All The Victoria Crosses of World War Two

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    James Stokes

    Rank: Private

    Unit: 2nd Battalion, The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, British Army

    Awarded: ?

    Nationality: British

    The citation in the London Gazette of 13th April 1945 gives the following details:

    In Holland, on 1st March, 1945, during the attack on Kervenheim, Private Stokes was a member of the leading section of a Platoon. During the advance the Platoon came under intense rifle and medium machine gun fire from a farm building and was pinned down. The Platoon Commander began to reorganise the Platoon when Private Stokes, without waiting for any orders, got up and, firing from the hip, dashed through the enemy fire and was seen to disappear inside the farm building. The enemy fire stopped and Private Stokes reappeared with twelve prisoners. During this operation he was wounded in the neck.

    This action enabled the Platoon to continue the advance to the next objective, and Private Stokes was ordered back to the Regimental Aid Post. He refused to go and continued the advance with his Platoon.

    On approaching the second objective the Platoon again came under heavy fire from a house on the left. Again, without waiting for orders, Private Stokes rushed the house by himself, firing from the hip. He was seen to drop his rifle and. fall to the ground wounded. However, a moment later he got to his feet again, picked up his rifle and continued to advance, despite the most intense fire which covered not only himself but the rest of the Platoon. He entered the house and all firing from it ceased. He subsequently rejoined his Platoon who, due to his gallantry, had been able to advance bringing five more prisoners.

    At this stage the Company was forming up for its final assault on the objective, which was a group of buildings, forming an enemy strong point. Again, without waiting for orders, Private Stokes, although now severely wounded and suffering from loss of blood, dashed on the remaining 60 yards to the objective, firing from the hip as he struggled through intense fire. He finally fell 20 yards from the enemy position, firing his rifle until the last, and as the Company passed him in the final charge he raised his hand and shouted goodbye. Private Stokes was found to have been wounded eight times in the upper part of the body.

    Private Stokes one object throughout this action was to kill the enemy, at whatever personal risk. His magnificent courage, devotion to duty and splendid example, inspired all those round him and ensured the success of the attack at a critical moment; moreover, his self-sacrifice saved his Platoon and Company many serious casualties.


    Additional Infomation:

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Fazal Din

    Rank: Acting Naik

    Unit: 10th Baluch Regiment, Indian Army

    Awarded: 19th December 1945

    Nationality: Indian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 27th April 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on 2nd March, 1945, Naik Fazal Din was commanding a section during a Company attack on a Japanese bunkered position. During this attack, the section found itself in an area flanked by three bunkers on one side and a house and one bunker on the other side. This was the key of the enemy position and had held up a Company attack made earlier. Naik Fazal Din's section was accompanied by a tank but, at the time of entering the area, it had gone on ahead. On reaching the area, the section was held up by Light Machine Gun fire and .grenades from the bunkers. Unhesitatingly Naik Fazal Din personally attacked the nearest bunker with grenades and silenced it. He then led his section under heavy fire against the other bunkers. Suddenly six Japanese, led by two officers wielding swords, rushed from the house. The Bren gunner shot one officer and a Japanese other rank but by then had expended the magazine of the gun. He was almost simultaneously attacked toy the second Japanese officer who killed trim with his sword. Naik Fazal Din went to the Bren gunner's assistance immediately but, in doing so, was run through the chest by the officer, the sword point appearing through his back.
    On the Japanese officer withdrawing his sword, Naik Fazal Din, despite his terrible wound, tore the sword from the officer and killed him with it. He then attacked a Japanese other rank and also killed him. He then went to the assistance of a Sepoy of his section who was struggling with another Japanese and killed the latter with the sword. Then, waving the sword, he continued to encourage his men. He-staggered to Platoon Headquarters, about 25 yards away, to make a report and collapsed. He died soon after reaching the Regimental Aid Post.

    Naik Fazal Din's action was seen -by almost the whole Platoon who, (undoubtedly inspired by his gallantry and taking advantage of the bewilderment created amongst the enemy by the loss of its leaders, continued the attack and annihilated the garrison which numbered 55.

    Such supreme devotion to duty, even when fatally wounded, presence of mind and outstanding courage, have seldom been equalled and reflect the unquenchable spirit of a singularly brave and gallant N.C.O.


    Additional Infomation:

    Various spellings of his name include Fazl Dim, Fazal Dim.

    A silver trophy and the actual Japanese Sword used by Din went missing in 1971 amongst the chaos of war in East Bengal when the battalaion in possession of the sword and trophy surrendered to the Indian Army.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Gian Singh

    Rank: Naik

    Unit: 12th Punjab Regiment, Indian Army

    Awarded: 16th October 1945

    Nationality: Indian.

    The citation in the London Gazette of 18th May 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on 2nd March, 1945, the Japanese were holding a strong position astride the road Kamye-Myingyan. Two Companies of the 15th Punjab Regiment carried out successfully a wide encircling movement and established themselves on some high ground about one and a half miles in the rear of this enemy position. As all water supply points were within the enemy position it was vital that he should be dislodged.

    The attack on to the first objective was successful and one platoon was ordered to attack a village to the right. This platoon's attack, with the aid of tanks, advanced slowly under very heavy enemy fire. Naik Gian Singh was in command of the leading section.

    The enemy were well concealed in foxholes along cactus hedges and Naik Gian Siingh soon observed enemy some twenty yards ahead. Ordering his Light Machine Gunner to cover him, he, alone, rushed the enemy fox-holes, firing his Tommy Gun. He was met by a hail of fire and wounded in the arm. In spite of this he continued his advance alone, hurling grenades. He killed several Japanese including four in one of the enemy main weapon pits.

    By this time a troop of tanks moved up in support of this platoon and came under fire from a cleverly concealed enemy antitank gun. Naik Gian Singh quickly saw the danger to the tanks and, ignoring the danger to himself and in spite of his wounds, again rushed forward, killed the crew and captured the gun single-handed. His section followed him and he then led them down a lane of cactus hedges, clearing all enemy positions which were being firmly held. Some twenty enemy bodies were found in this area, the majority of which fell to Naik Gian Singh and his section.

