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Author Topic: Sad day for Australia.  (Read 798 times)

Offline mick

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Sad day for Australia.
« on: July 09, 2009, 06:29:19 AM »
Ted Kenna V.C. Died today two days after his 90th birthday. Ted won the V.C. our version of the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945, he was our last surviving holder of the Victoria Cross from WW2.

This leaves only Keith Payne V.C. Vietnam and Mark Donaldson V.C. Afghanistan left alive.

Ted will get a State Funeral with full Military Honors. It will be bigger than Texas!

War Office, 6th September, 1945.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:-

No. VX. 102142 Private Edward KENNA, 2/4 Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Military Forces.

In the South West Pacific at Wewak on 15th May, 1945, during the attack on the Wirui Mission features, Private Kenna's company had the task of capturing certain enemy positions. The only position from which observation for supporting fire could be obtained was continuously swept by enemy heavy machine gun fire and it was not possible to bring Artillery or Mortars into action.

Private Kenna's platoon was ordered forward to deal with the enemy machine gun post, so that the company operation could proceed. His section moved as close as possible to the bunker in order to harass any enemy seen, so that the remainder of the platoon could attack from the flank. When the attacking sections came into view of the enemy they were immediately engaged at very close range by heavy automatic fire from a position not previously disclosed. Casualties were suffered and the attackers could not move further forward.

Private Kenna endeavoured to put his Bren gun into a position where he could engage the bunker, but was unable to do so because of the nature of the ground. On his own initiative and without orders Private Kenna immediately stood up in full view of the enemy less than fifty yards away and engaged the bunker, firing his Bren gun from the hip. The enemy machine gun immediately returned Private Kenna's fire and with such accuracy that bullets actually passed between his arms and his body between his clothing. Undeterred, he remained completely exposed and continued to fire at the enemy until his magazine was exhausted. Still making a target of himself, Private Kenna discarded his Bren gun and called for a rifle. Despite the intense machine gun fire, he seized the rifle and, with amazing coolness, killed the gunner with his first round.

A second automatic opened fire on Private Kenna from a different position and another of the enemy immediately tried to move into position behind the first machine gun, but Private Kenna remained standing and killed him with his next round.

The result of Private Kenna's magnificent bravery in the face of concentrated fire, was that the bunker was captured without further loss, and the company attack proceeded to a successful conclusion, many enemy being killed and numerous automatic weapons captured.

There is no doubt that the success of the company attack would have been seriously endangered and many casualties sustained but for Private Kenna's magnificent courage and complete disregard for his own safety. His action was an outstanding example of the highest degree of bravery.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Sad day for Australia.
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 11:04:28 AM »
not many left, are there.  not only are they heroes to be admired, but they are of a generation the likes of which none of us will ever see again.
One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets ? anything that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered. (1.8.85)

George Orwell  "1984"

Offline G3farms

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Re: Sad day for Australia.
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 11:22:29 AM »
I would venture to say if you were to have talked with him he would have said he was only doing what needed to be done. These men were one of a kind, just good people doing what needed to be done. That is an incrediable story of bravery, i would think God and angles were around him that day for sure. Just an ol' country boy who had had enough of them shooting at him.

RIP Mr. Kenna.

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Offline beemaster

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Re: Sad day for Australia.
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 04:01:34 PM »

I just so glad that we have technology that has recorded in audio and film the vets of the Greaest Generation. Soon, none will be here asthere will be no Concentration Camp Survivors either - luckily we enough documentation to preserve the war that followed the war to end all wars.

I was checking in with a neighbor about 5 houses down yesterday, he had a bad tree fungle issue that required the tree to be removed completely. It was NOT hard to tell that he was of the age where he served the military in some way, it opened the conversation up as I explained I worked for the Navy, of which he retired from.

As I did with all Vets, I thanked him first for serving his country and secondly thanked him for my freedom  so often Vets NEVER receive such simple but meaningful word. I hope anyone reading this makes the effort to thank them, it really makes them recall the gallant actions that changed he world as it was headed.

Offering hot cooffee and doughnuts on holidays to our active gate guards is the simplest thing I can ever do - to them it is a real pat on the back and something they remember. Soon (with technology always pushing the we could easil have 90+% mechanical and few foot soldiers, and of course the ultimate yet likely inachievable goal of no ground troops, but thank God we live where aiming our money toward mechanising the battle rather thank just building better armour for the unlucky one has its priority straight.

I know your love for the USA and I feel proud each time I hear you or read you speak of our military. Listening to an Allie and outsider speak so highly of us is he greatest compliment I think we could ever get. Anfd I'm sure you speak for many of your country men. Thanks for such kind words always.

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Offline dragonfly

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Re: Sad day for Australia.
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 04:33:16 PM »
I am thankful every day for men like Mr Kenna. Condolences to you and your country on this sad day. Thanks for posting. :)