All The George Crosses of World War Two

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Geoffrey Gledhill Turner

    Title/Rank: Sub-Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 21st December 1940, Great Howard Street, Liverpool

    The citation in the London Gazette of 27th June 1941, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Turner’s George Cross:

    Turner defused many mines and one of the incidents for which he received the George Cross was in Seaforth, Lancashire. A mine had come down close to the Southport Liverpool railway line. The mine was hanging by its parachute in the back yard of a house.

    Turner improvised to move the mine into a better position and tried to extract the fuse. As he extracted it he realised he had only half of it and the all important clock and firing mechanism was still in place. He attempted to pull it out with his fingers when the ominous sound of the clock whirling could be heard. Without delay he dropped everything and started running for cover. After a short while there was no explosion so Turner took the hard decision to return to the mine. Unbelievably just as he touched the remaining fuse parts the clock started again, running away for the second time the mine exploded wounding him but he survived to earn a George Medal in 1943.


    Additional Information:

    Born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

    Also awarded a George Medal in 1943.

    Later promoted to the rank of Commander.

    Turner served in a Marine Commando unit during the invasion of Normandy.

    Turner took part in the capture of Brest.

    Later during the war he fought with the Commandos in Germany.
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Peter Victor Danckwerts

    Title/Rank: Sub-Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1940, London.

    The citation in the London Gazette of 20th December1940, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Danckwerts’s George Cross:

    Danckwerts worked on one occasion in the London docks for two full days and nights with no significant rest defusing 16 mines. He attended one scene where he found two mines hanging by their parachutes and with the help of a Chief Petty Officer set about making the mines safe. As they advanced towards them the vibrations from them approaching the mines caused the clock on one of the mines to start. Danckwerts and the CPO retreated at a rapid rate of knots and waited for the explosion which never came.

    Eventually they returned to the mines and could not hear a sound from either device. Knowing the clock could start again and explode giving hardly any warning Danckwerts extracted the firing fuses from both mines rendering them safe.



    Additional Information:

    The son of Vice Admiral V. H. Danckwerts.

    Later in the war he was transferred to Sicily where he was wounded.

    He finished the war working in Whitehall.

    Also awarded a MBE in 1943.

    After the war Danckwerts studied Chemical Engineering.

    Danckwerts retired a professor of chemical engineering at Cambridge University.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    John Bryan Peter Duppa-Miller

    Title/Rank: Probationary Temporary Sub-Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1940, London Blitz.

    The citation in the London Gazette of14th January 1941, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Duppa-Miller’s George Cross:

    Duppa-Miller was working with Able Seaman Tucknell when they were both awarded the George Cross. They had already worked together at many incidents before being awarded their GC’s. They received their award for defusing a mine that had fallen into a river that runs into Barking Creek, Essex. The mine was laid in the mud and Duppa-Miller obtained a canoe to enable the men to approach it with all their kit. After some paddling they found the mine and could see its nose was buried in the mud. Duppa-Miller offered Tucknell the chance to leave him to deal with the mine alone. Tucknell was having none of it, the two men had obviously built up a special relationship whilst neutralising numerous mines and bombs.

    After extracting one of the two fuses Duppa-Miller realised he couldn’t reach the second one. He observed some workman with a crane watching them and went explained that he wanted to use the crane to help lift the mine and expose the second fuse. Duppa-Miller could now see the fuse housings for the first time and successfully extracted the second one making the weapon safe.


    Additional Information:

    Duppa-Miller was later promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

    Duppa-Miller was married to Clare Heald of horse racing fame.

    After the war Duppa-Miller moved to South Africa and worked in the teaching profession until 1957.

    Author of 'Saints and Parachutes'
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Stephen John Tuckwell

    Title/Rank: Able Seaman

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Navy (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1940, Roding River, London Blitz.

    The citation in the London Gazette of14th January 1941, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Tuckwell’s George Cross:


    Tuckwell was working with Sub Lieutenant Duppa-Miller when they were both awarded the George Cross. They had already worked together at many incidents before being awarded their GC’s. They received their award for defusing a mine that had fallen into a river that runs into Barking Creek, Essex. The mine was laid in the mud and Duppa-Miller obtained a canoe to enable the men to approach it with all their kit. After some paddling they found the mine and could see its nose was buried in the mud. Duppa-Miller offered Tucknell the chance to leave him to deal with the mine alone. Tucknell was having none of it, the two men had obviously built up a special relationship whilst neutralising numerous mines and bombs since they started working together.