    After this action, the Company reformed to take the enemy positions to the rear. Naik Gian Singh was ordered to the Regimental Aid Post but, in spite of his wounds, requested permission to lead his section until the whole action had been completed. This was granted.

    There is no doubt that these acts of supreme gallantry saved Naik Gian Singh's platoon many casualties and enabled the whole operation to be carried out successfully with severe losses to the enemy.

    The magnificent gallantry of this Naik throughout, his devotion to duty and leadership, although wounded, could not have been surpassed.


    Additional Infomation:




    [​IMG]
    Cremated at Jalandhar Cantt, near Jullundur, India. Ashes scattered to the rivers.
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    William Basil Weston

    Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit: The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment) Attached The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own), British Army

    Awarded: 18th December 1945

    Nationality: British

    The citation in the London Gazette of 11th May 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on 3rd March, 1945, during the Battalion's attack on the town of Meiktila, this officer was commanding a Platoon. The task of his Company was to clear through the town from the North to the water’s edge in the South a distance of about 1,600 yards, of which the last 800 yards was not only very strongly held but was a labyrinth of minor roads and well constructed buildings. The Company was working with tanks and Lieutenant Weston's Platoon was one of the two Platoons leading the attack. The clearing of the final 800 yards was commenced at 1330 hours and was to be completed by dusk.

    Practically every man in Lieutenant Weston's Platoon was seeing active service for the first time and under the most difficult conditions. From the start Lieutenant Weston realised that only by the highest personal example-on his part could he hope to carry out his task within the time given. As the advance continued the already determined opposition increased until in the final stages it reached a stage when it can only be described as fanatical. Fire from guns and light automatics was heavy from well bunkered positions and concrete emplacements. Each bunker position had to be dealt with separately and superimposed on the enemy's fire from the front was accurate sniping from well selected positions on the flanks. The fighting throughout the day was at very close quarters and at times was hand to hand.

    With magnificent bravery Lieutenant Weston inspired the men of his Platoon to superb achievements. Without thought of his own personal safety he personally led his men into position after position, exterminating the enemy wherever found.

    Throughout, the leadership was superb, encouraging his Platoon to the same fanatical zest as that shown by the enemy. His bravery, his coolness under fire and enthusiasm inspired his Platoon. There was no hesitation on his part and no matter how heavy or sustained the enemy's fire he boldly and resolutely led his men on from bunker position to bunker position. It was at 1700 hours, within sight of the water’s edge which marked the completion of the Platoon's task that he was held up by a very strong bunker position. Lieutenant Weston, appreciating the limited time now at his disposal and the necessity of clearing the area before nightfall, quickly directed the fire of the tanks with him on to the position. He then led a party with bayonets and grenades to eliminate the enemy within the bunker. As on many occasions before, he was the first into the bunker.

    At the entrance to the bunker he was shot at by the enemy inside and fell forward wounded. As he lay on the ground and still fired by the undaunted courage that he had shown throughout the day, he withdrew the pin from a grenade in his hand and by doing so killed himself and most of the enemy in the bunker. It is possible that he could have attempted to reach safety but to do so would have endangered the lives of his men who were following him into the bunker. Throughout the final 3 hours of battle Lieutenant Weston set an example which seldom can have been equalled. His bravery and inspiring leadership was beyond question. At no time during the day did he relax and inspired by the deeds of valour which he continually performed, he personally led on his men as an irresistible force.

    The final supreme self-sacrifice of this gallant young officer within sight of victory
    was typical of the courage and bravery so magnificently displayed and sustained throughout the day's operation.


    Additional Infomation:

    Weston's VC is on permanent loan to the Green Howards Museum.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Bhanbhagta Gurung

    Rank: Rifleman

    Unit: 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurhka Rifles, Indian Army

    Awarded: 16th October 1945

    Nationality: Nepalese

    The citation in the London Gazette of 1st June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on 5th March, 1945, a Company of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles attacked an enemy position known as Snowden East. On approaching the objective one of the, sections was forced to ground by very heavy Light Machine Gun, grenade and mortar fire, and owing to the severity of this fire was unable to move in any direction. While thus pinned, the section came under accurate fire from a tree sniper some 75 yards to the South. As this sniper was inflicting casualties on the section, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung, being unable to fire from the lying position, stood up fully exposed to the heavy fire and calmly killed the enemy sniper with his rifle, thus saving his section from suffering further casualties.

    The section then advanced again, but when within 20 yards of the objective was again attacked by, very heavy fire. Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung, without waiting for any orders, dashed forward alone and attacked the first enemy fox-hole. Throwing two grenades, he killed the two occupants and without any hesitation rushed .on to the next enemy fox-hole and killed the Japanese in it with his bayonet.

    Two further enemy fox-holes were still bringing fire to bear on the section and again Rifleman Bhahbhagta Gurung dashed forward alone and cleared these with bayonet and grenade. During his single-handed attacks on these four enemy fox-holes, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung was subjected to almost continuous and point-blank Light Machine Gun fire from a bunker on the North tip of the objective. Realising that this Light Machine Gun would hold up not only his own platoon which was now behind him, but also another platoon which was advancing from the West, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung for the fifth time went forward alone in the face of heavy enemy fire to knock out this position. He doubled forward and leapt on to the roof of the bunker from where, his hand grenades being finished, he flung two No. 77 smoke grenades into the bunker slit. Two Japanese rushed out of the bunker partially blinded by the smoke. Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung promptly killed them both with his Khukri. A remaining Japanese inside the bunker was still firing the Light Machine Gun and holding up the advance of No. 4 Platoon, so Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung crawled inside the bunker, killed this Japanese gunner and captured the Light Machine Gun.

