Barron DSM MID
Recce Flt 25 May 66 - 24 Apr 67
Second Lieutenant Charles John
Barron joined 161 (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight on 7 June 1966. During his
tour of duty in Vietnam he flew over 800 operational hours with his unit and at
all times he demonstrated great skill and determination.
On 21 October 1966 he flew his helicopter in direct support
of 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on Operation Queanbeyan in the
Nui Thi Vai Hills, Phuoc Tuy Province. The companies of the Battalion were
widely separated on the steep slopes of the mountain mass with a re-supply
problem due to the difficult terrain. It was essential for the continuation of
the operation that supplies were delivered to the fighting troops.
The ground in which the Battalion was operating was extremely
difficult and consisted of steep covered slopes and rocky outcrops, which only
provided small and dangerous landing points, the approaches to which were
covered by enemy fire through which he had to fly before he reached the
comparative tree bound safety of the landing points.
He repeatedly flew his helicopter into small gaps in the
jungle and effected re-supply to extremely hazardous positions by hovering and
resting the helicopter's skids on piles of debris, or rocky outcrops. His rotor
blades had marginal clearance with the surrounding jungle and he was obliged to
reverse his helicopter out in all cases but one.
During that day, he flew 40 re-supply missions into these
critical landing points which were made even more hazardous by the heavy loads
he carried and the unfavourable and gusty wind conditions prevailing.
When, during the mid afternoon his relief was due, he
immediately requested permission to continue as he alone was familiar with the
few landing points and the highly fluid tactical situation. By the time of his
final task, after last light, he had flown nearly eleven hours and completed
forty nine separate missions.
But for the initiative and aggressive flying of this officer
in extremely hazardous conditions in the face of the enemy the operations of the
Battalion would not have been possible.
Second Lieutenant Barron showed devotion to duty, outstanding flying skill,
and persistent courage on this day in which he successfully pitted his skill
against the risks and dangers opposing him. He set a splendid standard of Army
Aviation support. His actions on this day mark him as an outstanding pilot.
* Text of citation has been copied from an Australian Army
Aviation Newsletter, Vol 2 No 7 dated April 1968.
On 3rd June 1998, a Vietnam “End of War
List” was announced by the Australian Government, in that “End of War
List” Chic Barron was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.