Australian Victoria Cross Recipient

Corporal John Bernard Mackey

Unit 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion
Born 16 May 1922 at Leichhardt, Sydney
Date of action 12 May 1945
Place Tarakan Island, East Indies (now Indonesia)

Mackey’s section was moving along a narrow spur with scarcely width for more than one man when it came under fire from three well-sited positions near the top of a very steep, razor-backed ridge. Mackey charged the first light machine-gun post, overcame it in a hand-to-hand struggle, then turned on a heavy machine-gun post and killed the crew by throwing a grenade through the firing slit of their bunker. He charged his rifle for an Owen gun and charged up a steep slope towards another light machine-gun position. He was within a few metres of the post when he was killed by machine-gun fire but not before he had killed two more enemy.

Died 12 May 1945
Buried or Commemorated Labuan War Cemetery, Borneo. Mackey’s name is commemorated by an individual plaque on the front of the Leichhardt War Memorial in Pioneers Park, Leichhardt.
Current location of the VC Australian War Memorial