All The George Crosses of World War Two

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

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Simmon Latutin

    Title/Rank: Captain

    Unit/Occupation: The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's), seconded to the Somalia Gendarmerie

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 29th December 1944, Mogadishu, Somaliland

    The citation in the London Gazette of 10th September 1946, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Latutin’s George Cross:

    On 29th December 1944 Captain Latutin was working with the Gendarmerie in Mogadishu when a fire broke out in a training school/ammunition store. The heart of the fire was situated where the rockets were stored. Latutin on the premises before the fire broke out was with another officer, the Company Sergeant Major and a boy. They were getting explosives when the stored rockets started firing.

    Latutin’s fellow officer became badly burned and was almost unconscious but Latutin still managed to drag him free from the building to safety. Hearing the cries for help Latutin went back into the inferno now on fire himself and saved the Company Sergeant Major. Sadly the boy was not saved. Although Latutin promptly received medical attention for his burns they were too severe and he died the following day on 30th December 1944.


    Additional Information:

    Latutin was commissioned into The Somerset Light Infantry in 1942.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Nairobi War Cemetery
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Violette Reine Elizabeth Szabo

    Title/Rank: Ensign

    Unit/Occupation: Women's Transport Service (FANY), attd. Special Operations Executive Formerly of the A.T.S

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: France 1944

    The citation in the London Gazette of 29th October 1946, gives the following particulars:

    Madame Szabo volunteered to undertake a particularly dangerous mission in France. She was parachuted into France in April, 1944, and undertook the task with enthusiasm. In her execution of the delicate researches entailed she showed great presence of mind and astuteness. She was twice arrested by the German security authorities but each time managed to get away. Eventually, however, with other members of her group, she was surrounded by the Gestapo in a house in the south west of France. Resistance appeared hopeless but Madame Szabo, seizing a Sten-gun and as much ammunition as she could carry, barricaded herself in part of the house and, exchanging shot for shot with the enemy, killed or wounded several of them. By constant movement, she avoided being cornered and fought until she dropped exhausted. She was arrested and had to undergo solitary confinement. She was then continuously and atrociously tortured but never by word or deed gave away any of her acquaintances or told the enemy anything of any value. She was ultimately executed. Madame Szabo gave a magnificent example of courage and steadfastness.


    Additional Information:

    Born in Brixton, London.

    Also awarded a MBE and Croix De Guerre.

    The death of her husband at El-Alamein encouraged her to join the SOE.

    Violette Szabo was executed at the Ravensbrück concentration camp on an unknown day during the months of January/February 1945 at the age of 23.

    Remembered in Lambeth Town Hall.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


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    Brookwood Memorial
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Kenneth Smith

    Title/Rank: Signaller

    Unit/Occupation: Long Range Desert Group Signal Section, Royal Corps of Signals

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 10th January 1945, Island of Lst, Adriatic Sea

    The citation in the London Gazette of 19th October 1945, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Smith’s George Cross:

    The Royal Corps of Signals on George Cross during WW2 was the first of 1945. Signalman Smith was on a remote island in the Adriatic billeted with members of his LRDG detachment and some partisans.

    The unit expected and endured sabotage almost every day so the 10th January 1945 seemed no different from any other. After hearing some gunfire Smith went into the wireless room within the house and discovered a time bomb on the table. Fully aware that there were partisans and even some children in the house Smith quickly checked it to discover it was already ticking, on impulse Smith picked it up and started to run clear of the building with the device. Just as he got clear but before he had time to get clear himself the device exploded killing him instantly.



    Additional Information:

    Smith enlisted into The Royal Signals in January 1939.

    Smith is now buried in the Belgrade War Cemetery.

    Smith’s medals were presented to his mother who in turn passed them on to her other two son’s.

    The son who received the GC sold it on shortly after the war.

    The youngest son who got his brothers campaign medals only became aware of the GC when the islanders decided to erect a memorial for Smith.

    In 1988 the family visited the island meeting many of Smith’s friends and even a partisan member who was in the house that night.

    The GC was tracked down at a Medal and Coin dealers and was then offered for auction.

    The Royal Signals Museum purchased the medal and it was presented to the family before going on display at the Corps Museum in Blandford, Dorset.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Belgrade War Cemetery
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Eric George Bailey

    Title/Rank: Sergeant

    Unit/Occupation: New South Wales Police Force

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Australian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 12th January 1945, Adelaide Street, Blayney, N.S.W., Australia.

