Captain Russell Martin
Captain Martin graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1964 and was posted to the Royal New Zealand Artillery. He served in Borneo with 1 Ranger Sqn, New Zealand Special Air Service as a Troop Commander. In March 1967 he joined 161 Battery in Vietnam.
Throughout his service in Vietnam Captain Martin, as a Forward Observation Officer, has displayed personal courage of the highest order. He has supported with fire, skilfully and aggressively applied, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment in close and sometimes fierce actions in which his cool, calm approach assisted materially in ensuring the success of the action.
On 1 February 1968 he was ordered at short notice to join A Company, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, which was to enter Baria to repel a strong enemy attack. Although the built-up areas of the town prohibited the use of artillery, Captain Martin rendered valuable assistance to the company commander in the control of the mixed force of infantry and armoured personnel carriers.
During an attempt to rescue allied advisors from the Sector Headquarters, which was under attack, the Australian Army vehicle in which Captain Martin was travelling was hit by enemy rocket-fire. Three of the occupants were killed and Captain Martin’s signaller was wounded. Captain Martin himself was shocked badly and his hearing temporarily impaired; however he remained at his post, calmly directing the movement of his vehicle, assisting with the control of the battle, and giving first aid and comfort to those wounded.
His brave conduct was an inspiration to the troops involved in the action and contributed greatly to its success. Captain Martin remained on duty throughout the remainder of the operation despite the discomfort and pain of his injury.
Captain Martin’s bravery in the field was in the best traditions of the Royal New Zealand Artillery and his calmness under fire, at all times, and was an inspiration to the supported arms reflecting great credit upon himself, his battery and the New Zealand Army.