Bravest act on the Allied side.

Discussion in 'General' started by The Aviator, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. The Aviator

    The Aviator Discharged

    John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
  2. The Aviator

    The Aviator Discharged

    Cheers Jeff.
    Back on the 12th of November I put this post up and I would like to post once more the view of what the bravest act of WW2 was by Leading Seaman Peter Gray RAN. HMAS Perth survivor.

    That day on the 18th August 1945
    Recently I met a survivor of HMAS Perth and my wife and I had afternoon tea at his home.
    I asked him what it was like on the last day of the war. It was just a curious question.
    He said they were in a camp just north of Singapore.
    He said that a lone Dakota flew over the prison camp and a single parachute decended.
    It was a Major from the British Army. He unclipped his parachute, pulled out his service revolver and advanced on a party of gaping Japanese guards.
    He said "Drop your weapons, you are all under arrest".
    They got his message and dropped them.

    Peter said that it was the bravest act he had ever witnessed and probably the bravest act of WW2.
    Wish we knew the name of that Major.

    I asked what happened next.
    He said they got together and disarmed the Japs and started to search the camp.
    They opened these sheds and found years of Red Cross parcels loaded with food and medicine.

    The Aviator.
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    He certainly had to have a set, Avaiator, to boldly step into that fray.
  4. The Aviator

    The Aviator Discharged

    Yeah Jeff. I think I know what set you are talking about.
    This would be my nomination too if we knew the Major's name, but I'm going to stay with Sub Lieutenant John Moffet, because we know who he is and what he did.
  5. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    those s.o.e women.yours,lee.
  6. A Potts

    A Potts Member

    I always thought that the 82nd Airbourne river crossing at Nijmegen was extremely brave.

    This from Wiki,

    Boats ordered by the 82nd Airborne the day before failed to arrive until afternoon, and a hasty daylight assault crossing was ordered. At about 15:00, the 3rd Battalion, 504th PIR made the crossing in 26 canvas assault boats into well-defended positions. The unit had no training on the British-made boats. A shortage of paddles required some troopers to paddle the craft with rifle butts. About half the boats survived the crossing under heavy fire; survivors then assaulted across 200 yards of open ground on the far bank and seized the north end of the bridge. German forces withdrew from both ends of the bridge, which was then rushed by Guards tanks and the 2nd Battalion, 505th PIR, securing the bridge after four days of struggle. The costly attack was nicknamed "Little Omaha" in reference to Omaha Beach.'.
  7. The Aviator

    The Aviator Discharged

    This action was in fact well portyayed in the movie "A Bridge too far".
  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    those s.o.e women.yours,lee.
    Agreed. They faced an awful fate when caught as some were. They ended up in the Gas Chambers in some cases.
  9. Arsenal vg-33

    Arsenal vg-33 Member

    I'm going to nominate Rene Duchez. While giving estimates for redecorating the main office of the Todt Organization in Caen, he noticed the blueprints for the Atlantic Wall laying on the desk and swiped them. He hid the plans behind a mirror and then offered a ridiculously low bid on the redecorating just so he could get back inside to wisk them away in a roll of wallpaper.
    von Poop likes this.
  10. The Aviator

    The Aviator Discharged

    That's a good story Arsenal. What happened then? Did he get them to the Allies?
  11. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    I would say that there are two categories for uncommon valor: 1) When in the heat of battle you don´t think about what you´re doing, but just do it, and 2) When knowing your orders, and having had time to analize them, you go forward and face the enemy.

    Having this in mind, I´m going to give a couple of nominees for category #2:

    The men of the 17th (or was it the 21st?) Lancers, who in Tunis ´43 charged into the Valley of Death, against the entrenched 88s, just as the Light Brigade did in Balaclava. Sorry if don´t have all the details right know, but will get them ASAP (help is welcome).

    The men of the SIG, knowing what their fate was going to be if captured (Jews engaged in commando style ops)
  12. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Another one, this time for category #1:

    The commanders of the Acasta and the Ardent, which stood up to the Gneisenau and Prince Eugen trying to cover the retreat of the Glorious, in ´39.
  13. Arsenal vg-33

    Arsenal vg-33 Member

    That's a good story Arsenal. What happened then? Did he get them to the Allies?

    Yes, the plans were secretly passed on to another man, code named "Remy", and following a suspensful boat trip across the Channel, they made it to England and Allied intelligence were able to examine it in detail. I understand it was a treasure-trove of information.

    If you have about 10 minutes to spare, here is a short, condensed documentary on Youtube, not too shabby.

    YouTube - Rene Duchez

  14. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Kaiourian Plain´s where the Lancers charge took place against minefields, 88´s, dug in tanks, machine-guns, slingshots, etc.
  15. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Any Operation that Paddy Mayne took part in was a display of bravery on his part.
  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Any Operation that Paddy Mayne took part in was a display of bravery on his part.
    I've read that Mayne was the most decorated British Serviceman of the war.
    Is that right?
    Four DSOs isn't exactly common (along with the controversial VC ommision).

