Just 60 Distinguished Flying Crosses to the Royal Australian Air Force for the Vietnam War.
Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including letters and or telegrams of congratulations on the award of the D.F.C. (4); and Government House investiture letter and ticket (dated 1.5.1970).
D.F.C. Commonwealth Gazette 16.10.1969 'In recognition of his courage and devotion to duty while serving as a Squadron Check Captain during his operational tour of duty with No. 35 Squadron in Vietnam'.
Flight Lieutenant Reginald John "Tommy" Thompson, D.F.C., was born in January 1925 and originally joined the Royal Air Force in April 1943. Leaving the R.A.F. in January 1963, he was granted a Permanent Commission in the Royal Australian Air Force in December 1966, initially being appointed to the Base Squadron at Richmond and in January 1967 to No. 38 Squadron. Selected for active service in Vietnam, "Tommy" Thompson arrived in Saigon in March 1968 and was posted to No. 35 Squadron. While operating in one of the Squadron's Caribou aircraft in January 1969, Thompson and his crew came under enemy mortar fire while dropping off supplies to a U.S. Special Forces camp near the Cambodian border at Katum. In the recipient's own words, the first mortar 'landed about 25 feet in front of the port wing, shattering the windscreen. Two more followed in quick succession and then the rest. I did not bother trying to count them but there were at least eight. Most of the hits were in the nose area. Besides the damaged windscreen, two tyres had burst and the hydraulics used to operate the under-carriage and flaps had been knocked out'. Despite this damage, and a shrapnel wound in his leg, Thompson decided to take-off again immediately, eventually managing to make a landing at an emergency airstrip at Bien Hoa. The Caribou had been hit in more than 100 places by shrapnel from the mortars. Thompson returned to Australia in March 1969, his D.F.C. being gazetted in October of the same year.