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Neil Hilton Harden MID

161 (Indep) Recce Flt 03 Feb 71 - 26 Dec 71 

  Major Neil Harden graduated from the Officer Cadet School on 26 Jun 1953 and was allotted to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. He subsequently transferred to the Australian Army Aviation Corps and arrived in South Vietnam on 4 February 1971 as Officer Commanding, 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight.

Major Harden has commanded the Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam in an outstanding manner. By his personal example he has ensured that his pilots have carried out their hazardous role in an unremitting manner despite adverse flying conditions and the withdrawal of the major elements of the Task Force.

On 11 August 1971 whilst carrying out a voice mission, in the vicinity of the Long Hai mountains, his aircraft received enemy ground fire but, by his flying skill, he managed to nurse the damaged aircraft back to safety.

Throughout his tour of duty his leadership, determination and professional competence have been an inspiration to the younger pilots of the Flight and his service has been in the highest traditions of his Corps and the Australian Army.

* Text of citation has been copied from the book "Vietnam Veterans Honours & Awards Army"      

 by Alexander M. Palmer.

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