    Certainly looked the part:
  17. HubeKopf

    HubeKopf Junior Member

    I think the French Foreign Legion at Bir Hakim is worth mentioning. They effectively halted the Afrika Korps advance towards Tobruk until they ran out of ammo two weeks later. Sadly, they had to fight against German ex-legionnaires.
  18. Kharkov43'

    Kharkov43' Junior Member

    I would like to nominate the officers and sailors of Taffey-3. Especially the men of the USS Johnston and the USS Samuel B. Roberts. The fighting spirit of these men will go down in history as one of the finest moments in U.S. naval history.

    With only 13 small ships they faced overwhelming firepower with no hopes of victory or reinforcements they fought to the death.

    I would especially like to nominate Cdr. Ernest E. Evans of the USS Johnston who when spotting the Japanese Center Fleet singlehandedly charged the Japanese heavy cruisers and battleships including the Yamato and her sister ship who were the biggest battleships in history.

    Cdr.Evans had to get within 5 miles of the enemy to be able to engage them with torpedos from his destroyer. The USS Johnston charged firing her 5 inch main guns and got within the distance and blew the bow off of a heavy cruiser with a torpedo. Another Japanese cruiser had to disengage to stand by the floundering cruiser. So right off the bat the Johnston forced two heavy cruisers out of the fight before he was hit. It also forced the Yamato to disengage inexplicably.

    I also would nominate Cdr. Robert W. Copeland of the USS Samuel B. Roberts who steamed pass the crippled USS Johnston to engage the largest fleet in the Japanese navy. The USS Roberts was the smallest ship in the fleet. A destroyer escort of only 306 ft. and only two 5 inch guns. The Roberts got so close to a Japanese battleship the guns could not train down on the Roberts. Then the Roberts sunk the battleship with a torpedo.
    Then for 60 brave minutes the USS Roberts slugged it out with ships 10-30 times its size with only its two 5 inch guns. Firing over 600 rounds of 5inch ammo at the upper works of the enemy because the puny shell could not penetrate the enemies hulls. The Roberts knocked out several enemy guns and started a cruisers bridge on fire before the USS Roberts was hit by three 14 inch shells and was sunk.

    A japanese cruiser then lined up with 4 destroyers to chase down the small American escort carriers with torpedos. The only ship that was in position to intervene was the battered USS Jonston. The Johnston races to cross the T of the Japanese line forcing them to fire prematurely and miss the small carriers. Then Cdr. Evans engages the enemy one by one with his few remaining 5 inchers until the USS Johston was sunk by the Japanese. A short time later the Japanese disengaged and steamed home, saving Macarthurs invasion force.

    "This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do all the damage we can." - Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland
  19. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member


    COMMANDO Senior Member

    For me those who took part in the raid on St Nazaire !
    Going in on a wooded small craft with extra fuel tanks on deck (that is asking for trouble).
    No heavy weapons and to fight under the nose of all kind of Flak and artillery guns.
    Fight to the end even when you know you can not get away.

    5 VC's, 4 DSO's, 17 DSC's, 11 MC's, 24 DSM's, 4 CGM's, more then 40 mention's in Dispatsches... and that all in a few hours !

    One of the VC's SERGEANT THOMAS FRANK DURRANT, VC. (1874047: Royal Engineers, attached 1Commando)
    For great gallantry, skill and devotion to duty when in charge of a Lewis gun in HM Motor Launch 306 in the St. Nazaire raid on the 28th March, 1942. Motor Launch 306 came under heavy fire while proceeding up the River Loire towards the port. Sergeant Durrant, in his position abaft the bridge, where he had no cover or protection, engaged enemy gun positions and searchlights on shore. During this engagement he was severely wounded in the arm but refused to leave his gun. The Motor launch subsequently went down the river and was attacked by a German destroyer at 50-60 yards range, and often closer. In this action Sergeant Durrant continued to fire at the destroyer's bridge with the greatest of coolness and with complete disregard of the enemy's fire. The Motor Launch was illuminated by the enemy searchlight and Sergeant Durrant drew on himself the individual attention of the enemy guns, and was again wounded in many places. Despite these further wounds he stayed in his exposed position, still firing his gun, although after a time only able to support himself by holding onto the gun mounting. After a running fight, the Commander of the German destroyer called on the Motor Launch to surrender. Sergeant Durrant's answer was a further burst of fire at the destroyer's bridge. Although now very weak he went on firing, using drums of ammunition as fast as they could be replaced. A renewed attack by the enemy vessel eventually silenced the fire of the Motor Launch but Sergeant Durrant refused to give up until the destroyer came alongside, grappled the Motor Launch and took prisoner those whe remained alive. Sergeant Durrant's gallant fight was commended by the German officers on boarding the Motor Launch. This very gallant Non-Commissioned Officer later died of the many wounds received in action. (The ML displaced 65 tons as against the destroyer Jaguar's 950 plus tons.)

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