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May 12, 2011
and organising men to move to other
compartments with emergency exits.
On realising he may not fit through
an escape hatch, he was instrumental in
helping others to safety. He was posthu-
mously awarded the George Cross.
Kerry Francis Marien
After training at the RAN College at
HMAS Creswell, Kerry Francis Marien
joined the Daring-class destroyer
HMAS Voyager as a midshipman.
When Voyager collided with
Melbourne, Marien managed to get
clear of the aft section of the stricken
vessel and into one of Voyager's life
Noticing others in difficulty around
him, Marien re-entered the water to
help. The last person to see Marien alive
reported that Marien had swum up to
him asking whether he needed help. On
replying that he did not, he saw Marien
swim in the direction of the severed
forward part of the ship, which it is
believed he entered.
Marien was posthumously awarded
the Albert Medal 1965.
James Collier Buchanan
James Collier Buchanan began his
flight training as an aircrew officer with
RAN in October in 1963 and later, as
a qualified pilot, was posted to HT 725
Squadron in February, 1964.
Buchanan was posted to the RAN
Helicopter Flight Vietnam, which
arrived in the Republic of Vietnam in
He became the commander of the
Second Lift Platoon, flying daily com-
bat assault missions at the controls of a
Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter in which
he routinely came under heavy enemy
fire.On December 4, 1970, Buchanan
performed an extraordinary act. While
engaged in the medical evacuation of
a wounded crew member from a South
Vietnamese patrol boat, the group came
under heavy attack.
Realising that the boat he was oper-
ating was disabled and drifting towards
the enemy-held shore, he pressed the
skids of his helicopter onto the deck of
the vessel and manoeuvred his aircraft
to push the boat to safety.
Philip C. Kember
Philip C. Kember was a member of the
first clearance diving team (CDT) to
deploy to South Vietnam, serving from
February 5 until August 29, 1967, with
On May 20, 1967, CDT3 was called
to help salvage a crashed helicopter near
As part of a team of three, LS
Kember was flown to the US Army base
at Phu Loi and then by helicopter gun-
ship to the crash site.
The recovery of the aircraft from 10
feet of water was conducted in extremely
Kember was instrumental in the
recovery of two bodies and in rendering
safe all of all the ordnance and weapons.
He was later decorated with the
Distinguished Service Medal for his
involvement in this and other hazardous
operations in Vietnam.
During HMAS Stuart's 2004 deploy-
ment to the Middle East, in support of
Operation Catalyst, LSA Benjamin Sime
was serving as the sensor operator in
Stuart's embarked Seahawk helicopter.
On April 24, 2004, enemy fighters
in fishing dhows launched a series of
attacks against Iraqi oil terminals.
One dhow, packed with explosives,
was detonated when a RHIB from USS
Firebolt drew alongside to challenge it.
Three American sailors were killed
and four seriously wounded.
Stuart rendered assistance, ordering
her Seahawk to close Firebolt's position.
On approaching the scene, Sime
observed that the RHIB had capsized and
its occupants were in the water.
Following several unsuccessful
attempts to get survivors into a rescue
strop lowered from the helicopter, a
decision was made for Sime to enter the
water and provide direct assistance.
Moments later, two further attacks
were launched against the nearby oil
Sime continued to provide support
to survivors until he was recovered by
Sime showed courage and remained
dedicated to supporting a sailor in his
care without regard for his own safety.
He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry.
Justin James Brown
ABCD Justin James Brown was a mem-
ber of AUSTCDT Four during the 1999
deployment to East Timor.
On October 21, 1999, AUSTCDT
Four was tasked with a clandestine
reconnaissance in advance of an amphib-
ious landing by Australian troops into
the Oecussi Enclave, West Timor.
Brown was tasked with gathering
beach intelligence for the proposed land-
In addition, he was tasked to provide
surface protection and early warning
of impending danger, working close in
shore and for the submerged dive team.
During the reconnaissance, a number
of shots and explosions were heard in the
nearby town while two vehicles proceed-
ed along the beach conducting a search
to seaward using high-intensity lights.
Brown jeopardised his own safety by
remaining close to the shore to provide
support to his commanding officer and
the submerged dive team. He was award-
ed a Commendation for Gallantry.
-- Information compiled by Navy
Communications and Media
As reported in the April 28 edi-
tion of Navy News, an 'Inquiry into
Unresolved Recognition for Past
Acts of Naval and Military Gallantry
and Valour' is being held. For more
information visit www.defence-
call (02) 6266 3486. Submissions
close on June 30.
ve been selected to represent the values of honour,
ed in the April 28 edition of Navy News, profiled 11
Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal inquiry
her 11 outstanding Navy people.
RAN begins celebrations to mark its 100th anniversary
Navy members and the community to promote
ge, as well as the sacrifices made by everyday
Philip C. Kember
nthe April 28 edi
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