Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Honored Allies Wednesday: Philip John Gardner (United Kingdom)

"On the morning of November 23rd, 1941, Captain Gardner was ordered to take two tanks to the assistance of two armored cars of the King's Dragoon Guards which were out of action and under fire in close proximity to the enemy, south-east of Tobruk.  He found the two cars halted two hundred yards apart, being heavily fired on at close range and gradually smashed to pieces.  Ordering the other tank to give him covering fire, Captain Gardner maneuvered his own close up to the foremost car; he then dismounted in the face of intense anti-tank and machine gun fire and secured a tow rope to the car; seeing an officer lying beside it with his legs blown off, helifted him into the car and gave the order to tow.  The tow rope, however, broke, and Captain Gardner returned to the armored car, being immediately wounded in the arm and leg: despite his wounds he lifted the other officer out of the car and carried him back to the tank, placing him on the back engine louvers and climbing along side to hold him on.   While the tank was being driven back to safety it was subjected to heavy shell fire and the loader killed. The courage, determination and complete disregard for his own safety displayed by Captain Gardner enabled him, despite his own wounds, and in the face of intense fire at close range, to save the life of his fellow officer, in circumstances fraught with great difficulty and danger."
From Capt. Gardner's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on February 6, 1942.
May you be at peace,
Brian & Mel
The book of Gardner's exploits written by Rex Wood.

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