M2 & Owen Gun In Action: How Trooper John Carter won the Distinguished Conduct Medal
The evening of the 18th August 1966, saw Trooper (temporary corporal) John Carter or the Royal Australian Armoured Corps win the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery. Trooper Carter’s M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was part of a Troop moving forward with reinforcements to assist a company of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment which was heavily engaged with a large force of North Vietnamese troops.
As the APCs advanced they came under fire from an enemy 57mm recoilless rifle and intense small arms fire. A 57mm recoilless rifle round just missed Carter’s APC. The citation for Trooper Carter’s medal describes his actions:
Carter returned the fire using his .50 calibre machine gun [mounted on the roof of the M113A1 APC]. The gun jammed. He then grasped the driver’s Owen Machine Carbine and without hesitation leapt on to the top of his vehicle and returned fire killing the 57 millimetre recoilless rifle team a fraction after another 57 millimetre recoilless rifle round had been fired. This round exploded and dazed the crew and passengers. Corporal Carter still undeterred continued to fire killing five other enemy.
By his actions Corporal Carter also drew additional fire on to himself enabling the other vehicles of the troop to advance. Through the action which was fought at very close range Corporal Carter showed outstanding courage, initiative and determination. His actions were an inspiration to all his comrades and contributed greatly to the success of the assault by the relief force, the heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy and immediately afterwards, the relief of D Company 6 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
The London Gazette (Supplement), 28 July 1967, No. 44376, p.8433, (source)