    After extracting one of the two fuses Duppa-Miller realised he couldn’t reach the second one. He observed some workman with a crane watching them and went explained that he wanted to use the crane to help lift the mine and expose the second fuse. Duppa-Miller could now see the fuse housings for the first time and successfully extracted the second one making the weapon safe.


    Additional Information:

    Tuckwell survived the war and died in 1966.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Francis Haffey Brooke-Smith

    Title/Rank: Sub-Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: December 1940, Manchester Ship Canal

    The citation in the London Gazette of 27th June 1941, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Brooke-Smith’s George Cross:

    Towards the end of 1940 there was a raid in the Manchester/Mersey area of England. An unexploded mine was reported on a Fire Service fire float called ‘Firefly’ that was on the Manchester Canal. The mine had lodged itself in the deck locker that ran alongside the engine room. Brooke-Smith was some way to making the weapon safe when he heard the fuse clock start whirling. Left with little choice Brooke-Smith continued working to stop the clock before it set off the mines fuse.

    Working under extreme pressure Brooke-Smith stopped the clock in time and went on to disable the mine completely.


    Additional Information:

    Later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander.

    Brooke-Smith survived the war but died at the age of 34.
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    James Patrick Scully

    Title/Rank: Acting Corporal

    Unit/Occupation: 256 Company, Pioneer Corps

    Awarded: 8th July 1941

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 8th March 1941, Liverpool

    The citation in the London Gazette of 8th July 1941, gives the following particulars:

    When houses were demolished by enemy action, a rescue party under the direction of Lieutenant Chittenden went to the incident and a search was made for trapped people.

    Corporal Scully located a man and a woman and, with great difficulty, he managed to penetrate the debris and get to where they were buried. Lieutenant Chittenden followed him. Wood was obtained to use as props to shore up the debris, but there was no means of cutting it into proper lengths.

    A rescue party then arrived with tools to cut some wood into more suitable lengths for shoring. All available help was mustered and the men worked tremendously hard in their efforts to clear away the wreckage.

    Corporal Scully remained with the trapped persons and prevented any more debris falling on them. A long plank was inserted to take most of the weight but as the result of further falls the props began to sway out of position. There was then a very real danger of the mass of debris falling down and burying the injured persons. Realising this, Corporal Scully placed his back under the plank to try to prevent the props from giving way completely. He steadied them for a time but gradually the weight increased until the props slipped. This left Corporal Scully holding one end of the plank and Lieutenant Chittenden supporting the other. Corporal Scully could have got away at this stage, but he knew that if he did so the debris would fall and probably kill the trapped persons, so he stayed under the plank. Gradually the weight increased and forced Corporal Scully down until he lay across the trapped man. Lieutenant Chittenden who was still holding one end of the plank reached over and supported Corporal Scully's head to prevent him from being suffocated by having his head pressed into the debris. He managed to keep Corporal Scully's face clear, but he was fast becoming exhausted. Despite this, he kept up his spirits and continued to talk encouragingly to the woman. The man was unconscious nearly all this time. Corporal Scully remained in this position throughout the night until, more than seven hours later the rescue party were able to rescue him and the casualties.

    When they first entered the house Lieutenant Chittenden and Corporal Scully knew there was a grave risk of injury or death as the high walls nearby appeared about to collapse at any moment. Had this collapse occurred, they would have been buried under many tons of debris. Corporal Scully risked his life to save the two people and, though the position looked hopeless, Lieutenant Chittenden stayed with him.


    Additional Information:

    Born in Dublin in 1909

    Scully was the only member of the Pioneer Corps to be awarded the George Cross.

    Chittenden was awarded a George Medal for his part in this incident.

    Scully died in Rangoon in 1974
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ernest Oliver Gidden

    Title/Rank: Temporary Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 17th April 1941, Hungerford Bridge, London

    The citation in the London Gazette of 9th June 1942, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Gidden’s George Cross:

    More commonly known as the Charing Cross mine. When Gedden turned up for work he was told a mine had fallen on Hungerford Bridge. Anyone travelling by train into Charing Cross Station will know the bridge as the one that connects Charing Cross with Waterloo East. When Gedden arrived at the scene to make matters all the harder the mine had fused itself to the live rail before the power could be switched off. On closer inspection Gedden also found that mine fuse primer mechanism was face down to. The mine would have to be moved before Gedden could attempt to make it safe.

