Private Kenneth Harding
V Company (RNZIR)
Killed in Action; 24 June 1971
Private Kenneth Harding was a forward scout in Support Section, V Company which was a company of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR). Because of the attachment of both V Company and W Companies of the RNZIR, 4RAR was re-rolled as 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) during its tours in South Vietnam. W Company did not serve in 4RAR during its tour of 1970 to 1971.
During Operation HERMIT PARK in Phuoc Tuy Province on 24 June 1971, V Company had put in a quick ambush along a track that was showing signs of recent use. Support section was tasked with moving further down the track to confirm that footmarks were recent. Support section found logs across the track, light trees tied down over the track and signs of recent use. Movement was seen and the section commander opened fire at a VC soldier. Other VC then opened fire and wounded Ken. The enemy then fired an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) and withdrew.
Although the Company Medic, Lance Corporal Carter, worked skilfully in treating Ken, difficulty in securing a helicopter landing site added valuable time to his evacuation and he unfortunately died later that night.
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