Mentioned In Despatches (MID)


Corporal Norman James Womal. (Posthumous)

Citation accompanying the award of Mentioned in Dispatches to Cpl. Womal.
On 17 October 1966 during Operation Queanbeyan in Phuoc Tuy Province in South Vietnam, the Anti-Tank Platoon of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment was directed to clear a Viet Cong ambush located in a deep re-entrant on the side of a steep mountain.

Corporal Womal, a Section Commander in the platoon was ordered to clear with his section across the re-entrant under covering fire from the remainder of the platoon. When the section reached the middle of the re-entrant, Corporal Womal was mortally wounded by a sniper who had obviously concentrated on him because he was controlling his section by voice and hand signals. From the position where he fell, Corporal Womal continued to control the covering fire of his section machine gun. In spite of a large volume of accurate enemy fire from several different positions which prevented Corporal Womal's section from moving, Corporal Womal propped himself on one elbow in an exposed position to indicate by voice to his Platoon Commander the exact location of the enemy and continued to direct the section machine gun fire onto the enemy. Corporal Womal died shortly after being evacuated from the re-entrant.
The courage and leadership displayed by Corporal Womal under fire was of very high order and an inspiration to all members of his platoon. His efforts in directing fire and controlling his section even when wounded contributed directly to the successful extrication of his section without further casualties and the location of the enemy positions which were subsequently effectively dislodged.

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