Victoria Cross

Dec

4

1942

No.18 Squadron nearly wiped out in V.C. attack

4th December 1942: No.18 Squadron RAF nearly wiped out, Wing Commander wins V.C.

During the war he proved himself to be an outstanding leader and commanding officer, who brought his squadron to a state of the highest efficiency by his personal example. Between the 11th November and 4th December the squadron had completed no less than 106 sorties. This officer’s last exploit was the finest example of the courage and unswerving devotion to duty which he had shown throughout his career.

Dec

3

1942

German resistance stiffens in Tunisia

3rd December 1942: German resistance stiffens in Tunisia

Finally when the remainder of his party were all killed or wounded, he went forward alone with a pistol and some grenades to attack enemy machine guns at close quarters and from this action did not return. From reports received from wounded men, this officer died of wounds.

Nov

29

1942

Ron Middleton dies saving his crew after Turin raid

29th November 1942: Ron Middleton dies saving his crew after Turin raid

The possibilities of abandoning the aircraft or landing in northern France were discussed but Flight Sergeant Middleton stated his intention to attempt to reach the English coast. After crossing the Channel there was only sufficient fuel for five minutes flying. Flight Sergeant Middleton flew the aircraft parallel with the coast and ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. Five of the crew left the aircraft and two remained to assist him. The aircraft crashed into the sea and all remaining onboard were killed.

Nov

8

1942

Operation Torch: U.S. forces land in North Africa

8th November 1942: Operation Torch: U.S. forces land in North Africa

He accomplished the berthing of his ship, then went to the forward deck and assisted by one officer secured the forward mooring lines. He then with utter disregard of his own personal safety went to the quarter-deck and assisted in securing the aft mooring lines so that the troops on board could disembark. At that time the engine room was in flames and very shortly thereafter exploded and the ship turned on its side and sank.

Oct

31

1942

El Alamein – Australians begin to break through

31st October 1942: El Alamein – Australians begin to break through

But with a scream and a crash another shell arrived. Something glanced along the side of my boot and two or three more pieces hit on the tank with a clang. Evan rolled sideways off the back of the tank and fell to the ground. ‘Are you all right?’ I asked him. ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Well get back in the turret, I’m not going to muck about digging in this stuff.”

Oct

26

1942

Rommel returns to the El Alamein battlefield

26th October 1942: Rommel returns to the El Alamein battlefield

Unfortunately, the attack gained ground very slowly. The British resisted desperately. Rivers of blood were poured out over miserable strips of land which, in normal times, not even the poorest Arab would have bothered his head about. Tremendous British artillery fire pounded the area of the attack. In the evening part of the Bersaglieri Battalion succeeded in occupying the eastern and western edges of the hill. The hill itself remained in British hands and later became the base for many enemy operations.

Sep

5

1942

Japanese defeated at Milne Bay

5th September 42: Japanese defeated at Milne Bay

He returned to his section for more grenades and again advanced and silenced the second post. Armed with a Thomson submachine-gun, he then attacked the third post, firing from the hip as he went forward. He was seen to be badly hit by the fire from this post, but he continued to advance.

Aug

29

1942

Victoria Cross won on the Kokoda Track

29th August 42: Victoria Cross won on the Kokoda Track

He rushed forward firing his Bren Gun from the hip through terrific machine-gun fire and succeeded in clearing a path through the enemy. Continuing to sweep the enemy positions with his fire and inflicting an extremely high number of casualties on them

Jul

15

1942

Two New Zealand V.C.s in one day


15th July 1942: Two New Zealand V.C.s in one day

In spite of being twice wounded, once when crossing open ground swept by enemy fire to inspect his forward sections guarding our mine-fields and again when he completely destroyed an entire truck load of German soldiers with hand grenades, Captain Upham insisted on remaining with his men to take part in the final assault.

During the opening stages of the attack on the ridge Captain Upham’s Company formed part of the reserve battalion, but, when communications with the forward troops broke down and he was instructed to send up an officer to report on the progress of the attack, he went out himself armed with a Spandau gun and, after several sharp encounters with enemy machine gun posts, succeeded in bringing back the required information.

Jun

27

1942

Adam Wakenshaw mans his gun to the end

27th June 1942: Adam Wakenshaw mans his gun to the end

About 5.15am, the German infantry attacked supported by tanks and artillery. As they advanced, a tracked vehicle towing a light gun came to within close range of Private Wakenshaw’s anti-tank gun. The 2-pounder gun opened fire and a direct hit on the vehicle’s engine stopped it dead.