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Donal Richard Kenning



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Donal Richard AWMM
  • Surname
    Kenning AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Donald Richard Kenning AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 31351 AWMM
    • Korea 31351 AWMM
    • Malaya 31351 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    3 March 1928 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Malaya Waiouru AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) AWMM
      NZ Gazette Number 38 dated 23 June 1966 Since the arrival in South Vietnam of 161 Field Battery on 15th July 1965, commanded by Major Donal Richard Kenning, the unit has spent most of its time as the Direct Support Battery for First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. During this period Major Kenning has directed a great deal of personal effort and ability towards attaining a very close and harmonious working relationship between the two units. Resulting from this and the proven efficiency of 161 Battery, the Australian infantrymen have complete and unqualified confidence in and respect for their New Zealand gunner associates. Major Kenning has accompanied the First Battalion on seven operations against the Viet Cong. He has proved to be an outstanding gunner adviser to the Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer. He has shown intelligent anticipation, an unusual understanding of infantry problems and artillery requirements relating to these, and a marked degree of technical proficiency in producing accurate fire whenever and wherever required. Throughout these operations he has proved to be completely calm under fire, disregarding personal safety in the interests of maintaining effective artillery support. Through Major Kenning’s unflagging personal efforts an outstanding, highly successful and efficient working relationship has been established between Australian infantrymen of First Battalion and New Zealand gunners of 161 Battery. Major Kenning’s devotion to duty both in and out of operations and his skill, coolness and courage during operations have brought great credit to his unit and to New Zealand AWMM
    • Gallantry Cross with Silver Star (South Vietnam) AWMM
      Date of Award: 1 April 1966 CITATION Participating in the Operation Huong-Vuong 9 in Ben-Cat (Binh-Duong) from 14 to 29 Sept. 1965, Major Donal Kenning, commanding officer of the 161st Field Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, belittling constant harassing fire from the guerrillas, skilfully deployed his unit and effectively directed his unit fire which inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Thanks to praiseworthy devotion and bravery, Major Kenning has accomplished his tasks, which reflect credit upon himself and the Royal New Zealand Armed Forces. AWMM
    • Air Medal (USA) AWMM
      Date of Award: 12 April 1966 CITATION For distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight in support of combat ground forces of the Republic of Vietnam during the period 14 September 1965 to 28 November 1965 During this time he actively participated in more than twenty-five aerial missions over hostile territory in support of counter-insurgency operations. During all these missions he displayed the highest order of air discipline and acted in accordance with the best traditions of the service. By his determination to accomplish his mission in spite of the hazards inherent in repeated aerial flights over hostile territory and by his outstanding degree of professionalism and devotion to duty, he has brought credit upon himself, his organization, and the military service AWMM
    • Korea Medal (EIIR) AWMM
    • United Nations Medal for Korea AWMM
    • New Zealand Operational Service Medal AWMM
    • Vietnam Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Also awarded the US Air Medal.

    Read citations for MBE, Air Medal, and Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. Died and buried in Palmerston North. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    26 May 2015 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
    • This record was created from data kindly provided by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. AWMM
    • Nominal rolls - Nominal rolls embarkation K-force [Korea Nominal Roll], Archives New Zealand, Wellington, AAYS 8638 AD1/1433 (R22440250) AWMM
    • Chamberlain, H. (2013). The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea, 1950-1957. Wellington, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    • FARELF Nominal Roll Part 2 1962-1963- Archives New Zealand, Wellington, CAJN CH189/Box70 41/4/11 (R21234083) AWMM

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