02 December 2012

George Cross: H. H. Reed


Bombardier, No 2 Battery, 1 Maritime AA Regt, Royal Artillery; SS Cormount

Born: 1911, Sunderland
Died: 20 June 1941, at sea (aboard SS Cormount)

Citation: The KING has been graciously pleased to award the GEORGE CROSS to: —
Henry Herbert Reed (deceased), Gunner.
The ship was attacked [on 20 June 1941] by enemy aircraft with cannon, machine-guns and bombs. She replied at once with her defensive armament and the men at the guns went on firing despite the hail of bullets and cannon shell.
Gunner Reed behaved with the utmost gallantry. He was badly wounded but when the Master asked how he was, he said that he would carry on. The Chief Officer was also badly wounded. Reed carried him from the bridge down two ladders to the deck below and placed him in shelter near a lifeboat. Gunner Reed then died. It was afterwards found that his stomach had been ripped open by machine-gun bullets.
By his gallant and utterly selfless action Gunner Reed saved the life of the Chief Officer.

[London Gazette issue 35280 dated 23 Sep 1941, published 19 Sep 1941.]

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