Hector previously served in the Citizen Military Forces (Reserves) with 23rd Light Horse, 17 Feb 1930 - 8 Jan 1939 with service No 88665. He was promoted Corporal on 30 Aug 1930 and Lance Sergeant on 1 Nov 1935. He also had service No 307109 and was transferred to the Australian Instructional Corps on 9 Jan 1939 and promoted Warrant Officer Class II on 17 Jun 1939, then posted to 3rd Light Horse on 24 Jun 1939. Hector enlisted into the A.I.F. on 29 May 1940 and was posted to 7th Division Cavalry Regiment, with the rank of Warrant Officer Class II. Transferred to 7th Division Cavalry Regiment on 1 Nov 1940. He was promoted Lieutenant on 28 Jul 1941 into Royal Australian Armoured Corps. He transferred to 6th Division Cavalry Regiment, 8 Oct 1941 and disembarked in Middle East on 22 Nov 1941, returning to Australia aboard "HOLBROOK" on 23 Apr 1942. After commando training, he embarked for New Guinea aboard "KATOOMBA" on 11 Nov 1943 and joined the unit on 2 Dec 1943.
He was awarded a United States of America, Distinguished Service Cross (DSC); Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 123 – 21 June 1945, for rescuing a downed American pilot and crewman from the New Guinea Jungle.
Distinguish Service Cross (U.S.A)
“For extraordinary heroism in action near “DUMPU” N.G. from 17th February to 12th March 1944. Lieut. HENSRIDGE voluntarily descended by parachute into jungle behind enemy lines, to rescue an officer and a soldier of the United States Air Force. With full knowledge of the dangers of the jungle, and of possible enemy patrols, he made his first ever parachute jump, after which he led his comrades to safety in a hazardous 24 day march. By his heroic action Lieut. HENSTRIDGE, not only saved two lives, but in addition he contributed significantly to our knowledge of the territory through which he travelled”.
Hector enplaned for Australia on 11 Jun 1944 and transferred as the Officer Commanding, 38th Australian Squadron, A.L. Section on 7 Sep 1944 and embarked with them for New Guinea aboard "OMISTON" on 10 Dec 1944, returning to Australia aboard "MARELLA" on 16 Oct 1945. Hector was transferred to Australian Army Recruiting Staff, on 11 Mar 1946 and discharged 4 Jun 1946.
He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below. He is now also entitled to the Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with a clasp "S.W.Pacific".
This is the USA DSC similar to Hectors.
Edited by Peter Epps