Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Zealand Army Corporal Luke Tamatea

New Zealand Army Corporal Luke Douglas Tamatea, serving with the 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) was one of three soldiers killed on 19th August 2012 in the north-east of Bamiyan province.

The three soldiers were in the last vehicle of a convoy escorting a fellow patrol member to a doctor when their Humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device about 9.20am (Afghanistan time). They had deployed to Afghanistan in April. The attack occurred northwest of Do Abe, near where New Zealander Lance Corporals Rory Malone and Pralli Durrer were killed in a firefight on 4th August.

31-year-old Corporal Tamatea joined the New Zealand Army in February 2000 and was posted to 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) in Linton. He deployed to Timor-Leste in 2001, to Solomon Islands in 2003 and to Sumatra to help with the Tsunami in 2005. He had also previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. He was posted to 2/1 RNZIR in 2007.

His family said in a statement that Corporal Tamatea died on his eldest daughter’s eighth birthday.

The other New Zealanders killed were Private Richard Harris and Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker.

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