    Most of the objective had now been cleared by the men behind and the enemy driven off were collecting for a counter-attack beneath the North end of the objective. Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung ordered the nearest Bren gunner and two riflemen to take up positions in the captured bunker. The enemy counter-attack followed soon after, but under Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung's command the small party inside the bunker repelled it with heavy loss to the-enemy.

    Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung showed outstanding bravery and a complete disregard for his own safety. His courageous clearing of five enemy positions single-handed was in itself decisive in capturing the objective and his inspiring example to the rest of the Company contributed to the speedy consolidation of this success.


    Additional Infomation:

    Gurung joined the army after the outbreak of war.

    Before Gurung won his VC he was reduced to Private for neglect of duty. He was accused by his CO for taking the wrong hill. It later transpired he had followed orders correctly-His officer had given him the wrong target.

    When the war ended Gurungs Company Commander tried to presuade him to stay in the army but he left to look after his family Nepal.

    His company commander described him as "a smiling, hard-swearing and indomitable soldier who in a battalion of brave men was one of the bravest."

    Later promoted to the rank of Hon. Havildar.

    In 2000 a training block at Catterick Garrison was named after him.

    [​IMG]
    Cremated at the at Devghal of Chitawan, Nepal. Location of ashes unknown
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Karamjeet Singh Judge

    Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit: 4th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, Indian Army

    Awarded: 19th December 1945

    Nationality: Indian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 29th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on 18th March, 1945, a Company of the 15th Punjab Regiment, in which Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge was a Platoon Commander, was ordered to capture the Cotton Mill area on the outskirts of Myingyan. In addition to numerous bunkers and stiff enemy resistance a total of almost 200 enemy shells fell around the tanks and infantry during the attack. The ground over which the operation took place was very broken and in parts was unsuitable for tanks. Except for the first two hours of this operation, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge's platoon was leading in the attack, and up to the last moment Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge dominated the entire battlefield by his numerous and successive acts of superb gallantry.

    Time and again the infantry were held up by heavy medium machine gun and small arms fire from bunkers not seen by the tanks. On every such occasion Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge, without hesitation and with a complete disregard for his own personal safety, coolly went forward through heavy fire to recall the tanks by means of the house telephone. Cover around the tanks was nonexistent, but Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge remained completely regardless not only of the heavy small arms fire directed at him, but also of the extremely heavy shelling directed at the tanks. Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge succeeded in recalling the tanks to deal with bunkers which he personally indicated to the tanks, thus allowing the infantry to advance.

    In every case Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge personally led the infantry in charges against the (bunkers and was invariably first to arrive. In this way ten bunkers were eliminated by this brilliant and courageous officer.

    On one occasion while he was going into the attack, two Japanese suddenly rushed at him from a small nullah with fixed bayonets. At a distance of only 10 yards he killed both.

    About fifteen minutes before the battle finished, a last nest of three bunkers was located, which were very difficult for the tanks to approach. An enemy light machine gun was firing from one of them and holding up the advance of the infantry. Undaunted, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge directed one tank to within 20 yards of the above bunker at great personal risk and then threw a smoke grenade as a means of indication. After some minutes of fire, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge, using the house telephone again, asked the tank commander to cease fire while he went in with a few men to mop up. He then went forward and got within 10 yards of the bunker, when the enemy light machine gun opened fire again, mortally wounding Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge in the chest. By this time, however, the remaining men of the section were able to storm this strong point, and so complete a long and arduous task.

    During, the battle, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge showed an example of cool and calculated bravery.

    In three previous and similar actions this young officer had already proved himself an outstanding leader of matchless courage. In this, his last action, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge gave a superb example of inspiring leadership and outstanding courage.


    Additional Infomation:

    Singh Judge has no known grave.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Taukkyan War Memorial, Myanmar
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]


    Claud Raymond

    Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit: Corps of Royal Engineers, British Army

    Awarded: 12th February 1946

    Nationality: British

    The citation in the London Gazette of 26th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Burma, on the afternoon of 21st March, 1945, Lieutenant Raymond was second in charge of a small patrol, which was acting in conjunction with a larger detachment of a special force, whose adjective was to obtain information and create a diversion in the area of Taungup, by attacking and destroying isolated enemy posts some 40 miles in advance of an Indian Infantry Brigade, pushing down the road from Letpan to Taungup.

    The patrol was landed on the south bank of the Thinganet Chaung, an area known to be held by numerous enemy strong points and gun positions, and marched about five miles inland. As they were nearing the village of Talaku and moving across an open stretch of ground, they were heavily fired on from the slopes of a jungle covered hill by a strongly entrenched enemy detachment.

    Lieutenant Raymond immediately charged in the direction of the fire. As he began to climb the hill he was wounded in the right shoulder, but he ignored this wound and continued up the slope firing his rifle from the hip. He had advanced only a few yards further, when a Japanese threw a grenade which burst in his face and most severely wounded him. He fell, but almost immediately picked himself up again, and, in spite of loss of blood from his wounds, which later were to prove fatal, he still continued on, leading his section under intense fire. He was hit yet a third time, his wrist being shattered by what appeared to have been an explosive, bullet. In spite of this third wound, he never wavered but carried on into the enemy position itself and, in the sharp action which followed, was largely responsible for the killing of two Japanese and the wounding of a third.

    The remaining Japanese then fled in panic into the jungle, thus leaving the position in our hands, together with much equipment. The position itself was strongly fortified by foxholes and small bunkers and would have proved extremely formidable had not the attack been pressed home with great determination under the courageous leadership of Lieutenant Raymond.

    Several other men were wounded during the action and Lieutenant Raymond refused all treatment until they had been attended to, insisting despite the gravity of his injuries, on walking back towards the landing craft in case the delay in treating his wounds and carrying him should endanger the withdrawal of the patrol.

    It was not until he had walked nearly a mile that he collapsed and had to allow himself to be carried on an improvised stretcher. Even then he was continually encouraging the other wounded by giving the thumbs up sign and thus undoubtedly helping them to keep cheerful and minimise the extent of their injuries until the landing craft was reached. Soon after he died of his wounds.