    After some delicate brute force Gedden could see the surface of the fuse but it had been badly deformed by molten metal. Gedden was then presented with another problem. The gag used to prevent the fuse from activating wouldn’t fit. A job that would normally be done with the greatest of delicacy was now being performed with a hammer and chisel.

    Every tap with the tools was followed by Gedden listening to the device for the dreaded Whirr of the mechanism firing up, after four taps progressively getting harder the mechanism started to slowly edge clear. Eventually Gedden extracted the whole device and made the mine safe.

    The whole process had taken over six hours but Gedden had kept on of London’s main rail links open.




    Additional Information:

    Later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander.

    Also awarded the OBE and GM.

    Gedden's medal group was exhibited by his son on the Antiques Roadshow in 2003.

    The expert valued the group at £16,000.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Charles Henry George Howard

    Title/Rank: The Right Honourable, Earl

    Unit/Occupation: ‘Chief Field Research and Experimental Officer’, Ministry of Supply

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action:12th May 1941, Erith Marshes, Kent.

    The citation in the London Gazette of 18th July 1941, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Howard’s George Cross:

    Howard worked for the government early in the war saving French scientists, industrial diamonds and rare machine tools with his personal assistant and chauffer.

    When Howard returned from France, the Earl worked for the Ministry of Supply as a Research Officer learning how to defuse new types of bombs. The Earl served as part of an unexploded bomb detachment in London during the Blitz. The three person unit consisted of himself, Miss Morden, and his chauffeur, Fred Hards and they called themselves "the Holy Trinity". As time went on they gained some fame for their skill in detecting and successfully tackling thirty-four unexploded bombs with smiling efficiency. Miss Morden stood by his side taking notes, as the Earl worked at defusing the bombs. Sadly, the thirty-fifth bomb exploded and all were killed on Erith Marshes in Kent on May 12, 1941.



    Additional Information:

    Howard’s father was killed in Iraq during WW1.

    Memorial window in the Church of St. John the Baptist, Malmsbury, Wiltshire.

    The BBC based a television drama on the life of the Earl called The Dragon's Opponent.

    The Earl has a role in Michael Ondaatje's novel, The English Patient.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hugh Randall Syme

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve (Mine Clearance Specialist)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Australian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 19th May 1941 - 25th December 1942

    The citation in the London Gazette of 3rd August 1943, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Syme’s George Cross:

    At the time of Syme’s award of the George Cross he had performed no less than nineteen mine-recovery/disposal operations. One of the most difficult and notable had taken place in November 1942 at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Syme’s defused a new mine known as a Type T. He had to hang upside down in a mud hole and endure painful electric shocks while insulating the wires for the detonator.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a GM and Bar.

    Syme’s is one of two people to achieve the above.

    In 1943 he returned to Australia to set up a mine disposal unit.

    The unit was never used operationally as the Americans were responsible for disposal.

    After the war Syme’s returned to work for the family owned newspaper.

    Syme turned down a knighthood stating he had only done his duty.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    James Hendry

    Title/Rank: Corporal

    Unit/Occupation: No. 1 Tunnelling Company, Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Canadian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 13th June 1941, Loch Laggan, Scotland

    The citation in the London Gazette of 2nd April 1943, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Hendry’s George Cross:

    Hendry was part of a team tasked with digging the Laggan Tunnel to supply water to the British Aluminium works at Kinlochleven when a fire broke out in a powder house full of explosives. Hendry ordered the rest of the team to run to safety whilst he attempted to extinguish the fire. The powder house eventually exploded and the huge blast also killed his colleague John MacDougall Stewart, and seven more were injured.


    Additional Information:

    The Royal Canadian Engineers dedicated their range control building to Hendry.

    A memorial honouring Hendry was unveiled at Loch Laggan in 2008 attended by his brother.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Brockwood Military Cemetery
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]


    Henry Herbert Reed

    Title/Rank: Bombardier

    Unit/Occupation: No.2 Battery, 1st Maritime Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 20th/21st June 1941, North Sea

    The citation in the London Gazette of 19th September 1941, gives the following particulars:

    The ship was attacked by enemy aircraft with cannon, machine-guns and bombs. She replied at once with her defensive armament and the men at the guns went on firing despite the hail of bullets and cannon shell.

