An Irish man who served with the US army during the Vietnam war and was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery has died following a short illness.

Michael Coyne was born in Galway in 1945 and emigrated to Chicago when he was 16.

He was drafted into the US army and sent to Vietnam with D Company in the 11th Armored Cavalry in 1967.

He served his time as a back deck machine gunner on M48 tanks that criss-crossed the Ho Chi Minh trail on search and destroy missions.

With his first pay cheque, Mr Coyne bought an 8mm camera and made a film diary of his life during the 1968 TET offensive.

He was awarded five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for Bravery, including one for saving fellow soldiers while under fire in the middle of a minefield.

After returning to Ireland, Mr Coyne lived in Co Meath.

He featured in the 2005 RTÉ documentary 'The Green Fields of Vietnam', which followed him on a journey back to Vietnam and the Cambodian border towns he last saw from his tank.

The American war in Vietnam lasted over ten years and during the conflict three million Vietnamese and more than 60,000 US and foreign soldiers died.

Emigrants with Green Cards in the US in the 1960s were eligible for conscription and it is estimated that around 2,000 Irish-born soldiers may have served in Vietnam.

However, most gave US addresses so are difficult to trace and according to official US statistics, only one Irish-born soldier, a man called John Driver, served in the conflict.

Mr Coyne died on Sunday at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his three children and four grandchildren.