South Vietnam Government Medal : Wing Commander R J McKimm, 37 Squadron, RAAF

Unit 37 Squadron RAAF
Accession Number REL/15932.011
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze; Enamel
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1972
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

South Vietnam Government Medal. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

History / Summary

022084 (previously 429262) Ronald Jack McKimm was born in Bathurst, NSW, in 1924. He enlisted in the RAAF on 5 November 1942 and trained as a pilot. He served as a flight sergeant with 85 Squadron, flying Boomerangs, and later transferred as a warrant officer to 452 Squadron, flying Spitfires in Darwin, and Tarakan in the Netherlands East Indies. McKimm was discharged from the RAAF on 29 January 1946, but re-enlisted in 1950 and was commissioned.

He was awarded an Air Force Cross in 1955 when, as a helicopter pilot, he rescued five people from drowning during flooding in northern New South Wales. From 1966 until 1970 Wing Commander McKimm was appointed to command the newly re-formed 37 Squadron, responsible for flying medevac flights in C-130s out of South Vietnam, and transporting supplies and equipment into the country. The first transport flight landed at Vung Tau on 5 February 1967. McKimm was the overall commander of all RAAF units stationed at Vung Tau. The squadron also carried out bushfire and flood relief within Australia. McKimm was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his work. He was promoted to group captain in 1970 and to air commodore in 1975.