James Curnow HUGHES
Lieutenant Colonel
Distinguished Service Order
Lieutenant Colonel James Hughes graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon on 13 December 1950 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. After a number of staff and regimental appointments, he was posted on 01 October 1969 as Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment and arrived in South Vietnam on 12 May 1971 to command his Battalion.

Due to the large enemy force build up in Phouc Tuy/Long Khan Province border area, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes’ battalion was committed to operations soon after arrival in South Vietnam. The successful manner in which the Battalion was able to carry out its first operation was due to the very high state of the operational readiness achieved through Lieutenant Hughes’ drive and enthusiasm.

Throughout his tour of duty in South Vietnam he applied his knowledge of the enemy’s tactics to relentlessly pursue him. In a number of fierce bunker clashes, Lieutenant Hughes commanded his Battalion and the support arms allotted him with such professional skill that the enemy was forced to withdraw after suffering heavy casualties.

In the final stages of the Task Force’s participation in operations in Phouc Tuy Province, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes’ tactical skill, devotion to duty and professional ability against a determined and skilful enemy were in the highest traditions of his Regiment and the Australian Army.
Distinguished Service Order [DSO]