Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Honored Allies Wednesday: Stanley E. Hollis (United Knigdom)

"In Normandy on 6th June, 1944, during the assault on the beaches and the Mont Fleury Battery, C.S.M. Hollis's Company Commander noticed that two of the pill-boxes had been by-passed, and went with C.S.M. Hollis to see that they were clear.  When they were 20 yards from the pillbox, a machine-gun opened fire from the slit and C.S.M. Hollis instantly rushed straight at the pillbox, firing his Sten gun.  He jumped on top of the pillbox, re-charged his magazine,threw a grenade in through the door and fired his Sten gun into it, killing two Germans and making the remainder prisoner. He then cleared several Germans from a neighboring trench.  By his action, he undoubtedly saved his Company from being flanked heavily from the rear and enabled them to open the main beach exit.  Later the same day, in the village of Crepon, the Company encountered a field gun and crew armed with Spandaus at 100 yards range.  C.S.M. Hollis was put in command of a party to cover an attack on the gun, but the movement was held up.  Seeing this, C.S.M. Hollis pushed right forward to engage the gun with a P.I.A.T. from a house at 50 yards range.  He was observed by a sniper who fired and grazed his right cheek, and at the same moment the gun swung round and fired at point-blank range into the house.  To avoid the fallen masonry, C.S.M. Hollis moved his party to an alternative position.  Two of the enemy gun crew had by this time been killed, and the gun was destroyed shortly afterwards.  He later found that two of his men had stayed behind in the house and immediately volunteered to get them out.  In full view of, the enemy who were continually firing at him, he went forward alone using a Bren gun to distract their attention from the other men.  Under cover of his diversion, the two men were able to get back.  Wherever fighting was heaviest, C.S.M.Hollis appeared and in the course of a magnificent day's work, he displayed the utmost gallantry and on two separate occasions his courage and initiative prevented the enemy from holding up 'the advance at critical stages.  It was largely through his heroism and resource that the Company's objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier, and by his own bravery he saved the lives of many of his men."
From CSM Hollis' Victoria Cross citation, awarded on October 10, 1944.
May you be at peace,
Brian & Mel 

Statue of Hollis in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire UK.

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