7340821 WO II (SSM) William Thomas Bronze Star, 4th Queen's Own Hussars, RAC.

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Drew5233, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Warrant Officer Class II (SSM) William Thomas Bronze Star, 4th Queen's Own Hussars, RAC.

    Awarded Bronze Star, USA.

    Previously awarded Military Medal.

    Commanding General 15 Army Gp:

    At 0515 hrs, on 4 January 1945, an enemy infantry attack was launched across Via Al Conventello. A captured enemy operation order later disclosed that this attack was made with three companies of infantry. The country is flat but enclosed with rows of vines. The vine lanes lead North towards the enemy enabling him to observe lateral movement and bring down effective fire. The fire consisted chiefly of mortar and machine gun from behind the flood bank of drainage canal 400 yards to the North.

    At 0615 hrs SSM Thomas was ordered to replenish the troop of tanks of 'A' Squadron, 4th Queen's Own Hussars and a platoon of the 12th Lancers at Casa Di Mezza (spelling), MR 472467, who were heavily engaged, virtually surrounded and running short of ammunition. The ammunition was loaded in a turret less Stuart Tank.

    SSM Thomas fought his way into Casa Di Mezza and dumped the ammunition. He then offered to remain to assist in the defence of the farm. The extra fire power giving great assistance. Then the fire slackened on his front he visited other sectors giving assistance with his Bren Gun and a T.S.B.G (?) Later on hearing that a platoon of the 1st Kings Royal Rifle Corps, at MR. 473469, were running short of ammunition he volunteered to take a small load to them though he knew they were also surrounded and he would have to move the whole way through ground held by large numbers of enemy. From this farm he received orders to return to Sqn Headquarters, as he had completed his task.

    By this heroic action he succeeded in replenishing two infantry platoons and one troop of tanks, who, if ammunition had not arrived, would have been overcome thus enabling the enemy to seize ground vital to the flank of 5th Canadian Armoured Division. This division was carrying out a major operation in a North Easterly direction in the locality described on the morning of 4 January 1945, sixty-seven prisoners of war were taken and approximately eighty killed for the loss of one Sergeant, three men and one tank.

    Dated 4.3.45.

    There is a far shorter less detailed version of events by the 4th Queen's Own Hussars CO. and some personal details of WO2 William Thomas.
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Once again I am in your debt.

    This is the first time I have seen the actual citation behind "Busty"s Bronze Star award and now, one hour after reading it, I am still emotionally on a high.

    I always knew Busty was someone "different", but, after first reading his MM citation and now this other one, I truly recognise that I was privileged to have served as one of his tank crew.

    I see in the Bronze Star citation that "The ammunition was loaded in a turret less Stuart Tank".

    I didn't join the Regiment until March 29th, some three months after the episode at Casa Di Mezza, but I have no doubt at all that the honey on which I was to see the end of the war was the same bloody tank!

    When I first clapped eyes on it after spending some three months training on Shermans I remember quaking at the thought that the only protection it had against any incoming s..t was a canvas rain hood !

    If the motive behind your project was to put flesh on the bones of seemingly dry and dusty citations then you've certainly hit the jackpot with this one,

    Many thanks and

    RIP Busty


    Attached Files:

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Once again Ron.....The pleasure is all mine !

    Kindest regards
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    WO 373/130/96
    Name Thomas, William Trevor
    Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
    Service No: 7340821
    Regiment: Royal Armoured Corps
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Malaya
    Award: Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 04 April 1952

    Attached Files:

  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

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