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Originally posted by Janus
Also i found that the Award has been made to 5 American Soldiers, from the first War. They all deserve metion so i picked one at random.
On 6 September 1864 at Shimonoseki, Japan, during the capture of the enemy's stockade, Ordinary Seaman Seeley of HMS Euryalus distinguished himself by carrying out a daring reconnaissance to ascertain the enemy's position, and then, although wounded, continuing to take part in the final assault on the battery.
Only three people have been awarded the Victoria Cross twice, Noel Chavasse, Arthur Martin-Leake and New Zealander Charles Upham.
Norsk Hydro's Heavy Water Plant at Vemork in Rjukan was destroyed by Norwegian saboteurs in February 1943. This sabotage was widely known about in Norway as well as abroad.
The battle to prevent heavy water production is the most dramatic chapter in Norwegian war history. For this was a fight against something bigger and more threatening then ever before; against something which was able to rock the very core of our universe. The atom bomb in the hands of the German's could have turned the course of the war in Hitler's favour, and history might have taken a completely different path. The despot could have become the master of the world. However, this new weapon was not completed before the Nazis were defeated, and we owe great thanks to those men who risked their lives to carry out sabotage missions which were more daring and audacious than anything ever undertaken before.
Originally posted by tomcat
One person I believe is a hero is David Hackworth. Enlisted in the U.S. Army at 16, recieved a battlefield comission in Korea. He has also recieved 8 Purple Hearts, something like 10 Silver Stars, 10 Distuinguished Service Crosses, I believe 8 Bronze Stars and numerous other awards. He rose to a Full Col. at the age of 41. In 1971 he ripped the Pentagon a new one for it's stupidity in Vietnam and was discharged. Today his one passion is helping the troops by investigating the military and it's policies. To give up what would have been a generals rank to protect his troops is heroic dispite what some people think.
Originally posted by JAK
I would like to add the name of
Major Robert H. Cain of the The South Staffordshire Regiment lst Airborne Division
Out of all the heroic actions too numerous to count that occured in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden, his actions at Arnhem stunned me to silence when I first heard of them.
Despite the saying "Cometh the hour, cometh the man" to me it is a cause for continous wonder that out of the horrors of war and such tragic circumstances men can rise to commit such great deeds as to surely give cause for hope in mankind.
Cain and his men flew out to Arnhem as part of the Second Lift on the following day. Upon landing he immediately set out to find B Company, who were presently moving forward to help the 1st Para Brigade, but he wasn't able to resume command until late on the following morning, when they were involved in vicious fighting in a dell around the area of the St. Elizabeth Hospital. The South Staffords were being heavily attacked by tank and self-propelled guns, but they weren't able to bring up any anti-tank guns to repel them. Mortars were effectively being fired at point blank range upon German infantry, but the Staffords had to rely on PIAT's (Personal Infantry Anti Tank - basically a power loaded projectile shooter that takes a strong man to cock) to deal with the armour. Lieutenant Georges Dupenois kept several tanks at bay with his PIAT, while Major Jock Buchanan and Cain drew a lot of enemy fire by running around searching for ammunition for him. Cain did not believe that any tanks were actually disabled during the action, but the hits did encourage them to withdraw; even firing at the turrets with Bren guns forced them to move. The PIAT ammunition ran dry at 11:30, and from then on the tanks had free reign over the area and proceeded to blow the defenceless troopers out of the buildings they occupied. Lt-Colonel McCardie came to see Major Cain and he ordered him to withdraw from the dell. As they were talking, Cain recalled seeing an entire bush being blown clean out of the ground. Putting down a rear guard of about a dozen men and a Bren gun, the Company withdrew from what Cain later described as the South Staffords Waterloo. However only himself and a handful of other men succeeded in escaping.
Falling back through the 11th Battalion, Major Cain informed them that the tanks were on their way and requested they give him a PIAT, though sadly they had none to spare. He withdrew his men beyond the Battalion and gathered all the remaining South Staffords under his command. Though C Company was largely intact, at this stage he only managed to form two platoons from the entire Battalion.
As the 11th Battalion were preparing to capture some high ground to pave the way for an attack by the rest of the Division, Lt-Colonel George Lea decided to utilised Major Cain and his men by ordering them to capture the nearby high ground, known as Den Brink, to lend support to their own attack. This they did, but were soon spotted and came under very heavy mortar fire. The ground was too hard for the men to dig in and so they took many casualties. After he saw the destruction of the 11th Battalion, Cain took the decision to withdraw his men, numbering only 100, towards Oosterbeek.
Cain appeared to have developed an intense loathing of tanks after the bitter experiences of his Battalion on Tuesday 19th, and he personally saw to it that as many were destroyed as possible. If ever armour approached then he would grab the nearest PIAT and set out to deal with it himself. On one occasion, two Tiger tanks approached the South Staffords position, and Cain lay in wait in a slit trench while Lieutenant Ian Meikle of the Light Regiment gave him bearings from a house above him. The first tank fired at the house and killed Meikle, while the chimney collapsed and almost fell on top of Major Cain. He still held his position until it was 100 yards away, whereupon he fired at it. The tank immediately returned fire with its machinegun and wounded Cain, who took refuge in a nearby shed from where he fired another round, which exploded beneath the tank and disabled it. The crew abandoned the vehicle but all were gunned down as they bailed out. Cain fired at the second tank, but the bomb was faulty and exploded directly in front of him. It blew him off his feet and left him blind with metal fragments in his blackened face. As his men dragged him off, Cain recalls yelling like a hooligan and calling for somebody to get hold of the PIAT and deal with the tank. One of the Light Regiment's 75mm guns was brought forward and it blew the tank apart.
