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B A T T L E F I E L D    K O R E A

BREEN, Augustine E.J., Lieutenant (2/35037),
2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1953

Lieutenant Breen, 2 RAR, distinguished himself during a flight as an observer in an unarmed T-6 aircraft while serving on temporary duty with the 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, on 23 June 1953. While on a tactical control mission north of White Horse Mountain on the western front in Korea, Lieutenant Breen expertly directed three flights of fighter-bomber aircraft in an attack on an enemy strong point consisting of six caves, seven personnel shelters, eight bunkers, three automatic weapons positions and four mortar positions. After making a low altitude reconnaissance of the target area, Lieutenant Breen contacted the fighter-bombers and led them to the target through dense layers of clouds about three thousand feet above the ground. Despite warnings from the fighter-bomber pilots that small arms and automatic weapons were firing at him, Lieutenant Breen remained over the target area at low altitude while directing the three flights of fighter-bombers in their attack runs. The strikes effectively closed four caves, damaged three bunkers, seven personnel shelters, two mortar positions, two automatic weapons positions and seventy-five yards of the heavily trenched strong point. Lieutenant Breen's high personal courage, keen airmanship and devotion to duty were a source of inspiration to those in the Far East Air Forces and the Australian Regular Army.


HATFIELD, Leslie K., Captain (1/7518),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1953

Captain Hatfield, 3 RAR, distinguished himself during a flight as an observer in an unarmed T-6 aircraft while serving on temporary duty with the 6147th Tactical Control Group, Fifth Air Force, on 10 June 1953. While on a tactical control mission near Kumhwa, Korea, Captain Hatfield voluntarily searched for a fighter-bomber pilot who had parachuted behind enemy lines after his aircraft was destroyed by anti-aircraft fire. Although Captain Hatfield knew the area was defended by a heavy concentration of enemy anti-aircraft and machine-guns, and despite the hazards of low level flight with poor visibility, he remained over enemy territory for more than an hour in the face of intense small arms and automatic weapons fire. Even after receiving three different hits on his aircraft, Captain Hatfield did not abandon the search. Later, despite intense small arms fire, he led a helicopter into an area where the downed pilot had been sighted. Through his outstanding courage, airmanship and devotion to the best interests of the military service, Captain Hatfield was a source of inspiration to those in the Far East Air Forces and the Australian Regular Army.


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