    Gunner Reed behaved with the utmost gallantry. He was badly wounded but when the Master asked how he was, he said that he would carry on. The Chief Officer was also badly wounded. Reed carried him from the bridge down two ladders to the deck below and placed him in shelter near a lifeboat.

    Gunner Reed then died. It was afterwards found that his stomach had been ripped open by machine-gun bullets.

    By his gallant and utterly selfless action Gunner Reed saved the life of the Chief Officer.


    Additional Information:

    Reed enlisted in the Royal Engineers TA in 1938.

    He transferred to the Royal Artillery in 1940.

    Reed was on the merchant ship, SS Cormount, when he earned his GC.

    Reed also managed to move an injured steward to cover before dying.

    Reed was also awarded the Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea.

    The Gazette lists him as a Gunner but all other sources show him as a Bombardier.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Bishopwearmouth Cemetery, Sunderland
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Herbert Cecil Pugh

    Title/Rank: Chaplain Squadron Leader, The Reverend

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Chaplain's Branch

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: South African

    Date and Place of GC Action: 5th July 1941, SS Anselm, Atlantic Ocean

    The citation in the London Gazette of1st April 1947, gives the following particulars:

    The Reverend H. C. Pugh, after seeing service in this country, was posted to Takoradi and embarked on H.M.T. Anselm, carrying over 1,300 passengers, for West Africa at the end of June, 1941. She was torpedoed in the Atlantic in the early hours of the 5th July, 1941. One torpedo hit a hold on Deck C, destroying the normal means of escape. Mr Pugh came up on deck in a dressing gown and gave all the help he could. He seemed to be everywhere at once, doing his best to comfort the injured, helping with the boats and rafts (two of these were rendered unserviceable as a result of the explosion) and visiting the different lower sections where the men were quartered.

    When he learned that a number of injured airmen were trapped in the damaged hold, he insisted on being lowered into it with a rope. Everyone demurred because the hold was below the water line and already the decks were awash and to go down was to go to certain death. He simply explained that he must be where his men were. The deck level was already caving in and the hold was three parts full of water so that, when he knelt to pray, the water reached his shoulders. Within a few minutes the ship plunged and sank and Mr Pugh was never seen again. He had every opportunity of saving his own life but, without regard to his own safety and in the best tradition of the Service and of a Christian Minister, he gave up his life for others.


    Additional Information:

    Pugh was the only Chaplain during WW2 awarded the GC.

    Pugh served as a medical orderly during WW1 with the South African RAMC.

    Between the wars he became a minister.

    On the outbreak of war Pugh volunteered as a Padre.

    It is also reported Pugh gave his life jacket to another before being lowered into the hull.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    RAF Memorial Runnymede
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    William Ewart Hiscock

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant (A/Lieutenant-Commander)

    Unit/Occupation: H.M.S. St Angelo, Royal Navy (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: September 1941

    The citation in the London Gazette of 16th June 1942, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Hiscock’s George Cross:

    In September 1941 at 55 years old Hiscock was given the task of dealing with a new weapon, the Italian torpedo mine. He found the mine in 15 feet of water and had to recover it before he could make it safe and then examine this new weapon.

    Hiscock and a colleague eventually made the mine safe but not before they heard the clockwork mechanism start.

    Sadly Hiscock never knew he earned a GC that day as he was killed five months later before the George Cross was Gazetted.



    Additional Information:

    Also awarded the DSC.

    Hiscock joined the Royal Navy in 1900 aged 14.

    He retired in the 1930’s but was recalled to service after war broke out.

    He was posted to Malta where he won his GC.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Capuccini Naval Cemetery, Malta
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Karl Mander Gravell

    Title/Rank: Leading Aircraftman

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Canadian Air Force

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Canadian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 10th November 1941, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    The citation in the London Gazette of 11th June 1942, gives the following particulars:

    In November, 1941, a training aircraft crashed and immediately burst into flames.

    Leading Aircraftman Gravell, who was under training as a wireless air gunner, managed to extricate himself from the wreckage and get clear. In spite of the intense shock caused by the loss of one eye and severe burns, suffered at the time of the crash, Leading Aircraftman Gravell's first and only thought was for the welfare of his pilot. The pilot was still in the aircraft and Gravell ignoring his own serious injuries and the fact that his clothes were ablaze attempted to get back to the flaming wreckage to pull him clear. He had barely reached the aircraft when he was dragged away and rolled on the ground to extinguish the flames which had, by this time, completely enveloped his clothing.

