CANNON Michael James
D992039, Group Captain, Royal New Zealand Air Force

The New Zealand Bravery Medal
Special Honours List 23 October 1999
On 10 July 1994 a crippled Taiwanese fishing vessel, the long liner Kin Sin II which had suffered an ammonia explosion, was located 25 nautical miles
south of Viti Levu in the Fiji group. The explosion and resultant fire had destroyed the ship’s only life-raft and not all the 23 crew members were
equipped with life jackets. Two Iroquois helicopters from a Number 3 Squadron Detachment, RNZAF, based in Fiji were tasked with carrying out a
rescue mission. Flight Sergeant Helicopter Crewman Cannon and Sergeant Helicopter Crewman Franken were winched onboard the Kin Sin II to take
charge of the rescue. Their efforts were hampered by the rolling deck of a burning and sinking ship, no communications with the Iroquois and an
inability to communicate with the seamen, only one of whom was discovered to speak English late in the rescue. The vessel sank soon after the
successful rescue of all 23 seamen. Both rescuers had only graduated as Helicopter Crew Members one month prior to this incident and were on
their first search and rescue mission. In unfamiliar and difficult conditions they displayed courage and professionalism.

New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
New Years Honours List 2020
For services to the New Zealand Defence Force.  Group Captain Cannon joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an Aircraft Technician in 1991
and has made a significant contribution to the development and delivery of an effective utility helicopter force for New Zealand.  Early in his career he
developed expertise across the complete range of helicopter crewman trade skills, establishing himself as a tradesman, crewmember and instructor,
leading to his commissioning as the first Helicopter Crewman Officer.  In 2007 he became a foundation member of the Helicopter Introduction into Service Project Team. In this capacity he was responsible for planning the transition of the Air Force from the 'Huey' and 'Sioux' helicopters to the new A109 and NH90 aircraft, with a focus on cabin configuration and systems, and helicopter crewmen training and safety. This was a crucial role, since the effective capability of a utility helicopter is delivered from the cabin, whether it be the carriage of passengers and freight, casualties, fast roping devices or control of weapon systems.  Following the 2010 Anzac Day helicopter tragedy, he provided support to the families of those involved and led the team that addressed findings of the subsequent Court of Inquiry.  As the Commanding Officer of No. 3 Squadron since January 2017, he has had responsibility for introducing several operational capabilities for the NH90 helicopter that were required for the aircraft to receive 'Type Certification'. These included aeromedical evacuation, flight-deck operations, low level formation night operations and, most importantly, operating overseas. Group Captain Cannon has been a pivotal contributor to the development and delivery of an effective utility helicopter force for New Zealand and managed the unit through one of its busiest periods of service, balancing timely completion of tasks while safely delivering new capabilities."

New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM)
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
Campaign Service Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal [non warlike]
New Zealand East Timor Medal
United Nations Medal (UNTAET)
Royal New Zealand Air Force Long Service & Good Conduct Medal and bar
New Zealand Defence Service Medal