Biography

Birth date: 13 March 1937
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Death date: 13 November 1965
Death place: Vietnam: Quang Ngai Province, Tra Bong
Final rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Service number: 29890 - Vietnam, 1962-1975
Unit: Australian Army Training Team 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.

[Expand all]

[Collapse all]

Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Sergeant (Temporary Warrant Officer Class 2)
  • Date of Death: 13 November 1965
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Photograph

Timeline

Date of birth 1937-03-13 Sydney, NSW.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1956-07
Other units 1956-09 Posted to 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR).
Other 1957 - 1959 Served in Malaya.
Other units 1957-03 Transferred to 3rd Battalion RAR.
Other units 1959-08 Transferred to 2nd Battalion RAR.
Other units 1961-06 Transferred to 1st Battalion RAR.
Other 1965-03-13 - 1965-11-13 Tour of duty, Vietnam.
Other units 1965-03-16 - 1965-11-13 Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam (AATTV).
Date of death 1965-11-13 Tra Bong Valley, South Vietnam.
Date of honour or award 1965-11-13 Awarded Victoria Cross, for action at Tra Bong Valley, Quang Ngai province, Vietnam whilst serving with Australian Army Training Team as a Warrant Officer Class II.