Post War British Gallantry Awards From 1945 To Present

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Drew5233, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Whilst doing more medal reseach today I came across this rather remarkable story. So much so I've been wondering where I was when it was anounced because I've never heard of it until today.

    This is a story about the first female Military Cross (Personaly I think it's a VC action and wonder if her sex had anything to do with her medal) award and and American in the USMC who was involved in the same incident and was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross last awarded to an American during WW2.

    So what happened?

    Private Michelle 'Chuck' Norris was a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps at the time of this action attached to the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.

    On 11th June 2006 in Iraq, serving as a medical orderly Norris jumped out of the Warrior AFV she was travelling in and climbed up the side of it to rescue the commander, Colour Sergeant Ian Page who had been shot in the head by a sniper. Whilst effecting the rescue Norris was under effective enemy fire herself from snipers. One bullet hitting her rucksack as she was climbing up the Warrior to the aid of Page. On reaching Page, Norris then helped him back into the vehicle still under fire so she could administer first aid.

    Norris's Commanding Officer recommended that she should receive a medal for her bravery. The award of Military Cross was gazetted on 15th December 2006. She received the award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 21 March 2007.

    The story however does not stop there:

    Norris and Page were evacuated by a British Army Lynx Helicopter which was being piloted by Major (Then Captain) William Chesarek, United States Marine Corps. He was working with the British Army as part of an exchange programme.

    On 11th June 2006, Chesarek was flying a Lynx as part of a British operation. His role was to act as a radio relay for British ground troops conducting a company sized operation near Amarah.

    Listening to the radio chatter he heard that a Warrior AFV had been disabled and a crowd of insurgents was gathering in the vacinity firing small arms and RPG's. Chesarek decided to fly low over the crowd and attempt to draw their fire and engage them with his door gunners. Due to the crowd being so close to the disable AFV he opted to fly at very low level over the crowd, harassing them in the hope they would disperse from the area.

    Chesarek continuing to monitor radio traffice on the ground could he he had now become the main attention of the crowd drawing small arms fire and that a RPG had just missed the tail rotor of his helicopter.

    Chesarek was trained as a Forward Air Controller and used his skills to control fixed wing aircraft and co-ordinate Close Air Support which succeeded in dispersing the insurgents.

    Chesarek now armed with the knowledge that Page had received a gun shot wound to the head and being the only helicopter in the immediate vacinity took the decision to use the helicopter for a medical evacuation despite the Lynx designed for this role.

    Landing close to Page the door gunner and another crew member jumped out and and put page into the helicopter. One of the crew stayed behind to reduce the risk of the helicopter flying over weight.

    As a result of Chesarek's actions he was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross and received it on the same day as Norris received her Military Cross.

    Private Michelle Norris

    [​IMG]
    Michelle Norris MC

    Major William Chesarek

    [​IMG]
    William Chesarek DFC



    Information sourced from various UK newspapers and websites.

    Big day for 5ft Army medic who won MC - Telegraph
     
  2. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Andy, Remarkable story indeed.

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  3. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    You gotta love Marines.........I knew there was either a woman or booze involved.
     
  4. Ropi

    Ropi Biggest retard of all

    Congratulations for both of them! They earned it! :)
    Arthur
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've read her circumstances a few times now and can't help wonder if she was considered for a VC but someone ( General Melchett type) said, 'Female VC? Perish the thought-Give her a MC, she can be the first to have one of them what what what.)

    Regardless its a great story of bravery and another missed PR moment for the military.
     
  7. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    I remember seeing the interview with her after being awarded it, just said she had a job to do and didnt think anything of it, but indeed was her bravery equal to that of Johnson Berry, makes you think a bit doesnt it? I say it is almost, but his was awarded for more than one incident.

    I dont think it will be that long before we see the first female VC.

    Regards to all on this so far sunny day!

    Andy
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'd prefer it if we didn't put our soldiers in a place were they could earn a VC.
    Fed up of seeing bodies coming back .
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Having previously served in Kosovo (When I was there) and Northern Ireland. Iraq was Beharry's third tour in 2004 after joining the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment in August 2001 two years after moving to the UK in 1999.


    Gazetted on 18 March 2005:
    Private Beharry carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades. Both were in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries). His valour is worthy of the highest recognition.

    In the early hours of 1 May 2004 Beharry's company was ordered to replenish an isolated coalition forces outpost located in the centre of the troubled city of Al Amarah. He was the driver of a platoon commander's Warrior armoured fighting vehicle. His platoon was the company's reserve force and was placed on immediate notice to move.

