Star of Gallantry awarded to Australian soldier for action in Afghanistan

An Australian soldier based in Perth has been awarded the second highest military medal behind the Victoria Cross.

Sgt D won the Star of Gallantry in the same incident in which Perth SAS trooper Jason Brown was killed in an ambush on August 13th 2010.

Minutes after Brown was cut down by a burst on the machine-gun from the Taliban, Sgt D ran forward under fire and began dragging Brown to safety. As he dragged Brown towards cover, got fired at and fired back at the ambushers, of which he killed at least one insurgent fighter.

The heroics are detailed in the Defence Inquiry report in which Sgt D is referred to as “Soldier 1”.

The report says that Sgt D went forward under fire to retieve Trooper Brown and while dragging Brown to safety, was shot at, and in return, fired back. It is believed that Sgt D was hit during the shoot-out.

The air support and medical evacuation helicopter was called but SAS soldier Jason Brown could not be saved and was declared Dead On Arrival at a ATO base in Kandahar.

Brown’s father said, “If Jason had have lived, then I’m sure Sgt D would have been awarded the Victorian Cross. It’s really the same situation in which the VC has been won in the past…he was taking the same risk.”

Mr Brown and his wife Ann will fly from Perth to Sydney in November to see Sgt D awarded the Star of Gallantry.

The Star of Gallantry has only been awarded four times previously since its creation in 1991.

by Mike Hansom

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