    Leading Aircraftman Gravell subsequently died from his burns. Had he not considered his pilot before his own safety and had he immediately proceeded to extinguish the flames on his own clothing, he would probably not have lost his life.


    Additional Information:

    Gravell was born in Sweden.

    Gravell joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on 15th March 1941.

    After basic training he was posted to No. 2 Wireless School in Calgary, Alberta.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    George Herbert Goodman

    Title/Rank: Temporary Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: HMS Vernon, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Bomb Disposal)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 15th January 1942

    The citation in the London Gazette of 15th September 1942, gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of Goodman’s George Cross:

    Goodman was initially considered for a GC for working on and stripping the very first ‘Sammy Mine’ on Christmas 1941 in the Mediterranean.

    However on the 15th January 1942 Goodman had the daunting task of dealing with only the second example of a Italian self-destruct surface torpedo to come into Allied hands. Goodman knew the first one exploded whilst another disposal team was attempting to make it safe they were all killed. He succeeded in rendering the three detonating pistols safe, parting the strikers from their primers and detonators and eventually stripped the weapon completely revealing all its secrets.

    All the while Goodman was assisted by PO William B Filer RN and painter Archibald John Russell RN. Both men received George Medals for their part.

    Tragically Goodman died near Rotterdam soon after the war ended in Europe.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a MBE.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    The Island of Malta

    Title/Rank: Maltese Population

    Unit/Occupation: N/A

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Maltese

    Date and Place of GC Action:June 1940 to November 1942

    The citation in the London Gazette of (No Known Date), gives the following particulars:

    No citation found.

    Circumstances of the island of Malta’s George Cross:

    Malta named the ‘Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier’ by Winston Churchill was of utmost importance to the Allies during WW2. British air and sea forces used the island to attack Axis ships transporting vital supplies and reinforcements from Europe to North Africa. Malta was also used later as a stepping stone for the invasion of Sicily and Italy.

    Malta was one of the most bombed areas during the war. The German and Italian Royal Air Forces flew over 3,000 bombing raids over a period of two years dropping over 6,000 tons of bombs. Legend has it that there were just three old Gloster Gladiators aircraft, nicknamed 'Faith', 'Hope' and 'Charity' by the islanders defending them until Hurricanes and Spitfires could be flown on to the island.

    Much of Malta was destroyed particularly the ports and the industrial areas and civilians were moved into the centre of the island. Shortages were extreme and the island was near starvation.

    On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded Malta the George Cross, the highest civilian award for gallantry in the Commonwealth: "to honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history".

    Although the raids became less frequent after Malta was awarded the George Cross it was not until the end of 1942 when adequate supplies were being delivered to the island.



    Additional Information:

    Thirty-five operations were mounted between 1940 and 1942 to deliver supplies and reinforcements to the island.

    RAF fighter pilot George Beurling claimed 27 kills while defending Malta.

    The Cross and the King's message can be found today on display in the War Museum in Valletta.

    Some people have said Malta was only given the George Cross to encourage her not to surrender as Singapore had done earlier in 1942.

    The George Cross was incorporated onto the flag shortly after the island was awarded the decoration.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Dennis Arthur Copperwheat

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: HMS Penelope, Royal Navy

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 22nd March 1942, Grand Harbour, Valetta, Malta

    The citation in the London Gazette of 17th November 1942, gives the following particulars:

    For great bravery at Malta. During heavy air attacks on Valletta, Lieutenant Copperwheat was sent in charge of a party of men from H.M.S. Penelope to scuttle a Merchantman, laden with ammunition, which was burning in the harbour. Owing to the fires, it was impossible to place scuttling charges in the holds, and they had to be slung over the side of the ship. As they worked, ammunition was exploding all round them from burning stowage’s on deck. The ship lay 40 yards from the shore, to which the electric cables for firing the scuttling charges could only just reach. Lieutenant Copperwheat sent his working party to shelter, and stayed himself to fire the charges from a position where he was exposed to the full blast of the explosion, which lifted him bodily. But for his brave action the ship must have blown up, and grave damage would have been done to the harbour.

    Moreover, much of the ammunition was saved and some very heavy bombs, part of the cargo, were soon afterwards dropped on Italy.