    As the main elements of his company were moving into the city to carry out the replenishment, they were re-tasked to fight through a series of enemy ambushes in order to extract a foot patrol that had become pinned down under sustained small arms and heavy machine gun fire and improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade attack.

    Beharry's platoon was tasked over the radio to come to the assistance of the remainder of the company, who were attempting to extract the isolated foot patrol.

    As his platoon passed a roundabout, en route to the pinned-down patrol, they became aware that the road to the front was empty of all civilians and traffic - an indicator of a potential ambush ahead. The platoon commander ordered the vehicle to halt, so that he could assess the situation. The vehicle was then immediately hit by multiple rocket-propelled grenades.

    Eyewitnesses report that the vehicle was engulfed in a number of violent explosions, which physically rocked the 30-tonne Warrior. As a result of this ferocious initial volley of fire, both the platoon commander and the vehicle's gunner were incapacitated by concussion and other wounds, and a number of the soldiers in the rear of the vehicle were also wounded.
    Due to damage sustained in the blast to the vehicle's radio systems, Beharry had no means of communication with either his turret crew or any of the other Warrior vehicles deployed around him. He did not know if his commander or crewmen were still alive, or how serious their injuries may be.

    In this confusing and dangerous situation, on his own initiative, he closed his driver's hatch and moved forward through the ambush position to try to establish some form of communications, halting just short of a barricade placed across the road. The vehicle was hit again by sustained rocket-propelled grenade attack from insurgent fighters in the alleyways and on rooftops around his vehicle.

    Further damage to the Warrior from these explosions caused it to catch fire and fill rapidly with thick, noxious smoke. Beharry opened up his armoured hatch cover to clear his view and orientate himself to the situation. He still had no radio communications and was now acting on his own initiative, as the lead vehicle of a six-Warrior convoy in an enemy-controlled area of the city at night.

    He assessed that his best course of action to save the lives of his crew was to push through, out of the ambush. He drove his Warrior directly through the barricade, not knowing if there were mines or improvised explosive devices placed there to destroy his vehicle. By doing this he was able to lead the remaining five warriors behind him towards safety.
    As the smoke in his driver's tunnel cleared, he was just able to make out the shape of another rocket-propelled grenade in flight heading directly towards him. He pulled the heavy armoured hatch down with one hand, whilst still controlling his vehicle with the other. However, the overpressure from the explosion of the rocket wrenched the hatch out of his grip, and the flames and force of the blast passed directly over him, down the driver's tunnel, further wounding the semi-conscious gunner in the turret.

    The impact of this rocket destroyed Beharry's armoured periscope, so he was forced to drive the vehicle through the remainder of the ambushed route, some 1500m long, with his hatch opened up and his head exposed to enemy fire, all the time with no communications with any other vehicle. During this long surge through the ambushes the vehicle was again struck by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.

    While his head remained out of the hatch, to enable him to see the route ahead, he was directly exposed to much of this fire, and was himself hit by a 7.62mm bullet, which penetrated his helmet and remained lodged on its inner surface. Despite this harrowing weight of incoming fire Beharry continued to push through the extended ambush, still leading his platoon until he broke clean.

    He then visually identified another Warrior from his company and followed it through the streets of Al Amarah to the outside of the Cimic House outpost, which was receiving small arms fire from the surrounding area. Once he had brought his vehicle to a halt outside, without thought for his own personal safety, he climbed onto the turret of the still-burning vehicle and, seemingly oblivious to the incoming enemy small arms fire, manhandled his wounded platoon commander out of the turret, off the vehicle and to the safety of a nearby Warrior.

    He then returned once again to his vehicle and again mounted the exposed turret to lift out the vehicle's gunner and move him to a position of safety. Exposing himself yet again to enemy fire he returned to the rear of the burning vehicle to lead the disorientated and shocked dismounts and casualties to safety.

    Remounting his burning vehicle for the third time, he drove it through a complex chicane and into the security of the defended perimeter of the outpost, thus denying it to the enemy.

    Only at this stage did Beharry pull the fire extinguisher handles, immobilising the engine of the vehicle, dismounted and then moved himself into the relative safety of the back of another Warrior. Once inside Beharry collapsed from the sheer physical and mental exhaustion of his efforts and was subsequently himself evacuated.