Half an hour later though, Cain's sight returned, and against doctor's advice he refused to stay with the wounded and declared himself fit for duty. He also refused morphia (which was in very short supply) to ease the pain he had. Instead he armed himself with another PIAT and went in search of tanks, frequently alone. Tigers continued to harass the Lonsdale Force, and upon hearing that one was in the area, Major Cain raced out to an anti-tank gun and began to drag it into position. A gunner saw him and ran over to assist, and the two men succeeded in disabling it. Cain wanted to fire another shot to make sure that it was finished off, but the gunner informed him that the blast had destroyed the gun's recoil mechanism and it could no longer fire.
On Friday 22nd, his eardrums burst from his constant firing, but he continued to take on any tanks he encountered, contenting himself with merely stuffing pieces of field dressing into his ears. Nevertheless he never ceased to urge his men on, and was seen by his driver, Private Grainger, giving a man his last cigarette.
Monday 25th saw very heavy fighting in the area occupied by the Lonsdale Force. Self-propelled guns, flame thrower tanks, and infantry took great interest in Cain's position. By this time there were no more PIAT's available to the Major. Undeterred, he armed himself with a two inch mortar and added further trophies to his collection - (there are stories of him running up a street at a tiger tank firing the horizontal from his hip), while his brilliant leadership ensured that the South Staffords gave no ground and drove the enemy off in complete disorder. By the end of the Battle, Cain had been responsible for the destruction or disabling of six tanks, four of which were Tigers, as well as a number of self-propelled guns.
As the Division was about to withdraw, some men were encouraged to shave before crossing the river, determined to leave looking like British soldiers. Robert found a razor and some water and proceeded to remove a week's growth of beard from his face, drying himself on his filthy, blood-stained Denison smock. His effort was noticed by Brigadier Hicks who remarked "Well, there's one officer, at least, who's shaved". Cain happily replied that he had been well brought up.
When the actual evacuation was taking place, Major Cain remained on the north bank until his men had departed for the other side. However when it came to his turn there didn't seem to be any boats left in operation. He and some fellow men caught sight of a damaged assault craft in the river, and they swam out to collect it. Using their rifle butts as paddles while other troopers baled out the water that was threatening to sink it, they made it across.
Major Cain's conduct throughout was of the highest order, both in terms of personal actions and leadership ability, and for this he was awarded the Victoria Cross; the only man to receive this medal at Arnhem and live to tell the tale. His citation said of him "His coolness and courage under incessant fire could not be surpassed".
Originally posted by John bull 1
Mmmmm. I think there is a Gurkha who has won it twice.I'll check.
LACHHIMAN GURUNG (Reg. No 709)
Rifleman (later Havildar*) 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.
London Gazetted on 27th July 1945.
Born on 30th December 1917 at Dakhani (village), Tanhu, Nepal.
No death recorded
Digest of Citation reads:
On 12/13 May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward postof his platoon which bore the brunt of an attack by at least 200 of the enemy. Twice he hurled back grenades which had fallen on his trench, but the third exploded in his right hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded, but the rifleman, now alone and disregarding his wounds, loaded and fiired his rifle with his left hand for four hours, calmly wainting for each attack which he met with fire at point-blank range.
Additional information: He had only been with his battalion for two months when he was involved at Taungdaw as a member of the 9th Platoon of C company.
87 of the enemy dead were killed by C company. 31 were dead in front of Lachhiman Gurung's position. He is reported as shouting "Come and fight. Come and fight. I will kill you." at the end of the battle, exhausted, he said, "I wanted to kill some Japanese before I Died on."
On a parade on the 19th of December 1945, he was the only living soldier to be presented with the VC by Lord Louis Mountbatten, who presented five other VCs and one GC that day, all posthumously. Lachhiman Gurung and his family, who had been specially invited, were feted by Field Marshall Wavell.
UPHAM, Charles Hazlitt. (Reg. No.1246)
Second Lieutenant (later Captain) 20th Battalion 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (Canterbury Regt.)
London Gazetted on 14th October 1941 and 26th September 1945 (BAR)
Born on 21st September 1908 at Christchurch N.Z.
Died on 21st November 1994 at Christchurch N.Z.
Memorials at HQ Dunedin RSA and in the Quadrangle of Christ's College, Christchurch, N.Z.
Digest of Citation reads:
On the island of Crete, between 22nd and 30th May 1941 Second Lieutenant Upham displayed outstanding leadership and courage in the very close quarter fighting that ensued. After being blown up by one mortar shell he was severely wounded by a second. He was also wounded in the foot. In spite of these wounds and a debilitating attack of dysentery he refused to go off to recieve medical attention. . On 22nd May, when his company was forced to retire, he carried a severely wounded man back to safety. On 30th May he beat off an attack at Sphakia, 22 Germans becoming casualties to his devastating fire from short-range.
Citation for BAR reads:
At El Ruweisat Ridge in the Western Desert, on 14/15 July 1942, Captain Upham, in spite of having been wounded twice, insisted on remaining with his company . Just before dawn he led them in a determined attack, and, after fierce fighting, captured the objective. He personally destroyed a German tank, along with various guns and vehicles, by using hand grenades with deadly effect. His arm having been broken by a machine-gun bullet did not prevent him from. continuing to dominate the situation and when eventually, weak from loss of blood, he had to go and have his wounds attended. After treatment he returned immediately to his company, remaining with them until he was again so severely wounded that he was unable to carry on.