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May 2, 2024

Those of you that knew Ray closely, would have expected nothing less from Raymond Christopher Michael Hinde. He was one of the toughest men, both mentally and physically, that I have ever known. A PJI, Australian scuba diving champion, OC of the SAS water Ops wing, as it was back in the late 60’s & 70’s and much more. He didn’t suffer fools lightly and had an uncanny ability to read people and their weaknesses. "They don’t make them like Ray anymore". John Taske

Born: 8 Feb 1939 in the Sydney suburb of Eastlake where he attended St Benedict’s College and was a regular successful competitor in inter-college carnivals at the North Sydney Olympic pool. Left school at 14 and worked at Bates Australia Pty Ltd, a saddle manufacturer. His Uncle had served in Korea as an Aircraft Fitter and was in many respects Ray’s ‘role-model’ – he was a good looking bon vivant and rode around on a motor cycle.

Ray was keen to join the services and at age 17 he asked his father if he could join up but this was refused. As soon as he turned 18 he applied for enlistment in the Australian Regular Army, without informing his parents and joined with effect from 30 Aug 1957. Completed his recruit training with the Recruit Training Battalion at Kapooka and was posted to 4th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) on 5 Sep 1957 to complete his Infantry Initial Employment Training.

On 18 Dec 1957, Ray was transferred to 1 RAR Brisbane where he became the Bren Gunner of B Company. One of his company mates was George Mansford later to become a Brigadier. After 6 months as a Bren Gunner, Ray was approached by the CSM (Company Sergeant Major) suggesting that he attend an Intelligence Course to which Ray replied “I think it’s a bit late for that, Sir”. He completed the course and became the Intelligence Duty Man for the Company on 12 Jun 1959 when, 4 months later, he was sent on Operational Service to Malaya where he was deployed from 20 September 1959 to 12 November 1961. Ray spent most of his time accompanying patrols mainly with the mortar platoon who were operating as infantry without their mortars.

During his time in Malaya Ray was promoted to Corporal. On one occasion, he met up with a Craftsman Jim Campbell (RAEME) who was a keen flyer and he invited Ray to go on a flight in a Tiger Moth – unaware that the passenger actually sat in the front of the plane, Ray was thrilled to be ‘up front’ and enjoyed the experience flying like the ‘Red Baron’. Jim Campbell eventually was commissioned, joined Army Aviation and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in Vietnam – the first Army pilot to do so since 1918 – retiring as a Brigadier.

Back in Australia Ray was promoted to Intelligence Duty Sergeant located at Holsworthy where he undertook training that was to define his ongoing military career. Ray qualified as a shallow water diver at 1 Commando Company (1 CDO), Georges Heights and as a small boat handler at 2 CDO. As part of an exercise, they captured a chap named Toad Fletcher - later to become a member of the infamous ‘Gnomes’ in Western Australia. While at 2 CDO, Ray saw an advertisement in the Infantry Magazine for a training course in the UK with the Royal Marines Commando Special Boat Service for which he applied. There was a 6 week selection course with Ray and a SAS Sergeant competing for the position: Ray was successful deploying to the UK on 29 Dec 19.

The training was intense where Ray was the only Australian and he found it very tough but rewarding eventually qualifying for the treasured ‘Green Beret’ returning to Australia on 25 Oct 1964 where he was posted to 2 CDO on promotion to Warrant Officer. While in the UK, Ray had qualified on practically every element of water operations including diving (air and O2), canoeing, demolitions, submarine escape and landing craft. He also qualified in instructional, safety and supervisor elements that would play an important part of his future military and civilian career.

To complete his specialist training Ray also qualified as a parachutist. While conducting a diving course off Brighton Pier in Melbourne, Ray was being observed by a chap who later identified himself as a Bill Braithwaite, the CO SASR. Ray was encouraged to apply for Short Service Commission and on 15 Jun 1966 was promoted to Lieutenant in the ARA for a 5 year period and was subsequently posted to the Special Air Service Regiment in Perth as a temporary Captain, Training Officer.

Over the following several years Ray continued to gain qualifications in parachuting and other special service skills before deploying to Vietnam on 4 Jun 1968 where he was allocated to the AATTV (Australian Army Training Team Vietnam). Ray was seconded to the US Army’s Special Forces (The Green Berets) where he was put in command of a company of Montagnards – these are the aboriginal mountain people of Vietnam who are quite different in appearance to the Vietnamese. They are small, dark and relatively primitive and live in the sparsely populated highland region of the central part of the country.

The Montagnards have gained a reputation as exceptionally good soldiers. Although Ray was successful in leading and training these people, he discovered that a difference in size between the instructors and students could present problems. When parachuting it took them forever to hit the ground and in a bit of a breeze, it was anyone’s guess where they would land. Ray, as the instructor, would normally jump last, but still be on the ground ready and waiting for his troops to descend.