    Having returned to duty following medical treatment, on 11 June 2004 Beharry's Warrior was part of a quick reaction force tasked to attempt to cut off a mortar team that had attacked a coalition force base in Al Amarah. As the lead vehicle of the platoon he was moving rapidly through the dark city streets towards the suspected firing point, when his vehicle was ambushed by the enemy from a series of rooftop positions.

    During this initial heavy weight of enemy fire, a rocket-propelled grenade detonated on the vehicle's frontal armour, just six inches [15cm] from Beharry's head, resulting in a serious head injury. Other rockets struck the turret and sides of the vehicle, incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew.

    With the blood from his head injury obscuring his vision, Beharry managed to continue to control his vehicle, and forcefully reversed the Warrior out of the ambush area. The vehicle continued to move until it struck the wall of a nearby building and came to rest. Beharry then lost consciousness as a result of his wounds.

    By moving the vehicle out of the enemy's chosen killing area he enabled other Warrior crews to be able to extract his crew from his vehicle, with a greatly reduced risk from incoming fire.

    Despite receiving a serious head injury, which later saw him being listed as very seriously injured and in a coma for some time, his level-headed actions in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire at short range again almost certainly saved the lives of his crew and provided the conditions for their safe evacuation to medical treatment.

    Beharry displayed repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy action.


    The Queen was reported as saying, 'It's been rather a long time since I've awarded one of these.' to Beharry when awarding him the VC.

    General Sir Mike Jackson was also at Buckingham Palace receiving the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and fittingly said, 'I was overshadowed today by Private Beharry, and quite rightly so - it was an honour to stand alongside him'


    Private Johnson Beharry

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Often referred to as the youngest recipient of the George Cross unfortunately this hour is John Bamfords aged 15 in 1952. However at the age of eighteen and with less than 12 months regular service it no way deminishes his efforts and would make him certainly one of the youngest military recipients of the George Cross.

    Gazetted on 31st October 2003
    On 28 March 2003, D Squadron Household Cavalry Regiment were probing forward along the Shatt Al Arab waterway, north of Basrah, some thirty kilometres ahead of the main force of 16 Air Assault Brigade. In exposed desert, their mission was to find and interdict the numerically vastly superior, and better equipped, Iraqi 6th Armoured Division.

    Trooper Finney, a young armoured vehicle driver with less than a year's service, was driving the leading Scimitar vehicle of his troop, which had been at the forefront of action against enemy armour for several hours. In the early afternoon, the two leading vehicles paused beside a levee to allow the troop leader to assess fully the situation in front. Without warning, they were engaged by a pair of Coalition Forces ground attack aircraft. Both vehicles were hit and caught fire, and ammunition began exploding inside the turrets. Trooper Finney managed to get out of his driving position and was on the way towards cover when he noticed that his vehicle's gunner was trapped in the turret. He then climbed onto the fiercely burning vehicle, at the same time placing himself at risk from enemy fire, as well as fire from the aircraft should they return. Despite the smoke and flames and exploding ammunition, he managed to haul out the injured gunner, get him off the vehicle, and move him to a safer position not far away, where he bandaged his wounds.

    The troop officer, in the other Scimitar, had been wounded and there were no senior ranks to take control. Despite his relative inexperience, the shock of the attack and the all-too-obvious risk to himself, Trooper Finney recognised the need to inform his headquarters of the situation. He therefore broke cover, returned to his vehicle which was still burning, and calmly and concisely sent a lucid situation report by radio. He then returned to the injured gunner and began helping him towards a Spartan vehicle of the Royal Engineers which had moved forward to assist.

    At this point, Trooper Finney noticed that both the aircraft were lining up for a second attack. Notwithstanding the impending danger, he continued to help his injured comrade towards the safety of the Spartan vehicle. Both aircraft fired their cannon and Trooper Finney was wounded in the buttocks and legs, and the gunner in the head. Despite his wounds, Trooper Finney succeeded in getting the gunner to the waiting Spartan. Then, seeing that the driver of the second Scimitar was still in the burning vehicle, Trooper Finney determined to rescue him as well. Despite his wounds and the continuing danger from exploding ammunition, he valiantly attempted to climb up onto the vehicle, but was beaten back by the combination of heat, smoke and exploding ammunition. He collapsed exhausted a short distance from the vehicle, and was recovered by the crew of the Royal Engineers' Spartan.

    During these attacks and their horrifying aftermath, Trooper Finney displayed clear-headed courage and devotion to his comrades which was out of all proportion to his age and experience. Acting with complete disregard for his own safety even when wounded, his bravery was of the highest order throughout.


