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Sergeant John Whitworth

Sergeant John Whitworth

John Russell Whitworth. 579613.  Sergeant. Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Victor Two Company.

New Zealand Gazette Number 65 dated 17 October 1968

The late Sergeant Whitworth joined the New Zealand Army on the 1 April 1959 and since then has served in Malaysia on two occasions with the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. 

On the 12th November 1967, Sergeant Whitworth arrived in Vietnam as a platoon sergeant of 6th Platoon, Victor Two Company which was to serve as part of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment / NZ (ANZAC) Bn

On a number of occasions during the early months of his service in Vietnam and particularly on Operations Duntroon and Coburg in January and February 1968, Sergeant Whitworth’s skilful employment of the troops under his command, and his knowledge of minor tactics and the personal example he set, led to successful contacts with the enemy resulting in fifteen enemy being killed.

On 5 April 1968, Sergeant Whitworth was ordered to establish a platoon ambush on the western approaches to Hoa Long in Phuoc Tuy Province to prevent the movement of enemy supply parties.  At 2230 hours an enemy patrol was heard approaching the ambush position.  Sergeant Whitworth moved around his platoon to ensure their alertness.  When the nearest enemy was three yards from his position, he opened fire immediately killing six of the ten enemy in the patrol and capturing their weapons.  The skilful positioning of his men and the siting of his weapons resulted in a very successful ambush with nil casualties.

The confidence he has inspired in his men by his personal example and sound tactics has been of the highest order.  His skill, tireless energy and coolness when in contact with the enemy have brought great credit on himself, his unit and the ANZAC Battalion.

Sergeant Whitworth’s award is being received today by his daughter Mrs Susan Harrison.

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