Kevin Arthur (Dasher) WHEATLEY VC

WHEATLEY, Kevin Arthur

Service Number: 29890
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Last Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV)
Born: Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia, 13 March 1937
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Maroubra Junction Technical, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Machinist
Died: Killed in Action, Tra Bong valley, Quang Ngai, South Viet Nam, 13 November 1965, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Pinegrove Memorial Park & Crematorium, N.S.W.
Flagpole Circle, Section C Lot 10, Garden of Remembrance, Rookwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Canungra - The Grove - AATTV Row of Memory, Grafton Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Kallangur Vietnam Veterans' Place, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Port Pirie Vietnam Veterans Honour Wall, Seymour Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, Seymour Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk Roll of Honour
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Vietnam War Service

16 Mar 1965: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, 29890, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV)
16 Mar 1965: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, 29890

Dasher Wheatley

Kevin Arthur Wheatley was born in Surry Hill,s Sydney NSW, on 13th March 1937. He married Edna Eileen Davis (she used her step father's name, Gimson on the marriage certificate), in Sydney on 20th July, 1954.

Kevin died at Tra Bong valley, Quang Ngai province, South Viet Nam, on 13th November, 1965, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC now resides at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Kevin's older brother Raymond Leonard Wheatley was killed by a ricochetting bullet during a training exercise at Puckapunyal, on 31st July, 1952. "The Army authorities had been negligent in testing a firing range on which Private Raymond Leonard Wheatley was killed on July 31 this year. Mr. H. E. Whiteman, acting coroner found. Wheatley died from the effects of a bullet wound accidentally received during battle practice." (SMH 30/08/1952, page 4)

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Wheatley, Kevin Arthur (1937–1965)
by Anthony Staunton

Kevin Arthur Wheatley, soldier, was born on 13 March 1937 at Surry Hills, Sydney, third child of Raymond George Wheatley, labourer, and his wife Ivy Sarah Ann, née Newman, both born in Sydney. Educated at Maroubra Junction Junior Technical School, Kevin worked as a milk carter, food sterilizer, machine operator and brick burner. At the registrar-general's office, Sydney, on 20 July 1954 he married a 14-year-old milk-bar assistant Edna Aileen Davis, who used her stepfather's surname, Gimson.

On 12 June 1956 Wheatley enlisted in the Australian Regular Army. Following recruit training he joined the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in September 1956 and transferred to the 3rd Battalion in March 1957. He served in the Malayan Emergency from September that year to July 1959, before transferring in August to the 2nd Battalion and in June 1961 to the 1st Battalion. In January 1964 he was promoted sergeant and in August, temporary warrant officer, class two. Short and stocky, he was a highly respected and well-liked non-commissioned officer with a reputation as a rough, wild man who was a good soldier. He was known as 'Dasher' for his Rugby Union football prowess.

Arriving in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in March 1965, Wheatley joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. He distinguished himself on 28 May by risking heavy fire to rescue a 3-year-old girl. On 18 August, when South Vietnamese troops ceased advancing during an assault, he took the lead and inspired them to continue charging up a hill. His men routed some fifty People's Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong) soldiers.

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