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Victoria Cross- Afganistan


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Private Peter McKinley is being awarded the Victoria Cross for saving the lives of two GIs in Afganistan who were wounded in a Taliban attack. At the time he was working on the wounded GIs, the Taliban was firing at the trucks with machine guns, mortars, and RPGs.

Private McKinley is a paratrooper with the 3rd Batallion, Parachute Regiment.

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Private Peter McKinley is being awarded the Victoria Cross for saving the lives of two GIs in Afganistan who were wounded in a Taliban attack. At the time he was working on the wounded GIs, the Taliban was firing at the trucks with machine guns, mortars, and RPGs.

Private McKinley is a paratrooper with the 3rd Batallion, Parachute Regiment.

Good show, that man. I always figure medics and those who help the wounded should go to the head of the line, 'cause they have to be calm cool and collected while they're winning gongs and they don't get to be shooting back at the b*****ds while they're doing it. Another in a long line of noble acts by the British Army.

Peter

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I agree completely with Peters words. The medics in combat zones, whereever they are, are real heros in my opinon.

Here is an article and a picture of the brave Soldier in question:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/new...ine_for_vc.html

The article states, that he is only the second in 40 years, who is awarded the VC not posthumous. Who was the first?

Edited by Gerd Becker
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I agree completely with Peters words. The medics in combat zones, whereever they are, are real heros in my opinon.

Here is an article and a picture of the brave Soldier in question:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/new...ine_for_vc.html

The article states, that he is only the second in 40 years, who is awarded the VC alive. Who was the first?

The wording of the sentence is rather awkward. Since 1969, only four VCs have been awarded. Two were awarded for the Falklands War in 1982, to Herbert Jones and Ian McKay, but both were posthumous. One was awarded in 2005 to Johnson Beharry for actions in Iraq in 2004. He is the other living recipient to which the article refers.

Prior to these, the last time the VC was awarded to a living recipient was in 1970, to Rayene Simpson and to Keith Payne, both of the Australian Army for actions in Vietnam in 1969. Two prior Vietnam War VCs to Australians were posthumous.

The last time Britain awarded a VC to a living recipient before Beharry was in 1965 to Rambahadur Limbu, a Gurkha.

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I agree completely with Peters words. The medics in combat zones, whereever they are, are real heros in my opinon.

Here is an article and a picture of the brave Soldier in question:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/new...ine_for_vc.html

The article states, that he is only the second in 40 years, who is awarded the VC not posthumous. Who was the first?

Ramahadur Limbu, won his VC in Borneo on the 21st November 1965. He`s a far as I`m aware still alive.

But going back to the recent awards, I`ve also heard rumours that there are 3 other possible VC`s in the pipe line for this recent operational tour of Afganistan!!!!! I have been unable to confirm this but will kepp looking, and update you on what I find.

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I`ve also heard rumours that there are 3 other possible VC`s in the pipe line for this recent operational tour of Afganistan!.

Quite right too! People in this country seem to have forgotten that our boys are still out there......

Amos.

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wow...

Another VC...

Heroes are still there, however not always fully recognised.

In my opinion, nearly all those soldiers, serving there, are heroes.

Only the bastards who gives the mission a bad taste, like those cruell happenings in Abu Gharib etc

they are the real faggots in my opinion, the give the good soldiers also the stigma!!!

But yes, the medics are always in the line of fire, almost never having the possibility to fire back, all they can do is helping the wounded....

They never get enough recognition.

Kind regards,

Jacky

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  • 8 months later...

Two soldiers are in line to receive the Victoria Cross for their actions in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, it has emerged.

The first is L/Cpl Oliver "Teddy" Ruecker from the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, who is believed to have been recommended for Britain's highest award for gallantry by his commanding officer.

During a fierce fire-fight in Helmand province in May, the 20-year-old ran back to pull his critically injured friend from a burning armoured vehicle that contained plastic explosives.

Capt David Hicks, 26, is also believed to be in line for the award.

He died hours after being wounded and refusing morphine so he could lead a counter-offensive of 50 men against a rocket position.

Their actions bring into sharp focus the intensity of fighting in southern Afghanistan, which has prompted calls for a special clasp to accompany the country campaign medal in recognition of the heightened dangers faced by troops serving there.

Should the pair be awarded the Victoria Cross, it would be the first time two soldiers from the same battalion had been awarded the medal since the Korean War.

The 650-strong 1st Battalion has suffered the heaviest fatalities in the Army in Afghanistan this year, losing nine soldiers since April. L/Cpl Ruecker - who is still serving in Afghanistan - would be only the second living recipient of the medal since 1969, the other being Pte Johnson Beharry of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment in 2005.