    After the incident one of Finney's colleagues said, 'Finney helped people out of the wagon. He was the man !'

    Finney was first recommended for the Victoria Cross was rejected because the Victoria Cross is for acts of valour "in the face of the enemy" and did not qualify as they were under attack from American forces.

    Trooper Christopher Finney

    [​IMG]
    Note Finney hasn't received his Op Telic Medal yet
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Speakman was the first recipient to receive a VC from Queen Elizabeth II for his heroic deed in the Korean War.

    At the time of Speakman’s VC being gazetted the media reported that when he ran out of grenades he started throwing empty beer bottles at the enemy.

    He went on to serve with the SAS in Malaya, Borneo and Radfan.

    The London Gazette gave the following details on 25th December 1951:

    From 0400 hours, 4th November, 1951, the defensive positions held by 1st Battalion,
    The King's Own Scottish Borderers, were continuously subjected to heavy and accurate enemy shell and mortar fire. At 1545 hours, this fire became intense and continued this for the next two .hours, considerably damaging the defences and wounding a number of men.

    At 1645 hours, the enemy in their hundreds advanced in wave upon wave against the King's Own Scottish Borderers' positions, and by 1745 hours, fierce hand to hand fighting was taking place on every position.

    Private Speakman, a member of B Company, Headquarters, learning that the section holding the left shoulder of the Company's position had been seriously depleted by casualties, had had its NCO’s wounded and was being overrun, decided on his own initiative to drive the enemy off the position and keep them off it. To affect this he collected quickly a large pile of grenades and a party of six men. Then displaying complete disregard for his own personal safety he led his party in a series of grenade charges against the enemy; and continued doing so as each successive wave of enemy reached the crest of the hill. The force and determination of his charges broke up each successive enemy onslaught and resulted in an ever mounting pile of enemy dead. Having led some ten charges, through withering enemy machine gun and mortar fire, Private Speakman was eventually severely wounded in the leg. Undaunted by his wounds, he continued to lead charge after charge against the enemy and it was only after a direct order from his superior officer that he agreed to pause for a first field dressing to be applied to his wounds. Having had his wounds bandaged, Private Speakman immediately rejoined his comrades and led them again and again forward in a series of grenade charges, up to the time of the withdrawal of his Company at 2100 hours.

    At the critical moment of the withdrawal, amidst an inferno of enemy machine gun and mortar fire, as well as grenades, Private Speakman led a final charge to clear the crest of the hill and hold it, whilst the remainder of his Company withdrew. Encouraging his gallant, but by now sadly depleted party, he assailed the enemy with showers of grenades and kept them at bay sufficiently long for his Company to effect its withdrawal.

    Under the stress and strain of this battle, Private Speakman's outstanding powers of leadership were revealed and he so dominated the situation, that he inspired his comrades to stand firm and fight the enemy to a standstill.

    His great gallantry and utter contempt for his own personal safety were an inspiration to all his comrades. He was, by his heroic actions, personally responsible for causing enormous losses to the enemy, assisting his Company to maintain their position for some four hours and saving the lives of many of his comrades when they were forced to withdraw from their position.

    Private Speakman's heroism under intense fire throughout the operation and when painfully wounded was beyond praise and is deserving of supreme recognition.


    Private Bill Speakman
    [​IMG]

    Later promoted to Sergeant. Note the SAS wings.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones OBE

    On 28th May 1982 Lieutenant Colonel JONES was commanding 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment on operations on the Falkland Islands. The Battalion was ordered to attack enemy positions in and around the settlements of Darwin and Goose Green.

    During the attack against an enemy who was well dug in with mutually supporting positions sited in depth, the Battalion was held up just South of Darwin by a particularly well-prepared and resilient enemy position of at least eleven trenches on an important ridge. A number of casualties were received. In order to read the battle fully and to ensure that the momentum of his attack was not lost, Colonel Jones took forward his reconnaissance party to the foot of a re-entrant which a section of his Battalion had just secured. Despite persistent, heavy and accurate fire the reconnaissance party gained the top of the re-entrant, at approximately the same height as the enemy positions. From here Colonel Jones encouraged the direction of his Battalion mortar fire, in an effort to neutralise the enemy positions. However, these had been well prepared and continued to pour effective fire onto the Battalion advance, which, by now held up for over an hour and under increasingly heavy artillery fire, was in danger of faltering.

