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B R I T I S H     I M P E R I A L    D E C O R A T I O N S

the section, and quickly followed by a fierce assault by an estimated enemy company which penetrated the main defences on the immediate left of the section. Sergeant Cooper, leaving his medium machine-guns manned and laid on their primary task, quickly organised the remainder of his men into a defensive position facing his left flank and engaged the enemy so skillfully and with such a volume of grenade and small arms fire that they were unable, in spite of their numbers, to penetrate his position. During the next seven hours Sergeant Cooper and his few remaining men stubbornly fought off repeated attempts by the enemy to overrun his position. In addition, and on his own initiative, he also called down friendly artillery fire, directing it so close to his own positions and those of the US Marines that it completely prevented the enemy from pressing home further organised attacks. The efficiency of his fire control was made evident the next morning by the number of enemy dead who lay in front of the area. In addition, throughout the action, Sergeant Cooper continued to pass to his battalion a constant flow of the most valuable information concerning the situation in both his area and that of the Marines, as well as personally supervising the evacuation of his casualties to a safe area under heavy shell fire and through an area in which parties of the enemy were still moving.

CROCKFORD, Kenneth Humber, Lance Corporal (1/400604),
2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1953

On the night of 25/26 July 1953, Lance Corporal Crockford was commanding the section of six men holding the Contact Bunker between Hill 111, the right flank of the US 1st Marine Division, and Hill 121, on which was situated the left flank position of his own battalion. At about 8.30 p.m., a very heavy enemy artillery barrage began to fall on the whole area of Hills 111 and 121. Immediately following the barrage a fierce assault was made by an estimated enemy company which first penetrated the main defences on the left of the Contact Bunker position and then infiltrated into and to the rear of the bunker area itself. In the bitter hand-to-hand fight that followed in the trenches around his position, Lance Corporal Crockford so skillfully and coolly directed the fire of his section, moving among them with complete disregard for his own safety, that he prevented the enemy from isolating the two hills, in spite of the fact that his own position was, by this time, surrounded and fighting on its own. When the first assault had subsided, realising that there were still many enemy in the area and that he would not be able to fight off many further attacks, he called for friendly artillery fire, himself giving the necessary corrections until the fire was falling onto and around his own position. Evidence of his accurate control of this fire was amply provided the next morning when thirty-five enemy dead were found in the area. In addition, throughout the night Lance Corporal Crockford continued to pass back information to his battalion over his wireless. Much of this he could only have gained by moving some hundreds of yards through the continuous heavy shell fire to the Marine command post on Hill 111, where the communications had failed.


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