Vale ~ John Desmond 'Snow' Coughlan CGM, A220788.




No 1 Crewman's Course, 1965.
Served Vietnam: 24/06/67 - 23/04/68.
     
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)

Corporal John Coughlan became the first RAAF member awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM), the highest flying award for non-commissioned ranks (other than the Victoria Cross), since World War II. While a crewman with No 9 Squadron in Vietnam, he went to the assistance of personnel from an American gunship helicopter which crashed on this day into dense jungle inside enemy-held territory eight kilometres from the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat. Although the downed aircraft was burning fiercely, its ammunition and rockets exploding dangerously, he volunteered to be winched to the rescue of the badly injured crew. He successfully accomplished this, though frequently forced to take cover from shrapnel. Three months later he performed a similar feat in aid of another downed US helicopter. Awarded the CGM in 1968, he was only the tenth member of the RAAF to receive the medal since it was instituted in 1943.