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Thread: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

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    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge



    THE act of extreme courage that earned Australia's latest SAS hero the Victoria Cross was similar to the storming of a Japanese machinegun post by previous VC winner Edward Kenna in the jungles of Papua New Guinea during World War II.

    The Special Air Service Regiment soldier, identified so far as "Lance Corporal Ben", will receive his Victoria Cross from Governor-General Quentin Bryce at a ceremony in Perth on Sunday.

    It is understood the soldier has already won the Medal for Gallantry in 2006.

    He is the second SAS soldier to win the VC in two years. In September 2008, then Trooper Mark Donaldson received the top award for protecting wounded soldiers under heavy enemy fire and then dashing across 80m of open ground to rescue a wounded Afghan interpreter.

    The new VC soldier was recommended for the award for his actions during a fierce gun battle last October in the Shah Wali Kot region of northern Kandahar, a key stronghold of diehard Taliban militants. Senior Defence sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Australian the soldier was in his 30s and was born in Western Australia.

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    News Limited newspapers report today that the soldier, described as a specialist sniper, charged headlong into Taliban machinegun fire, and within minutes three enemy guns had been silenced and numerous Taliban fighters killed.

    "He just tore into the enemy," one of the soldier's friends was quoted as saying.

    "He is the epitome of the Spartan soldier. It was only a matter of time before he would demonstrate his true ability."

    One army insider said the soldier displayed remarkable courage in a situation similar to that faced by Kenna, who, alone and armed with a Bren light machinegun, stormed a Japanese bunker at Wewak, and then, after running out of ammunition, picked up a rifle and shot dead several Japanese troops trying to outflank him. Kenna's actions cleared the way for his company to advance.

    The Victorian-born Kenna died in July 2009.

    Queensland-born Keith Payne, one of only two living Australian VC winners, reacted enthusiastically when he was told of the latest award.

    "He must be a live one," said the 77-year-old, who earned his medal for extraordinary heroism during the Vietnam War.

    Mr Payne offered the following advice to Corporal "Ben", who also served in East Timor.

    "The corporal's life will be changed forever and he should not let it affect his character," Mr Payne said.

    "He should remember to wear it with pride for others. He will now be public property and a lot will be expected of him." Little is known about Corporal Ben's actions, but the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Afghan expert, Raspal Khosa, said Shah Wali Kot was Taliban heartland, a strategic area long the site of operations by coalition special forces.

    Australian soldiers have now won two of the four VCs so far awarded to Commonwealth troops in Afghanistan, with a VC also awarded to one British and one New Zealand soldier.

    In the decade that Australian troops have served in Afghanistan they have won two VCs, compared with four VCs (three awarded posthumously) given in the Vietnam conflict, from 1962-72.
    Al

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Congratulations Lance Corporal Ben; well done indeed.
    God Bless "The Watch" Now And Forever

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    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Question: who won the British VC in Afghanistan and when??
    Al

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Originally Posted By: Al_SaundersQuestion: who won the British VC in Afghanistan and when??

    Belfast boy Bryan Budd in 2006.

    Died on 20 August 2006 and the MoD announced in December 06 that he would be posthumously awarded the VC.

    There are another three people who fought for the British Army that were awarded the VC for action in Afghanistan. They were not British Born but their allegiance was to the UK.

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    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Thanks Chalky, wonder why the OZ papers only say 1 from UK, were their awards gazetted?
    Al

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Originally Posted By: Al_SaundersThanks Chalky, wonder why the OZ papers only say 1 from UK, were their awards gazetted?


    Sorry Al,

    The other three are from previous campaigns in the Stan. I'll look out their names.

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Well done to the Lance Corporal,excellant,
    nellie

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    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    His award was shown live on Sky news and here is a more detailed account of his bravery


    SAS Digger VC

    Video of presentation
    Al

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Victoria Cross awards since the Falkland:-

    (1)
    God Bless "The Watch" Now And Forever

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    Re: Second SAS Afghan Victoria Cross for heroic charge

    Sorry about previous post, try again.

    Victoria Cross awarded since the Falklands War:

    (1) Pte. Johnston BEHARRY
    1st Princess of Wales Royal Regiment
    Deed:- 1st Mat to 11th June 2004
    Al Amarah, Iraq
    Gazetted:-
    God Bless "The Watch" Now And Forever

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