Three Services as one force, being the best in everything we do  

Citations for FOREIGN gallantry awards to New Zealand Military Personnel for service in Vietnam

1) Citations for the 12 Gallantry Awards to New Zealand Military Personnel by the Government of South Vietnam which have been approved for acceptance and wear

Cross of Gallantry with Palm - two awards

37221 Sergeant A.J.S. Don, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- 161 Battery – Killed in Action on 14 September 1965

Date of Award: 1965

Citation

No citation has been located for the award to Sergeant Alastair John Sherwood Don.

---

928518 Bombardier R. White, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- 161 Battery – Killed in Action on 14 September 1965

Date of Award: 1965

Citation

No citation has been located for the award to Bombardier Robert White.

Note: Both of these men were killed in action in Vietnam on 14 September 1965 and so were the first New Zealand casualties in Vietnam.

---

Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star - six awards

387723 Private W.F. Angell, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Lead Scout, Victor Five Company

Date of Award: 4 May 1971

Citation

Private William Francis Angell arrived in the Republic of South Vietnam on 8 May 1970 and since that time has held the appointment of lead scout within his section in Victor Five Company, Second Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC).

During his period of active service Private Angell has shown great coolness under fire and a high degree of skill in tracking. His alertness and quick reaction in this most demanding appointment has resulted in many successful contacts by his section and platoon in which 11 VC were killed and seven VC wounded or taken prisoner.

Private Angell’s devotion to duty as a lead scout has been an inspiration to his platoon and is in the best tradition of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

---

580917 Sergeant D.P. Beattie, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Platoon Sergeant, Victor Five Company

Date of Award: 4 May 1971

Citation

Sergeant David P. Beattie arrived in the Republic of South Vietnam on 22 April 1970 and since that date has held the appointment of Platoon Sergeant 3 Platoon Victor Five Company, Second Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC).

On 28 September 1970 in Phuoc Tuy Province Sergeant Beattie after setting a tactically sound ambush engaged a group of enemy which resulted in eight VC being killed and a further one captured. After the contact important intelligence was gained from the prisoner and documents found which eventually led to the location and the identification of the Chau Duc District Headquarters.

Throughout the tour in the Republic of South Vietnam Sergeant Beattie has been an inspiration to his platoon and has shown high leadership qualities in the best tradition of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

---

41737 Lance Bombardier T.A. Graham, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- Gun Number, 161 Battery

Date of Award: 21 August 1966

There was no citation presented at the time of award. Brigadier Harry Honnor CBE, MVO, (Rtd) the 161 Battery Commander at the time advised NZDF on 25 September 2008 that the circumstances for this award were:

“Following the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966, the South Vietnamese Regional Commander approached Brigadier Johnson as the 1st Australian Task Force Commander and asked if he could present Cross of Gallantry awards to the men of D Company, 6th Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) and to representatives of the Task Force supporting units that had delivered such excellent and critical support.

Brigadier Johnson agreed to the awards to the men of D Company, 6RAR and to the supporting unit representatives on the basis that the recipient of each Gallantry Cross had to be a junior NCO or soldier who was directly involved in the action and had delivered outstanding service at the time.

Lance Bombardier Graham was selected as the 161 Battery representative due to the outstanding leadership and example that he delivered on the gun line in 161 Battery that afternoon. Each of the guns on the line fired over 180 rounds in just over two hours with every man available breaking open ammunition to keep up this intense rate of fire. This included the Commander V Force (Lieutenant Colonel R. Smith) who was visiting the unit at the time”.

The notes for this citation are supported by the Royal New Zealand Artillery Regimental History, The Gunner, pp.416 and 417.

Biographical Note:
Lance Bombardier Graham arrived in South Vietnam on 16 February 1966 and was posted to 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery. He returned to New Zealand 26 February 1967.

He returned to South Vietnam for a second tour of duty in 161 Battery as a Survey Sergeant on 2 August 1968 and returned to New Zealand on 27 February 1969.

---

31351 Major D.R. Kenning, Royal New Zealand Artillery
- First Battery Commander in Vietnam of 161 Battery

Date of Award: 1 April 1966

Citation

Participating in the Operation Huong-Vuong 9 in Ben-Cat (Binh-Duong) from 14 to 29 September 1965, Major Donal Richard Kenning, Officer Commanding of the 161st Field Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, belittling constant harassing fire from the guerrillas, skillfully deployed his unit and effectively directed his unit fire which inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

Thanks to praiseworthy devotion and bravery, Major Kenning has accomplished his tasks, which reflect credit upon himself and the Royal New Zealand Armed Forces.

---

30619 Major J.D. McGuire, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Officer Commanding, Victor Five Company

Date of Award: 4 May 1971

Citation

Major John Douglas McGuire arrived in Vietnam on 5 May 1970 as the Officer Commanding Victor Five Company, 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC).

Since arrival in country Major McGuire has commanded Victor Five Company continuously on operations. 

