Victoria Crosses That Never Were....

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC downgraded to DCM.

    On 6th March 1943, 5439010 Sjt. Andrews was in command of an Infantry 6 Pdr anti-tank gun crew covering the southern approaches to the Bde position. This position was heavily attacked at an early hour when seventeen enemy tanks approached moving fast. They deployed for the attack, and passed across the front of Sjt. Andrews gun. With remarkable fire discipline, and with the intention of obtaining the full destructive effect of the anti-tank layout, Sjt Andrews held his fire and remained concealed until four enemy tanks had passed across his sights.

    The tanks were about at 1,000 yards range and passed his position, when Sjt. Andrews opened fire knocking out the first tank with a succession of shots, and also the tank following. This onslaught stopped the initial attack.

    A Mark IV Special then went into a hull-down position, and systematically shelled the gun pit, to which Sjt. Andrews replied repeatedly hitting the enemy tank, but causing no vital damage owing to the shots glancing off the heavily armoured turret. Another tank then took up a similiar hull-down position and acted as an armoured OP to an 88 mm in position behind a ridge, which came into action against the gun.

    The shelling became so severe that Sjt. Andrews ordered his crew into cover, but himself lay quietly beside the gun awaiting the opportunity for further action. It was clear that the enemy thought the gun silenced, as some time later the Mark IV that had been watching came slowly forward. Sjt. Andrews seized his opportunity, loaded and fired the gun himself, and scored a hit. The tank withdrew and was found the next day abandoned.

    For the next hour Sjt. Andrews continued to fire his gun single handed while continually being shelled and machine gunned. The parapet of his position was completely shot away, and the gun shield pierced by bullets, and an AP shot, while a 75 mm HE shell had exploded actually in the gun pit.

    When the fire had sufficiently lost its intensity, Sjt Andrews recalled his crew, and for the remainder of the day maintained his gun in action under continuous enemy fire of all natures. In all 64 rounds were fired by the gun. The gun and crew were in full view of a large portion of the main position, and the magnificent example set by Sjt Andrews undoubtedly had an effect that was probably decisive in encouraging others to stand firm under circumstances which at times became nearly desperate. When it is understood that Sjt Andrews had never before been in a determined enemy tank attack, nor had he ever fired his gun in action before, the exceptional gallantry of his behaviour throughout the day can be realised.

    LG 4.5.43.

    * Surname is Andrew not Andrews.
  2. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Intresting I posted on this a little while back after seeing it in the book mentioned in your link......... nice link by the way.And heres the post I mentioned. I have recently got the book SAS History Of The Special Raiding Squadron, 'Paddys Men' and at the end of the book is a Citation for an award of the VC to W/Major(T/LT COL) 87306 Robert Blair for a action on April 9th 1945 but instead of the VC he recived a third bar to his DSO.Now while im aware of plenty of speculation about Blair being awarded the VC I did not know he was auctually cited for one, anyone else know of this?. The citation would certienly appear to compare very well with other VC awards that I have read of being given:confused: so who decided otherwise, looking at the citation it looks most likely Monty put the mockers on it:unsure: if this is news I will post the citation in full. Jason

    The curator of the Blair Mayne Society came and gave a very interesting presentation a few years back.

    As far as Mayne was concerned - he was informed, and he duely informed friends and family, that he was getting the VC

    there is speculation that his 'un- Sandhurst-like' attributes upset some of the very senior officers of the establishment
    wtid45 likes this.
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    5439010 Segeant Richard Ivor Andrew, 1/7 Bn. Queen's Royal Regiment. VC to DCM

    The Medenine Gun
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC downgraded to DSO.

    The Gulf of Salerno Sep. 8 - 18th 1943

    Lt-Col Churchill commanded No.2 Commando during the opposed landing in Marina Bay in the early hours of Sep 9th and throughout the subsequent actions at Vietri on Sep. 10th, the Molina defile on 12th - 13th Sep. and at Piegolette on 15th - 16th Sep.

    In the initial assault Lt-Col. Churchill landed with the first flight of the attacking troops. He organised and led personally the attack on a 4 gun battery.

