Acting CDF at the time of
the incident, AirMshl Mark Binskin,
said the soldiers were en route to the
mission area when their aircraft hit
"Early reporting indicates the
aircraft was attempting to land in
the mission area when the incident
occurred," he said.
The cause of the crash was not
yet known, but specialist aircraft
recovery personnel attended the site
to ensure information required for
an air crash investigation was appro-
Initial reporting indicated there
was no insurgent action in the area
at the time of the incident, which
could be related to the crash.
Commandos died in
the job they loved
with his experience and shared it with the other
boys in the team, especially Nate."
Twenty-three-year-old Pte Galagher was
born in Wee Waa, NSW. He joined the Army in
2007 and was posted to 1RAR. On completion
of his selection and training course and rein-
forcement cycle, Pte Galagher was posted to 2
Cdo Regt in November last year. Pte Galagher
was on his second tour to Afghanistan.
months ago was bittersweet, as he made the
trek home to farewell his father who recently
LCpl McDonald was a dedicated and enthu-
siastic soldier, who was always willing to come
forward with ideas and solutions. He was highly
professional, but his quiet nature and humility
meant he always deflected credit back onto fel-
low members of his company.
Farewelled: 3RAR Task Group Chap Kent Williams says a prayer
during the memorial service in Tarin Kot.
Photo by Sgt William Guthrie
Heading home: Long range patrol vehicles carry the five fallen soldiers to a Hercules to carry them on their last
journey home from Tarin Kot in Afghanistan to Australia.
Photo by Sgt William Guthrie
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