THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
HOROPAPERA Roland Joseph
37568, Corporal, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - V5 Company

CITATION
Military Medal
Gazetted 27 May 1971
Corporal Roland Joseph Horopapera enlisted in the New Zealand Regular Army on 22nd January 1957, and was posted to the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.  He was posted to Victor Company in December 1969 and arrived with Victor Five Company in South Vietnam in May 1970.  On 18th June 1970, during Operation “Cung Chung” Corporal Horopapera was a section leader on a patrol with 2 Platoon, Victor Five Company, 2nd Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC) Battalion. At approximately 0750 hours, the platoon discovered an enemy bunker system and received heavy fire, resulting in a number of casualties. Corporal Horopapera calmly deployed his section and returned fire to enable the wounded to move to the rear. Enemy fire put Cpl Horopapera’s machine gun team out of action and wounded three other members of his section. Corporal Horopapera moved around his section, in the face of intense enemy fire, ensuring his men had adequate cover and at the same time assisting with the wounded.  One badly wounded soldier was located to one side of the section position. An enemy machine gun was firing continuously between the wounded man and the remainder of the section. Corporal Horopapera observed this, and gauging the enemy fire crawled through it to assist the wounded man. Exposed to enemy fire he then attempted to crawl with the wounded soldier to safety, desisting only when the pain became too great for the injured man to be moved further. He remained with the wounded soldier until the platoon medical orderly arrived.  Throughout the action Corporal Horopapera continued to control his section and direct their fire until ordered to withdraw.  Corporal Horopapera, by his unselfish act in protecting the wounded was an inspiration to his section and the whole platoon. His complete disregard for his own safety and his care of the wounded soldier displayed a standard of calmness and bravery that reflects credit upon himself, his Regiment and the New Zealand Army.
[Note to citation: See also citation for Pte Day.]

British Empire Medal (military)
Announced in the 10 June 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours
-Citation still to be located-

AWARDS
Military Medal
British Empire Medal (military)
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
Queen's Vietnam Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal (warlike)
Vietnam
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Regular
Vietnam Star Medal

NOTES
Born 26 May 1940 Whakatane, New Zealand
Died 8 September 1985 Murupara, New Zealand
Buried Murupara Cemetery (Block RSA, Plot 15)

Born on 26 May 1940 at Whakatane. Educated at Te Aha Primary and Whatatane High School, he entered the NZ Army as a regular force cadet on 22 January 1977, graduated December 1958, transferred to regular force RNZEME 14 May 1959. Was assistant physical training instructor to 11 August 1961, married Emma Minhinnick on 9 September 1961 at Upper Hutt, they had four sons and two daughters. His wife served for three years in the NZ Army as a private in the RNZAOC. He now qualified as a panel beater, sheet metal worker and welder in gas and arc, was promoted Corporal 14 October 1961. He was on active service in the Republic of Vietnam from April 1970 to May 1971 where he was awarded the Military Medal. Promoted to Sergeant 26 November 1973, qualified as basic all-arms instructor, signaller, mortar handling, assault pioneer instructor, general purpose machine gun, was a three star instructor RNZIR 1974 and a four starinstructor 5 December 1975. Posted to Recruit Training Depot Army Training Group Waiouru December 1975 to May 1977. He was invested with the British Empire Medal 1 December 1977 at Government House Wellington. On leaving the NZ Army he moved to Murupara and worked with KLC as a bushman then joined the company as a personnel officer. He died 9 September 1985 at Murupara and was buried with full military honours. His father also served in the first world war.