Sadly, most of us will be unable to participate in this year’s Anzac Day services, amid fears posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Not that circumstance, as unprecedented as it is, will detract from Anzac Day and what it represents. To quote the Victorian RSL President Dr Robert Webster OAM, “what’s most important is that together we remember our pledge as a Nation . . . Lest We Forget”.
In the lead-up to Anzac Day (Saturday, April 25), we remember all who have ever fought for our freedoms - amongst them Old Paradians like Terry Hayes (1961), a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Terry died just a few weeks after his fellow Vietnam veterans last gathered for the Association’s annual Luncheon held in their honour in the Frank Mount Social Room by the Garvey Oval.
With the kind permission of Len Avery (161 Recce Flt Assoc’n) via Alistair Pope 4/66, the following tribute to Terry Hayes DFC, as published in The Scheyvillian OTU Association National Newsletter, is reproduced here.
Terrence John Hayes was born in Rushworth, Victoria, on October 20, 1944 and completed his secondary schooling at Christian Brothers’ College (Parade).
At 17 years of age, Terry commenced his military career at RMC Duntroon as 39545 Staff Cadet Hayes. However, he did not complete the course.
Before entering the Army as an Air Cadet in 1967 he was employed as a Plant Operator with Lewis Constructions. Whilst at OTU with Class 3/67 he was appointed as an Under Officer and held the position of Company Sergeant Major.
Graduating first in his class, Terry was awarded the Governor-General’s Medal, the Staff Prize (for Tactics) and the Skill at Arms Prize.
Terry was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers and posted to 2 RTB, Puckapunyal while he awaited his course at the Basic Flying Training School at Point Cook.
Terry commenced BFTS in May 1968 and followed this in 1969 with his Advanced Flight Training at RAAF Base Amberley, converting into the Bell Sioux helicopter. He was posted to 161 (Indep) Recce Flt in Vietnam as a 2nd Lieutenant Rotary Wing Pilot “Possum” from October 1970 until September 1971.
During his tour in Vietnam he flew 1000+ hours first in the Sioux and then the Kiowa on loan from the US Army in late 1971. After being in country for just two months Terry was shot down whilst flying a mission with the CO of 2RAR/NZ, LtCol John Church. He was able to get the aircraft onto the ground without causing any further injury to his wounded passenger or himself. The aircraft couldn’t be recovered and was destroyed in-situ.
Terry was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his personal courage, determination and skill of the highest order in providing direct support to the ground forces he was supporting.
Terry was a larger than life Army Aviator who served the Corps in a variety of locations and appointments.
Major Terence John Hayes, DFC, AAAvn (Ret’d), passed away on July 25, 2019 in the Pindara Hospital on the Gold Coast after a long illness which included a brain tumour. He is survived by his wife Carol, daughters and their extended families.
Terry will be dearly missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing him throughout his military career and as friend post his time in the Army.
May He Rest In Peace – Lest We Forget.