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Malcolm Roy Smith DFC

161 (Indep) Recce Flt 08 Apr 69 - 09 Apr 70

  Second Lieutenant Malcolm Roy Smith was enlisted in the Regular Army Supplement on 26 July 1966, and graduated from Officer Training Unit, Scheyville, in December 1966. On 9 April 1969, he joined 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight as a pilot in Vietnam.

On 28 February 1970, Second Lieutenant Smith was flying a Sioux helicopter on a reconnaissance mission in support of 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, over the Long Hai Hills, Phuoc Tuy Province. He was redirected during this mission to the area of a mine explosion where a platoon of the Battalion had suffered twenty-four causalities.

Second Lieutenant Smith arrived over the area and, despite the risk of further mine explosions, hovered touching a rock in the centre of the platoon area to off load his passenger, an Engineering Officer.

Flying four separate missions, he flew into the area a medical orderly, a doctor and two field engineers. He back-loaded on each of these missions a wounded soldier. During this period, he also co-ordinated the activities of three casualty evacuation helicopters. Throughout, he displayed a flying skill of the highest order.

It was Second Lieutenant Smith's initiative, sense of duty and flying skill which allowed the Engineering Officer, closely followed by medical personnel, to be quickly inserted into the area of the mine incident, thus saving the lives and limbs of many soldiers. His initial landing was followed by almost five hours of continuous flying, during which time he contributed significantly to the speed and efficiency of the evacuation operation.

* Text of citation has been copied from the original recommendation for " Honours & Awards" dated 01 March 1970.

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