Military Medal (MM)


Private Colin John Cogswell MM.

Citation accompanying the award of the Military Medal to Pte. Cogswell.
On 8 October 1966 during Operation Canberra in Phuoc Thy Province South Vietnam, B Company 5tb Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment was directed to clear the Nui Till Vai Hills which was a large rocky. steep, densely covered feature.

The area was known to be heavily booby trapped by the Viet Cong. Private Cogswell and another soldier as forward scouts located a booby trap deloused it and a few minutes later heard voices of enemy close by. Private Cogswell advised his Platoon Commander by hand signal and covered by the other scout moved forward to investigate. Initially he sighted fifteen Viet Cong then later thirty Viet Cong. Private Cogswell and the other scout remained in a position of observation for approximately fifty minutes; at times the enemy came within five yards of their position but the scouts were not seen.
Based on the information passed back by Private Cogswell and the other scout and other information it was concluded that the Viet Cong could be up to battalion strength and B Company was ordered to withdraw four hundred metres to allow artillery and air strikes to be made on enemy positions.
Both scouts then skilfully extracted themselves without disclosing their presence to the Viet Cong and so alerting them. Artillery and air strikes were then made on the enemy base which was later successfully destroyed.
The skill, courage and determination displayed by Private Cogswell was of a very high order and enabled the area to be cleared without casualties to his platoon or Company.

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