When Trooper Jason Brown was mortally wounded in a hail of bullets in Afghanistan seven years ago, the soldier who dragged him to safety was not named.
Known only as “Sergeant D”, he took fire himself as he went back for Brown, and was shot at least six times before he rose to his feet and killed the machine gunner.
His story was kept secret, even to his own family. But now, for the first time, Sergeant D’s actions, along with those of hundreds of his fellow Special Forces soldiers, are being brought out of the shadows in a “groundbreaking” new exhibition at the Australian War Memorial.
It is a feat more than a year in the making, director of the memorial Dr Brendan Nelson said, and the first time a collection has been gathered among the “Five Eyes” special forces communities of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Britain.