Aussie Vietnam War soldier killed in action to be reinterred

RESIDENTS are invited to a reinterment ceremony on Monday 6 June for Warrant Officer Class II Kevin George Conway, the first Australian soldier killed in action in the Vietnam War.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Warrant Officer Conway was a highly decorated soldier, military adviser and the only Australian serviceman attached to a US Special Forces team that was attacked by the Viet Cong during the Battle of Nam Dong in July 1964.

"Born in 1928, Conway grew up in Wellington Point and enlisted with the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1947, where he served with the first Australian War Crimes section in Hong Kong.

"Discharging from the Army on 18 February 1949, Kevin Conway worked in farming and on the railways before reenlisting on 19 November 1952. He saw active service in the Korean War and Malaya with the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, before deploying to Vietnam in November 1963 with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV)," she said. 

"A highly-skilled specialty officer, Conway was the only Australian serviceman attached to a United States Special Forces team A-726 stationed at Camp McBride, Nam Dong, which was attacked by a force of more than 700 Viet Cong in the early hours of 6 July 1964.

"Along with US Master Sergeant Gabriel Alamo, Conway fought off the attackers from a mortar position just outside the main gate of the camp, however, both were found dead at their posts following heavy attack from small arms rifle fire and hand grenades.

"Described by the camp's commanding officer as 'the most experienced guerilla fighter at Nam Dong', Conway was a highly decorated veteran including a recipient of National Order of Vietnam (South Vietnam's highest Award) and the rare Campaign Service Medal with Clasp (South Vietnam).

"A recommendation that WO Conway receive the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Battle of Nam Dong was ultimately denied because Australia was not officially at war at the time."


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