Australian Victoria Cross Recipient

Warrant Officer Class II Kevin Arthur Wheatley

Unit Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam
Born 13 March 1937 at Sydney, NSW
Date of action 13 November 1965
Place Tra Bong Valley, Quang Ngai province, South Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam)

Wheatley was with a company patrol that had split into three platoon groups. Wheatley and Warrant Officer II R.J.Swanton were with the right-hand group. At about 1.40pm Wheatley reported contact with Viet Cong soldiers and soon after he requested assistance. Australian, Captain Fazekas, who was with the centre platoon, organised about fifteen irregulars and fought towards the scene of the action. He received another message from Wheatley to say that Swanton had been hit in the chest. Wheatley requested an air strike and an aircraft for casualty evacuation.

About this time the right platoon began to scatter and although the medical assistant told Wheatley that Swanton was dying, Wheatley refused to abandon him. He discarded his radio and half dragged, half carried Swanton, under heavy enemy small arms fire, out of the open rice paddies into a wooded area 200 metres away. Wheatley was urged to leave the dying Swanton but he refused, and was seen to pull the pins from two grenades. Holding a grenade in each hand, he calmly awaited the encircling Viet Cong. Captain Fazekas led the search party that found the two bodies next morning; both had died of gunshot wounds.

Died 13 November 1965
Buried or Commemorated Pine Grove Memorial Park, Blacktown, New South Wales. His name is commemorated in the New South Wales Garden of Remembrance at Rookwood War Cemetery
Current location of the VC Australian War Memorial
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