However, the final decision rests with a committee of serving and retired generals, which will rule later this year or early in 2008.

The MoD refused to confirm the nominations, saying speculation risked raising expectations that were not always realised.

Capt Hicks's father, Alun, said that he had received "no information" on the matter.

He said: "Awards are appropriate for the system but nothing can bring David back.

"As far as we in the family are concerned he is a hero for what he did on August 11."

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Manchester Evening News

16/10/2006

A PARATROOPER from Manchester has been nominated for the Victoria Cross for saving the life of a wounded American soldier while under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Private Peter McKinley, 21, could become only the second living serviceman in 40 years to be awarded Britain's highest military honour.

He endured a 15-minute barrage of grenades and machine-gun fire as he treated the US serviceman during one of the fiercest battles of the current campaign fought by the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

Army chiefs are now putting his name forward for a VC for the "massive act of bravery". Pte McKinley was one of 100 Paras sent from their base to rescue an American supply convoy ambushed by Taliban fighters at Sangin in northern Helmand province.

The Paras formed a defensive cordon around the Americans, but as night descended, dozens of Taliban, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, launched a blistering attack. Two American soldiers were badly wounded when grenades tore into the jeep where they were sheltering.

First-aider Pte McKinley heard their desperate screams for help and ran across open ground to the vehicle as enemy rounds whistled overhead.

He found the American sergeant had suffered serious facial injuries and other wounds including a broken arm, a neck injury, and fragments in his legs.

Pte McKinley said: "They were still firing at us when I ran back to the Humvee. The sergeant was in a pretty bad way but my training just kicked in and I spent about 15 minutes looking after his wounds, stemming the blood and keeping his airway clear."

Major Will Pike, the commander of A Company, described the soldier's actions as "massively impressive". He added: "He was very brave while completely disregarding his own safety. He also treated the American soldier beyond the level that as team medic he is expected to perform. We have a lot of private soldiers who are very young and just out of training but have proved very steady under fire."

To earn the VC soldiers have to display conspicuous bravery or daring or perform a prominent "act of valour or self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy".

An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm Pte McKinley provided medical treatment to a US soldier whilst under sustained attack."

"On the 15 December 2006 the Operational Honours and Awards List was released and my son Peter McKinley was awarded The Military Cross (MC). Our family is so proud of him, and all the men and women who daily put their lives on the line for us. Keep supporting our troops".

Jo McKinley (A Hero's Mum), Manchester

17/12/2006

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Manchester Evening News

16/10/2006

A PARATROOPER from Manchester has been nominated for the Victoria Cross for saving the life of a wounded American soldier while under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Private Peter McKinley, 21, could become only the second living serviceman in 40 years to be awarded Britain's highest military honour.

He endured a 15-minute barrage of grenades and machine-gun fire as he treated the US serviceman during one of the fiercest battles of the current campaign fought by the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

Army chiefs are now putting his name forward for a VC for the "massive act of bravery". Pte McKinley was one of 100 Paras sent from their base to rescue an American supply convoy ambushed by Taliban fighters at Sangin in northern Helmand province.

The Paras formed a defensive cordon around the Americans, but as night descended, dozens of Taliban, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, launched a blistering attack. Two American soldiers were badly wounded when grenades tore into the jeep where they were sheltering.

First-aider Pte McKinley heard their desperate screams for help and ran across open ground to the vehicle as enemy rounds whistled overhead.

He found the American sergeant had suffered serious facial injuries and other wounds including a broken arm, a neck injury, and fragments in his legs.

Pte McKinley said: "They were still firing at us when I ran back to the Humvee. The sergeant was in a pretty bad way but my training just kicked in and I spent about 15 minutes looking after his wounds, stemming the blood and keeping his airway clear."

Major Will Pike, the commander of A Company, described the soldier's actions as "massively impressive". He added: "He was very brave while completely disregarding his own safety. He also treated the American soldier beyond the level that as team medic he is expected to perform. We have a lot of private soldiers who are very young and just out of training but have proved very steady under fire."

To earn the VC soldiers have to display conspicuous bravery or daring or perform a prominent "act of valour or self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy".

An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm Pte McKinley provided medical treatment to a US soldier whilst under sustained attack."

"On the 15 December 2006 the Operational Honours and Awards List was released and my son Peter McKinley was awarded The Military Cross (MC). Our family is so proud of him, and all the men and women who daily put their lives on the line for us. Keep supporting our troops".

