John Oakes’ Antarctic Medal was awarded for service to the Australian Antarctic Program in his capacity as a helicopter pilot involved in the 2013 medical evacuation and particularly his role in rescuing three injured expeditioners.
John wintered in Antarctica during the period 2009/10 to 2010/11. He subsequently completed a further two summer seasons in 2011/12 and 2013/14. During his service in 2013/14 he played a pivotal role in responding to a helicopter crash inland from Davis station, providing first aid support and shelter for three victims alongside the Field Training Officer for over 14 hours.
He also received a Bravery Award from the New Zealand Government. Sadly, he passed away in July 2016 and this medal was awarded posthumously.