Warrant Officer Class II Kevin Wheatley VC
Date of birth: 13 March 1937
Place of birth: Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW
Date of death: 13 November 1965
Place of death: Quang Ngai province, South Vietnam
Kevin "Dasher" Wheatley was born in Sydney, and had several jobs before joining the Australian Regular Army in 1956. He served in different battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment, including time in Malaya, before being posted to Vietnam in 1965. A short and stocky man, he had become known as "Dasher" for his rugby skills.
On 13 November 1965 Wheatley and Warrant Officer Ronald Swanton, were operating in the Tra Bong valley. Their platoon came under heavy fire and Swanton was shot. Although he knew his mate was dying, Wheatley refused to leave him. Again urged to withdraw, Wheatley would not. Instead, he pulled the pins from two grenades and waited for the enemy. Two explosions were heard, followed by bursts of fire; both men were killed. Wheatley's refusal to leave a mate was seen to be in the highest traditions of gallantry. His body was returned to Australia for burial.
Wheatley was awarded the Victoria Cross, the General Service Medal (for Malaya), service medals for the Vietnam War, the United States Silver Star, and South Vietnamese awards.