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NZOSM Recipient Biographies

NZOSM Recipient Biographies


SOUTHGATE Flight Lieutenant James William

NZ Air Force
Died – in training crash off the coast of Malaysia
Died – 30.11.64
MALAYSIA

Attending
Irene Southgate – mother (medal recipient)
Carole Spargo – sister
Steven Spargo – nephew (son of Carole)

Flight Lieutenant James William Southgate died in a Canberra bomber. He was practising low-level rocket attacks over the sea at the China Rock range with Flying Officer Russell Bennett.

*****

THOMSON Flying Officer Russell Bennett

NZ Air Force
Died – in training crash off the coast of Malaysia
Died – 30.11.64
MALAYSIA

Attending
Alison Thomson – sister (medal recipient)
Edward Thomson – brother (Air Vice Marshal CBE, AFC, JP – Retd)

Flying Officer Russell Bennett died in a Canberra bomber. He was practising low-level rocket attacks over the sea at the China Rock range with Flight Lieutenant James William Southgate.

Further information on the family
- Russell and Edward Thomson were the only brothers in the history of the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, England to both win the Sword of Honour (Edward Thomson won the Sword of Honour in 1958 and Russell Thomson won the Sword of Honour in 1962)
- Bright Williams (uncle) was the last surviving New Zealand First World War veteran. He died in February 2003 at 105 years of age.
- Edward Thomson (Air Vice Marshal) served in the Air Force from 1952-1989. He served as Defence Attache in Bangkok for a period of time and his final military posting was as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff in Wellington

*****

PAENGA Private Te Wamoana

NZ Army – Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Died – killed in action
Died – 19.03.70
Corps - RNZIR
VIETNAM

Attending
Ahipene Rangi Paenga – Father (medal recipient)

Further information on the family
- Private Paenga served in Victor 4 Company in Vietnam, which along with Whisky 2 Company sustained the highest fatalities of any New Zealand unit deployed during the Vietnam War. Seven men from each of these companies died in Vietnam.
- Mr Ahipene Rangi Paenga will be presenting the response on behalf of the next of kin at the medal ceremony.
- Private Paenga’s niece, POSTD Diane Paenga is currently serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

*****

McLAUGHLIN Sergeant Edward Michael Noel

NZ Army – Royal New Zealand Artillery
Died – of sickness
Died – 30.11.54
Corps – RNZA
KOREA

Attending
Murray Manson – son (medal recipient)
Lynne Hawkins – daughter (served in the Women’s Royal Army Corps)
Brent Hawkins – grandson (Corporal – Burnham)

Further information on the family
- The McLaughlin and Hawkins families have served in the New Zealand military for four generations
- Murray Manson (son) served in the Navy for 12 years (1965 – 1974)
- Lynne Hawkins (daughter) served in the Women’s Royal Army Corps for 3 years
- Lawrence Hawkins (deceased) was a WO1 career solider and the late husband of Lynne Hawkins. He served in Vietnam (1967 – 1968)
- Brent Hawkins (son of Lynne) has completed a tour of duty in East Timor and is married to a military police woman.
- Greg Hawkins (son of Lynne) served in the Navy for 1 year

*****

COWPER Sister Lesley Estelle

NZ Surgical Team
Died – of sickness
Died – 02.05.66
VIETNAM

Attending
Lesley Dragovich – grandniece (medal recipient)

Further information on Sister Lesley Estelle Cowper
- Charge Sister Cowper was the only woman on the New Zealand post-1945 Roll of Honour.
- Charge Sister Cowper was a New Zealand Territorial Force nurse who took leave from the Territorial Force to work with the New Zealand Surgical Team at Qui Nhon Provincial Hospital in South Vietnam.
- The New Zealand Surgical Team was a civilian medical unit, which was staffed by New Zealand volunteers and funded by the New Zealand Government.
- The Surgical Team provided surgical and medical treatment to the civilian Vietnamese population in the Qui Nhon area.
- Prior to joining the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps in 1964, Charge Sister Cowper had served in British Military Hospitals in the United Kingdom and Germany as a Lieutenant in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps from 1957-1961.
- Charge Sister Cowper was born in Te Kuiti in November 1928.
- She trained as a nurse at Auckland Public Hospital and worked at various hospitals in Auckland and London between 1954 and 1957.

ENDS

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