Jo McKinley (A Hero's Mum), Manchester

17/12/2006

Cheers Taz,

I maybe talking out of turn here, but I feel that if this guy didn`t get the VC, then its unlikely that the two Poachers will either. :unsure:

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Well it's still undecided if the two "Vikings" will recive the VC, apparently the final decision will be made later this year by a committee of retired and serving generals.

(Quote: Daily Mail)

The process of awarding this most auspicious medal is shrouded in secrecy, and the Ministry of Defence said it would not comment on any speculation surrounding who is to receive one.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Guthrie said: "The committee is entirely non-political. It will reach its judgments based entirely on the merit of the citations." The soldiers themselves and their families are always the last to know if a medal will be awarded.

Given the fierceness of the Anglians' campaign, which has cost the lives of nine of the battalion's soldiers and seen about 80 wounded, there is already strong backing inside the MoD for the battalion to receive two VCs.

Lord Guthrie added: "The ferocity of the fighting is such that I am not in the least bit surprised that a couple of these young soldiers would be recognised. "The gallantry in Afghanistan has been of the highest order. The Victoria Cross is awarded on merit. If you do win a VC, my goodness me, you deserve it."

The last time two soldiers from the same battalion received the VC was after the Battle of Imjin River in Korea in April 1951. The men were Lieutenant-Colonel James Carne and Lieutenant Philip Curtis of the 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.

Regards Eddie.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata VC (born 28 June 1972 in Mangakino, New Zealand) is a member of the Special Air Service of New Zealand and the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. He is also the first New Zealander to be awarded a Victoria Cross since 1943. He received the award on July 2, 2007 for bravery under fire during the Afghanistan conflict in 2004, after carrying a wounded compatriot across a battlefield to receive medical treatment.

Corporal Apiata is one of only 12 living recipients of the Victoria Cross and the only living New Zealand recipient. He is the 22nd member of the New Zealand Armed forces to be awarded a Victoria Cross.[

Victoria Cross

[edit] Citation

Apiata (then a Lance Corporal) was part of a New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) Troop in Afghanistan that came under attack from about 20 enemy fighters while holed-up for the night in a rocky rural area. The troop was attacked with rocket propelled grenades, destroying one of the troop's vehicles and immobilising another. This was followed by sustained machine gun and automatic rifle fire from close range.

One of the grenade hits blew Apiata off the bonnet of the vehicle he was stationed on. Two other soldiers in or near the vehicle were wounded by shrapnel; one of them, who can only be identified as Corporal 'D', was in a serious condition. After finding what cover was available, the three soldiers found that Corporal 'D' had life-threatening arterial bleeding and was deteriorating rapidly. Apiata assumed command of the situation.

The three were about 70 metres in front of the rest of the troop, so Apiata decided the only option available was to carry Corporal 'D' back to the rest of the troop. Miraculously none of them were hit during the brave act. After getting Corporal 'D' shelter, Apiata went back outside to rejoin the battle.

On July the 2nd, 2007, Apiata was awarded the VC for his bravery. In part the citation for the award reads-

"In total disregard of his own safety, Lance Corporal Apiata stood up and lifted his comrade bodily. He then carried him across the seventy metres of broken, rocky and fire swept ground, fully exposed in the glare of battle to heavy enemy fire and into the face of returning fire from the main Troop position. That neither he nor his colleague were hit is scarcely possible. Having delivered his wounded companion to relative shelter with the remainder of the patrol, Lance Corporal Apiata re-armed himself and rejoined the fight in counter-attack."

Three other SAS soldiers also received bravery awards for actions during the same mission. Two received the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration and one the New Zealand Gallantry Medal.[

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Brave guy!

The NZSAS also recived the Presidential Unit Citation Award from the U.S.

The last time a presidential unit citation was awarded to any country other than an American military unit was in 1966.

That also went to a New Zealand Army unit - 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery - for its work in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966.

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand was instituted in 1999 to replace the British Victoria Cross for future awards to New Zealand military personnel.

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand is the premier New Zealand award for gallantry. It is awarded for most conspicuous gallantry, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy or of belligerents'. There are three other awards for gallantry in the New Zealand honours system: the New Zealand Gallantry Star, the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration, and the New Zealand Gallantry Medal.

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand is a bronze cross paty or formy (with straight edges). In the centre of the cross is the Royal Crest above a scroll inscribed with the words "For Valour". The cross is attached by the letter "V" to a straight bronze suspender bar bearing laurel leaves. The medal and ribbon for the Victoria Cross for New Zealand is identical to the British Victoria Cross instituted in 1856.