    In his effort to gain a good viewpoint, Colonel Jones was now at the very front of his Battalion. It was clear to him that desperate measures were needed in order to overcome the enemy position and rekindle the attack, and that unless these measures were taken promptly the Battalion would sustain increasing casualties and the attack perhaps even fail. It was time for personal leadership and action. Colonel Jones immediately seized a sub-machine gun, and, calling on those around him and with total disregard for his own safety, charged the nearest enemy position. This action exposed him to fire from a number of trenches. As he charged up a short slope at the enemy position he was seen to fall and roll backward downhill. He immediately picked himself up, and again charged the enemy trench, firing his sub-machine gun and seemingly oblivious to the intense fire directed at him. He was hit by fire from another trench which he outflanked, and fell dying only a few feet from the enemy he had assaulted. A short time later a company of the Battalion attacked the enemy, who quickly surrendered. The devasting display of courage by Colonel Jones had completely undermined their will to fight further.

    Thereafter the momentum of the attack was rapidly regained, Darwin and Goose Green were liberated, and the Battalion released the local inhabitants unharmed and forced the surrender of some 1,200 of the enemy.

    The achievements of 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at Darwin and Goose Green set the tone for the subsequent land victory on the Falklands. They achieved such a moral superiority over the enemy in this first battle that, despite the advantages of numbers and selection of battle-ground, they never thereafter doubted either the superior fighting qualities of the British troops, or their own inevitable defeat.

    This was an action of the utmost gallantry by a Commanding Officer whose dashing leadership and courage throughout the battle were an inspiration to all about him.

    Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones

    [​IMG]


    ------X------



    Sergeant Ian John McKay

    During the night of 11th/12th June 1982, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment mounted a silent night attack on an enemy battalion position on Mount Longdon, an important objective in the battle for Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Sergeant McKay was platoon sergeant of 4 Platoon, B Company, which, after the initial objective had been secured, was ordered to clear the Northern side of the long East/West ridge feature, held by the enemy in depth, with strong, mutually-supporting positions.

    By now the enemy were fully alert, and resisting fiercely. As 4 Platoon's advance continued it came under increasingly heavy fire from a number of well sited enemy machine gun positions on the ridge, and received casualties. Realising that no further advance was possible the Platoon Commander ordered the Platoon to move from its exposed position to seek shelter among the rocks of the ridge itself. Here it met up with part of 5 Platoon.

    The enemy fire was still both heavy and accurate, and the position of the platoons was becoming increasingly hazardous. Taking Sergeant McKay, a Corporal and a few others, and covered by supporting machine gun fire, the Platoon Commander moved forward to reconnoitre the enemy positions but was hit by a bullet in the leg, and command devolved upon Sergeant McKay.

    It was clear that instant action was needed if the advance was not to falter and increasing casualties to ensue. Sergeant McKay decided to convert this reconnaissance into an attack in order to eliminate the enemy positions. He was in no doubt of the strength and deployment of the enemy as he undertook this attack. He issued orders, and taking three men with him, broke cover and charged the enemy position.

    The assault was met by a hail of fire. The Corporal was seriously wounded, a Private killed and another wounded. Despite these losses Sergeant McKay, with complete disregard for his own safety, continued to charge the enemy position alone. On reaching it he despatched the enemy with grenades, thereby relieving the position of beleaguered 4 and 5 Platoons, who were now able to redeploy with relative safety. Sergeant McKay, however, was killed at the moment of victory, his body falling on the bunker.

    Without doubt Sergeant McKay's action retrieved a most dangerous situation and was instrumental in ensuring the success of the attack. His was a coolly calculated act, the dangers of which must have been too apparent to him beforehand. Undeterred he performed with outstanding selflessness, perseverance and courage.

    With a complete disregard for his own safety, he displayed courage and leadership of the highest order, and was an inspiration to all those around him.

    Sergeant Ian John McKay

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Posthumously awarded the George Cross

    On his fourth tour Captain Nairac was a Liaison Officer at Headquarters 3 Infantry Brigade. His task was connected with surveillance operations.

    On the night of 14/15 May 1977 Captain Nairac was abducted from a village in South Armagh by at least seven men. Despite his fierce resistance he was overpowered and taken across the border into the nearby Republic of Ireland where he was subjected to a succession of exceptionally savage assaults in an attempt to extract information which would have put other lives and future operations at serious risk. These efforts to break Captain Nairac's will failed entirely. Weakened as he was in strength-though not in spirit-by the brutality, he yet made repeated and spirited attempts to escape, but on each occasion was eventually overpowered by the weight of the numbers against him. After several hours in the hands of his captors Captain Nairac was callously murdered by a gunman of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who had been summoned to the scene. His assassin subsequently said 'He never told us anything'.