    The citation in the London Gazette of 29th October 1946, gives the following particulars:

    At about 8.30 p.m. on the 12th January, 1945, Sergeant Bailey (then a Constable 1st Class), whilst on duty in Adelaide Street, Blayney, had occasion to speak to a man whose movements were suspicious. During the questioning the man pulled a revolver from his pocket and fired a shot which struck Bailey in the stomach. The Constable immediately closed with his assailant who fired two more shots. Although fast succumbing to his injuries and suffering from the effects of shock and haemorrhage, Bailey continued the struggle with the offender and held him on the ground until assistance arrived. Shortly afterwards he died. The fortitude and courage manifested by this Police Officer, in spite of the mortal injuries sustained by him at the outset of the encounter, constitute bravery and devotion to duty of the highest order.


    Additional Information:

    Bailey joined the NSW Police on 16th March 1927 attached to No. 4 Station at Sydney.

    Bailey helped rescue of survivors from the fishing trawler, Dureenbee, which had been attacked by a Japanese submarine on 3 August 1942 and was highly commended for his actions.

    Bailey had been stationed at Blayney for just eight days before he was killed in his GC action.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Stanley James Woodbridge

    Title/Rank: Flight Sergeant

    Unit/Occupation: Wireless Operator, 159 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 7th February 1945, POW Camp, Burma

    The citation in the London Gazette of 28th September 1948, gives the following particulars:

    Flight Sergeant Woodbridge was a wireless operator in the crew of a Liberator aircraft which crashed in the jungle in Burma whilst engaged in an operation against the Japanese on 3ist January, 1945. Together with five other members of the crew he was captured by the Japanese All six were subjected to torture at the hands of their captors in an endeavour to obtain information which would have been of use to the Japanese Intelligence Service. Eventually the four non-commissioned officers were separated and conveyed by motor transport to a forest, where they were put to death by beheading.

    Three officers and three non-commissioned officers of the Imperial Japanese Army were subsequently brought to trial by a Military Court charged with the torture and murder of the four airmen, they were all found .guilty Three were hanged and three sentenced to terms of rigorous imprisonment. At the trial it was revealed that the Japanese concentrated their efforts on Flight Sergeant Woodbridge, the wireless operator, in an endeavour to obtain technical information regarding wireless equipment, secret codes, wavelengths, etc. A Japanese technical officer was detailed to make the interrogation and the services of two interpreters were engaged, but, in spite of repeated torture, including kicking, beating with belts and with a sword, Flight Sergeant Woodbridge steadfastly refused to reveal any information whatever. The final interrogation took place actually at the place of execution, when it was obvious to the unfortunate prisoner that he was to be put to death; even so he maintained his courageous attitude to the end, merely remarking that if the Japanese were going to kill him they should do it quickly. After all efforts to make him speak, including further torture, were found to be fruitless this gallant non-commissioned officer was beheaded on 7th February, 1945.

    Flight Sergeant Woodbridge behaved throughout with supreme courage. His fortitude, loyalty to his country and his complete disregard for his own safety, even unto death, constitute one of the highest examples of valour in the annals of the Royal Air Force.


    Additional Information:

    The two officers from the crew were taken to Rangoon Jail and found alive when Rangoon was liberated.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


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    Rangoon War Cemetery, Myanmar
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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    Abdul Rahman

    Title/Rank: Havildar

    Unit/Occupation: 3rd Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment, Indian Army

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Indian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 22nd February 1945, Kletek, Java

    The citation in the London Gazette of 10th September 1946, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Rahman’s George Cross:

    On 22nd February 1945 an Indian Army Jeep was driving along a road in Kletek carrying six soldiers when it struck a mine, careered off the road and caught fire. The Jeep had overturned in a drainage ditch running parallel to the road and trapped three of the six men under the vehicle.

    Havildar Rahman rushed to their assistance and attempted to free the trapped men. At this stage ammunition that was being carried on the Jeep started to cook off. Ignoring the danger to himself, Rahman managed to drag two of the three men clear of the wreck. As he was attempting the rescue of the third man the Jeep’s fuel tank exploded in a ball of flame engulfing Rahman. Despite being seriously burned Rahman managed to tell the occupants of an ambulance to carry on with the rescue just before he died.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a Military Medal.