The Canadian Victoria Cross was insituted earlier than it's NZ counterpart, on February 3rd 1993. It remains un-awarded or nominated to date.

The Canadian VC is based on the British version. The original insignia was created by Prince Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The Canadian modifications to the VC were done by Bruce Beatty. The obverse is the same, except for the scroll. The British version has the words For Valour in English only while the Canadian version uses the Latin translation in order that it might be equally appropriate for Anglophones and Francophones.

Regards Eddie.

Edited by Taz
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Brave guy!

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand was instituted in 1999 to replace the British Victoria Cross for future awards to New Zealand military personnel.

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand is the premier New Zealand award for gallantry. It is awarded for ‘most conspicuous gallantry, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy or of belligerents'. There are three other awards for gallantry in the New Zealand honours system: the New Zealand Gallantry Star, the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration, and the New Zealand Gallantry Medal.

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand is a bronze cross paty or formy (with straight edges). In the centre of the cross is the Royal Crest above a scroll inscribed with the words "For Valour". The cross is attached by the letter "V" to a straight bronze suspender bar bearing laurel leaves. The medal and ribbon for the Victoria Cross for New Zealand is identical to the British Victoria Cross instituted in 1856.

Regards Eddie.

Taz, thats very interesting, am I right in thinking then that this is the first New Zealand VC to be awarded?

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Taz, thats very interesting, am I right in thinking then that this is the first New Zealand VC to be awarded?

That's right NZVC #001 goes to Corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata

Regards Eddie.

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That's right NZVC #001 goes to Corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata

Regards Eddie.

Taz, am curious is the Kiwi VC on par with the British VC, and by that I mean will this guy be listed with the 1000+ British issue VC winners, or will it be an award in it own right? Like say the US Medal of Honour?

Gordon.

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As I understand it the Commonweath VC's are on par with the British VC and will remain on the Honour list.

All apart from the Canadian Issue VC are even made from the gunmetal captured during the Crimean War.

British, Australian and New Zealand VC's are identical in appearance. The Candian VC scroll is the only difference between the awards.

Regards Eddie

Edited by Taz
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As I understand it the Commonweath VC's are on par with the British VC and will remain on the Honour list.

All apart from the Canadian Issue VC are even made from the gunmetal captured during the Crimean War.

British, Australian and New Zealand VC's are identical in appearance. The Candian VC scroll is the only difference between the awards.

Regards Eddie

Eddie,

Now that is very interesting!!!!!!!!!!!

But why isn`t the Canadian one medal out of the same gun metal?

:off topic: I also heard that the Crimea gun metal is running out, and that guns from the Boxer War in China are also used, any trueth in that?

Gordon.

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Eddie,

Now that is very interesting!!!!!!!!!!!

But why isn`t the Canadian one medal out of the same gun metal?

:off topic: I also heard that the Crimea gun metal is running out, and that guns from the Boxer War in China are also used, any trueth in that?

Gordon.

Well in actual fact there nearly wasn't a Canadian Victoria Cross at all. In 1972 The VC was totaly omitted from the Canadian Honours system. The Prime Minister of the time, Pierre Trudeau stated "that only Canadians should receive Canadian decorations."

After Brian Mulroney was elected Prime Minister it took till 1984 for an Honours commitee to be formed, and even then the VC was not recommended. Only after years of intense lobbying by Loyalist groups such as the Monarchist League of Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion were the plans amended.

It took until December 31st, 1992, for a formal request to be made by Mulroney. The request was approved by the issue of Letters Patent by Elizabeth II, the Queen of Canada, on February 2nd, 1993.

It is not known from which source the metal comes from to make Canadian VC's other than it is not made from the Gunmetal used for the other Commonwealth awards. As to why this is, who knows?

Victoria Crosses were manufactured from bars of bronze, smelted from the parts of two Russian Bronze smooth bore guns captured during the Crimean War according to the Royal Mint, and popular myth. But these ingots were destroyed during a bombing raid in World War II. This meant that apparently a different metal was used for five crosses awarded between 1942 and 1945.

Part of the myth is that every cross has been cast from the two cannons at Woolwich. The cannon in Woolwich however, are Chinese-made, although they have often previously been cited as Russian, their origin is a mystery, there is no evidence that they had been captured at Sebastopol.

The original gunmetal is kept under guard by the Royal Logistic Corps in Donnington. Although rarely seen, it is said to weigh just 358 ounces, enough for a further 85 crosses

So speculation surrounds suggestions that bronze from Chinese cannons was used for a short period.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...12/28/nvc28.xml

Regards Eddie.

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