Ross Hutchinson MID
161 (Indep) Recce
Flt 08 Apr 67
- 16 Apr 68
Captain Ross Hutchinson was
commissioned in the Australian Regular Army on 13 June 1964. After service with
the Royal Australian Artillery Corps he commenced Flying Training in July 1965
and qualified as a helicopter pilot in May 1966. He served both as a Rotary
Wing Pilot and as Administrative Officer of 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance
On the night of
30 January 1968, Captain Hutchinson was detailed to fly as an observer for a
heavy fire team operating over the Australian Tactical Area of Operation during
Operation Coburg. At 0200 hours when the heavy fire team was refuelling at Bien
Hoa the base came under heavy rocket and ground attack. An attempt was made to
get all available aircraft into the air but there were insufficient pilots due
to many of them living off the base.
Captain Hutchinson flew co-pilot in a gunship for Captain Rubin, United States
Army, and proceeded to the eastern end of the air base which was under heavy
ground attack. Captain Rubin's aircraft with Captain Hutchinson flying co-pilot
engaged the enemy for the next hour during which time both the crew-chief and
the gunner were wounded by enemy ground fire.
At 0300 hours,
the aircraft returned to re-arm and refuel and because there was still a
shortage of pilots Captain Hutchinson then took command of an aircraft as the
only pilot aboard and proceeded to engage opportunity targets in the Bien Hoa
area. Captain Hutchinson's aircraft landed again to re-arm at 0400 hours and by
this time some experienced pilots had arrived on the airbase, so Captain
Hutchinson returned to flying co-pilot and continued to engage opportunity
targets until the Viet Cong attack was broken at dawn.
By his aggressive flying and
willingness to seek out the enemy at all costs, Captain Hutchinson, has brought
credit upon himself, his unit, and the Australian Army.
* Text of
citation has been copied from the book "Vietnam Veterans Honours &
Alexander M. Palmer.