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An outstanding Australian World War two Distinguished Conduct Medal group to a Warrant Officer of the 2/1 Battalion for charging Japanese machine nests and despite his wounds continued to rescue fellow soldiers.
a) Distinguished Conduct Medal, GeoVI (impressed)
b) 1939-45 Star (unnamed)
c) Pacific Star (impressed)
d) War Medal, 1939-45 (impressed)
e) Australian Service Medal, 1939-45 (impressed)
Footnote: The Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal all correctly impressed with the recipients service number, initials and surname. The DCM correctly impressed with the recipients service number, rank, initials surname and “AIF”. The 1939-45 Star is unnamed as the original one was lost by a family member. Together with a photograph of the recipient in the field and a copy of the DCM citation.
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Born in Broken Hill, NSW, on 12 July 1913. He was working as a labourer in Cloncurry, Queensland before he enlisted in the Citizens Military Forces at Rockhampton on 9 August 1941 to Queensland’s 42nd Infantry Battalion or “Capricornia Regiment”. After training at Chermside, he embarked for New Guinea in September 1941. He was promoted to Corporal, Acting Sergeant and Sergeant within 2 weeks! Whilst in the field, he enlisted in the second AIF in July 1942 and returned to Australia August 1942.
Posted to 49 Battalion and embarked from Cairns for New Guinea on 4 February 1943 but returned to Australia in March due to suffering from Psychoneurosis and admitted to hospital. During his time in hospital 49 Battalion were absorbed into the 16th Brigade and merged into the 2/1 Battalion.
Promoted to acting Warrant Officer class Two, then confirmed a Warrant Officer he attended instructional courses where his character was described as “good bearing, solid type”, “very good instructional ability with a good word of command”. He was recommended as being a suitable candidate for R.S.M.
He embarked with the 2/1 Battalion for New Guinea on December 1944. The 2/1 was to drive and clear the Japanese from the Aitape-Wewak region of New Guinea.
On 17 February 1945, a section was sent from Nambut Peak to patrol down an almost precipitous ridge. This ridge led along a saddle and up another ridge, all razor-backed, to a knoll. Endeavouring to get forward, the section came under intense automatic fire, from three light machine-guns, which killed two, and wounded four.
Three wounded were exposed to enemy fire, and incapable of movement. A force, commanded by The Warrant Officer, and including a Corporal’s section, sent to relieve the position, arrived at this stage. By skilful manoeuvre and supporting fire, this Warrant Officer and the Corporal brought out one of the wounded. Whilst giving them covering fire, another soldier was wounded.
The Warrant Officer and the Corporal returned again, and brought out this soldier, whilst the Japs fired at the least movement.
The width of the ridge prevented more than three men advancing at a time, and the precipitous sides precluded any out flanking movement. The Warrant Officer and Corporal and a Lance Corporal, then stormed their way upwards throwing grenades and firing their weapons. They killed eight Japs then, and drove off others. During this attack the Lance Corporal was killed and the Warrant Officer wounded. The Warrant Officer and Corporal still under fire, brought out the other two wounded and their weapons. The Company Commander then ordered the force to withdraw. The Warrant Officer and the Corporal were the last to withdraw. The position was later found to contain twenty-two weapons pits, and fourteen dead Japs.
Throughout the action, the Warrant Officer and the Corporal displayed soldierly skill and coolness, courage and determination far exceeding any call of duty. The Warrant Officer was awarded an immediate D.C.M. and the Corporal an immediate M.M.
Evacuated to hospital for treatment of his wounds and whilst there was promoted to Acting Warrant Officer Class One, later confirmed in September 1945. He rejoined the battalion in December and returned to Australia on New Years’ day 1946.
After his hard service spent in the jungle fighting of New Guinea, he was discharged on 17 January 1946.