Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
As far as I know the RM's last VC was in 1945 at Comacchio. Cpl Hunter was awarded the VC posthumously, and was on a "hostilities only" engagement, perhaps the nearest to a Reservist prior to the formation of the RM Volunteer Reserve in 1948.
Whichever award he may get will be thoroughly justified, but I would be as thrilled for the Corps as for the individual if a VC is given, as it's clear their commitment and professionalism in Afg. has been total.
A A, absolutely. I was made aware of this amazing act of bravery whilst out in theatre (nice to be back in Blighty I must admit) and I hope that due recognition is given. 40 CDO were very helpful to us at HQ from the media ops aspect as well and, thanks to them (and the other formations whose patience was tested at times too!) we were able to get some good stuff into the media for the folks back home. Sad to read about their loss today btw.
It has some similarities with Cpl Jason Dunham, US Marine Corps, who lost his life doing the same thing. He was awarded the Medal Of Honor, and a new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG 109) will be named after him when it is christened next year.
The Medal of Honor certificate reads - For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Yes - well deserving of the highest level of recognition.
And I hope they give him a new day-sack too, because if he tries taking that one back to clothing stores for exchange he's going to get some severe sucking of teeth and comments about fair wear and tear...
EG - interesting to note this comment in the article:
"The patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley threw himself to the ground and another man got behind a wall, but one marine had frozen and was still standing when the grenade detonated."My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Cpl Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation.""