Australian Military Forces Hat Badge
5th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment title
Errol J. Lee
235238 Lieutenant. Errol J. Lee, 22
Ashfield, NSW.

Lieutenant John Lee graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1967. He was posted to 5 RAR and appointed Platoon Commander of 1 Platoon, A Company. He married Barbara Kirk in late 1968 just a short while before he departed for active service in South Vietnam.
Lieutenant Lee was a very competent and aggressive young infantry commander whose platoon had the honour of having the battalion’s first contact with the enemy forces during its second tour in 1969. His well-trained platoon was to have many more successful battles with the enemy.
On 11 May 1969 A Company was operating on the northern slopes of the Nui Thi Vai hills. While moving up a spur, Lieutenant Lee's platoon came under fire from enemy forces concealed in caves. Lieutenant Lee moved forward of his platoon position to conduct a reconnaissance in preparation for an attack but was shot and severely wounded by a well-camouflaged enemy. Repeated attempts and assaults were made by A Company over a period of several hours in attempts to extricate Lieutenant Lee from his position just 10 metres in front of the heavily defended cave system. Repeatedly withering enemy fire halted those rescue attempts. Finally, elements of 3 Platoon, supported by a flame-thrower from the Assault Pioneer Platoon, succeeded in reaching him but, tragically, this fine officer had been mortally wounded.

Official Commemoration: NSW - Garden Of Remembrance
Commemoration Position: Wall 1 - Panel K1353

 

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