Battle of Nam Dong – July 1964: WO2 Kevin Conway – the first Australian to die of enemy action in the Vietnam War.

A nine-page account by Captain Roger Donlon of the Nam Dong Battle can be found at He records that an Australian AATTV member was killed in the battle., noting: “Besides the 12 of us in Team A-726, there were only two other westerners in the camp: Kevin Conway, an Australian warrant officer who represented his country the way we did the United States, and Gerald C. Hickey, an American anthropologist expert on the Vietnamese mountain tribes.”

Australian War Memorial Records notes:
13097 Temporary Warrant Officer Class 2
Kevin George. Conway, Age 35.
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Attached to US Special Forces. He was killed in action at Nam Dong, Thua Thien Province on 6th July 1964. He was the first combat casualty. He held the Medal of Knight, National Order of Vietnam , Cross of Gallantry with Palm. He was also awarded a Campaign Service Medal with clasp South Vietnam (this is a very rare award only 68 issued, all to the AATTV). He also was awarded the US Silver Star and the Vietnamese Armed Forces Honour Medal, Kevin Conway was recommended for the Victoria Cross, but this was denied at that time, because Australia was not at war. The Australian Government saw fit not to award Conway with anything, but the South Vietnamese awarded him their highest award being the National Order of Vietnam.

Warrant Officer Class 2, Kevin Conway becomes the first Australian to die as a result of enemy action in South Vietnam.

By Ernie Chamberlain

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