THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
FERGUSON Bruce Reid
M83823, Air Marshal, Royal New Zealand Air Force

CITATION
Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM)
[DCNZM redesignated as Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit effective 5 June 2006]
Gazetted 5 June 2006
For services to the New Zealand Defence Force, lately as Chief of Defence Force.

Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Gazetted Queen’s Birthday Honours List 1994
Group Captain FERGUSON joined the RNZAF in January 1969 as a pilot trainee.  He has always driven himself to maintain the highest standards of
performance as a pilot and as an officer.  Group Captain FERGUSON‘s record and the rewards are testament to his success.  He is one of the
minority to attain to topmost grading of A1 flying instructor.  He was a leader of the ‘Red Checkers’ formation aerobatics team for two years.  In 1984
he was awarded the Air Force Cross for his exceptional flying performance and leadership in the air.  He reached the rank of Group Captain at 42
years of age.  He has held senior command at Auckland as Officer Commanding, Operations Wing where he was responsible for the operations of
the RNZAF helicopters, fixed wing air transport and maritime squadrons.  He has now commanded the base for over two years.  As Officer
Commanding RNZAF Base Auckland he has provided vigorous but mature leadership at the RNZAF’s largest base.  Group Captain FERGUSON has
directed an active programme of exercises and training to ensure the base can meet the wide range of military contingencies and civil disasters that
can and do arise.  He oversaw the planning, deployment and sustainment of the No 42 Squadron Detachment to Mogadishu, Somalia in early 1993.
He has strongly promoted a team approach on the base, and has lent his energies to a number of significant Base welfare projects and problems.
He has also been active in developing excellent relationships between the Base and the local West Auckland community

Air Force Cross
Gazetted Queen's Birthday Honours 1984
Squadron Leader FERGUSON enlisted in the RNZAF in 1969 and after completing pilot training he served on No’s 3 and 41 Squadrons flying Iroquois aircraft.  Following an appointment as Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency the Governor General in 1973 he qualified as a flying instructor.  In June 1982 he was appointed to his current post of Officer Commanding, Central Flying School (CFS).  During his tour at CFS Squadron Leader FERGUSON has clearly demonstrated his ability and dedication as an outstanding pilot and flying instructor.  In June of 1983 he successfully upgraded to A1 category as a flying instructor; only the second person in ten years to do so.  The professional example he has set his subordinates has been exceptional, and the advice offered his superiors timely and well judged.  In mid 1982 Squadron Leader FERGUSON was given the daunting task of re-forming the ‘Red Checkers’ Airtrainer formation display team.  The difficulty of this task was compounded by the fact that he had never flown formation aerobatics before, and only one member of the previous team was available.  He took this challenge in his stride and in a very short period had worked the team up to a stage where they were able to publicly display by late 1982.  His leadership and airmanship during this time were exemplary.  Practices were held outside normal working hours to avoid disruption to the training programme, and he was tireless in his encouragement of the team.  During the 1982-83 summer, Squadron Leader FERGUSON led his team through a total of nineteen public displays culminating in a highly polished performance for the Prince and Princess of Wales.  Squadron Leader FERGUSON continues to be an inspiration to all those with whom he is associated.  He has bought new respect to flying instruction, he has introduced the intricacies of formation aerobatics to all fledgling flying instructors, and once again in the winter of 1983 he formed a new aerobatic team.  Squadron Leader FERGUSON has made an outstanding contribution to both flying instruction and formation display flying.

Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air
Gazetted Year Honours List 1978
Flight Lieutenant FERGUSON has been a flying instructor in Sioux helicopters at Wigram since mid 1976.  Throughout this period he has consistently demonstrated very high standards of flying, airmanship and instructional ability.  After a mishap on the Waimakariri River on 8 December 1976, one member of a life-raft was lost downstream, while the survivors reached the bank and remained there overnight.  The SAR organisation was alerted and, as both the Iroquois helicopters based at Wigram were unavailable, two Sioux piloted by Flight Lieutenants FERGUSON and G.L WOOD [qv] proceeded to the search area.  After a briefing at search headquarters the two aircraft flew a co-ordinated reconnaissance and search mission upstream.  Even survivors were found sheltering in a small cove about 20 feet into a sheer cliff on the northern river bank.  The gorge was very narrow making any aircraft manoeuvre most difficult.  To affect the rescue, each Sioux was hovered at right angles to, and facing towards the cliff face, a very difficult manoeuvre.  Working alternately, the Sioux uplifted all survivors who were suffering from shock and exposure and took them to a nearby hut for shelter.  The rescue took about 20 minutes.  Flying conditions worsened as the wind speed and thus turbulence increased, and the river rose to nearly cover the rock the aircraft had been resting on.   The aircraft then located the crew of a second life-raft, searched the riverbed for the missing airman and directed jet-boats towards the rescued personnel. When these jet-boats could not pick up the survivors the Sioux ferried all the airmen back to search headquarters.  The next day, 10 December 1976, both pilots again searched the Waimakariri Riverbed and found the missing airman’s body.  It is apparent that both Sioux pilots showed exceptional initiative and flying skill under difficult and worsening conditions.

AWARDS
Distinguished Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit
[DCNZM redesignated as Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit effective 5 June 2006]
Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Air Force Cross
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal Afghanistan - secondary
New Zealand General Service Medal - warlike
Vietman
New Zealand Sesquicentennial Medal
New Zealand Armed Forces Award and bar
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Regular
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) (Distinguished Service Order) (Singapore)

NOTES
Born 14 July 1949 Napier, New Zealand
Died