Snowy Mountains Rescue
19 Sep 90 - Award of first Group Bravery Citation
On this day, the Governor-General awarded a Group Citation for Bravery to five members of No 5 Squadron for ‘bravery in extraordinary circumstances’ during a rescue two years earlier. On 8 December 1988, an Iroquois helicopter with five crew of board was sent from RAAF Base Fairbairn to collect two teenage girls suffering severe hypothermia from a camp site in the Kosciusko National Park. In extremely hazardous flying conditions due to low cloud, continuous rain, snow patches, strong wind and failing light, the crew finally managed to reach the designated landing site –– only to find that two more girls were also in critical need of evacuation. Now loaded in excess of authorised weight limits, the helicopter was nonetheless flown safely down the Snowy River Valley to Cooma. The Warrant for this award was the very first issued under the Australian Honours system.
Rescued girl with (from left) CPL Chenoweth, FLGOFF Murray, FLTLT Weir, FSGT Green and FSGT Hayton