Victoria Cross

Apr

20

1943

Indian and Gurkha troops attack Germans in Tunisia

20th April 1943:Indian and Gurkha troops attack Germans in Tunisia

I was challenged in a foreign language. I felt it was not the British language or I would have recognised it. To make quite sure I crept up and found myself looking into the face of a German. I recognised him by his helmet. He was fumbling with his weapon so I cut off his head with my kukri. Another appeared from a slit trench and I cut him down also. I was able to do the same to two others, but one made a great deal of noise, which raised the alarm.

Apr

6

1943

Two VCs following fierce battle at Wadi Akarit

6th April 1943: Two VCs following fierce battle at Wadi Akarit

Knowing that more men were lying wounded in the open he again went out to the bullet swept slope, located a second wounded man and carried him to safety. Private Anderson went forward once again and safely evacuated a third casualty. Without any hesitation or consideration for himself he went out for a fourth time but by now he was the only target the enemy had to shoot at and when he reached the fourth wounded man, and was administering such first aid as he could to prepare for the return journey, he was himself hit and mortally wounded.

Mar

29

1943

Australian VC hero beheaded by Japanese

29th March 1943: Australian – RAAF – VC hero beheaded by Japanese

Flight Lieutenant Newton maintained control and calmly turned his aircraft away and flew along the shore. He saw it as his duty to keep the aircraft in the air as long as he could so as to take his crew as far away as possible from the enemy’s positions. With great skill, he brought his blazing aircraft down on the water.

Mar

26

1943

Maori Victoria Cross in battle for Tebaga Gap

26th March 1943: Maori VC in battle for Tobaga Gap

Under cover of a most intense mortar barrage the enemy counter-attacked, and 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu ordered his men to stand to and engage the enemy man or man. This they did with such good effect that the attackers were virtually mown down, 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu personally killing several. He was twice wounded, once by rifle fire in the shoulder and later by shrapnel in the leg, and though urged by both his company and battalion commanders to go out, he refused to do so, saying that he would stay a little while with his men. He stayed until he met his death the following morning.

Mar

23

1943

HMS Turbulent fails to return

23rd March 1943: HMS Turbulent fails to return

In his last year he spent two hundred and fifty-four days at sea, submerged for nearly half the time, and his ship was hunted thirteen times and had two hundred and fifty depth-charges aimed at her. His many and brilliant successes were due to his constant activity and skill, and the daring which never failed him when there was an enemy to be attacked.

Mar

20

1943

Victoria Cross for attack on the Mareth Line

20th March 1943: Victoria Cross for attack on the Mareth Line

He personally helped the team which, was placing the scaling ladder over the anti tank ditch and was himself the first to cross. He led the assault -firing his pistol, throwing grenades and personally assaulting two machine-gun posts which were holding the advance of one of his Companies. It is estimated that in this phase he killed or captured twenty Germans.

Dec

31

1942

Arctic convoy ambushed by German cruisers

31st December 1942: Arctic convoy ambushed by German cruisers

Each time the enemy gave ground he closed in, forcing him outside gun-range of the convoy and towards our own cruiser covering force. After 40 minutes ONSLOW was hit forward and Captain Sherbrooke was severely wounded in the face by shrapnel, losing the sight of one eye.

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.