Ronald Wayne Salzmann
Brief Service History
Ronald Wayne Salzmann aged 24, of Bundaberg, Queensland had volunteered for National Service with the Australian Army and then re-enlisted to serve as a forward scout with 3 RAR.
Ronald Wayne Salzmann dies of his injuries received in a motor vehicle incident on
14th April 1971. This was Ronald's second tour of duty.
In his first tour of Vietnam, Ron was at Fire Support Base Coral when it was s attacked on the 13 May 1968, following a brief but intense rocket and mortar barrage. With the aid of extensive air support, the attack was repelled.
On the 16th May 1968, Fire Support Base Coral again came under attack, this time from a North Vietnamese Army (NVA) force estimated to be at lease three battalions strong. David Cunningham was in position in a pit on the western side of FSB Coral with his scout, 1732899 Ron Salzmann (who later died on 14 April 1971, while again serving with 3 RAR). The pit was very shallow, only 7 - 15 centimetres deep but the men had been too occupied with the attacks, patrols and ambushes to deepen the pit. When the NVA forces attacked A and C Companies, 1 RAR, had everyone 'stood to', quickly storing their gear in their packs, and placing them on the edge at the back of the pit, behind their feet. During the battle a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at 215500 Corporal Gary Jones' section in 10 Platoon nearby, but it overflew his pit, hitting Cpl Cunningham's pack instead. The pack took most of the shrapnel, the water bottle being the one item left relatively in one piece and in a recognisable condition.
The attack on FSB Coral was repelled after four hours of fighting. Australian casualties were five men killed and nineteen wounded. (AWM)