First Military Medal awarded to RAAF member since World War II

11 Feb 1970

At about 0230 hours, an eight-man section of RAAF Airfield Defence Guards on listening patrol outside the US airbase at Phan Rang, South Vietnam, fought an enemy party of unknown size. In two earlier incidents that night, pairs of enemy were repelled as they attempted to penetrate the base’s perimeter. As a result, Corporal Noel Power shifted his section’s position to cover two canal crossings most likely to be used by withdrawing intruders. Moments later the patrol exchanged fire with an unseen enemy in an action lasting five minutes. After contact was broken, Power conducted several sweeps of the area without locating anything. During a further search at dawn, however, his men found a wounded enemy from whom it was learnt that a raid by North Vietnamese sappers had been foiled. Power received the first Military Medal awarded to a RAAF member since World War II.