Corporal Alan “Tassie” Charles Fawns Wilkins
Died of Disease; 03 July 1971
Corporal Alan (Tassie) Wilkinson aged 33 from Sydney, NSW, was an intensely private man and an experienced, fatherly section commander in 12 Platoon, and highly regarded by his fellow soldiers. Tassie had served in the Royal Australian Artillery from May 1957 to May 1963. A parachutist who converted to Buddhism, he re-enlisted in March 1964 and then served as an Infantryman with 4RAR in Malaysia and Borneo.
During his first tour in South Vietnam in 1968 Tassie served with 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit but served again with 4RAR on its second tour and sailed with the Battalion to South Vietnam in May 1970.
During Operation HERMIT PARK in Phuoc Tuy Province, Tassie suddenly became ill with a fever. Arrangements were made for his evacuation from the field by helicopter but unfortunately this involved a prolonged approach to a suitable landing point (LP) and even though his equipment was distributed among the platoon the effort of getting to the LP severely taxed him. He was eventually evacuated but, to the great sadness of everyone, he died a few days later in hospital.
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