    From 9th - 13th Sep. Lt-Col. Churchill on several occasions led counter-attacks against enemy infiltrationsinto his positions. By his cool courage and complete disregard of danger he personally inspired his men, exhausted as they were, to hold the position. During this period he found a badly wounded man whom he and his Adjutant carried back under fire on a rucksack to cover behind a ridge some 250 yards away.

    On the night of 15/16 Sep. Lt-Col. Churchill organised the advance of his Commando up the Piegolette Valley, personally directing the advance by leading the right hand troop which had only one newly joined subaltern left.

    On reaching the objective he went forward with one man into the village in which the enemy were sniping and throwing hand grenades. Although the bright moonlight made movement in the streets dangerous, his disregard of danger resulted in the capture of over 100 prisoners.

    Subsequently the captured position was heavily attacked under cover of intense MG and Mortar fire. Lt-Col. Churchill at once left his Headquarters and visited each Troop Post in turn proceeding alone in order not to endanger the lives of others.

    Throughout the day Lt-Col. Churchill supervised our successful efforts to hold the determined onslaught on the enemy continually visting our exposed positions.

    All through the following night he remained on duty directing artillery and mortar fire onto enemy patrols which were seeking to turn our position by the wooded valleys.

    When dawn broke Lt-Col. Churchill had again no sleep for 36 hours, had personally led two long and heavily opposed attacks and had inspired our troops to beat off all attempts by the enemy to penetrate the positions.

    It is beyond any doubt that Lt-Col. Churchill's gallantry tilted the scales of battle on more than one occasion.

    The magnetic power of his personal leadership frequently rallied his exhausted troops when they could scarcely stagger forward. His powers of endurance and the cool and unflinching manner in which he exposed himself to danger so that he seemed to bear a charmed life were unquestionably a brilliant inspiration ranking with the highest traditions of the British Army.
  5. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC awarded DCM

    During the action at Mechili on January 24th 1941 against an enemy column; protected by medium tanks, the bullet proof glass block in the driver's visor in front of his eyes was shattered by an enemy projectile and he received severe wounds in the face including both eyes, totally blinding him, at any rate for the time being. (He may recover the sight of one eye and be able to see something in the other.)

    In spite of these wounds he continued to drive his tank in accordance with the directions of his commander, and suceeded in extricating it in reverse away from an extremely exposed position, until it had reached cover. It was then discovered that he had been severely wounded and totally blinded.

    Had it not been for his most gallant behaviour, it is certain that the tank with its crew would have been been lost as the enemy cruisers were following up knocking out any light tanks they could get close to.

    Trooper Barlow has been commended by his Squadron Leader in several other actions and for his efficiency, courage, and endurance throughout the campaign.

    No LG Date
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC Awarded DCM

    On the night 10/11 Nov 43, 10th Bn. The Royal Berkshire Regt. had just relieved another battalionin the Calabritto position when intense shelling, mortar and MG fire was opened which proved to be the prelude to a determined enemy attack.

    At about 1900 hrs when the enemy fire was at its height an Offr was seriously wounded. L/Cpl Coles, one of the stretcher bearers attached to a reserve Coy near the Bn HQ area, immediately left the cover of his slit trench and ran forward some 200 yards to where the Offr lay. Completely ignoring the enemy shelling he dresed the Offr's wounds and then carried him single handed to a Bantam he drove it himself to the RAP, along a road which was also at the time under accurate shell fire. He then immediately returned to his Coy, and on six other and seperate occasions during the night went out and attended wounded men despite the fact that shells and mortar bombs were still falling and that MGs were sweeping the area.

    At first light on 11 Nov, he took out stretcher bearers and searched for wounded to ensure that none had been left unattended. During his search he discovered a wounded man, and despite the fact that he was in full view of the enemy who was still firing, he attended the man's wounds and carried him to safety.

    On the night 11/12 when the Bn HQ area was once again subjected to very heavy fire which caused several casualties , L/Cpl Coles again went out under this fire to attend to the wounded men, moving from one to another, dressing their wounds and heartening them by his own personal cheerfulness and imperturbable manner. He continued to search throughout the night until he was satisfied that all wounded had been collected and cared for.

