CUNNINGHAM Kenneth Albert James
N86814. Squadron Leader, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) military
Gazetted Queen’s Birthday Honours 1995
Squadron Leader Cunningham joined the RNZAF in 1974 as a communications mechanic and was commissioned in 1982.  He was posted to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) as a military observer in April 1994, serving in Gorazde, Sarajevo, and finally Bihac until the end of the year.  In each location he was responsible for other United Nations Military Observers and the co-ordination of their tasks.  Just after assuming his appointment as Deputy Senior Military Observer and Operations Officer for Sector Bihac in September 1994, a major offensive was launched by the Bosnian Government Forces, and all access to and from the Bihac pocket was denied.  The pocket was confronted on at least nine different fronts and the Bihac sector received thousands of artillery and mortar shells, airstrikes and missile attacks.  Throughout the three months of the blockade Squadron Leader Cunningham ensured that the military observes the most accurate and timely information possible.  To achieve this meant he and his observers were placed in extremely dangerous situations and were daily subjected indirect and direct shellfire.  Throughout his tour with UNPROFOR Squadron Leader Cunningham demonstrated dedication to duty, bravery, leadership, professionalism, unselfishness and competence under extremely dangerous and stressful operational conditions.

Member of the Order of the British Empire
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
United Nations Medal (UNPROFOR)
New Zealand Armed Forces Award
New Zealand Defence Service Medal

Born 11 December 1954 Auckland, New Zealand