    The outstanding gallantry, remarkable endurance and fortitude of Lieutenant Raymond, which refused to allow him to collapse, although mortally wounded, was an inspiration to everyone and a major factor in the capture of the strong point. His self sacrifice in refusing attention to his wounds undoubtedly saved the patrol, by allowing it to withdraw in time before the Japanese could bring up fresh forces from neighbouring positions for a counter attack.


    Additional Infomation:

    Son of Lieutenant Colonel.

    Raymond is remembered in Sussex where he grew up with his name on a memorial and a road named after him.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Reginald Roy Rattey

    Rank: Corporal

    Unit: 25th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

    Awarded: 9th July 1946

    Nationality: Australian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 24th July 1945 gives the following details:

    In the South West Pacific, on 22nd March, 1945, a Company of an Australian Infantry Battalion was ordered to capture a strongly held enemy position astride Buin Road,
    South Bougainville. The attack was met by extremely heavy fire from advanced enemy bunkers, slit trenches and fox holes sited on strong ground and all forward movement was stopped with casualties mounting rapidly among our troops. Corporal Rattey quickly appreciated that the serious situation delaying the advance could only be averted by silencing enemy fire from automatic weapons in bunkers, which dominated all lines of approach by our troops. He calculated that a forward move by his section would be halted by fire with heavy casualties and he determined that a bold rush by himself alone would surprise the enemy and offered the best chance for success. With amazing courage he rushed forward firing his Bren gun from the hip into the openings under the head cover of three forward bunkers. This completely neutralized enemy fire from these positions. On gaining the nearest bunker he hurled a grenade among the garrison, which completely silenced further enemy aggressive action. Corporal Rattey was now without grenades but without hesitation he raced back to his section under extremely heavy fire and obtained two grenades with which he again rushed the remaining bunkers and effectively silenced all opposition by killing seven of the enemy garrison. This led to the flight of the remaining enemy troops, which enabled his Company to continue its advance.

    A little later the advance of his Company was again held up by a heavy machine gun, firing across the front. Without hesitation Corporal Rattey rushed the gun and silenced it with fire from his Bren gun used from his hip. When one had been killed and another wounded, the remainder of the enemy gun crew broke and fled. The machine gun and 2,000 rounds of ammunition were captured and the Company again continued its advance and gained its objective, which was consolidated.

    The serious situation was turned into a brilliant success, entirely by the courage, cool planning and stern determination of Corporal Rattey. His bravery was an incentive to the entire Company, who fought with inspiration derived from the gallantry of Corporal Rattey, despite the stubborn opposition to which they were subjected.


    Additional Infomation:

    Later promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

    Rattey has a road named after him in West Wyalong, Australia where he grew up.

    [​IMG]
    West Wyalong Lawn Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Frederick George Topham

    Rank: Corporal

    Unit: 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, Canadian Army

    Awarded: 1st January 1946

    Nationality: Canadian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 31st July 1945 gives the following details:

    On 24th March, 1945, Corporal Topham, a medical orderly, parachuted with his Battalion on to a strongly defended area east of the Rhine. At about 1100 hours, whilst treating casualties sustained in the drop, a cry for help came from a wounded man in the open. Two medical orderlies from a field ambulance went out to this man in succession but both were killed as they knelt beside the casualty.

    Without, hesitation and on his own initiative, Corporal Topham went forward through intense fire to replace the orderlies who had been killed before his eyes. As he worked on the wounded man, tie was himself shot through the nose. In spite of severe bleeding and intense pain, he never faltered in his task. Having completed immediate first aid, he carried the wounded man steadily and slowly back through continuous fire to the shelter of a wood.

    During the next two hours Corporal Topham refused all offers of medical help for his own wound. He worked most devotedly throughout this period to bring in wounded, showing complete disregard for the heavy and accurate enemy fire. It was only when all casualties had been cleared that he consented to his own wound being treated.

    His immediate evacuation was ordered, but he interceded so earnestly on his own behalf that he was eventually allowed to return to duty.

    On his way back to his company he came across a carrier, which had received a direct hit. Enemy mortar bombs were still dropping around, the carrier itself was burning fiercely and its own mortar ammunition was exploding. An experienced officer on the spot had warned all not to approach the carrier.

    Corporal Topham, however, immediately went out alone in spite of the blasting ammunition and enemy fire, and rescued the three occupants of the carrier. He brought these men back across the open and although one died almost immediately afterwards, he arranged for the evacuation of the other two, who undoubtedly owe their lives to him.

    This N.C.O. showed sustained gallantry of the highest order. For six hours, most of the time in great pain, he performed a series of acts of outstanding bravery and his magnificent and selfless courage inspired all those who witnessed it.


    Additional Infomation:

    Topham's medals were bought from his family for $300,000.

    In 2005 (60th anniversary of Topham's Action) the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association donated Topham's medals to the Canadian War Museum.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Sanctuary Park Cemetery, Ontario, Canada
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Albert Chowne

    Rank: Lieutenant

    Unit: 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces

    Awarded: 8th January 1947

    Nationality: Australian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 4th September 1945 gives the following details:

    For most conspicuous bravery, brilliant leadership and devotion to duty during an attack on an enemy position on a narrow ridge near Dagua, New Guinea, on 25th March, 1945.

    After the capture of Dagua, the main enemy force withdrew southwards from the beach to previously prepared positions on the flank of the Division. Further movement towards Wewak was impossible while this threat to the flank existed and the Battalion was ordered to destroy the enemy force.

    'A' Company, after making contact with the enemy on a narrow ridge, was ordered to attack the position. The leading Platoon in the attack came under heavy fire from concealed enemy machine guns site on a small rise dominating the approach. In the initial approach one member of this Platoon was killed and nine wounded, including the Platoon Commander, and the enemy continued to inflict casualties on our troops. Without awaiting orders, Lieutenant Chowne, whose Platoon was in reserve, instantly appreciated the plight of the leading Platoon and rushed the enemy's position. Running up a steep, narrow track, he hurled grenades which knocked out two enemy Light- Machine Guns. Then calling on his men to follow him and firing his submachine gun from the hip, he charged the enemy's position. Although he sustained two serious wounds in the chest, the impetus of his charge carried him 50 yards forward under the most intense machine gun and rifle fire. Lieutenant Chowne accounted for two more Japanese before he was killed standing, over three foxholes occupied by the enemy.

