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Jim Campbell DFC
Pilot, Rotary Wing Section Commander
161 (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight, RAEME
Nui Dat, Vung Tau
Sep 1966 - Sep 1967

It started out as a normal day. I was the pilot flying the direct support helicopter for 5RAR. I had just landed at the new fire support base when a column of armoured personnel carriers with an infantry company on board passed through. About 20 minutes later, there was a tremendous explosion and a great cloud of dust rose into the air about a kilometre away. Radio contact wasestablished with the company, which was in a minefield. I took off with Tony White, the battalion doctor, and manoeuvred my helicopter, squeezing between the trees. I started flying wounded back but I was in a light reconnaissance helicopter and could carry only one sitting passenger at a time. Once the area was checked for mines, the Dustoff helicopters started to arrive. Seven soldiers were killed and 25 were wounded. I was subsequently honoured with a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery for my actions on that day. I felt it was part of my job and had little thought of the dangerous situation.

Service No. 18548