THEY GAVE THEIR ALL
The following men were the members of C Company 5 RAR 1966-67 who were Killed-in-Action or Died-of-Wounds while in service to Australia, either while serving with the Company in 1966-67, during a later tour or with a another Battalion. The names are listed in the chronological order of their sacrifice.
Private John R. Sweetnam, 20.
The repetitive life of a postal officer persuaded Private Sweetnam to enlist in the army in September, 1964.* * * * * * *
John, a member of 8 Platoon, was killed in an exchange of small arms fire as his platoon conducted a dawn search-and-destroy patrol in Long My, Phuoc Tuy Province on June 9 1966.
A mate remembers:
John Sweetnam was my mate. He was the sort of bloke who would notice you had forgotten your hat, because you often forgot your hat and stick it on your head about the time you missed it saying, 'useless bastard'.
He was the voice beside us ..."come on, we're all mates here together, so let it go."
The sober voice reminding, "on parade at six mate ...we've got to go!"
And in the silence of a dripping wet twilight 'stand-too', where leaden eyelids followed chin to the dust-cover, it was his -- the gentle push to my shoulder. We swore that we would make it, each one for the other. Now on that special day when the Tiger mates all gather, to slap and laugh together, to tease that special brother, for me there is one missing ... more than just a mate; he was indeed my brother.
Official commemoration: NSW - Woronora Crematorium
Commemoration Position: Niche 5 Q
Lance Corporal Marinko 'Titch' Tomas, 21.
Nannup, Western Australia.
A farmer, just outside Nannup WA, when he was called up on June 30, 1965. Marinko died from shrapnel wounds inflicted by friendly artillery fire on July 8, 1966 in Phuoc Tuy Province.
Tich was a member of 9 Platoon and was the first national serviceman from Western Australia to be killed in action.* * * * * * *
Official commemoration: WA - Nannup Cemetery
Commemoration Position: Section B - Grave 36
Major Donald M. Bourne, 35.
Donald Bourne, a Malayan veteran, was the officer commanding C Company and was preparing to cordon and search the village of Xa An Nhut in Phuoc Tuy Province. A land mine was detonated killing Major Bourne, Captain Milligan and Captain Williams, Forward Observation Officer attached from the New Zealand 161 Battery.* * * * * * *
This action happened on the morning of February 14 1967, the Major's 35th birthday. 5 others were wounded.
Official Commemoration: ACT - Canberra Cemetery
Commemoration Position: RSL Lawn X - Grave 10
Captain Robert B. Milligan, 30.
Robert Milligan joined the army on September 2, 1956 aged 19. he graduated from Officer Cadet School Portsea 'Dux' of his class. He served as a lieutenant with the Pacific Islands Regiment, Papua New Guinea.* * * * * * *
Captain Milligan was 2nd in command of C Company when on the morning of February 14 1967, during a search of Xa An Nhut village, a mine exploded killing Captain Milligan, Major Bourne and Captain Williams.
Official Commemoration: NSW - Macquarie Park Cemetery
Commemoration Position: General Lawn - Row 17 - Grave 54
Captain Peter Williams.
Peter Williams was the FO from NZ 161 Battery and attached to C Company when on the morning of February 14 1967, during a search of Xa An Nhut village, a mine exploded killing Captain Williams, Captain Milligan and Major Bourne.* * * * * * *
Captain Williams ashes were returned to New Zealand and interred at Papatoetoe, New Zealand.
If you wish to read the Australian War Memorial article, 'Tragedy at An Nhut', about this incident »Click Here« just close the window or tab that opens to return here.
Sergeant Bernard L. Smith, 29.
Snowtown, South Australia.
Bernie Smith enlisted in 1958 aged 19. He served in Malaya with the First Battalion RAR. * * * * * * *
He served with the Fifth Battalion RAR on both tours, 9 Platoon and Recce Platoon in 1966 and then with 10 Platoon, D Company in 1969. On March 9, 1969 Sergeant Bernard Smith was killed by a mine detonation as his platoon were moving through a minefield.
Lieutenant Walker and Corporal Gilbert were also killed.
Official Commemoration: SA - Wallaroo Cemetery
Commemoration Position: Roman Catholic - Grave 834
Corporal Frederick 'Bushy' W. Hoare, 29.
Frederick Hoare served with 9 Platoon, C Company, on the Battalion's first tour of Duty in South Vietnam and was Wounded-in-Action on February 8, 1967.Lest We Forget
'Bushy' returned to Vietnam with 6 RAR and was wounded by a booby trap in the Long Hai hills, August 3, 1969, he died of wounds in 24 EVAC HOSP the next day.
Official Commemoration: QLD - Garden Of Remembrance
Commemoration Position: Wall 9 - Row L