During its service so far on operations in Phuoc Tuy Province his Company has killed 22 VC and captured seven prisoners. In a series of successful ambush operations Victor Five Company has showed itself to be a well-trained, well-organized and competent rifle company.

The success achieved is largely due to the leadership and imagination of Maj McGuire. His aggressive spirit and cool control of his company in action reflects great credit on himself, his Regiment and the New Zealand Army.

---

35187 Major B.R.H. Monks, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Officer Commanding, Victor Six Company

Date of Award: 25 November 1971

Citation

On 25 June 1971 Major Brian Robert Hampton Monks distinguished himself in the operation in the Phuoc Tuy Province territory.

Whilst making heavy contact with the elements of 1 Bn, 274 NVA Regiment, Major Monks disregarded his own safety in front of heavy hostile fire to deploy his troops carefully to fiercely conduct assault attacks causing heavy losses to the enemy. The assault resulted in the deaths of seven enemy and the capture of significant quantities of weapons and equipment.

---

Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star - four awards

584637 Private H.A. Ellison, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Machine Gunner, Victor Five Company

Date of Award: 4 May 1971

Citation

Private Harry Arthur Ellison was posted to the Republic of South Vietnam on 8 May 1970. Since that time he has held the appointment of a machine gunner in 3 Platoon Victor Five Company, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC).

During his tour in Phuoc Tuy province Private Ellison has consistently shown great skill in his appointment and it is partly because of his skill that his platoon has had such success against the enemy. On many occasions when the platoon has been confronted by a determined enemy, Private Ellison has been able to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy with his machine gun and has been responsible for five VC being killed.

The devotion to duty and the skill shown by Private Ellison as a machine gunner is a credit to the high traditions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

---

354556 Corporal A.M. Lee, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Section Commander, Victor Six Company

Date of Award: 1 December 1971

No citation has been found yet. The award was made for service in Victor Six Company on 25 June 1971. Corporal Alec Manu Lee had served previously in Victor Three and returned to Vietnam on his second tour of duty as a Section Commander.

His Officer Commanding in 1971, Major B.R.H. Monks, advised NZDF in October 2008 that this award was for gallantry on 25 June 1971. Major Monks was also awarded a Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star for his actions on 25 June 1971. Lance Corporal John Leonard Adams, one of Corporal Lee’s subordinates, received a Military Medal for his actions on 25 June 1971. Corporal Lee was the Section Commander of Lance Corporal Adams’ section.

Major Monks has stated that a citation was read out at Corporal Lee’s award ceremony by the Vietnamese presenting officer. Unfortunately, despite intensive searches, a copy has not been found yet.

The Military Medal citation for Lance Corporal John Leonard Adams in part reads:

On 25 June 1971, in Phuoc Tuy Province, Lance Corporal Adams’ platoon, supported by tanks and armoured personnel carriers, attacked a heavily defended bunker system occupied by 1st Battalion, 274 [NVA] Regiment. A tank close to Lance Corporal Adams was struck by enemy rocket fire causing all three members of the crew to become casualties.

Displaying outstanding initiative, Lance Corporal Adams led a party to extract the wounded from the crippled tank and despite intense and accurate enemy fire which was being directed at him, he mounted the tank to give further guidance to his men and encouragement to the wounded. Lance Corporal Adams then arranged the evacuation of the wounded by helicopter.

Lance Corporal Adams’ initiative, courage and leadership contributed significantly to the outcome of the battle and undoubtedly saved the life of at least one member of the tank crew.

His actions since this occasion have been of the same high standard and reflect great credit upon himself, his Regiment and the New Zealand Army.


Note:  The award of the Military Medal to Lance Corporal Adams' was published in the New Zealand Gazette, No. 29 dated 29 March 1972.

---

457585 Warrant Officer Second Class M.C. Nabbs, Royal New Zealand Artillery
- Battery Sergeant Major, 161 Battery

Date of Award: 1 April 1966

Citation

Participating in the Operation Huong-Vuong 9 in Ben-Cat (Binh-Duong) from 14 to 29 September 1965, Sergeant Major Malcolm Charles Nabbs belittled harassing fire from the VC, and directed effective artillery fire with outstanding skill which resulted in heavy casualties on the enemy.

Thanks to his praiseworthy devotion and bravery, Sergeant Major Nabbs has accomplished his entrusted tasks which reflect credit upon himself and the Royal New Zealand Armed Forces.

---

570354 Corporal B.M.J. Nissen, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Section Commander, Victor Five Company

Date of Award: 4 May 1971

Citation

Corporal Basil Maurice John Nissen arrived in the Republic of South Vietnam on 14 May 1970 and since that date has held the appointment of Section Commander 2 Platoon Victor Five Company, Second Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC).