    The superb heroism and self-sacrifice of this officer, culminating in his death resulted in the capture of this strongly-held enemy position, ensured the further immediate success of his Company in this area and paved the way directly for the continuance of the Division's advance to Wewak.


    Additional Infomation:

    Also awarded MM.

    Chowne was born in Sydney and worked as a shirt cutter before the war.

    Chowne enlisted in the AIF in 1940 after a short spell in the Militia.

    Initially employed as a platoon runner he became a comapny runner.

    Posted to North Africa and fighting in Tobruk and El Alamein he was promoted to Sergeant before leaving Africa.

    Chowne was commissioned in January 1944.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    Lae War Cemetery, Lae, Papua New Guinea
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Edward Thomas Chapman

    Rank: Corporal

    Unit: The Monmouthshire Regiment, British Army

    Awarded: 31st July 1945

    Nationality: British


    The citation in the London Gazette of 10th July 1945 gives the following details:

    On 2nd April, 1945, a Company of the Monmouthshire Regiment crossed the Dortmund-
    Ems canal and was ordered to assault the ridge of the Teutoberger Wald, which dominates the surrounding country. This ridge is steep, thickly wooded and is ideal defensive country. It was, moreover, defended by a battalion of German officer cadets and their instructors, all of them picked men and fanatical Nazis.

    Corporal Chapman was advancing with his section in single file along a narrow track when the enemy suddenly opened fire with machine guns at short range, inflicting heavy casualties and causing some confusion. Corporal Chapman immediately ordered his section to take cover and, seizing the Bren gun, he advanced alone, firing the gun from his hip, and mowed down the enemy at point blank range, forcing them to retire in disorder.

    At this point, however, his Company was ordered to withdraw but Corporal Chapman and his section were still left in their advanced position, as the order could not be got forward to them.

    The enemy then 'began to close up to Corporal Chapman and his isolated section and, under cover of intense machine gun fire, they made determined charges with the bayonet. Corporal Chapman again rose with his Bren gun to meet the assaults and on each occasion halted their advance.

    He had now nearly run out of ammunition. Shouting to his section for more bandoliers, he dropped-into a fold in the ground and covered those bringing up the ammunition by lying on his back and firing the Bren gun over his shoulder. A party of Germans made every effort to eliminate him with grenades, but with reloaded magazine he closed with them and once again drove the enemy back with considerable casualties. During the withdrawal of his Company, the Company Commander had been severely wounded and left lying in the open a short distance from Corporal Chapman. Satisfied that his section was now secure, at any rate for the moment, he went out alone under withering fire and carried his Company Commander for 50 yards to comparative safety. On the way a sniper hit the officer again, wounding Corporal Chapman in the hip and, when he reached our lines, it was discovered that the officer had been killed.

    In spite of his wound, Corporal Chapman refused to be evacuated and went back to his Company until the position was fully restored two hours later.

    Throughout the action Corporal Chapman displayed outstanding gallantry and superb courage. Single-handed he repulsed the attacks of well-led, determined troops and gave his battalion time to reorganise on a vital piece of ground overlooking the only bridge across the canal. His Magnificent bravery played a very large part in the capture of this vital ridge and in the successful development of subsequent operations.


    Additional Infomation:

    Also awarded BEM

    Promoted to Company Sergeant Major.

    Chapman left school at 14 and followed his father down the pit.

    Enlisting in the Army in 1940 he was wounded at Falaise.

    After the war he was noted for breeding Welsh Mountain Ponies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Pontag Cemetery, New Inn, Wales
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Ian Oswald Liddell

    Rank: Lieutenant Temporary Captain

    Unit: 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards, British Army

    Awarded: 12th February 1946

    Nationality: British

    The citation in the London Gazette of 5th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Germany on 3rd April, 1945, Captain Liddell was commanding a Company of the Coldstream Guards, which was ordered to capture intact a bridge over the River Ems near Lingen. The bridge was covered on the far bank by an enemy strong point, which was subsequently discovered to consist of 150 entrenched infantry supported by three 88 mm and two 20 mm guns. The bridge was also prepared for demolition with 500 Ib. bombs which could plainly be seen.

    Having directed his two leading platoons on to the near bank, Captain Liddell ran forward alone to the bridge and scaled the 10 feet high road block guarding it, with the intention of neutralising the charges and taking the bridge intact. In order to achieve his object he had to cross the whole length of the bridge by himself under intense enemy fire, which increased as his object became apparent to the Germans. Having disconnected the charges on the far side, he re-crossed the bridge and cut the wires on the near side. It was necessary for him to kneel forming an easy target whilst he successively cut the wires.

    He then discovered that there were also charges underneath the bridge and completely undeterred he also disconnected these. His task completed he then climbed up on to the road block in full view of the enemy and signalled his leading platoon to advance.

    Thus alone and unprotected, without cover and under heavy enemy fire, he achieved his object. The bridge was captured intact and the way cleared to the advance across the river Ems. His outstanding gallantry and superb example of courage will never be forgotten by those who saw it.

    This very brave officer has since died of wounds subsequently received in action.


    Additional Infomation:

    Liddell was born in China.

    He served as a Private in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry prior to being commissioned into the Coldstream Guards.

    During the early years of the war he was attached to the 'Coates Mission'. The plan to evacuate the Royal Family from Britian in case of invasion.

