Captain William Bevil Flanagan enlisted in the New Zealand
Army on 29 January 1962. After attendance at the Australian Officer Cadet School
he was commissioned on 15 June 1963, and subsequently qualified as an Army
Pilot. He arrived in South Vietnam on 19 March 1969.
Attached to 161
Flt from 19 Mar 69 until Mar 70
On 16 November 1969, Captain Flanagan located an occupied
enemy bunker system. Except when relieved briefly on one occasion to refuel his
aircraft, he maintained for a period of six hours a continuous and close
surveillance of the enemy whilst being continually engaged by fire. Flying at
tree-top height he skilfully manoeuvred his aircraft, accurately adjusting
artillery onto the bunkers. In addition, he controlled three airstrikes onto the
position, By his flying skill and complete disregard for his own safety he was
able to continue to bring fire to bear onto the bunkers until all enemy
On the night of 3 December 1969, after one of his unit
aircraft had been shot down by enemy ground fire, Captain Flanagan volunteered
to search for survivors. With aerial flares to provide illumination he located
the crashed aircraft. He then hovered his helicopter only feet above the ground
in an area known to be occupied by the enemy until he was able to locate and
establish the fate of the missing crew members.
On each occasion Captain Flanagan displayed a high degree of
flying skill, determination and courage. His complete disregard for his own
safety was an inspiration to the members of his unit.
* Text of citation has been copied from the original recommendation for
Honours & Awards" dated 01 May 1970.