Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Honored Allies Wednesday: Bhanbhagta Gurung (Nepal)

"On 5 March 1945 at Snowdon-East, near Tamandu, Burma, Gurung and his unit were approaching Snowdon-East.  His company became pinned down by an enemy sniper and were suffering casualties. As the sniper was inflicting casualties on the section, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung, being unable to fire from the lying position, stood up fully exposed to the heavy fire and calmly killed the enemy sniper with his rifle, thus saving his section from suffering further casualties.  Again the section advanced, and again it came under fire.  Without waiting for orders, Gurung dashed out to attack the first enemy fox-hole.  Throwing two grenades, he killed the two occupants and without any hesitation rushed on to the next enemy fox-hole and killed the Japanese in it with his bayonet.  He cleared two further fox-holes with bayonet and grenades.  "During his single-handed attacks on these four enemy fox-holes, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung was subjected to almost continuous and point-blank Light Machine Gun fire from a bunker on the North tip of the objective."  For the fifth time, Gurung "went forward alone in the face of heavy enemy fire to knock out this position.  He doubled forward and leapt on to the roof of the bunker from where, his hand grenades being finished, he flung two No. 77 smoke grenades into the bunker slit."  Gurung killed two Japanese soldiers who ran out of the bunker with his Kukri, and then advanced into the cramped bunker and killed the remaining Japanese soldier.  Gurung ordered three others to take up positions in the bunker.  "The enemy counter-attack followed soon after, but under Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung's command the small party inside the bunker repelled it with heavy loss to the enemy.  Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung showed outstanding bravery and a complete disregard for his own safety.  His courageous clearing of five enemy positions single-handed was in itself decisive in capturing the objective and his inspiring example to the rest of the Company contributed to the speedy consolidation of this success."

From  Naik Gurung's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on June 1, 1945.

May you be at peace,

Gurkha training company block at Catterick.

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