THE MILITARY MEDAL
BLACK, John Kenneth, Corporal (1/400006),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1951
On the morning of 5 October 1951, D Company, 3 RAR, attacked the ridge leading to Hill 317. During the assault on the company's second objective, one of its platoons was launched on a right flanking attack with 5 Section, commanded by Corporal Black, as the right leading section. As it approached the objective, 5 Section came under heavy enemy machine-gun, 3.5 Bazooka and small arms fire. Corporal Black immediately urged his section forward and the first trench line was taken. His section continued to advance and Corporal Black was thrown to the ground by the explosion of an enemy anti-tank grenade. Despite this, he continued the advance and was then wounded in the right arm, rendering him defenseless. The section then came under fire from enemy positions to the rear. Corporal Black, in spite of his wounds, continued to lead his section a further 100 yards until the platoon objective was reached. During the final advance Corporal Black moved forward without personal protection, coolly indicating targets and controlling fire. The section accounted for eleven enemy dead and took four prisoners. Only when the feature was consolidated did Corporal Black permit himself to be evacuated for badly needed medical attention. His example and leadership were an inspiration to his men.