    Captain Nairac's exceptional courage and acts of the greatest heroism in circumstances of extreme peril showed devotion to duty and personal courage second to none.


    Captain Robert Nairac

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
    Whitehall, London SW1
    15th December 2006
    The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the
    posthumous award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned:

    25048092 Corporal Bryan James Budd,
    The Parachute Regiment (killed in action)

    During July and August 2006 A Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment were deployed to occupy once again the District Centre at Sangin. The company’s location was constantly under sustained attack from a combination of Taliban small arms, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar and rocket fire. In order to reduce this threat platoons were regularly tasked to conduct security patrols into the urban and rural areas in the vicinity of the District Centre. Given the prevailing enemy activity in the area it was assessed that patrols had a 75 per cent chance of coming into contact with the Taliban—a statistic that was not lost on the men of A Company.

    These patrols regularly came under attack and on 27th July Corporal Budd’s section identified and engaged two enemy gunmen on the roof of a building in the centre of Sangin. This provoked a fierce fire-fight in which two of Corporal Budd’s section was hit. One was seriously injured and collapsed in the open ground, where he remained exposed to enemy fire, with rounds striking the ground around him. Realising that he needed to regain the initiative and understanding that the enemy needed to be driven back so that the casualty could be evacuated, Corporal Budd led his section forward and assaulted the building where the enemy fire was heaviest. He led this attack under fire and personally killed two of the enemy inside the building with grenade and rifle fire, forcing the remaining fighters to flee across an open field where they were successfully engaged by the rest of his section. This courageous and prompt action proved decisive in breaking the enemy and was undertaken at great personal risk. In inflicting significant losses amongst the enemy and forcing their withdrawal, Corporal Budd’s deliberate action and conspicuous gallantry also allowed the wounded soldier to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment.

    On 20th August Corporal Budd was leading his section on the right forward flank of a platoon clearance patrol near Sangin District Centre. Another section was advancing with a Land Rover fitted with a .50 calibre heavy machine gun on the patrol’s left flank. Pushing through thick vegetation, Corporal Budd identified a number of enemy fighters 30 metres away to his front. As he had not been seen by these Taliban, Corporal Budd indicated their presence to the rest of his section and used hand signals to prepare his men to launch a hasty attack. He then led his section on a flanking manoeuvre but the enemy engaged the Land Rover on the left flank and the element of surprise Corporal Budd had hoped to achieve was lost as his own section was also spotted.

    Recognising the immediate requirement to regain the initiative, Corporal Budd made a conscious decision to assault the enemy and ordered his men to follow him. As they moved forward the section came under a withering fire that quickly wounded two men and incapacitated a further soldier when a bullet struck his body armour. The effectiveness of the enemy’s fire and these losses forced the unwounded members of the section to take cover. However, Corporal Budd continued to assault forward on his own, knowing full well the likely consequences of doing so without the close support of his remaining men.

    He was wounded but he continued to move forward, firing at the enemy and accounting for a number of them as he rushed their position. Inspired by Corporal Budd’s example, the rest of the platoon reorganised and pushed forward their attack, killing more of the enemy and eventually forcing their withdrawal. Corporal Budd subsequently died of his wounds and when his body was later recovered it was found surrounded by three dead Taliban. There is no doubt that Corporal Budd first demonstrated conspicuous gallantry in leading the assault on 27th July 2006, an assault which broke the enemy and ultimately saved the life of a wounded member of his section. What is remarkable is that he did this again on 20th August in the knowledge that the rest of his men had either been struck down by enemy fire or had been forced to go to ground.

    Throughout his service in Afghanistan Corporal Budd led his section from the front and was always at the point where the action was fiercest. Twice he behaved with the greatest gallantry but his single-handed action on the second occasion and his determination, though wounded, to push on against a superior enemy force stands out as a premeditated act of inspirational leadership and the greatest valour, which cost him his life.


    Corporal Bryan Budd

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    CENTRAL CHANCERY OF
    THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD
    St James’s Palace, London SW1
    15th December 2006
    The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the
    Posthumous award of the George Cross to the undermentioned:

    25087140 Corporal Mark William Wright,
    The Parachute Regiment (killed in action)


    From July 2006, a fire support group of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, consisting of mortars, snipers, heavy machine guns and anti-tank weapons, held a high ridge feature to the south of the Kajaki Dam in the northern centre of Helmand Province. This group was tasked with defending the dam area from Taliban attack.

