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B A T T L E F I E L D    K O R E A

courage, determination and good humour in adversity were an inspiration to all who served with him, and the example he set of selfless devotion to duty must seldom have been surpassed.

THOMAS, Kevin Claude, Corporal (2/400495),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1952

Corporal Thomas served as a rifle section commander in A Company, 3 RAR, for six months. Throughout this period he demonstrated the highest qualities of a junior non-commissioned officer, both in command of his section and as a leader of fighting and reconnaissance patrols. He particularly distinguished himself on the night of 3 September 1952 as second-in-command of a fighting patrol of one officer and fifteen men who successfully ambushed an enemy patrol about forty strong. During this action Corporal Thomas personally killed three of the enemy and his section accounted for a further nine. When the officer commanding the patrol was severely wounded he took command and, judging the patrol's objective to have been achieved, ordered its withdrawal to the patrol firm base position to the rear. Corporal Thomas first organised the evacuation of the wounded and then remained with a small group of men to cover the move back. Shortly afterwards about twenty enemy soldiers made a determined attack on this rearguard. Under Corporal Thomas's leadership, however, they were successfully fought off, with at least two being killed. Under heavy enemy fire the rearguard then rejoined the firm base, Corporal Thomas himself carrying a member who had been severely wounded. Later, when a further patrol was organised to go out and sweep the scene of action, Corporal Thomas volunteered and went out as its guide. His courage and determination during this action were an inspiration to the patrol and his outstanding leadership was a deciding factor in the success it achieved. The constant example of this young non-commissioned officer through his fearlessness and devotion to duty was responsible for the maintenance of the very high standard of morale and efficiency among his men.

TUNSTALL, Thomas Gilroy, Private (Temporary Corporal) (2/400106),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1951

Corporal Tunstall was B Company medical orderly during an intense 24-hour action on 7 October 1951, as part of operations against feature 174224. During this action, Corporal Tunstall displayed extreme heroism and devotion to duty in attending to and evacuating casualties. He was omnipresent throughout the action which caused around half of the members of his company to be either killed or wounded. During the fighting Corporal Tunstall frequently tended the wounded on open ground in the face of withering enemy small arms, mortar and shell fire. Corporal Tunstall showed complete disregard for his own personal safety and, through his brave and humane actions, was instrumental in maintaining a high state of morale amongst the remnants of his company.


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