Sergeant Vance Drummond

AWM JK0163
Sergeant Vance Drummond beside his Meteor aircraft. JK0163

Sergeant Vance Drummond was an Australian pilot with 77 Squadron, RAAF. He enlisted in 1949, and served as a Sergeant (later Pilot Officer then Flying Officer) in Korea from 1951 to 1953.

On one of his flights on 1 December 1951, he was shot down during aerial combat with a Chinese flying a MiG-15, near Pyongyang. When he reached ground, he was taken prisoner by the North Koreans. Drummond was held at Camp 2 at Pinchon-ni, until he attempted to escape: he was caught and punished, and spent the rest of his war in captivity.

Before he was captured, Drummond had established a solid reputation as a 77 Squadron pilot. He was honoured with a US Air Medal. According to the citation, he

“… distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat missions flying Meteor Mark Eight type aircraft against the enemy in North Korea from 1 September 1951 to 28 October 1951. Many times in the face of superior numbers of enemy high performance jet aircraft, his courage, aggressiveness and tactical skill contributed greatly to the successful completion of the assigned mission.”

Drummond later served in the Vietnam War, flying as a Forward Air Controller with the US Air Force. He received many awards and decorations for his skilful performance.

After returning to Australia, Drummond was killed when his Mirage aircraft crashed into the sea near Newcastle on 17 May 1967.

Panmunjom, North Korea, September 1953. Flying Officer Vance Drummond (left) and Pilot Officer Bruce Thomson in the blue Chinese prison uniforms they wore
during captivity. JK0863

REL 13196.001 - .010
Medals of Wing Commander Vance Drummond. From left to right they are the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Cross, British War Medal 1939-45, New Zealand War Service Medal, Korea Medal, United Nations Service Medal for Korea, Australian Vietnam Medal, United States Air Medal, South Vietnam Government Medal and South Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with silver star. REL 13196.001 - .010