Able Seaman Justin James Brown

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Justin James Brown

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Justin James Brown was a member of Clearance Diving Team Four during the Team’s 1999 deployment to East Timor for Operation WARDEN. On the night of 21 October 1999, CDT 4 was tasked with a clandestine reconnaissance in advance of an amphibious landing by Australian troops into the Oecussi Enclave, West Timor.

As part of a swimmer reconnaissance pair Able Seaman Brown was tasked with gathering beach intelligence for the proposed landing site. His mission was to select the most suitable beach for the landing planned for the next morning. In addition, he was tasked to provide surface protection and early warning of impending danger, working close in shore, and for the submerged dive team. During the reconnaissance, a number of shots and explosions were heard coming from the nearby town centre while two vehicles proceeded along the beach conducting a search to seaward using high intensity lights.

During the period of greatest threat from compromise, Able Seaman Brown jeopardised his own safety by remaining close to the shore to provide support to his Commanding Officer and the submerged dive team.

His actions in remaining in place without being compromised showed great personal courage and is in the best traditions of the Royal Australian Navy. In recognition of his deeds he was awarded a Commendation for Gallantry.