    On 6 September Lance Corporal Hale was ordered to lead a sniper patrol down the southern side of the ridge in an attempt to engage a group of Taliban fighters that had been reported to be operating on the principal highway to the east of the ridge. Three hundred metres from his main position Lance Corporal Hale stepped on a mine, which blew offone of his legs. Seeing the mine-strike from the top of the ridge, Corporal Wright gathered a number of personnel and rushed down the slope to give assistance. Fully aware of the risk of entering a minefield in which a casualty had already occurred, Corporal Wright made a conscious decision to enter the mined area knowing he faced a significant risk of initiating a mine. On arriving alongside the injured Lance Corporal Hale, Corporal Wright immediately took command of the incident and directed two qualified medical orderlies to take over the treatment of Lance Corporal Hale. Conscious of the dangers of operating in a minefield, Corporal Wright ordered all unnecessary personnel to safety and then began organising the casualty evacuation. Realising that Lance Corporal Hale was likely to bleed to death if they attempted to move him back up the steep slope, Corporal Wright called for a helicopter and ordered a route to be cleared through the minefield to a possible landing site. Corporal Pearson undertook the task, but stepped on a mine and suffered a traumatic amputation of his left leg when moving back across the route he thought he had cleared. Corporal Wright at once moved to Corporal Pearson and began rendering assistance until one of the medical orderlies could take over. In doing so, he again took the risk of setting off another mine. Once again Corporal Wright ordered all non-essential personnel to stay out of the minefield and began sending a further situation report to his headquarters. He also ensured that urgently required additional medical items were passed down the ridge to treat those wounded in the minefield. Shortly afterwards a Chinook CH47 helicopter landed to an offset position from the minefield, but as Corporal Wright stood up to begin making his way to the helicopter he initiated a third mine sustaining serious injuries to his left shoulder and chest area and also to his face. This mine also caused chest injuries to one of the two medical personnel. The remaining medical orderly set about treating Corporal Wright, but was himself wounded by a fourth mine blast which blew ofthe leg off a soldier treating Corporal Pearson. This blast caused further injury to both Corporal Wright and Corporal Pearson and the medical orderly. After the fourth mine blast there were now seven casualties still in the minefield, three of whom had lost limbs. All of those injured, including Corporal Wright, were in very real danger of bleeding to death. Medical supplies were becoming exhausted and initial hope of rescue had disappeared as the CH47 helicopter had had to abort its mission.

    Despite this horrific situation, his own very serious injuries and the precarious situation of the others in the minefield, Corporal Wright still strove to exercise control of the situation. He did this despite being in great pain and fully aware that he was in danger of bleeding to death. He gave his identification number and ordered those other injured personnel to do so as well in order to assist with their treatment once evacuated. Until eventually evacuated by an American aircraft equipped with a winch, Corporal Wright remained conscious for the majority of the time that help took to arrive. During this period he continued to shout encouragement to those around him and several survivors subsequently paid tribute to the contribution this made to maintaining morale and calm amongst so many wounded men. Regrettably, Corporal Wright died of his wounds on the helicopter during the transit flight to the field dressing station.

    There is absolutely no doubt that Corporal Wright entered the minefield to assist Lance Corporal Hale in the full knowledge of the dangerous situation. He had the option to wait for a mine clearance team to arrive, but decided to take action immediately, realising that conducting a full mine clearance to reach Lance Corporal Hale would take too long and he was likely to die before it was completed. When further casualties occurred he again ordered others to safety, but continued to move around the minefield to control the situation. In doing so he suffered mortal injury but still continued to demonstrate command presence that was so vital to eventually ensuring that all casualties and members of the rescue party were evacuated from the horrific situation.

    It is notable that from the time of responding to the first mine strike, Corporal Wright spent three and a half hours in the minefield and that for a significant amount of that time he himself was very seriously wounded and in great pain. His outstandingly courageous actions and leadership were an inspiration to all those around him during an extremely precarious situation. His complete disregard for his own safety while doing everything possible to retain control of the situation and to save lives constitutes an act of the greatest gallantry.



