05 October 2008

Victoria Cross: R. R. Rattey


Corporal, 25th Battalion Australian Military Forces

Born: 28 March 1918, Barmedman, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 10 January 1986, West Wyalong, New South Wales, Australia

Citation: In the South West Pacific, on 22nd March 1945 a company of an Australian Infantry Battalion was ordered to capture a strongly held enemy position astride Buin Road, South Bougainville. The attack was met by extremely heavy fire and all forward movement was stopped with casualties mounting. Corporal Rattey quickly appreciated the serious situation delaying the advance could only be averted by silencing enemy fire from automatic weapons in bunkers, which dominated all the lines of approach. He determined that a bold push by himself alone would surprise the enemy and offered the best chance of success. With amazing courage he rushed forward firing his Bren gun and hurling grenades. This completely neutralised enemy fire. Corporal Rattey, now without grenades, raced back to his section under extremely heavy fire and obtained two grenades with which he again rushed the remaining bunkers, effectively silencing all opposition and enabling his company to continue its advance.
A little later the advance of his company was again held up by a heavy machine gun firing across the front. Without hesitation Corporal Rattey rushed the gun and silenced it. The company again continued its advance and gained its objective, which was consolidated. The serious situation was turned into a brilliant success, entirely by the courage, cool planning and stern determination of Corporal Rattey. His bravery was an incentive to the entire company, who fought with inspiration derived from the gallantry of Corporal Rattey, despite the stubborn opposition to which they were subjected.

No comments: