Wright DSM MID
161 (Indep) Recce Flt 06
Sep 66 - 15
Captain John Trevor Wright
joined the Australian Regular Army on 5 January 1962 and qualified as an Army
Pilot on 26 October 1964. He was posted to command the Fixed Wing Section of
161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam on 8 September 1966.
operational tour in this theatre he flew over 800 hours many of which were at
night and in hazardous weather conditions. These included first and last light
sorties in low cloud, drenching rain and tropical thunderstorms.
in new techniques to improve the operational effectiveness of his light aircraft
and developed the use of the starlight scope for observation by the pilots of
the light aircraft within the Flight, at night. The introduction of this night
vision aid involved flying his aircraft on many nights at varying heights from
two thousand feet to two hundred feet until he determined the most effective
Captain Wright improved the method of day light reconnaissance, in that he
proved to himself and his pilots the effectiveness of following jungle tracks at
tree top level, when flying just above stalling speed and thus improve his
pilots' ability to discover the enemy.
showed leadership and daring in developing these techniques. Through his skill
in the air and his interest he contributed greatly to the success of 161st
(Independent) Reconnaissance Flight. He participated in many of the hazardous
missions flown by his aircraft in which he came under small arms fire from the
By his example and leadership a
new dimension was introduced into the operation of light aircraft in the
reconnaissance and support role in the face of the enemy. Through his constant
search for improved day and night surveillance techniques and by the outstanding
example of his aggressive leadership in the air, Captain Wright brought great
credit upon himself, and Army Aviation.
* Text of
citation has been copied from an Australian Army Aviation Newsletter, Vol 2 No 7
dated April 1968.
3rd June 1998, a Vietnam “End of War List” was announced by the Australian
Government, in that “End of War List” John Wright was awarded the
Distinguished Service Medal.