Ray spent his last months in Vietnam as the commander of the Australian VN Long Range Patrol School in Phouc Tuy Province. The Vietnamese Government awarded Ray the Cross of Gallantry with Palms for his service to their country. He returned to SASR on 28 May 1969.

In 1970 Ray deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth for a fortnight. From 13 Apr 1971 to 19 January 1977, Ray was posted to various units including 4 Cadet Battalion, and North Queensland Training Camp when he returned to WA on posting to 16th Battalion, The Royal Western Australia Regiment as it's operations officer. Here Ray was in his element – back in an Infantry battalion with depots throughout the state and with a vibrant and enthusiastic body of troops. He was to form lifelong friendships with many officers and soldiers of the unit before exiting the ARA on 30 Apr 1979.

On 1 May 1979 Ray joined the Citizen Military Forces and was posted to Western Australia University Regiment before his final exit from the ADF on 27 Aug 1980.

On leaving the Army, Ray worked as a professional diver in the Bass Strait oilfield for a year. During this period ray was involved in pipe-lay and construction activities and participated in a major underwater tie-in to the Marlin platform. Returning to Western Australia, Ray set up and managed two joint venture companies, Bource-ETRS in the field of underwater non-destructive testing and Bource-MARTECH, providing general oilfield diving services.

Successful contracts were carried out in Darwin, Port Hedland, Dampier and Broome. Following the down turn in the off-shore industry in 1979 both companies were wound up and Ray commenced duties as Terminal Supervisor (Stevedore) on the Fremantle waterfront for Seatainer Terminals Ltd. Ray then joined Woodside Offshore Petroleum in 1982 as Offshore Services Supervisor on the North Rankin A Gas Production platform until 1988 when he joined The Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention, Safety Systems Division where he gained his Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Management. Ray worked with multiple major corporations on safety training.

Service Details
Raymond Christopher Michael HINDE
Service number: 2411067, 213536
Category of service:
Regular Army Special Reserve (O) 30 August 1957 to 26 March 1960
Australian Regular Army 27 March 1960 to 30 April 1979
Citizen Military Forces 01 May 1979 to 27 August 1980
Rifleman; Intelligence Duty; Regimental Duty Warrant Officer; Training Officer; Battalion Commander; Senior Instructor; Supervisor Training
Rank on discharge: Major

Unallotted List Eastern Command 30 August 1957
1 Recruit Training Battalion (Training Strength) 05 September 1957
4 Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment 18 December 1957
1 Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment 11 May 1958
Australian Army Staff London (Long Term Studies) 29 December 1963
2 Commando Company 02 October 1964
Special Air Service Regiment 15 June 1966
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam 03 June 1968
Special Air Service Regiment 28 May 1969
North Queensland Area Training Group 13 April 1971
1 Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment 10 January 1973
Unallotted List 1 Military District 16 March 1974
4 Cadet Battalion 26 May 1974
Unallotted List 1 Military District 08 July 1974
4 Cadet Battalion 20 August 1974
16 Battalion the Royal Western Australia Regiment 19 January 1977
Western Australia University Regiment 01 May 1979
Operational Service/Deployment:
Malaya 20 September 1959 to 12 November 1961
United Kingdom 29 December 1963 to 25 October 1964
Vietnam 04 June 1968 to 28 May 1969
Singapore and Malaysia 12 April 1970 to 28 April 1970

2 Commando Company 15 June 1966 to 30 September 1966
District Supply Group North Queensland 15 March 1976 to 14 May 1976

Honours and Awards:
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasps Malaya,
Thai-Malay and Vietnam
General Service Medal with Clasp Malaya
Vietnam Medal
Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp SE Asia
Defence Force Service Medal
National Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Vietnamese Campaign Medal
Pingat Jasa Malaysia
United States Meritorious Unit Commendation
Unit Citation of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Infantry Combat Badge
Returned from Active Service Badge

Category of service: Royal Australian Naval Reserve

Service number: C127527
Date of enlistment: 30 SEP 80
Date of discharge: 08 FEB 99
Employment: Naval Control of Shipping
Rank on discharge: Lieutenant Commander

HMAS Leeuwin 30 SEP 80
HMAS Leeuwin 06 MAY 81 (17 days)
HMAS Creswell 08 NOV 81 (13 days)
HMAS Stirling 14 MAR 82 (13 days)
HMAS Creswell 07 NOV 82 (13days)
HMAS Kuttabul 26 NOV 83 (18 days)
HMAS Leeuwin 09 APR 84 (9 days)
HMAS Leeuwin 09 JUL 84 (5 days)
HMAS Leeuwin 22 OCT 84 (33days)
HMAS Stirling 07 APR 86 (12 days)
HMAS Stirling 11 JUN 86 (9 days)
HMAS Stirling 11 APR 88 (14 days)
Shore 08 FEB 99

Honours and Awards:
Reserve Force Medal with First Clasp

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