Ian R Wilson
Leading Seaman, Air Technical Aircraft 2
RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam
Camp Martin Cox (Bearcat, Dong Tam
Aug 1969 - Oct 1970

I was in charge of the engine shop night shift. I assigned maintenance tasks to night crew. Our mission was to have as many aircraft as possible ready for the next day’s requirements. If flight crews were short on back-seat personnel, I would fly the day missions and return to the maintenance routine of night shift. I had sufficient combat hours and missions to be awarded the US Army Air Medal, as were about 20 others. Due to government policies related to foreign decorations, it was almost 33 years before we were allowed to accept and wear this medal. I would also fly on some recovery missions when one of our aircraft was shot up. These could be quite hairy situations because of where the chopper went down. The whole period was seven days a week, up to 21 hours a day, working side by side with people from another service and country. Such was the camaraderie that so many of us are still close to our American allies.

Service No. R58528