Douglas Ian AWMM
Also known as
- D. I. Paterson AWMM
- Punchy AWMM
Vietnam 76055 AWMM
Medals and Awards
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
29 April 1971 AWMM
NZ Gazette Number 37 dated 20 May 1971
On June 14, 1970, Flight Lieutenant Paterson was the captain of an Iroquois helicopter called forward for an emergency re-supply of ammunition to a platoon of C Company, 8 RAR in Phuoc Tuy Province.
The Australian Army platoon, critically low on ammunition, was under heavy fire from a superior enemy element entrenched in bunkers less than 50 metres away, and in grave danger of being overrun.
Quickly evaluating the seriousness of the situation, and knowing full well the proximity of the enemy and his own vulnerability to ground fire, Flight Lieutenant Paterson undertook to drop belts of ammunition to the platoon.
He completed part of the re-supply operation before being forced to land his aircraft, which had been badly damaged by enemy fire, in a secure area; his aircraft had sustained 21 hits at very close range.
Despite his knowledge of the accuracy and intensity of the enemy fire Flight Lieutenant Paterson returned to the area in a replacement aircraft and completed the re-supply mission.
As a result of his courageous actions the Australian Army platoon was able to break contact successfully and withdraw without loss of life.
The outstanding courage and devotion to duty displayed by Flight Lieutenant Paterson in this action were in keeping with the finest traditions of the Service and brought great credit to himself and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Notes to Citation:
Born Opotiki 15 April 1934. Served in the RNZAF from 24 Jan 1951 to 20 May 1971 as a Pilot, then from 6 March 1972 to 6 March 1977 as an administrator.
Died in Auckland 12th June 1980 AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
76055 S/Ldr Douglas Ian Paterson DFC, enlisted with the RNZAF in 1950 as a boy entrant. He served in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War attached to No 9 Squadron RAAF flying helicopters, and was awarded the DFC in 1971.
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Douglas Ian Paterson
- 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
- Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
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