Test Firing Goryunov SG43 after Battle of Long Tan

Checking out a capture VC Machine gun – circa 1966.


2/7758 Warrant Officer 2 John William ‘Jack’ Kirby, Company Sergeant Major (CSM) D Company, 6th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) of Windsor, Brisbane, Qld, (left), and Major Harry Smith of Ashgrove, Brisbane, Qld, Officer Commanding D Company 6RAR, test firing the Goryunov SG43 7.62 x 54mmR Soviet made Chinese communist heavy machine gun captured at the battle of Long Tan.

Smith and Kirby distinguished themselves at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. Smith was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and Kirby the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). On 6 February 1967, whilst participating in Operation Tamborine, Kirby was fatally wounded by artillery fire from the 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), when 12 105mm rounds accidentally fell on and around the D Coy Headquarters. This friendly fire incident killed four Australians (including Kirby) and wounded 13 others.

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