    On the evening of 12 Nov the Coyto which L/Cpl Coles was attached was sent to regain tough with one of the leading Coys, round which considerable numbers of enemy had infiltrated. Information was received that a Sgt had been wounded, that it had not been possible to bring him in, and that he was probably in an area occupied by the enemy. On hearing this, L/Cpl Coles immediately set off on his own initiative to look for this Sgt; with the utmost calm he advanced under heavy and close MG fire, and began to search the area. It was not until he was ordered by an Offr to desist that he gave up his efforts to find the wounded man.

    Throughout the whole period of some 40 hours, L/Cpl Coles refused to rest. Oblivious to his own personal danger, he displayed courage of the very highest order and set a standard of selflessness and devotion to duty which was an inspiration to all who were privileged to witness it. By his gallant conduct he undoubtedly saved many lives.

    LG 23.3.44
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I wonder why his recommendation was downgraded?

    Has anyone received a VC that was a conscientious objector?

  9. craigevelyn

    craigevelyn Member

    can some one explain the difference and which one is the higher
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    can some one explain the difference and which one is the higher

    Here you go:

    Ministry of Defence | Defence For... | Veterans | Medals | Distinguished Service Order

    The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) was instituted originally to reward junior officers in the Army for distinguished service or acts of gallantry against the enemy. While the Order of the Bath had been available for senior officers and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for the other ranks, no award below the level of the Victoria Cross (VC) had existed for junior officers. The DSO was also made available to junior officers of the other services.

    In short one is for officers and the other is for the 'others'.

    More information here:

    Ministry of Defence | Defence For... | Veterans | Medals | Honours & Gallantry Awards
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended VC Awarded DCM.

    On 24th Jan. 45 a battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers was ordered to clear the German town of Heinsberg. L/Cpl. Leitch was a company signaller in B Company, which was deployed to protect the flank of the attack.

    The company began to dig in during darkness, but when daylight came it was foundthat they were in a very exposed position and were completely overlooked by the enemy from a ridge only 250 yards away. From dawn onwards the whole company area was subjected to heavy shelling, and mortar and small arms fire.

    Many casualties occurred, and any movement brought renewed fire from the enemy, the stretcher bearers were unable to attend the wounded. At 1300 hrs. it was therefore decided to put down an artillery smoke screen in front of the company position, so that they could reorganise and evacuate the wounded. No artillery forward observation officer was then available and L/Cpl Leitch manned the company wireless set to pass range corrections to the guns.

    The Company HQ soon received a direct hit from a mortar bomb which seriously wounded the Company Commander and Company Sergeant Major and killed the Second in Command, leaving no officer in charge. L/Cpl Leitch was himself wounded. His right leg had been so severely shattered that it had later to be amputated: he had also a large wound in his hip.

    Nevertheless L/Cpl Leitch remained at his post, realising the importance of the smoke screen. For 45 minutes he continued to observe and direct the fire of the gunners, so that the area was successfully smoked and it became possible for the wounded to be evacuated, and the company to be re-organised. During all this time he was alone and suffering intense pain.

    Not until he was sure that this work had been completed did he disclose that he had been wounded.

    Owing to the extent of the enemy fire, it took a further 30 minutes for stretcher bearers to reach him, and during this time he continued to give directions over his wireless set and bring down fire accurately on the enemy positions.

    The actions of this NCO under critical circumstances, alone at his Coy. HQ, and gravely wounded, were a splendid example of courage and devotion to duty. By his bravery and indifference to his own wounds, L/Cpl Leitch saved his company's position and the lives of many of his comrades.

    LG 12.4.45

    It appears he was also recommended for the lesser award of a Military Medal for the same action which I would guess means he was recommended for all three and the DCM was chosen.
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended VC received DCM.