    He was shot by a sniper whose bullet killed another soldier going through his head and then into Liddell.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Niedersachsen, Germany
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Anders Fredrik Emil Victor Schau Lassen

    Rank: Temporary Major

    Unit: Special Boat Service, No.1 SAS Regiment, British Army

    Awarded: 18th December 1945

    Nationality: Danish

    The citation in the London Gazette of 4th September 1945 gives the following details:

    In Italy, on the night of 8th/9th April, 1945, Major Lassen was ordered to take out a patrol of one officer and seventeen other ranks to raid the north shore of Lake Comacchio.

    His tasks were to cause as many casualties and as much confusion as possible, to give the impression of a major landing, and to capture prisoners. No previous reconnaissance was possible, and the party found itself on a narrow road flanked on both sides by water.

    Preceded by two scouts, Major Lassen led his men along the road towards the town. They were challenged after approximately 500 yards from a position on the side of the road. An attempt to allay suspicion by answering that they were fishermen returning home failed for when moving forward again to overpower the sentry, machinegun fire started from the position and also from two other blockhouses to the rear.

    Major Lassen himself then attacked with grenades, and annihilated the first position containing four Germans and two machineguns. Ignoring the hail of bullets sweeping fire road from three enemy positions an additional one having come into action from 300 yards down the road, he raced forward to engage the second position under covering fire from the remainder of the force. Throwing in more grenades he silenced this position which was then overrun by his patrol. Two enemy were killed, two captured and two more machine-guns silenced.

    By this time the force had suffered casualties and its fire power was very considerably reduced. Still under a heavy cone of fire Major Lassen rallied and reorganised his force and brought his fire to bear on the third position. Moving forward himself he flung in more grenades which produced a cry of "Kamerad". He then went forward to within three or four yards of the position to order the enemy outside, and to take their surrender.

    Whilst shouting to them to come out he was hit by a burst of Spandau fire from the left of the position and he fell mortally wounded, but even whilst falling he flung a grenade, wounding some of the occupants, and enabling his patrol to dash in and capture this final position.

    Major Lassen refused to be evacuated as he said it would impede the withdrawal and endanger further lives, and as ammunition was nearly exhausted the force had to withdraw.

    By his magnificent leadership and complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Lassen had, in the face of overwhelming superiority, achieved his objects. Three positions were wiped out, accounting for six machine guns, killing eight and wounding others of the enemy, and two prisoners were taken. The high sense of devotion to duty and the esteem in which he was held by the men he led, added to his own magnificent courage, enabled Major Lassen to carry out all the tasks he had been given with complete success.


    Additional Infomation:

    Also awarded MC and Two Bars.

    Lassen was a first cousin of the German Major Axel von dem Bussche, who plotted to kill Hitler in November 1943.

    Lassen was a sailor who got trapped outside his country after the German invasion and volunteered for sevice in the SBS.

    He saw action in France, North-Africa and Greece with the SBS.

    Corporal Hunter of the Royal Marines also recieved a VC during this operation.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:



    [​IMG]
    Memorial at Lake Comacchio, Italy
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Ali Haidar

    Rank: Sepoy

    Unit: 13th Frontier Force Rifles, Indian Army

    Awarded: 30th October 1945

    Nationality: Indian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 29th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Italy, during the crossing of the River Senio, near Fusignano, in daylight on 9th April, 1945, a Company of the 13th Frontier Force Rifles were ordered to assault the enemy positions strongly dug in on the far bank. These positions had been prepared and improved over many months and were mainly on the steep flood banks, some 25 feet high.

    Sepoy All Haidar was'a member of the lefthand Section of the left-hand Platoon. As soon as the Platoon started to cross, it came under heavy and accurate machine gun fire from two enemy posts strongly dug in about 60 yards away. Sepoy Ali Haidar's Section suffered casualties and only 3 men, including himself, managed to get across. The remainder of the Company was temporarily held up. Without orders, and on his own initiative, Sepoy Ali Haidar, leaving the other two to cover him, charged the nearest post which was about 30 yards away. He threw a grenade and almost at the same time the enemy threw one at him, wounding him severely in the back. In spite of this he kept on and the enemy post was destroyed and four of the enemy surrendered. With utter disregard of his own wounds he continued and charged the next post in which the enemy had one Spandau and three automatics, which were still very active and preventing movement on 'both banks. He was again wounded, this time in the right leg and right arm. Although weakened by loss of blood, with great determination Sepoy Ali Haidar crawled closer and in a final effort raised himself from the ground, threw a grenade, and charged into the second enemy post. Two enemy were wounded and the remaining two surrendered.

    Taking advantage of the oustanding success of Sepoy Ali Haidar's dauntless attacks, the rest of the Company charged across the river and carried out their task of making a bridgehead.

    Sepoy Ali Haidar was picked up and brought back from the second position seriously wounded.

    The conspicuous gallantry, initiative, and determination combined with a complete disregard for his own life shown by this very brave Sepoy in the face of heavy odds were an example to the whole Company. His heroism had saved an ugly situation which would—tout for his personal bravery—have caused the Battalion a large number of casualties at a critical time and seriously delayed the crossing of the river and the building of a bridge. With the rapid advance which it was possible to make the Battalion captured 3 officers and 217 other ranks and gained their objectives.


    Additional Infomation:

    Born in Kohat, former British India which is now part of Pakistan.

    Later promoted to the rank of Havildar.


    [​IMG]
    Village Shahu Khel, District Kohat, Pakistan
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Namdeo Jadhao or Jadhav

    Rank: Sepoy

    Unit: 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, Indian Army

    Awarded: 20th July 1945

    Nationality: Indian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 15th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Italy, on the evening of the 9th April, 1945, a Company of the 5th Mahratta Light
    Infantry assaulted the east floodbank of the Senio River north of S. Polito. Three minutes afterwards another Company was to pass through and assault the west floodbank.

    In this sector the Senio River is about 15 feet broad, 4 to 5 feet deep and flows between precipitous floodbanks 30 to 35 feet high. Both floodbanks were honeycombed with an intricate system of German dugouts and defence posts, with a mine belt on the inner face of the east floodbank above the dugout entrances.

