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Henry Arthur Benson DFC

161 (Indep) Recce Flt 10 Jun 68 - 18 Jun 69

Major Harry Benson graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea on 13 December 1952 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Artillery. After various regimental and training appointments, including overseas flying training, he was appointed as Officer Commanding 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight and arrived in South Vietnam on 11 June 1968.

He undertook many missions himself and displayed a courageous determination to locate the enemy. On 15 May 1969 an enemy force was reported to be in the town of Dat Do but its precise location was not known. Major Benson flew over the town in an attempt to fix their position. He was unable to see them so he commenced making low passes over the area on an attempt to draw enemy fire. He was successful and the enemy positions were disclosed. Although his aircraft was hit by enemy fire he continued on and made a safe landing in a friendly compound.

Throughout his tour Major Benson continually strove to improve the efficiency of light aircraft support to 1st Australian Task Force. He developed a new technique for visual reconnaissance missions which greatly enhanced their value and, by personal example, set a high standard of flying. His airmanship, personal courage and devotion to duty were of the highest order.

* Text of citation has been copied from the original recommendation for "Honours & Awards" dated 02 June 1969. 

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