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Australian SAS: Trooper Mark Donaldson VC.

Updated on November 21, 2016
Mark Donaldson VC. Australian SAS.
Mark Donaldson VC. Australian SAS. | Source

Australian SAS. Trooper Mark Donaldson. VC.

The Australian Special Air Service (ASAS) has many brave men. One of which is Trooper Mark Donaldson VC. Trooper Donaldson was responsible for a most daring act of bravery, which saved the life of a young interpreter in Afghanistan.

On 2 September 2008, Trooper Donalson was part of a patrol which included American, Afghan and Australian soldiers. The patrol were ambushed by Taliban forces and was immediately pinned down, there was no chance of escape, desperate measures were called for. The troops were vastly outnumbered and under attack from all sides. AK-47 machine guns as well as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) were used against them, they were taking casualties. After a two hour firefight many men were seriously wounded, as their situation became worse Donaldson knew something had to be done. He then decided on his action.

The Human Targets.

Returning fire with his M4 rifle Donaldson exposed his position to the Taliban and deliberately turned himself into a human target. His diversion worked well, injured men were pulled to safety and the patrol was able break through and start to move. Vehicles and men began a four kilometre struggle across Oruzgan Province. The Taliban were still with them and the firefight raged on. Their vehicles were loaded with wounded men injured by bullets, grenades and shrapnell. Uninjured soldiers including Donaldson had to run alongside the armoured vehicles returning fire, they were fully exposed to the Taliban fire at all times.

One Man Is Missing.

During what must have felt like a living hell Donaldson was told that a young interpreter had been left behind. He turned and went back for the man. With complete disregard for himself Trooper Donaldson began to run, he was immediately spotted by the enemy who then concentrated fire upon him. After racing for approximately eighty metres over completely exposed ground he found the wounded man. He picked up the young interepreter and carried him back to the relative safety of the patrol. He then gave the man emergency first aid, having done that Trooper Donaldson joined the rest of the patrol to carry on the fight. For this action witnessed by so many, Trooper Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Citation.

His citation reads: 'Trooper Donaldson's acts of exceptional gallantry in the face of accurate and sustained enemy fire ultimately saved the life of a coalition force interpreter and ensured the safety of the other members of the combined Afghan, US and Australian Forces. Trooper Donaldson's actions on this day displayed exceptional courage in circumstances of great peril'

The Victoria Cross is the UK and Commonwealth's highest military decoration.


Military Award Winners: Private Michelle Norris.


Australian Prisoner of the Chinese.


© 2012 Graham Lee

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Where does that kind of bravery come from, Graham? I'm not sure I have it in me to face that kind of danger....I wonder how many do?

      Great story of courage and unselfish devotion to comrades. Well done Graham!

    • Historicus profile image

      Jerry Desko 4 years ago from Cashtown, PA

      Thanks for sharing the heroic exploits of Trooper Donaldson . It is unfortunate that stories such as his never make the front pages in the States.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. I don't know Bill, non of us know what we can do until called upon. The main point here is that 'men and women' like these deliberately put themselves in harms way for our protection.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Historicus. Thank you for your visit and comments. Thankfully we have such men and women who are prepared to go and fight on our behalf. Thanks again.

      Graham.

    • aethelthryth profile image

      aethelthryth 4 years ago from American Southwest

      Hearing stories like this helps all of us do harder things better, as we realize we've been given quite a standard to live up to.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a very brave young man. I applaud him and all military everywhere who fight to keep us all free. Thank you for telling his story. Well done indeed..Cheers

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      This was better than areal movie with its up and downs. Trooper Mark Donaldson was brave enough to save lives, even if knew he was not going to make it. Thoroughly surprised that he did survive the ordeal and such a horrendous attack! Another hero that saw the light thanks to your hub Graham! Thanks!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Old Albion, I fully expected to read that he received the VC posthumously. Amazing and well-written hub.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi aethelthryth. Yes they are very special people indeed.

      Thank you for your valued visit.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi AE. I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. They are all special people. They stand in the line of fire for our freedom. Thank you for your valued visit.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi LDC. Yes, a wonderful tale of true heroism. Since his award trooper Donaldson has been promoted to corporal. Thank you for your visit and valued comments.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi UH. thank you for your visit and valued comment. Since his award trooper Donaldson had been promoted to corporal.

      Graham.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

      That is definitely the story of a true hero, I really enjoyed reading this and learning of his bravery. Thank you very much Graham

      voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting. and shared

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi DS. Thank you for your visit and most welcome comments. Yes, these men and women are indeed very special. Thank you for your votes.

      Graham.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Thank you for bringing Trooper Donaldson's story here. Men and women like this who act on instinct without selfish thought are special heros indeed. He had his guardian angel sitting on his shoulder that day. This sort of bravery just makes me well up, thank you for honouring Trooper Donaldson

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Rosemay. Thank you for your visit and welcome comments. Yes, very special indeed. We should never take such men and women for granted.

      Graham.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      This is an awesome hub and a fitting tribute to a brave soldier. Thank you for sharing this story. Voted up and shared

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Elouise. My apology for my late reply to your comment. Thanks for your valued visit. I appreciate it.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Lawrence. Thanks for taking the time to seek out this hub. He really is someone special. Thanks for the vote and sharing, I do appreciate it.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      PLEASE IGNORE THIS POST.

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 2 years ago

      Morning Graham.

      A wonderful story to read and a great thrill to know that it's not a bad world that we live in. It's just a very small procent that spoil the short time that we have on this planet. There where and still are many brave men and women that risk there lives to help others. I for one am very thankful we have them.

      I'm puzzled! I can't begin to think why I haven't made a comment two years, ago when you first brought this hub out. Maybe I was away on holiday at the time you published it. But then again there are a lot of things I don't understand that are going on on HP.

      Take care Graham and have a good day.

      Jimmy...............................................aka Ghaelach

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Good morning Jimmy, always nice to see you. I can only echo your sentiments and be thankful for those who serve in whatever capacity. Yes it is an older hub but there we are such is life. It is nice of Lawrence to have shared it. I hope all is well with you and yours and as we frequently mention the weather, it's cold here today.

      Graham.

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