Aussie Commando Wins Victoria Cross, Major Prize

26.01.10

Categorie: Afghanistan, Commonwealth, David Axe, Special Forces |
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Mark Donaldson. Daylife photo.

by DAVID AXE

New Zealander Willie Apiata isn’t the only Commonwealth commando to gain fame from his Afghanistan exploits. Australian commando Trooper Mark Donaldson was just named “Young Australian of the Year,” according to The Australian.

Donaldson rose to fame after winning the Victoria Cross for his role in a September 2008 firefight in which nine Australians were wounded –  “the highest number of Australian military casualties suffered in a single incident since the Vietnam War,” the newspaper pointed out.

During a fierce two-hour gunbattle, Trooper Donaldson deliberately drew enemy fire on several occasions to allow wounded soldiers to be moved to safety and then braving intense machine gun and rocket fire, ran 80 meters over open ground to rescue a wounded Afghan interpreter.

After his convoy began to withdraw from the ambush site, Trooper Donaldson spotted the wounded interpreter lying in open ground and without hesitation ran out to rescue him.

“His movement, once identified by the enemy, drew intense and accurate machine gun fire from entrenched positions,” said the VC citation.

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2 Responses to “Aussie Commando Wins Victoria Cross, Major Prize”

  1. Prestwick says:

    Do we *really* have to call people from the SAS commandos? Is that the correct terminology? I understand that there are differences between the Australian, British and New Zealand SAS but they train together on an intimate basis and share most of the same training procedures.

    I’m just honestly not sure that the correct official terminology is to call them Commandos.

  2. correct says:

    ^^Correct. Commandos (1 or 2 reg) and SASr (special air service regiment) are completely different special forces entities within the Australian defence force. Mark Donaldson is a SAS Trooper. Not a Commando.

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