    Rahman’s surname is sometimes spelled Rehman.

    Born in modern day Pakistan.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Singapore Memorial
    Kranji War Cemetery
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    David Russell

    Title/Rank: Lance Corporal

    Unit/Occupation: 22nd (Motor) Battalion, New Zealand Infantry, 2nd NZEF

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: New Zealander

    Date and Place of GC Action: 22nd - 28th February 1945, Ponte di Piave, Italy

    The citation in the London Gazette of (Date unknown), gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Russell’s George Cross:

    Lance Corporal Russell was captured in 1942 and was in a camp in Italy. In 1943 he managed to escape and by wearing civilian clothing he merged into the local Italian community with the help of some locals. Russell helped and kept in contact with other prisoners that had managed to escape and this went on for around two years until the early part of 1945. Russell was actually living in a peasant’s house and he must have known the war was very close to an end and his hopes of surviving must have been high.

    In February 1945 a combined German and Italian patrol arrived at the house and arrested both men, Russell for being a PoW and the peasant for helping Russell. Russell was severely beaten in an attempt to get him to confess that he knew the peasant but Russell eventually convinced them he did not know him and surprisingly they let the peasant go.

    The Germans turned their questioning and interrogation towards him confessing he knew other escaped PoW’s and partisans and their whereabouts. Part of their technique involved him being chained to a wall and beaten repeatedly. His captives told him he had three days to divulge the information or he would be executed. Russell refused to comply and was shot on 28th February 1945.


    Additional Information:

    Russell joined the NZ Army in 1939.

    Russell was captured Reweisat Ridge in Egypt in 1942.

    Russell’s medals are on display in QEII Army Memorial Museum, New Zealand.

    They were amongst a dozen stolen in 2007 and recovered in 2008.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Udine War Cemetery
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Albert Edward Heming

    Title/Rank: Section Leader

    Unit/Occupation: Civil Defence Rescue Service, Bermondsey, London

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 2nd March 1945, Parkers Row, Bermondsey, London

    The citation in the London Gazette of 17th July 1945, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Russell’s George Cross:

    On 2nd March 1945 a Roman Catholic Church and some houses were bombed during a air raid over London. Several people were trapped in the resulting melee of bricks and stonework. Several people were reported to be trapped amongst the rubble and in a particular house four walls had pan-caked sandwiching the buildings contents between the walls.

    When Albert Heming and his team arrived at the scene they were told that some women and several priests were not accounted for and it was believed they were under the rubble. From experience the rescue team doubted if anyone could still be alive and then someone shouted they could hear a voice coming from the crypt. Heming and his team burrowed towards the voice until they reached the man.

    The man was surrounded by debris and furniture some of which was load bearing, supporting the collapsed walls. Working head first, Heming slowly and carefully chiselled away at the beams and furniture until he was almost free. On closer inspection he could see the man was pinned by a main beam that was fixed to the floor. Any movement of the beam would result in a further collapse causing death to them both.

    Despite what appeared to be a hopeless task Heming continued the painstakingly slow task of clear the debris piece by piece, all this whilst still being upside down. To add to the danger coal gas was now escaping from a damaged pipe nearby. After a further three hours Heming managed to free the man.

    To the majority of those at the scene from the start it seemed impossible to rescue the man who was a Roman Catholic Priest but Heming refused to give up on him. Although the Priest was badly hurt he survived and made a full recovering due in part to the actions of Heming.


    Additional Information:

    Heming was born in Ireland.
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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    Islam-ud-Din

    Title/Rank: Lance Naik

    Unit/Occupation: 6th Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment, Indian Army

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Indian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 12th April 1945, Pyawbwe, Central Burma

    The citation in the London Gazette of 5th October 1945, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Islam-ud-Din’s George Cross:

    Little seems to be know regarding the circumstance of Lance Naik Islam-ud-Din’s George Cross. He was from the same regiment as Rahman but a different battalion.

    Islam-ud-Dim was serving in the central area of Burma during the early months of 1945 and before he was awarded the George Cross. His bravery had already been noted when fighting the Japanese on the 24th March 1945 although there appears to be no details about this incident other than it is thought to have been near Khanda, north of Meiktila.