    During the attack on the strong point at Sidi Abdullah on 19th April 1943, the Company met intense opposition in the way of A/Tk Gun fire, machine guns and grenades from well constructed formations. Without hesitation L/C McQuoid dashed forward towards an enemy machine gun and first fired at the crew with his rifle, killing at least two men. He followed up this charge by standing on the parapet and lobbing a grenade down into the trench. He withdrew slightly and took another grenade from one of our injured men, then returned to the parapet and hurled it amongst the enemy. Immediately after this he was wounded by another grenade which was thrown at him from a nearby trench.

    L/Cpl McQuoid's action silenced the Machine Gun, gave the Company a moment's respite which enabled it to recover and sweep along the right flank and get into a position from which we were able to drive out the enemy from the remaining trenches and later consolidate our position. In the opinion of his Company Commander it would have been almost impossible to achieve this had it not been for L/Cpl McQuoid's heroism, and many more men would certainly have lost their lives.

    LG 22.7.43

    Some more info here:
  13. craigevelyn

    craigevelyn Member

    Why cannot your family ask to have a medal award reviewed and if appropriate the medal award be upgraded as fits .My dads dcm was strongly recomended so must have been a near miss for next highest award or was that kept for the dead .
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    No, Your father was recommended for the DCM. If he was recommended for the VC it would have said so on his citation.

    There is only one occassion during WW2 (That I'm aware of) where a DCM was upgraded to a VC and again it was done at the time of the citation being approved.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommeded VC Awarded DCM

    On the night 26/27th February 1945 Alq Regt with under comd 29 Cdn. Armd. Recce Regt. was ordered to seize and hold the high ground in the Hochwald Forest gap at 036407. The attack was to be completed by first light and the adv. to the objective was to be made over boggy ground, through one of the main enemy def. lines. On the way to their F.U.P. 'B' Coy was pinned down by intense enemy MG fire and it appeared that the adv. would be delayed. Without hesitation CSM McPhee left his cover and on foot led one of the sp. tks. fwd. over 300 yards of open ground to a position from which neutralizing fire could be brought down on enemy positions. He then returned to his Coy. mounted the leading tank and led the force through heavy enemy fire over three prepared anti-tk. obstacles onto the objective. There can be no doubt that the initiative and leadership displayed by this NCO greatly aided in the successful capture of the objective without loss of valuable time.

    CSM McPhee's courage courage and complete disregard for personal safety was an inspiration to all ranks in his Coy. and a magnificent example to the entire bn.

    LG 12.5.45
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended VC Awarded DCM.

  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended VC Awarded DCM.

    The Edmn R. was ordered to attack point 736, a high feature North of Regalbuto, 2nd Aug. 43. The only cover in the three mile approach to the objectivewas that afforded by boulders and crevices in the rock and forward movement in the face of the enemy fire was hazardous and possible only by skilful use of ground.

    'B' Coy. advanced some 2,000 yards, when the intensity of the enemy fire across the path of advance caused casualties and made a reorganization necessary.

    A call came for stretcher bearers and from 'D' Coy. some 500 yards to the rear, Pte Low and Pte Colbeck volunteered.

    Crawling from boulder to boulder, from hollow to hollow as they advanced up the slope, machine gun fire was seen to concentrate upon them, they were caught in snipers cross-fire, but still carried on.

    After advancing 150 yards, Pte Colbeck was wounded. Pte Low stopped, in full view and fire of the enemy dressed the wounds of his comrade, and then dragged him behind a small rock that allowed some cover.

    To his comrades, the further advance of this soldier could only end in sudden death, but to their amazement he continued on towards the wounded men. German fire appeared to centre around him. Bullets were seen kicking up dust along the line of his path, but Pte Low showing intense devotion to duty and conspicuous bravery, successfully crawled the remaining 300 yards and reached the wounded men.

    In the open and what seemed to his platoon murderous fire, he dressed the wounds of each of the three in turn, found cover for them, and carried and aided them to it. Such was the nature of the wounds of these men, that it was later found that their injuries would have been fatal without his assistance. Pte Low having completed his task returned under the same continuous fire to 'D' Coy. and resumed his first aid work.

    Through the valour, conspicuous bravery and courage of Pte. Low, these three wounded soldiers were rescued.

    LG 23.12.43
  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018

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