Combat at Close Quarters
THE DAILY MIRROR, FRIDAY, MAY 29, 1953
No Man's Land Patrol: AUSTRALIANS IN FIERCE BATTLE
From a special Sydney Daily Mirror Representative.
Four Australians were killed in action and 13 were wounded on Monday night in the fiercest fighting in which the Third Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment has engaged since the return to the front line earlier this month.
In addition, two men -- both wounded -- were reported missing while one of the wounded died in hospital last night.
Outstanding heroes of the clash which occurred in disputed territory were a 30-years-old Sydney lieutenant and a 29-years-old Melbourne private.
The officer, Lieutenant Alexander Weaver, was hit in the left arm early in the attack. He fought on until he was shot in the right arm.
Weaver went off to contact another patrol and returned to help some of the wounded back through minefields to an Australian outpost.
The Melbourne private, Albert White, a Military Medal winner of World War II, although wounded in the head helped fight a gallant rearguard action.
This enabled other members of the patrol to get to a forward Australian outpost.
White, who was a Bren gunner with the patrol, emptied eight magazines into the Chinese, then took an "Owen Gun" from a wounded comrade and fired 10 more magazines at them, as well as throwing eight or nine grenades.
A South Korean soldier who was out with the Australians, Private Kwan, is reported to have killed or wounded five or six Chinese. He was wounded, and is in an American hospital with some of the Australians.
The action began when a party of Chinese attacked an Australian patrol which was lying in ambush half-way up the spur of a hill. Lieutenant Weaver, who accompanied the patrol, said that the attack came almost without warning.
"They opened up on us with Burp guns as they came over the top of the hill and also hurled grenades at us." he said.
"We were quickly fenced in and decided to edge backwards.
"I emptied my Owen into them and then threw the empty magazine at them.
"The signaller, Private Elliott, was the first man hit and that left us with no contact with the rest.
"I went on firing at the Chinese and when I got hit first in the left arm and then in the right, I jammed the Owen under one arm to defend myself if I were caught.
"I would have had a go at firing it with my teeth.
A lot of Chinese were firing at us, and I got about five or six of them.
"White must have killed the most. He was outstanding, and took charge after the patrol leader and I were wounded."
Private Kevin Masters said he did not know that he had been hit until he found his boot full of blood.
"I started to feel dizzy as we went back from fighting," he said.