    On 12th April 1945 Islam-ud-Din was with his regiment at Pyawbwe when, again the circumstances are somewhat unclear, a live grenade threatened to cause many casualties. Without hesitation Islam-du-Dim smothered the grenade with his body thus containing the explosion and saving his comrades from harm but sadly the grenade took Islam-du-Din’s life.



    Additional Information:

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

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    Rangoon Memorial
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    George Gosse

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve, attached to HMS Vernon, Royal Naval base, Portsmouth (Mine Clearance Specialist)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Australian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 8th - 18th May 1945, Ubersee Hafen, Bremen, Germany

    The citation in the London Gazette of 30th April 1946, gives the following particulars:

    On the 8th May, 1945, divers searching Ubersee Hafen reported the presence of a mine which from their description appeared to be an entirely new type. Lieutenant Gosse immediately dived and verified the fact that it was a GD pressure type which was commonly known as "Oyster." As it was very necessary that this type of mine should be recovered intact it was decided to attempt to render safe the mine underwater and on the following day May 8th Lieutenant Gosse dived on it again. Using improvised tools he eventually succeeded in removing the primer which was followed by a loud metallic crash. The mine was eventually lifted on the quayside when it was found that the detonator had fired immediately .the primer had been removed. During the subsequent ten days Lieutenant Gosse rendered safe two similar types of mines which were lying in close proximity to shipping and in each instance the detonator fired before the mine reached the surface.

    This form of operation called for exceptionally high standard of personal courage and also a high degree of skill. The conditions were always arduous and were combined with the presence of known mines in the docks and with all forms of underwater obstruction human corpses which together with lack of visibility produced a set of conditions which would deter the boldest.

    This officer displayed courage and zeal far in excess of the usual course of duty and contributed greatly to the success of a most difficult and important operation.


    Additional Information:

    Gosse enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy in Port Adelaide on 1st January 1926 as a 13 year-old boy seaman.

    Later promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hubert Dinwoodie

    Title/Rank: Squadron Leader

    Unit/Occupation: 5140 Bomb Disposal Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 20th August 1945, Lubeck, Germany

    The citation in the London Gazette of 4th February 1947, gives the following particulars:

    On the 20th August, 1946, German high explosive aircraft bombs were being loaded into vessels at Lubeck for disposal at sea, and two train loads of bombs, weighing approximately 1,100 tons, were drawn into the quay side. Loading into barges was in progress, when a 50 kilogram bomb, fitted with a "tel" fuse, was accidentally dropped a distance of about four feet to the German loading party. The bomb, which was one of a batch of twelve similar bombs being handled at the time, exploded, killing 6 persons and injuring twelve. There was grave danger that one or more of the eleven bombs immediately involved would also detonate and that bombs of a similar construction would function and thus blow up the trains. As a result grave apprehension was felt for the safety of the port. There was nothing to guide a bomb disposal party as to the cause of the detonation of what should have been a harmless bomb. Squadron Leader Dinwoodie was sent at once to Lubeck, to report on the situation and, if possible, to clear the dangerous missiles. He found, on starting his hazardous work that the eleven bombs were of an experimental type, fitted with a special shock-sensitive, electrically-operated fuse. Corporal Garred was detailed to assist Squadron Leader Dinwoodie to deal -with these bombs and to take action to safeguard the munitions trains. Despite the very considerable risk involved, Squadron Leader Dinwoodie and Corporal Garred proceeded to defuse one of the bombs in an attempt to discover the cause of the explosion. They found that the accident was due to defective German workmanship or design and that, in several of the bombs, the fusing device had already moved, rendering the bombs dangerous. All the work on the shock-sensitive, electrically-operated fuses, already damaged' in the previous explosion, took place in an atmosphere of tension caused by lack of knowledge about the cause of the accident and uncertainty as to whether the action of defusing the bombs would not, in itself, cause a detonation. Also, in view of the length of time these 'bombs had been in storage, the state of the main filling was not above suspicion and sensitive exudation products might have formed around the main tube. Had this been the case, the removal of the tube could, by itself, have caused detonation. With extreme care. Squadron Leader Dinwoodie, assisted by Corporal Garred, rendered the eleven bombs safe. From the information obtained by 'them, it was possible to minimise the danger and clear the trains. The docks at Lubeck are situated in the centre of the town, therefore the explosion of the contents of the trains would inevitably have wrecked the whole area and caused many casualties. Throughout the operation, Squadron Leader Dinwoodie displayed cold blooded heroism and initiative in extremely critical circumstances. He was ably assisted by Corporal Garred who showed courage and devotion to duty of a very high order. Although both were aware that they were in great personal danger, they completed a task which probably averted a serious disaster to the port of Lubeck. Leading Aircraftman Hatton was detailed to assist Squadron Leader Dinwoodie as motor transport driver during the operation. From the night of 20th August, 1946, until the clearance of the bombs was effected, he performed his duties efficiently and carefully with the full knowledge that he was working by the side of munitions trains in a hazardous condition and adjacent to eleven bombs which were shock-sensitive. When it became necessary to move a damaged rail wagon, still loaded with the remainder of the bombs, Leading Aircraftman Hatton towed it very carefully along the dock side, until it was manoeuvred into the desired position. During the whole of the operation, he was a member of the Bomb Disposal Party, operating within the danger area. Whenever assistance was required to move the bombs, he was always at hand. In the final operation, Leading Aircraftman Hatton, alone, assisted his Bomb Disposal Officer (Squadron Leader Dinwoodie) to transport the bombs to the demolition site and, although a Driver M.T., did his share of the work involved in blowing them up. During the four days required to complete the work, he and his vehicle were always in complete readiness, the latter loaded with the appropriate stores and in perfect mechanical condition. As the successful clearance of these highly dangerous munitions depended upon very exact movements and perfectly timed teamwork, this airman by his efficiency, courage and devotion to duty, contributed greatly to the success of the operation. During the past year, Squadron Leader Dinwoodie and Corporal Garred have frequently shown outstanding gallantry in handling and defusing dangerous bombs. Squadron Leader Dinwoodie has been responsible for clearing and organising the demolition of very large dumps of German bombs, many of which were in a very unsafe condition.


