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Bruce Wallace Donnelly



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Bruce Wallace AWMM
  • Surname
    Donnelly AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    B. W. Donnelly AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 81959 AWMM
    • L81959 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    26 July 1946 Ministry for Culture and Heritage OpotikiBay of Plenty Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 81959 AWMM
    • L81959 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
    1970 AWMM
    CITATION Flying Officer Donnelly, RNZAF, has completed an operational tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam on attachment to the 25th United States Infantry Division. On 7th December 1969 while serving as a Forward Air Control pilot with 2 Brigade, Flying Officer Donnelly distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions above and beyond the normal call of duty. While on an aerial surveillance mission in the Hobo Woods, a light observation helicopter he was working with made contact with several North Vietnamese soldiers. Flying Officer Donnelly immediately reacted by rolling in on the target and engaging it with machine-gun and rocket fire, which enabled the helicopter to break contact. While the light observation helicopter performed a battle damage assessment and called for artillery, he summoned an air strike. Upon arrival of the fighters, he selectively marked the confirmed enemy locations constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Primarily through his exceptional control of the fighters and accuracy in marking and firing on the positions, he was able to neutralise the enemy location. As the airmobile insertion forces which were called earlier, approached the landing zone, they began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire some 500 metres away from the primary target. Again without regard to his safety, he piloted his aircraft directly towards the position suppressing the enemy and allowing the aircraft and ground force to complete the insertion without sustaining damage or casualties. Flying Officer Donnelly’s determination contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission, he is directly credited with killing one North Vietnamese during the action, and his superb flying skill and rapid assessment of the tactical situation aided significantly in attaining a final North Vietnamese body count of thirteen. Flying Officer Donnelly’s coolness in the face of extreme danger, his willingness to sacrifice all for his mission and his comrades, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and refle AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    13 January 1965 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Forward Air Controller (FAC) attached to US 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Bien Hoa, 27 November to 17 December 1969. (30 missions, 57 hrs) Read citation for DFC. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    11 April 2013 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
    WhangaparoaNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
    • This record was created from data kindly provided by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. AWMM

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