Medals issued to Staff Sergeant Alexander Lavell

Historical note: 

Staff Sergeant Alexander Lavell was awarded many medals for his service in conflicts including the Second World War, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, and the Vietnam War. These medals are mounted as Lavell wore them during his final years in the Australian Army and at ceremonies after his discharge. The medals include: the 1939-45 Star; the Africa Star; the Pacific Star; the Defence Medal; the British War Medal; The Australian Service Medal; The Korea Medal; the United Nations Service Medal with bar "KOREA"; the General Service Medal (1918-64) with bar "MALAYA"; the Vietnam Medal and the South Vietnam Government Medal with clasp "1960-". Pinned above the Korean War medals is the blue ribbon brooch with gold boarder of the US Presidential Unit Citation (PUC). Lavell served with 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), at the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951. 3RAR was awarded the PUC for this action and those who fought in the battle could wear the PUC on their uniform for the rest of their service career regardless of which unit that served with subsequently.

Category: 
Awards and decorations
Themes: 
Bravery
Conflict: 
Second World War
Korean War
Malayan Emergency
Vietnam War
Story: 
Staff Sargeant Alexander Lavell

On this day

On this day
16 February

1942— BANKA ISLAND MASSACRE. Following the sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, many of the survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reached the shore of Banka Island. Realising that their position was desperate, an officer from the ship set out with most of the women and children to surrender the group to the Japanese. The officer returned with 20 Japanese soldiers who ordered all the men capable of walking to move to hidden part of the beach and killed them. They then returned to the beach and ordered the 22 nurses and 1 British civilian woman to walk into the water. They were machine-gunned in the back. All the immobile survivors were then killed. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle pretended to be dead and was the only survivor