    Additional Information:

    This was the first individual GC of 1942.

    Later promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Albert Matthew Osborne

    Title/Rank: Leading Aircraftman

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Irish

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1st April 1942, Malta

    The citation in the London Gazette of 10th July 1942, gives the following particulars:

    During a period of fierce enemy air attacks on Malta, Leading Aircraftman Osborne has displayed unsurpassed courage and devotion to duty. In circumstances of the greatest danger he was always first at hand to deal with emergencies, whether in fire fighting operations or in rescue work. The following are examples of his promptitude and gallantry:

    Rendered safe the torpedo of a burning torpedo aircraft, working 3 feet from the main petrol tank for ten minutes.

    Extinguished a burning aircraft during a heavy bombing attack.

    Attempted to save a burning aircraft and subsequently removed torpedoes from the vicinity.

    Assisted in saving the pilot of a burning aircraft and extinguishing the fire.

    Saved an aircraft from destruction by fire.

    Attempted for six hours to extricate airmen from a bombed shelter, despite continued heavy bombing and danger from falling stone-work.

    Fought fires in two aircraft his efforts resulting in the saving of one.

    Freed the parachute of a burning flare caught in an aircraft, enabling the pilot to taxi clear.

    Checked the fire in a burning aircraft, the greater part of which was undamaged.

    The last three incidents occurred on the same day. Leading Aircraftman Osborne was unfortunately killed on 2nd April, 1942.

    During an intense, air attack he led a party to extinguish the flames of a burning aircraft. A petrol tank exploded and he was injured and affected by the fumes. On recovery he returned to fight the fire and was killed by the explosion of an air vessel while attempting to pour water over torpedoes which were in danger of exploding.

    This airman's fearless courage and great leadership on all occasions have been beyond praise. The Air Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Mediterranean, has stated that he was "One of the bravest airmen it has been my privilege to meet ".



    Additional Information:

    Osborne enlisted into the RAF in July 1940.

    Osborne is buried at the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Cappucini Naval Cemetery, Malta
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    John Stuart Mould

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve, attached Royal Navy

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Australian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 14th November 1941 - 30th June 1942, U.K Mine disposal

    The citation in the London Gazette of 30th October 1942, gives the following particulars:

    No Citation listed.

    Circumstances of Mould’s George Cross:

    From March 1941, Mould was always in danger. The period cited in his award fell between 14 November 1941 and 30 June 1942. The citation specifically referred to the successful striping of the first magnetic-acoustic mine fitted with devices that had resulted in the tragic death of several other officers engaged in rendering safe enemy mines.



    Additional Information:

    Born in Gosforth, Newcastle-upon Tyne.

    Mould migrated with his parents to Australia when he was two years old.

    Mould enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy on 14th September 1940.

    Also awarded a George Medal.

    Later promoted to Lieutenant Commander
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Dudley William Mason

    Title/Rank: Captain

    Unit/Occupation: Master SS Ohio, Merchant Navy

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 11th August 1942 en route to Malta

    The citation in the London Gazette of 8th September 1942, gives the following particulars:

    During the passage to Malta of an important convoy Captain Mason's ship suffered most violent onslaught. She was a focus of attack throughout and was torpedoed early one night. Although gravely damaged, her engines were kept going and the Master made a magnificent passage by hand-steering and without a compass. The ship's gunners helped to bring down one of the attacking aircraft. The vessel was hit again before morning, but though she did not sink, her engine room was wrecked. She was then towed. The unwieldy condition of the vessel and persistent enemy attacks made progress slow, and it was uncertain whether she would remain afloat. All next day progress somehow continued and the ship reached Malta after a further night at sea.

    The violence of the enemy could not deter the Master from his purpose. Throughout he showed skill and courage of the highest order and it was due to his determination that, in spite of the most persistent enemy opposition, the vessel, with her valuable cargo, eventually reached Malta and was safely berthed.


    Additional Information:

    Clarke went to sea as an Apprentice at 17 in June 1920.

    This was the second Merchant Navy GC in 72 hours.

    The aircraft shot down was A Ju-87 which crashed onto her deck.

    The order to abandon ship was given twice.

    After reaching Malta and pumping her cargo off she finally sank.

    Mason would only accept his GC on behalf of his crew.

    Other medals awarded were a DSO, five DSC’s and seven DSM’s.
     

Share This Page