Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Honored Allies Wednesday: George W. Gunn (England)

"On 21 November 1941 at Sidi Rezegh, Gunn was the commander of A Troop of J Battery.  These four QF 2 pounder anti-tank guns mounted portee on trucks were part of a battery of twelve guns attached to the Rifle Brigade.  An attack earlier in the day was driven off but the main attack was by 60 German tanks.  Gunn - in an unarmored vehicle - drove between the guns under his command, encouraging and reorganizing them as the battle progressed.  Three guns had been knocked out and their crews fatally wounded when the last was hit.  Except the sergeant, the crew were dead or disabled and the vehicle set alight.  The battery commander Major Pinney attacked the flames and Gunn crossed the enemy fire to join him.  Gunn took over the gun aiming and firing it with the sergeant acting as his loader.  Despite enemy fire and the danger of the flames exploding the ammunition with which the portee was loaded, Gunn fired 40- 50 rounds from the QF 2 pounder gun and set two enemy tanks on fire before he himself was killed by being shot through the head.  After he was killed, the battery commander took over the gun and continued the action. As a result of the battery's actions, it was given the honour title "Sidi Rezegh".  Second-Lieutenant Gunn showed the most conspicuous courage in attacking this large number of enemy tanks with a single unarmored gun, and his utter disregard for extreme danger was an example which inspired all who saw it.  He remained undismayed by intense fire and overwhelming odds, and his gallant resistance only ceased with his death.  But for this very gallant action the enemy tanks would undoubtedly have over-run our position."

From 2Lt. Gunn's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on April 17, 1942.

May you be at peace,

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