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Thomas William Guivarra MID

161 (Indep) Recce Flt  22 Sep 66 - 27 Sep 67

  Second Lieutenant Guivarra joined the Australian Regular Army on 16 January 1964. He completed his flying training and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Artillery on 24 March 1965. He served in New Guinea with 16 Army Light Aircraft Squadron and joined 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight in Vietnam on 23 September 1966.

As a fixed wing pilot, he displayed a remarkable skill on visual reconnaissance missions. He was responsible for many new sightings of enemy locations and constantly showed great determination in following up small indications of the presence of the enemy. His ability to note minute detail invariably led to more significant findings.

In most instances, he would not have been able to secure such detail information when observing from a safe height. With a complete disregard for his personal safety, he constantly flew low over target areas and was fired upon on numerous occasions.

During a tour of duty in which he flew over 800 hours, his personal skill and cool daring enabled him to secure the information he sought. His reports were of such value that immediate artillery or airstrikes were normally directed against the enemy locations.

By his aggressive flying and determination to seek the enemy by day and night without regard to his own safety. Second Lieutenant Guivarra has set a high standard as an Army Pilot. By his personal efforts, he has contributed significantly to the success of operations of his unit and the 1st Australian Task Force in Vietnam.

* Text of citation has been copied from an Australian Army Aviation Newsletter, Vol 2 No 7 dated April 1968.

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