Gary John McKAY
Second Lieutenant Gary McKay graduated from the Officer Training Unit on 11 October 1968 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He joined 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in November 1970 and arrived in South Vietnam with the battalion on 22 may 1971.
On 21 September 1971, in Phouc Tuy Province, D Company of the battalion attacked elements of 33rd North Vietnamese Army Regiment who were in a heavily fortified bunker system. Second Lieutenant McKay’s platoon was one of the assault platoons and as the attack proceeded, his leading section sustained heavy casualties including the section machine gunner.
Second Lieutenant McKay moved forward to control the extraction of the section and the recovery of the machine gun. Engaging the enemy with the recovered weapon, he covered the withdrawal of his men.
Second Lieutenant McKay’s actions allowed the leading section and later the platoon to withdraw successfully, although they were still heavily engaged by the enemy. His display of courage and steadiness in battle rallied his men and although he was badly wounded in a later action, he continued to encourage his soldiers in a manner that reflects great credit upon himself, his Regiment and the Australian Army.