    Corporal Mark Wright

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    On the night 22nd-23rd April, 1951, Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S battalion, 1 Glosters, was heavily attacked and the enemy on the Imjin River were repulsed having suffered heavy casualties. On 23rd/24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was heavily and incessantly engaged by vastly superior numbers of enemy who repeatedly launched mass attacks, but were stopped at close quarters. During the 24th and 25th April, 1951, the Battalion was completely cut off from the rest of the Brigade, but remained a fighting entity, in face of almost continual onslaughts from an enemy who were determined at all costs and regardless of casualties, to over-run it. Throughout, Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S manner remained coolness itself, and on the wireless, the only communication he still hadwith Brigade, he repeatedly assured the Brigade Commander that all was well with his Battalion, that they could hold on and that everyone was in good heart.

    Throughout the entire engagement Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE, showing a complete disregard for his own safety, moved among the whole Battalion under very heavy mortar and machine gun fire, inspiring the utmost confidence and the will to resist, amongst his troops.

    On two separate occasions, armed with arifle and grenades he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy and saved important situations.

    Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE'S example ofcourage, coolness and leadership was felt not only in his own Battalion, but through out the whole Brigade.

    He fully realised that his flanks had been turned, but he also knew that the abandonment of his position would clear the way for
    the enemy to make a major breakthrough and this would have endangered the Corps. When at last it was apparent that his Battalion would not be relieved and on orders from higher authority, he organised his Battalion into small, officer-led parties,who then broke out, whilst he himself incharge of a small party fought his way out but was captured within 24 hours.

    Lieutenant-Colonel CARNE showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of our Army. He inspired his officers and men to fightbeyond the normal limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water.

    Lieutenant-Colonel James Carne

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]

    A Royal Navy Medical Assistant is to be awarded the Military Cross in recognition of her 'exemplary performance' on operations in Afghanistan.


    Medical Assistant Kate Louise Nesbitt from Plymouth deployed to Afghanistan with 3 Commando Brigade and worked in close support with 'Charlie' Company of 1st Battalion The Rifles when she found herself under fire from the Taliban.

    The Military Cross is awarded to individuals for 'gallantry during active operations against the enemy' and MA Nesbitt did just that.

    Her citation reads:
    "Nesbitt's actions throughout a series of offensive operations were exemplary; under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death. She performed in the highest traditions of her Service."

    On hearing the news of her outstanding award Medical Assistant Nesbitt said:
    "I am stunned to think someone has recommended me for this, I would have been over the moon with a good report."

    MA Nesbitt joined the Royal Navy in 2005 and, after medical training, served at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone followed by a deployment on the Type 42 destroyer HMS Nottingham.

    She is currently working in the Surgical Assessment Unit at the Military Hospital Unit Derriford.

    For MA Nesbitt, service within the Navy runs in the family; her dad served in the Royal Marines for 22 years, her brother is serving at sea on HMS Ocean, and another brother is undergoing medical training with the Royal Marines.

    [​IMG]
    MA Kate Nesbitt (centre) is to be awarded the Military Cross for her actions in Afghanistan

    Kate Nesbitt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A better idea of what this brave lady did:


    The primary action for which Nesbitt received the Military Cross was for acts during a Taliban ambush. On 12 March 2009, while under fire from Taliban forces, Nesbitt administered emergency medical treatment which saved the life of Lance Corporal John List, a 22-year-old soldier of 1st Battalion, The Rifles (1 RIFLES), from Holsworthy, Devon.

    On that day, List's unit was undertaking a five-day operation in Marjah district, Helmand Province, securing the area for the forthcoming Afghan elections. In the mid-afternoon, during a Taliban ambush and ensuing gun-battle, List was shot in the neck. Nesbitt, on being informed by radio of a "man down" and the location, ran 60 to 70 metres under fire and found List struggling to breathe, as the bullet had gone through his top lip, ruptured his jaw and come out of his neck. She administered aid for around 45 minutes, stemming the blood loss, and providing him with another airway. During treatment they were subject to gun and rocket fire from the Taliban forces. List said of the incident, "I felt the impact go through my jaw, and the next thing I knew I was on my back. I thought that was it. Kate appeared from nowhere, reassuring me everything would be ok". List was later airlifted to hospital by Merlin helicopter.

    Nesbitt returned from Afghanistan three weeks after the ambush, at the end of her tour. Nesbitt next met List back in England in May 2009, at a medals parade for 1 RIFLES at their Chepstow barracks, the first time he was able to speak, and thank Nesbitt.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    wtid45 likes this.
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  20. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Just thought I would pop in here and say what a great job your doing highlighting these awards nice one Drew.
     

Share This Page