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John Trevor Wright DSM MID

161 (Indep) Recce Flt 06 Sep 66 - 15 Sep 67

  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.

During his 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.

He experimented 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 height.

In addition 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.

Captain Wright 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 Viet Cong.

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.

Please Note:

On 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.

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