    Additional Information:

    Finally promoted to the rank of Wing Commander.

    Also awarded an OBE and MC.

    Corporal Garred was awarded the GM and LAC Hatton the BEM.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Forest Frederick Edward Yeo-Thomas

    Title/Rank: Acting Wing Commander

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: France and Germany 1945

    The citation in the London Gazette of 15th February 1946, gives the following particulars:

    This officer was parachuted into France on the 25th February, 1943. He showed much courage and initiative during his mission, particularly when he enabled a French officer who was being followed by a Gestapo agent in Paris to reach safety and resume clandestine work in another area. He also took charge of a U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had been shot down and, speaking no French, was in danger of capture. This officer returned to England on the 15th April, 1943, in the aircraft which picked up Wing Commander lYeo-Thomas.

    Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas undertook a second mission on the I7th September, 1943. Soon after his arrival in France many patriots were arrested. Undeterred, he continued his enquiries and obtained information which enabled the desperate situation to be rectified. On six occasions he narrowly escaped arrest. He returned to England on the 15th November, 1943, bringing British intelligence archives which he had secured from a house watched by the Gestapo.

    This officer was again parachuted into France in February, 1944. Despite every security precaution he was betrayed to the Gestapo in Paris on the 21st March. While being taken by car to Headquarters he was badly beaten up. He then underwent 4 days continuous interrogation, interspersed with beatings and torture, including immersions, head downwards, in ice-cold water, with legs and arms chained. Interrogations later continued for 2 months and Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was offered his freedom in return for information concerning the Head of a Resistance Secretariat. Owing to his wrist being cut by chains, he contracted blood-poisoning and nearly lost his left arm. He made two daring but unsuccessful attempts to escape. He was then confined in solitude in Fresnes prison for 4 months, including 3 weeks in a darkened cell with very little food. Throughout these months of almost continuous torture, he steadfastly refused to disclose any information.

    On the 17th July, Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was sent with a party to Compiegne prison, from which he twice attempted to escape. He and 36 others were then transferred to Buchenwald. On the way, they stopped for 3 days at Saarbrucken, where they were beaten and kept in a tiny hut. They arrived at Buchenwald on the 16th August and 16 of them were executed and cremated on the 10th September. Wing Commander Yeo- Thomas had already commenced to organise resistance within the camp and remained undaunted by the prospect of a similar fate. He accepted an opportunity of changing his identity with that of a dead French prisoner, on condition that other officers would also be enabled to do so. In this way, he was instrumental in saving the lives of two officers.

    Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was later transferred to a work kommando for Jews. In attempting to escape he was picked up by a German patrol and, claiming French nationality, was transferred to a camp near Marienburg for French prisoners of war. On the 16th April, 1945, he led a party of 20 in a most gallant attempt to escape in broad daylight. 10 were killed by fire from the guards. Those who reached cover split up into small groups. Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas became separated from his companions after 3 days without food. He continued alone for a week and was recaptured when only 800yards from the American lines. A few days later he escaped with a party of 10 French prisoners of war, whom he led through German patrols to the American lines.

    Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas thus turned his final mission into a success by his determined opposition to the enemy, his strenuous efforts to maintain the morale of his fellow-prisoners and his brilliant escape activities. He endured brutal treatment and torture without flinching and showed the most amazing fortitude and devotion to duty throughout his service abroad, during which he was under the constant threat of death.




    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a MC and Bar, Croix De Guerre, Croix De Combattant Volontaire and Cross of Merit.

    Working with SOE his code name was ‘White Rabbit’.

    Yeo-Thomas was a key witness at the Nuremberg War Trials.

    He was also a surprise defence witness in the war crimes trial of Otto Skorzeny.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Odette Marie Celine Sansom

    Title/Rank: unknown

    Unit/Occupation: Women's Transport Service (FANY)

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: April 1943-May 1945, Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, Germany

    The citation in the London Gazette of 20th August 1946, gives the following particulars:

    Mrs. Sansom was infiltrated into enemy occupied France and worked with great courage and distinction until April, 1943, when she was arrested with her Commanding Officer. Between Marseilles and Paris on the way to the prison at Fresnes, she succeeded in speaking to her Commanding Officer and for mutual protection they agreed to maintain that they were married. She adhered to this story and even succeeded in convincing her captors in spite of considerable contrary evidence and through at least fourteen interrogations. She also drew Gestapo attention from her Commanding Officer on to herself saying that he had only come to France on her insistence. She took full responsibility and agreed that it should be herself and not her Commanding Officer who should be shot. By this action she caused the Gestapo to cease paying attention to her Commanding Officer after only two interrogations. In addition the Gestapo were most determined to discover the whereabouts of a wireless operator and of another British officer whose lives were of the greatest value to the Resistance Organisation. Mrs. Sansom was the only person who knew of their whereabouts. The Gestapo tortured her most brutally to try to make her give away this information. They seared her back with a red hot iron and, when, that failed, they pulled out all her toe-nails. Mrs. Sansom, however, continually refused to speak and by her bravery and determination, she not only saved the lives of the two officers but also enabled them to carry on their most valuable work.

    During the period of over two years in which she was in enemy hands, she displayed courage, endurance and self-sacrifice of the highest possible order.


    Additional Information:

    Also awarded a MBE and Ordre National De La Legion D’Honneur.

    Sansom was a key witness at the Nuremberg War Trials.

    She later married her Commanding Officer from the war, Peter Churchill-nephew of Sir Winston Churchill.

    In later life Odette's house was burgled and her GC was stolen but after an appeal it was returned with a note saying 'You, madam, appear to be a dear old lady. I am not all that bad- it's just circumstances. Your little dog really loves me. I gave him a nice pat and left him a piece of meat. Sincerely yours, A Bad Egg’.
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Patrick Albert O’Leary / Albert Marie Edmond Guerisse

    Title/Rank: Lieutenant-Commander

    Unit/Occupation: Royal Navy and SOE

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Belgian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1941 to 1945 France and Germany

    The citation in the London Gazette of (Unknown date), gives the following particulars:

    No Citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of O’Leary’s George Cross:

    O’Leary was called Guerisse until he escaped from Europe to Britain via Dunkirk in 1940. At the time of his escape he was a Doctor with the rank of Captain in the Belgian Army.

    By the time 1941 arrived he was in the Royal Navy and working with SOE. On 25th April 1941 whilst landing agents on the south coast of France his boat capsized and he had to swim ashore only to be found by the Vichy security services. When they questioned him Guérisse claimed he was a Canadian airman named Pat O'Leary. The 'Canadian' identity attempted to explain his not-quite British accent in English, and his not-quite French accent in French, without compromising his relatives in occupied Belgium. The name was that of a Canadian friend of his from before the war.

