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Vale - Trevor Lawrence HAMILL 'TH', DFM, A317922, Gunner / Crewman / Loadmaster ....






Leading Aircraftman Trevor Lawrence Hamill, RAAF, 28, of 438 King Street, West Melbourne, Vic, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for courage and devotion to duty as a helicopter crewman in South Vietnam. His award occurred during his second tour in Vietnam with No 9 Squadron.

LAC Hamill completed an operational tour of Vietnam in 1969, and
returned to that country for his second tour in December, 1970. On the 21st March, 1971, LAC Hamill was the crewman of an Iroquois helicopter carrying out an ammunition and stores re-supply mission to regional forces in the Long Hai Hills, near Vung Tau. An Australian army captain accompanied the flight to assist with the free-drop of the stores.

When the aircraft was positioned over the drop-zone, LAC Hamill gave instructions to enable the pilot to place the aircraft at a 15-feet hover above the ground troops. As he was about to drop the stores, the aircraft was engaged by heavy ground fire from enemy forces. The first burst of ground fire seriously wounded both the army captain and LAC Hamill. LAC Hamill advised his pilot that the aircraft was taking ground fire and that the army captain had been badly wounded. As the aircraft broke away from the area, LAC Hamill threw himself forward and prevented the army captain from falling from the aircraft. He then held the semi-conscious, injured officer in the aircraft with his left arm while he applied first-aid to him with his free right hand.

Only after the aircraft had cleared the area did LAC Hamill advise the aircraft captain that he also had been wounded. Because the aircraft had been seriously damaged by enemy ground fire, it had to be forced landed some 3000 metres from the scene of the engagement. As the aircraft approached to land, LAC Hamill, although seriously wounded, calmly called clearances and distances to the pilot, and so contributed greatly to the safe landing of the disabled aircraft.

LAC Hamill's outstanding courage, devotion to duty and professionalism displayed throughout this action brought great credit on himself and were in keeping with the finest traditions of the RAAF.



Vietnam Service