Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright

ID number P04431.001
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Date made c 1955
Copyright holder AWM copyright


Portrait of 23916 2nd Lieutenant Donald (Don) Mackenzie Bourne, of Watson, ACT, who completed two tours in Korea with the 1st and 3rd Battalions, between 1954 and 1955 and later served in Malaya during the Emergency. As a major, he initially served in Vietnam with Headquarters, 1st Australian Task Force before being posted to 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) in 1967. Major Bourne was a graduate of the first class of the Officer Cadet School (OCS), at Portsea, Vic, and in early 1967 was appointed commander of C Company, 5RAR. On the morning of 14 February 1967, during preparations for Operation Beaumaris, (a cordon-and-search operation of the village of An Nhut), Major Bourne was killed by a concealed Viet Cong mine. Another Australian officer, 29635 Captain Robert Bruce Milligan, and a New Zealand Army Officer, Captain Peter Williams, were also killed, and five other men were wounded. Major Bourne was the most senior Australian officer to have been killed during the Vietnam War. He was aged 35.