    Guérisse was taken to a Fort near Nimes where a SOE agent Garrow got him released and they went to Marseilles which started his involvement in escape routes. In October of the same year Garrow was captured and Guérisse took over control of the escape line that was up and running. Guérisse then managed to help smuggle a German uniform to Garrow in Mauzac concentration camp which he used to escape in December 1941. Garrow returned to Britain and Guérisse continued to run the escape line which carried some 600 escapee’s back to Britain via Spain.

    In January 1943 the escape line was infiltrated and Guérisse was arrested in Toulouse around March of that year. Guérisse told nothing to the Gestapo despite undergoing horrendous torture at their hands.

    In the summer of 1944 he was at Natzweiler-Strutof concentration camp in Alsace when he witnessed the arrival of four female SOE agents who were promptly executed and their bodies were disposed of in the crematorium. Guérisse testified at a war crimes tribunal after the war as to their fate.

    Towards the end of the war having been in Mauthausen, Natzweiler and Neubremm concentration camps he ended the war in Dachau. In this camp he was tortured and sentenced to death but the SS Guards surrendered before the Allies reached the camp and he took charge. When the Allies arrived and liberated the camp Guérisse refused to leave until the Allies agreed to take care of the inmates.

    Before his capture Guérisse personally saved some 250 Allied officers and men and his network help somewhere in the region of 600 to escape. He was honoured by Belgium, France, Britain, Poland and the United States.



    Additional Information:

    O’Leary’s real name was Major-General Albert-Marie Edmond Guérisse, GC, KBE, DSO.

    Also awarded the Croix de Guerre and Grootofficer in de Orde Van Leopold.

    In total General Guérisse received 35 decorations, from a variety of nations.

    After the War, Guérisse resumed his real name and rejoined the Belgian Army.

    Guerisse served in Korea and retired the head of the Belgian Army’s medical service in 1970.
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Frederick Davies

    Title/Rank: Fireman

    Unit/Occupation: National Fire Service

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: British

    Date and Place of GC Action: 23rd August 1945, Harlesdon, London

    The citation in the London Gazette of 5th February 1946, gives the following particulars:

    Premises which consisted of a shop and house of five rooms caught fire. The N.F.S. was informed that two children were in the front room on the second floor. The escape was immediately slipped and pitched to the middle window of this floor. Before it was in position Davies ran up the escape.

    At this stage flames were pouring from the windows on the second floor and licking up the front of the building. Upon Davies reaching the window he at once tried to enter but bursts of flame momentarily halted him. Undaunted, however, he climbed into the window with his back to the flames and entered the room. He was seen to endeavour to remove his tunic presumably to wrap it around and protect the children but his hands were now too badly burned for him to do so. During this time Davies was moving around the blazing room in an endeavour to locate the children, and after a short period he returned with a child in his arms that he handed out of the window. He then turned back into the room to find the other child.

    He was next seen to fling himself out of the window on to the escape, the whole of his clothing being alight. He was helped to the ground, the flames on his clothes were extinguished and he was conveyed to hospital suffering from severe burns. Later he died from his injuries.

    The gallantry and outstanding devotion to duty displayed by Fireman Davies was of the highest order. He knew the danger he was facing, but with complete disregard of his own safety he made a most heroic attempt to rescue the two children. In so doing, he lost his life. The child he brought out also died so his death was in vain.


    Additional Information:

    Born in Shepherds Bush, London.

    Died in Park Royal Hospital, London.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Mahmood Khan Durrani

    Title/Rank: Captain

    Unit/Occupation: 1st Bahawalpur Infantry, Indian State Forces

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Indian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 1944, PoW camp, Malaya

    The citation in the London Gazette of 23rd May 1946, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Durrani’s George Cross:

    When Malaya was being overrun by the Japanese in 1942 Captain Durrani was cut off with some of his unit. They managed to evade capture for three months until they were betrayed to the Japanese sponsored Indian Nationalist Army. After being sent to a PoW camp Durrani refused to join the Nationalist Army despite their best efforts to persuade him otherwise. Whilst in captivity he also did all he could to intercept plans to infiltrate Nationalists into India itself.

