Private Maxwell Lachlan Rhodes
Killed in Action; 19 September 1971
Private Maxwell Rhodes, aged 22, from Sydney, NSW was a qualified metallurgist with a Bachelor of Science degree prior to being called up for National Service on 27 January 1970. He was posted to 4RAR as a reinforcement from 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit on 10 September 1971.
During Operation IVANHOE in Phuoc Tuy Province on 19 September 1971, in the prelude to the battle of Nui Le, D Company received intelligence which was interpreted as indicating that perhaps two battalions of North Vietnamese Army regulars were as close as 500 meters from the company. This was later to be proven to be correct. Tension amongst the company was high and unfortunately 11 Platoon and 10 Platoon operating on different axis of advance, engaged each other and Max, a 10 Platoon soldier, was accidently shot and killed.
A misfortune such as this is bound to happen in war and although a tragic event, no blame was laid as an investigation concluded that the terrible event had been caused by a series of adverse circumstances coming together at this particular time and place.
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