Michael Allen (Moot) DENCH MM

DENCH, Michael Allen

Service Number: 55159
Enlisted: 1 January 1966, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, Vietnam
Born: Subiaco, Western Australia, 31 October 1938
Home Town: Mosman Park, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Prison Officer (post war)
Memorials:
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Vietnam War Service

1 Jan 1966: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55159, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), Perth, Western Australia
12 Dec 1966: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55159, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR)
29 May 1967: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, SN 55159, 7th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR)
27 Jan 1969: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Corporal, SN 55159, 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR)
2 Apr 1970: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Corporal, SN 55159, Headquarters, Australian Force Vietnam (Army Component)
12 Jun 1970: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Corporal, SN 55159, 1st Australian Reinforcement Unit, Vietnam

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Biography

"Citation accompanying the award of the Military Medal to Cpl. Dench.

Corporal Michael Dench enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in January, 1966. During 1966/67 he served with 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam. He was posted to 5th Battalion in December 1967 and arrived in South Vietnam in February 1969 as a Section Commander with 3 Platoon A Company. On the 8th August 1969, 3 Platoon was part of a half company group in heavy contact with an enemy company, entrenched in bunkers. During the initial assault against the enemy position, Corporal Dench's section was pinned down by accurate rocket, claymore and machine gun fire. Corporal Dench at great personal risk, deliberately exposed himself several times to draw the fire away from other members of his section then calmly directed the section's fire. When ordered to pull back, Corporal Dench remained forward covering the withdrawal of all of his men and would not leave his position until his men were safe despite the appearance of snipers in trees and the movement of enemy troops forward in counter attack. On 21st August, Corporal Dench was commanding his section when the same small A Company force attacked what proved to be an enemy battalion bunker system. 3 Platoon took heavy casualties. After covering by fire the evacuation of his wounded, Corporal Dench took over temporary command of his platoon. Under accurate and intense mortar, rocket and sniper fire he continued to move around the platoon, reorganising defences and instilling confidence amongst his men. Corporal Dench displayed personal courage of the highest order, devotion to duty and professional competence that reflects great credit on himself and The Royal Australian Regiment." - SOURCE (www.5rar.asn.au)

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