    Durrani achieved his objectives for a while until the enemy realised what he was doing and inflicted horrendous torture on him to get him to say who his helpers were. The Japanese were unable to get him to talk so he was transferred to the Indian Nationalist Army. Imprisoned by his own countrymen, he was subjected to even more torture and he was eventually condemned to death.
    However with the enemy forces crumbling all over the Far East as the end drew near Durrani was finally liberated along with his fellow prisoners and survived the war.


    Additional Information:

    Born 1st July 1914, Multan City, Western Punjab.

    He was the only prisoner of war taken by the Japanese to both be awarded the George Cross and survive his captivity.

    After the partition of India he resumed his military career in the Pakistan Army, retiring in 1971.

    Later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel within the Pakistani Army.

    He wrote an autobiography "The Sixth Column" which was published in Great Britain in 1955.
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Kirpa Ram

    Title/Rank: Naik

    Unit/Occupation: 8th Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles, Indian Army

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Indian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 12th September 1945, Thondebhavi, India

    The citation in the London Gazette of 15th March 1946, gives the following particulars:

    No citation listed or found.

    Circumstances of Ram’s George Cross:

    The last George Cross of 1945 and by no means the least. The Second World War was over and the world was starting off on the long road to get back to life without war. Sadly this was a posthumous award that involved yet another grenade.

    On 12th September 1945 Kirpa Ram was in charge of a field exercise firing grenades from a discharger. Ram had his men close to him when one of them started firing the grenades. One of the grenades fell short landing near Ram’s section. The grenade would undoubtedly cause multiple casualties. Ram rushed towards the grenade shouting to his men to take cover. Ram picked the grenade up hoping to throw it towards a safe location but the grenade exploded before he threw it killing him instantly. Two other men were slightly wounded but Ram’s actions prevented any loss of life and more serious injuries to his men.

    This was the epitaph of too many men and women during WW2 who gave their lives so that others may live.


    Additional Information:

    Also known as Ram Kirpa.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    Rangoon Memorial
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    If anyone comes across any further information for example detailed citations that I am missing, dates of receiving medals, details of when the medals were earned or any other addition information please feel free to PM me and I will consider adding it to the appropriate post.

    Many Thanks.
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Many many thanks everyone for all the incoming (esp dbf). I thought I had shed loads of junkmail when I saw 40 emails waiting for me this morning !

    All and any info considered whether it is VC or GC related. My email address is my username @hotmail.com

    Cheers chaps and chapettes :)
     
  20. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    Here is a picture of Borden Gray.

    The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, municipal airport has a photo and memorial to Borden Gray in the air terminal.

    One of the interesting things following the renaming of the Air Cadet Squadron after Gray, [and it was a priviledge for me to have taken part in the Drum Head ceremony] the first shoulder patches came back named 155 Borden Grey, GC and not Gray. I will send you a picture of the two patches if you so desire.

    nice piece of work. Well done.

    cheers,
    phil

    Title/Rank: Flying Officer

    Unit/Occupation: 172 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

    Awarded: Date unknown

    Nationality: Canadian

    Date and Place of GC Action: 26th / 27th August 1944, Atlantic Ocean

    The citation in the London Gazette of 13th March 1945, gives the following particulars:

    One night in August, 1944, this officer was the navigator of a Wellington aircraft which was shot down into the sea by a U-boat in the Atlantic. Flying Officer Gray and 3 other members of the crew managed to extricate themselves from the aircraft. Despite a severe wound in the leg, Flying Officer Gray succeeded in inflating his own dinghy and then assisted his captain, who had also been wounded, into it. Shortly afterwards cries were heard from another member of the crew, who had broken his arm, and Flying Officer Gray also helped him into the dinghy Knowing that it could not hold more than 2 persons, Flying Officer Gray, although suffering intense pain, refused to get into the dinghy. Assisted by another member of the crew and by an occupant of the dinghy he held on to its side for some hours. The pain from his leg (it is thought that the lower part had been shot off) was increasing in intensity and he was becoming exhausted. He steadfastly refused however, to endanger his comrades by entering the dinghy. He eventually lost consciousness and died. When it became light, his companions realised that he was dead and they were forced to let his body sink. The survivors were rescued later. Flying Officer Gray displayed magnificent courage and unselfish heroism, thus enabling the lives of his comrades to be saved.

    Additional Information:

    Originally recommended for the Albert Medal.

    The 155 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron is named in his honour.
     

    Attached Files:

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