Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2011 Contents 6 DEFENCE MAGAZINE
An Air Force sergeant who was seriously
burned in an explosion at Rockhampton
airpor t on July 25 died of his injuries in the
burns unit of Royal Brisbane Hospital on
Sergeant Michael Dunn (above), from
322 Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron based at RAAF Base Tindal,
was deployed to the airport as part of
Exercise Talisman Sabre.
After the explosion, colleagues
immediately extinguished the flames on
his body and applied first aid.
He was transferred initially to
Rockhampton Base Hospital for treatment
and then to Royal Brisbane where he
remained in a serious condition.
The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal
Geoff Brown, expressed his deepest
sympathies and those of the Air Force
community to Sergeant Dunn’s family.
“Those who visited Mick since the
accident were all affected by the courage
and determination that he showed
during his treatment and are extremely
saddened by his passing.
“Our thoughts are with the family,
friends and colleagues of Sergeant Dunn.
“He ser ved 27 years in the Air Force
and most recently he was ser ving at RAAF
Base Tindal where he and his family were
long-standing members of the Katherine
community,” Air Marshal Brown says.
Meanwhile, investigations into the
incident continue. The ADF’s safety
review, which was completed on August
30, was unable to determine what
caused the explosion while inquiries
by the Queensland Police and the ADF
Investigative Ser vice determined there
were no criminal actions involved.
Airman dies of
An Australian member of the
Inter national Stabilisation Force (ISF),
Craftsman Beau Pridue (above), died in a
vehicle accident near Baucau, East Timor,
on September 15.
A second Australian ISF member was
injured in the accident and, following
aero-medical evacuation, was treated
at an ISF-contracted medical facility in
Dili. The soldier suffered minor injuries
and his prognosis for recovery is good.
The soldiers were travelling in an ISF
Unimog vehicle when the accident occurred.
An aero-medical team was dispatched
to the scene via helicopter and the
medical officer confirmed the soldier
had died in the accident.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant-
General Ash Power says the incident
highlighted the dangers faced by ADF
personnel wherever they were deployed.
“This tragic accident has taken the
life of another young man ser ving his
nation,” Lieutenant-General Power says.
Both soldiers involved in the accident
were Army reservists normally posted
to the 8th Combat Ser vices Support
Battalion (8CSSB) in NSW.
In a statement, Craftsman Pridue’s
family says growing up in Newcastle,
Beau always strived to be at his best.
“He loved his family, he loved his mates
and he loved the Army,” the statement says.
“We are extremely proud of our boy
and we know that we lost him doing a
job he was trained for and loved doing.”
Craftsman Pridue’s body returned to
RAAF Williamtown on September 21.
Soldiers from 8CSSB formed an honour
guard and bearer party to escor t his
casket from the RAAF C-130 aircraft to
his grieving family.
The soldier’s funeral was held in the
Newcastle area on September 27.
Loss of sailor
killed in Timor
A Royal Australian Navy sailor,
Able Seaman Ewan McDonald, serving in
HMAS Toowoomba, died while the ship
was conducting a por t visit to Mumbai,
The Chief of Navy and all members of
the Navy family are saddened by this loss
and offer their condolences to the family.
Able Seaman McDonald’s family issued
a statement saying the unexpected loss
has saddened his family and close network
“Ewan’s love for his close-knit family
was very apparent; particularly for his
nieces and nephews whom he adored,”
the family statement said.
“He treasured his par tner whom he
created a life with in Perth and was looking
forward to sharing his future with her.
The welfare of his family and friends was
paramount to Ewan and he constantly put
others before himself.”
Able Seaman McDonald joined the
Navy eight years ago, and his family said he
loved every minute of it. He faced many
challenges and overcame them with grace
“The Navy definitely brought out the
best in Ewan; he joined as a boy and left
as a true gentleman.
“Ewan had a wide circle of friends
both in Victoria and Western Australia,
enjoying his free time four-wheel
driving and sailing model boats.”
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