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Terence John Hayes DFC

161 (Indep) Recce Flt 09 Oct 70 - 09 Sep 71

  Lieutenant Terence John Hayes graduated from the Officer Training Unit on 22 December 1967, and later qualified as an Army helicopter pilot at 1st Aviation Regiment. He arrived in South Vietnam on 10 September 1970, on posting as a helicopter pilot of 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight.

Throughout his tour of duty in South Vietnam, Lieutenant Hayes has been an outstanding pilot. He has consistently obtained valuable information on enemy movement and installations which has significantly contributed to the intelligence available to the 1st Australian Task Force. In order to obtain this information he has repeatedly flown his unarmed aircraft over occupied or suspected enemy positions at low speeds and at tree top height, continually exposing himself to fire. Although engaged by the enemy on several occasions, he has always maintained his determination and aggressive approach in seeking out the enemy, gaining the maximum possible information and providing every assistance to the troops on the ground.

On 9 November 1970, Lieutenant Hayes was conducting a visual reconnaissance in the south western area of Phuoc Tuy Province. He located a very fresh track and was following the track at about 20 knots and 20 feet above the ground when the aircraft was engaged by at least three automatic weapons. Rounds struck the passenger and the aircraft, stopping the engine immediately. With great skill and presence of mind Lieutenant Hayes used the very limited amount of control remaining to crash land the aircraft in such a manner that no further injuries were sustained by his passenger or himself.

His personal courage, determination and skill have been of the highest order during the one thousand hours of flying support Lieutenant Hayes provided to the ground forces and his conduct reflects great credit upon himself, his Corps and the Australian Army.

* Text of citation has been copied from the original recommendation for "Honours & Awards" dated 15 November 1971.

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