Alec Ernest James (Dinga) BELL


BELL, Alec Ernest James

Service Number: 5714453
Enlisted: 13 July 1966, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR)
Born: Perth, Western Australia, 28 March 1946
Home Town: East Victoria Park, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Postman
Died: Died of wounds, Long Binh South Vietnam, 29 January 1968, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium, Perth, W.A.
Roman Catholic. KA. 727
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Postmaster General's Department Perth WWII HR
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Vietnam War Service

13 Jul 1966: Enlisted Perth, Western Australia
8 Apr 1967: Involvement Australian Army, Private, SN 5714453, 7th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR)

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5714453 BELL Alec Ernest James, 21, of Perth, WA, was a postman when he was called up for National Service on July 13 1966 and then joined the Army. The rifleman private with 7RAR died at 24 US Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, on 29 January 1968 of wounds received during an enemy contact in Bien Hoa.

Private ‘Dinga' Bell was platoon medic on the late afternoon of 29 January 1968. In the first few moments of the contact with the enemy the Platoon Commander, 2Lt O'Brien, and all the NCOs were wounded including Private Bell who had received a direct hit from a rocket. Even though shockingly wounded, Private Bell tried to get to the other wounded. When he could not move he gave orders to another soldier as to how to help them. Even when we finally got him on to the Dustoff stretcher, Private Bell was still giving advice as to the care of the other wounded. As he was lifted up through the trees the enemy opened fire again. The Dustoff was forced to leave the area with Private Bell and stretcher hanging underneath. It was later learned that he was dead on arrival at the hospital.