Military Cross (MC)


Second Lieutenant John Douglas McAloney MC.

Citation accompanying the award of the Military Cross to 2/Lt. McAloney.
In 18 October 1966, during Operation Queanbeyan in Phuoc Tuy Province South Vietnam, Second Lieutenant John Douglas McAloney commanding the Assault Pioneer Platoon of 5th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment was given the difficult task of clearing booby traps from a rocky, thickly jungled, cave riddled spur.

The area was the scene of a bitter engagement between other elements of 5th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment and the Viet Cong on the preceding day during which the enemy had withdrawn deeper into the protection of the booby trapped caves. The clearance of the booby traps was to precede a detailed search of the caves. After positioning covering groups, Second Lieutenant McAloney, alone, entered the first cave entrance to commence delousing the bobby traps. At this time, a Viet Cong sniper fired from another concealed cave entrance mortally wounding one of the Assault Pioneer sentries. With complete disregard for his own safety, Second Lieutenant McAloney moved from the shelter of the cave out to the wounded man and dragged him to a more secure area. After arranging for the evacuation of the casualty, Second Lieutenant McAloney, alone, again approached the suspect cave and personally tossed gas grenades into both the front entrance and possible exits. As the gas and subsequent firing of M79 grenades into the cave still failed to dislodge the occupants, preparations were made to employ flame throwers. Firstly Second Lieutenant McAloney again moved out alone under covering fire to recover the weapon of the wounded man. This was lying in the line of fire for the proposed flame attack. Whilst doing this he was wounded in the right temple but persevered and retrieved the weapon. He then gathered a flame thrower team of two men and personally led them in a frontal flame assault on the caves area, burning out each entrance in turn. The personal courage and leadership shown by this officer throughout the three and one half hour period of the action was of the highest order His determination to close with and destroy an experienced and concealed enemy, in extremely difficult terrain was an inspiration to all ranks.

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