Captain Ralph Hughes
The late Captain Hughes, after long service in the Royal Artillery, enlisted in the New Zealand Army on 30 October 1956. He was commissioned in the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps on 1 July 1964 and, in June 1967 was posted to 161 Battery in Papakura Camp. He arrived in Vietnam in July 1967.
Throughout his service in Vietnam Captain Hughes has displayed drive, enthusiasm and professional ability of an exceptional order. It was largely due to his thorough understanding of the drills, techniques and employment of artillery that his battery attained the high standard of gunnery it did.
His leadership, unfailing supervision and devotion to duty ensured this standard was maintained, despite a high and constant rate of replacement of the men under his command. Under Captain Hughes’s direction the battery fired some 50,000 rounds without serious incident.
Captain Hughes’s marked ability to cooperate with others contributed materially to the close and harmonious relationship between 161 Battery and the peer Australian batteries. At all times Captain Hughes worked unselfishly to ensure the morale and welfare of his men remained at the highest level.
Captain Hughes’s service in Vietnam was outstanding. His standards of professional competence, his thorough preparations for operations and his exceptional devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself, his battery and the New Zealand Army.
Captain Hughes' award was received by his son, Mr Terry Hughes