    Sepoy Namdeo Jadhao was a Company runner and when his Company crossed the river he was with his Company Commander close behind one of the leading sections.

    When wading the river and emerging on the west bank the party came under heavy fire from at least three German posts on the inner face of the east bank. The Company commander and two men were wounded and the rest, with the exception of Sepoy Namdeo Jadhao, were killed.

    This gallant Sepoy immediately carried one of the wounded men through the deep water and up the precipitous slope of the bank through the mine belt to safety. He then made a second trip to bring back the other wounded man. Both times he was under heavy mortar and machine gun fire.

    He then determined to eliminate the machine gun posts, which had pinned down the Companies, and to avenge his dead comrades, so, crossing the exposed east bank a third time; he dashed at the nearest enemy post and silenced it with his Tommy Gun.
    He was, however, wounded in the hand and, being unable to fire his gun any further, threw it away and resorted to grenades. With these he successively charged and wiped out two more enemy posts, at one time crawling to the top of the bank to replenish his stock of grenades from his comrades on the reverse slope.

    Having silenced all machine gun fire from the east bank, he then climbed on to the top of it and, in spite of heavy mortar fire, stood in the open shouting the Mahratta war cry and waving the remainder of the Companies across the river.

    This Sepoy not only saved the lives of his comrades, but his outstanding gallantry and personal bravery enabled the two Companies to hold the river banks firmly, and eventually the Battalion to secure a deeper bridgehead, which in turn ultimately led to the collapse of all German resistance in the area.


    Additional Infomation:

    Later promoted to the rank of Havildar.

    Two possible last names Jadhao or Jadav

    Also awarded PVSM (India)


    [​IMG]
    Cremated at Pune, Maharashtra, India. Location of ashes unknown
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Edward Colquhoun Charlton

    Rank: Guardsman

    Unit: 2nd Armoured Battalion, Irish Guards, British Army

    Awarded: 29th October 1946

    Nationality: British

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

    In Germany on the morning of 21st April, 1945, Guardsman Charlton was co-driver in one tank of a troop which, with a platoon of infantry, seized the village of Wistedt. Shortly afterwards, the enemy attacked this position under cover of an artillery concentration and in great strength, comprising, as it later transpired, a battalion of the 15 Panzer Grenadiers supported by six self-propelled guns. All the tanks, including Guardsman Charlton's, were hit; the infantry were hard pressed and in danger of being over-run.

    Whereupon, entirely on his own initiative, Guardsman Charlton decided to counter attack the enemy. Quickly recovering the Browning from his damaged tank, he advanced up the road in full view of the enemy, firing the Browning from his hip. Such was the boldness of his attack and the intensity of his fire that he halted the leading enemy company, inflicting heavy casualties on them. This effort at the same time brought much needed relief to our own infantry.

    For ten minutes Guardsman Charlton fired in this manner, until wounded in the left arm. Immediately, despite intense enemy fire, he mounted his machine gun on a nearby fence, which he used to support his wounded left arm. He stood firing thus for a further ten minutes until he was again hit in the left arm which fell away shattered and useless.

    Although twice wounded and suffering from loss of blood, Guardsman Charlton again lifted his machine gun on to the fence, now having only one arm with which to fire and reload. Nevertheless, he still continued to inflict casualties on the enemy, until finally he was hit for the third time and collapsed. He died later of his wounds in enemy hands. The heroism and determination of this Guardsman in his self-imposed task were beyond all praise. Even his German captors were amazed at his valour.

    Guardsman Charlton's courageous and self-sacrificing action not only inflicted extremely heavy casualties on the enemy and retrieved his comrades from a desperate situation, but also enabled the position to be speedily recaptured.


    Additional Infomation:

    Charlton's VC was the last Victoria Cross of the European theatre and the last awarded to a member of the Irish Guards.

    A lot of Charlton's citation is based on German accounts of what happened which bares testimony to Charlton's bravery.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Niedersachsen, Germany
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    John Bernard Mackey

    Rank: Corporal

    Unit: 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces

    Awarded: 1st January 1946

    Nationality: Australian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 6th November 1945 gives the following details:

    For most conspicuous bravery in the face of strong enemy resistance in the attack on the Helen feature at Tarakan on 12th May, 1945

    Corporal Mackey was in charge of a section of the 2nd/3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion in the attack on the feature known as Helen, East of Tarakan town. Led by Corporal Mackey the section moved along a narrow spur with scarcely width for more than one man when it came under fire from three well sited positions near the top of a very steep razor-backed ridge. The ground fell away almost sheer on each side of the track making it almost impossible to move to a flank so Corporal Mackey led his men forward.

    He charged the first Light Machine Gun position but slipped and after wrestling with one enemy, bayoneted him, and charged straight on to the Heavy Machine Gun which was firing from a bunker position six yards to his right. He rushed this post and killed the crew with grenades.

    He then jumped back and changing his rifle for a sub-machine gun he attacked farther up the steep slope another Light Machine Gun position which was firing on his platoon. Whilst charging he fired his gun and reached within a few feet of the enemy position when he was killed by Light Machine Gun fire but not before he had killed two more enemy.

    By his exceptional bravery and complete disregard for his own life Corporal Mackey was largely responsible for the killing of seven Japanese and the elimination of two machine gun posts which enabled his platoon to gain its objective, from which the Company continued to engage the enemy. His fearless action and outstanding courage were an inspiration to the whole battalion.


    Additional Infomation:

    Born in New Soth Wales and the son of a Baker.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Lachhiman Gurung

    Rank: Rifleman

    Unit: 8th Gurhka Rifles, Indian Army

    Awarded: 19th December 1945

    Nationality: Nepalese

    The citation in the London Gazette of 24th July 1945 gives the following details:

    At Taungdaw, in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, on the night of 12th/13th May, 1945, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon. At 0120 hours at least 200 enemy assaulted his Company position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's section and by his own post in particular. This post dominated a jungle path leading up into his platoon locality.

    Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position from close range. One grenade fell on the lip of Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's trench; he at once grasped it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell directly inside the trench. Again this Rifleman snatched it up and threw it back. A third grenade then fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.

    The enemy, screaming and shouting, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung, regardless of his wounds, fired and loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were thrown in by the enemy and all were repulsed with heavy casualties.

    For four hours after being severely wounded Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung remained alone at his post, waiting with perfect calm for each attack, which he met with fire at point-blank range from his rifle, determined not to give one inch of ground.

    Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman's section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.

    This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades -to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and-cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.

    His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy.


    Additional Infomation:

    Gurung received his Victoria Cross from the Viceroy of India, Field Marshal Lord Wavell.

    Garung was hospitalised for the wounds he received in the above action which resulted in the loss of his right eye and the use of his right hand.

    Garung continued to serve with the Gurkha's until they transfered to the newly formed independent Indian Army in 1947.

    Later promoted to the rank of Hon. Havildar.

    His VC is currently in the safe keeping of Gurung's parent unit, 4th Battalion, 8th Gorkha Rifles, Indian Army.

    Gurung is one of the four living WW2 VC holders.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    Edward Kenna

    Rank: Private

    Unit: 2/4th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces

    Awarded: 6th January 1947

    Nationality: Australian

    The citation in the London Gazette of 4th September 1945 gives the following details:

    In the South West Pacific at Wewak on 15th May, 1945, during the attack on the Wirui Mission features. Private Kenna's company had the task of capturing certain enemy positions. The only position from which observation for supporting fire could be obtained was continuously swept by enemy heavy machine gun fire and it was not possible to bring Artillery or Mortars into action.

    Private Kenna's platoon was ordered forward to deal with the enemy machine gun post, so that the company operation could proceed. His section moved as close as possible to the bunker in order to harass any enemy seen, so that the remainder of the platoon could attack from the flank. When the attacking sections came into view of the enemy they were immediately engaged at very close range by heavy automatic fire from a position not previously disclosed. Casualties were suffered and the attackers could not move further forward.

    Private Kenna endeavoured to put his Bren gun into a position where he could engage the bunker, but was unable to do so because of the nature of the ground. On his own initiative and without orders Private Kenna immediately stood up in full view of the enemy less than fifty yards away and engaged the bunker, firing his Bren gun from the hip. The enemy machine gun immediately returned Private Kenna's fire and with such accuracy that bullets actually passed between his arms and his body. Undeterred, he remained completely exposed and continued to fire at the enemy until his magazine was exhausted. Still making a target of himself, Private Kenna discarded his Bren gun and called for a rifle. Despite the intense machine gun fire, he seized the rifle and, with amazing coolness, killed the gunner with his first round.

    A second automatic opened fire on Private Kenna from a different position and another of the enemy immediately tried to move into position behind the first machine gun, but Private Kenna remained standing and killed him with his next round.

    The result of Private Kenna's magnificent bravery in the face of concentrated fire, was that the bunker was captured without further loss, and the company attack proceeded to a successful conclusion, many enemy being killed and numerous automatic weapons captured.

    There is no doubt that the success of the company attack would have been seriously endangered and many casualties sustained but for Private Kenna's magnificent courage and complete disregard for his own safety. His action was an outstanding example of the highest degree of bravery.


    Additional Infomation:

    Kenna enlisted in 1940.

    After earning his VC Kenna was shot in the mouth and spent over a year in hospital recovering.

    Kenna eventually married the nurse that looked after him.

    After Kenna was discharged from Hospital and the Army in 1946 the people of Hamilton, Australia raised money to build a home for him and his family. He still lives there today.

    [​IMG]
    Kenna with his wife of over 60 years




    Hamilton Lawn Cemtery, Victoria, Australia
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Thomas Peck Hunter

    Rank: Temporary Corporal

    Unit: Attached Special Service Troops, 43 Commando, Royal Marines

    Awarded: 26th September 1945

    Nationality: British

    The citation in the London Gazette of 8th June 1945 gives the following details:

    In Italy during the advance by the Commando to its final objective, Corporal Hunter of "C" Troop was in charge of a Bren group of the leading sub-section of the Commando. Having advanced to within 400 yards of the canal, he observed the enemy were holding a group of houses south of the canal. Realising that his Troop behind him were in the open, as the country there was completely devoid of cover, and that the enemy would cause heavy casualties as soon as they opened fire, Corporal Hunter seized the Bren gun and charged alone across two hundred yards of open ground. Three Spandaus from the houses, and at least six from the North bank of the canal opened fire and at the same time the enemy mortars started to fire at the Troop.

    Corporal Hunter attracted most of the fire, and so determined was his charge and his firing from the hip that the enemy in the houses became demoralised. Showing complete disregard for the intense enemy fire, he ran through the houses, changing magazines as he ran, and alone cleared the houses. Six Germans surrendered to him and the remainder fled across a footbridge onto the north bank of the canal.

    The Troop dashing up behind Corporal Hunter now became the target for all the Spandaus on the north of the canal. Again, offering himself as a target, he lay in full view of the enemy on a heap of rubble and fired at the concrete pillboxes on the other side. He again drew most of the fire, but by now the greater part of the .Troop had made for the safety of the houses. During this period he shouted encouragement to the remainder, and called only for more Bren magazines with which he could engage the Spandaus. Firing with great accuracy up to the last, Corporal Hunter was finally hit in the head by a burst of Spandau fire and killed instantly.

    There can be no doubt that Corporal Hunter offered himself as a target in order to save his Troop, and only the speed of his movement prevented him being hit earlier. The skill and accuracy with which he used his Bren gun is proved by the way he demoralised the enemy, and later did definitely silence many of the Spandaus firing on his Troop as they crossed open ground, so much so that under his covering fire elements of the Troop made their final objective before he was killed.

    Throughout the operation his magnificent courage, leadership and cheerfulness had been an inspiration to his comrades.


    Additional Infomation:

    Hunter has a memorial outside Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh.

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
     

Share This Page