Warrant Officer Kevin Wheatley V.C.Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans / Russell Byers

A rest area commemorates Warrant Officer Kevin Arthur Wheatley V.C (Victoria Cross) who was killed in action in Vietnam.

Wheatley and another Australian, Warrant Officer R. J. Swanton, were on a search and destroy mission in the Tra Bong valley, Quang Ngai province, with a platoon of the Civil Irregular Defence Group on 13 November 1965 when it was attacked by the Viet Cong. The platoon broke in the face of heavy fire and began to scatter. Swanton was shot in the chest. Although told that Swanton was dying, Wheatley refused to leave him. Under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, he half-dragged and half-carried Swanton out of open rice paddies into the comparative safety of nearby jungle. He refused a second request to withdraw, pulled the pins from his two grenades and waited with his motionless colleague while the enemy approached.

Two grenade explosions were heard, followed by several bursts of fire. Wheatley and Swanton were found at first light next morning, dead from gunshot wounds. For refusing to abandon a wounded comrade in the face of overwhelming odds Wheatley was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. He had also been awarded the United States of America`s Silver Star. The Republic of Vietnam had appointed him a knight of its National Order and awarded him its Military Merit Medal and Cross of Gallantry with Palm. In 1993 Wheatley`s V.C. and other medals were presented to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.


Address:Federal Highway (Remembrance Driveway), Kevin Wheatley V.C. Rest Area, Lake George, 2581
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.067367
Long: 149.3743
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:13-November-1965
Actual Event End Date:13-November-1965


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1998
Inscription in Proximity

Remembrance Driveway

The trees in this plantation are a living memorial to the following servicemen and servicewomen

[ Names ]

and others associated with the following

Z Special Unit of S. R. D.                               Country Womens` Association Canberra Branch  
United Council of Migrants from Europe        Jerilderie Sub-Branch R.S.L.
Royal Victoria League Canberra Branch        Rotary Club of Canberra
The N.S.W. Rugby Union                              R.M.C. Welfare Association Duntroon
Returned Navy, Army and Air Force Sisters Sub-Branch

Source: MA,SKP,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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