Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Honored Allies Wednesday: Gerard R. Norton (South Africa)

"In Italy, on the 31st August, 1944, Lieutenant Norton was commanding a platoon during the attack on the Monte Gridolfo feature, one of the strong points of the Gothic Line defenses, and one which contained well sited concrete gun emplacements.  The leading platoon of his Company was pinned down by heavy enemy fire from a valley on the right flank of the advance.  On his own initiative and with complete disregard for his personal safety, Lieutenant Norton at once engaged a series of emplacements in this valley.  Single handed, he attacked the first machine gun position with a grenade, killing the crew of three.  Still alone, he then worked his way forward to a second position containing two machine guns and fifteen riflemen.  After a fight lasting ten minutes he wiped out both machine gun nests with his Tommy gun, and killed or took prisoner the remainder of the enemy.  Throughout these attacks Lieutenant Norton came under direct fire from an enemy self-propelled gun and, whilst still under heavy fire from this gun, he went onto clear the cellar and upper rooms of a house, taking several more prisoners, and putting many of the enemy to flight.  Although by this time wounded and weak from loss of blood, he continued calmly and resolutely to lead his platoon up the valley to capture the remaining enemy positions.  Throughout the attack Lieutenant Norton his played matchless courage, outstanding initiative and inspiring leadership.  By his supreme gallantry, fearless example and determined aggression, he assured the successful breach of the Gothic Line at this point."

From Lt. Norton's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on 24 October 1944.
May you be at peace,

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