During his period of active service in Phuoc Tuy Province Corporal Nissen has shown leadership qualities which are an inspiration to the men he commands. His leadership and tactical ability are reflected in the high number of enemy eliminated by his section. His tactical ability was exemplified on 28 December 1970 when after laying a very good ambush two VC were killed as they withdrew from another contact.

This action, and in particular the skilful handling of his section throughout the tour has made Corporal Nissen an inspiration to his men in the best tradition of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

---

2)  Citations for The THREE Gallantry Awards to New Zealand Military Personnel by the Government of the United States for service in Vietnam which have been approved for acceptance and wear

Bronze Star with ‘V’ Device (for gallantry) - two awards

822606 Captain B.D. Chippindale, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
For acts of gallantry while attached to 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry (United States Army)

Date of Award: 2 May 1968

Citation

By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device is awarded to: Captain Brian David Chippindale for heroism on 19 April 1968, while serving as allied observer, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry.

On this date, Captain Chippindale, was attached to Bravo Troop, which was on a reconnaissance in force operation, came under an extremely heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons, and RPG fire from a numerically superior and well entrenched NVA force. When the Bravo 66 track commander was killed, Captain Chippindale, who was observing from that track, immediately began returning suppressive fire.

Captain Chippindale remained exposed to a hail of enemy fire, without regard for his personal safety, in order to keep up a devastating and continuous volume of fire. His courageous retaliation by fire resulted in seven confirmed NVA killed.

His immediate and unhesitating action undoubtedly kept the command vehicle from taking more casualties and contributed greatly to the successful routing of the NVA forces.

Captain Chippindale’s extremely courageous performance, professional skill, and tactical proficiency during the battle of 19 April 1968, reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the military profession, and is in the highest traditions of the Armies of New Zealand and the United States Of America.

---

30650 Captain B. Meldrum, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment (United States Army)

Date of Award: 9 December 1966

Citation

By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device is awarded to: Captain Bruce Meldrum, New Zealand Army for heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force.

Captain Meldrum distinguished himself by heroic action on 5 December 1966, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Captain Meldrum was on a liaison visit to the Third Squadron, Eleventh Armoured Cavalry Regiment to evaluate armour operations in Vietnam. In order to gain first hand knowledge, Captain Meldrum volunteered to ride in the troop Commander’s M113 ACAV during a one day search and destroy operation in Northern Phuoc Tuy Province.

At approximately 0730 hours, I Troop was attacked by an estimated reinforced Company of Viet Cong Regulars from well fortified bunker positions. So intense was the initial volley of fire that friendly forces suffered immediate casualties and many more were threatened, including the ground commander.

Through a valiant and determined effort, Captain Meldrum realizing the precarious position of the Troop, fearlessly seized an M-60 machine gun on the side of the ACAV and began laying down tenacious protective fire. So effectively did Captain Meldrum fire on the Viet Cong position that he was successful in neutralizing a hostile section of fire. Captain Meldrum assiduously remained at the machine gun despite heavy and intense hostile fire on his position.

By his aggressiveness, determination, and concern for his fellow soldier, he serves as an inspiration to those around him. This display of personal bravery is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit on him, his unit and the New Zealand Army.

Note:  The above wording is from a ‘Proposed citation’ delivered to the HQ V Force in December 1966, NZV/C/4/2/G dated 29 December 1966 signed by Lieutenant Colonel R.H. Smith as Commander HQ NZ V Force.

---

Distinguished Flying Cross - one award

82805 Flying Officer M.R. Callanan, Royal New Zealand Air Force

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron (United States Air Force)

Date of Award: 22 Mar 1970

Citation

Flying Officer Michael Reginald Callanan distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Forward Air Controller near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam on 3 October 1969. On that date, in spite of extremely heavy ground fire and marginal weather conditions which forced him to fly well within range of all hostile weapons, Flying Officer Callanan remained over the target area and provided armed air cover for two medical evacuation helicopters.

In addition he skilfully coordinated two tactical air strikes with artillery fire and made repeated rocket passes down to minimum altitude exposing himself to intense fire to ensure accuracy of his marking rockets close to the friendly positions. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Flying Officer Callanan reflect great credit upon himself and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

 

Quick Links

Return to the top of this page

Vietnam Gallantry Recognised - 15 October 2009 - media statement by the Associate Minister of Defence

New Zealand’s first Vietnam War casualties among those to have gallantry recognised - 16 October 2009

British Commonwealth Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards

New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards

Campaign Medals awarded to New Zealanders for service during the Vietnam War

The Vietnam Medal

The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (warlike) with clasp "Vietnam"

The South Vietnamese Campaign Medal

Unit Citations awarded to New Zealand military units for service during the Vietnam War

The United States Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Presidential Unit Citation

 This page was last reviewed 6 March, 2015 and is current.

Chief of Defence Force
Defence House
2 - 12 Aitken Street
Wellington
+64 4 496 0999

Royal New Zealand Navy

New Zealand rmy

Royal New Zealand Airforce