Wwii India General Service Medal Group To Casualty Kia Tobruk
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Wwii India General Service Medal Group To Casualty Kia Tobruk:
An India General Service Medal KIA Group of Four awarded to :-
India General Service medal with North West Frontier 1935 named correctly as above with 1939-45 Star, Africa Star and War medal unnamed as Thomas served with the 2nd Battery, 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and after evacuation at Dunkirk with the BEF they were sent to the Western Desert 9th May 1941 serving with the 7th Divisions Support Group making a name for itself in the actions of Operation Crusader. In the 4 months November 1941 to March 1942 the 1st LAA destroyed 178 Aircraft, damaged 58 and destroyed 53 Enemy Tanks
"On 20th Nov 41 - 2nd Bty reported shooting down Ju 87 and 4 Bty a Dornier Do 215 for loss of 2 men killed and one wounded. Later during 7th Support Group's attack on Sidi Rezegh, 21st November 1941, 2 Bty was assigned to support a mixed group under command 2nd Rifle Brigade. On moving into position at Sidi Rezegh airstrip, a force of 60 enemy tanks appeared and opened a withering fire backed by hidden artillery. The tanks surged across the airfield knocking out 2 Bofors guns. British tanks arrived and met the Germans head on but were shelled to a halt. At dusk two of the LAA Troops withdrew and rejoined the 2nd Rifle Brigade. The column set out again at dawn but enemy tanks appeared and swept pass. The Bty fought a quick halt action engagement but without success. During these actionsB Troop, 2 Bty was engaged by a number of tanks. Returning fire a number of direct hits were observed on the tanks. On withdrawal one gun received a direct hit and was abandoned, 3 OR's were killed and several wounded. Lt McSwiney awarded the MC for his part in the action.
The war diary records that at the start of May 1942 the 2nd Battery was deployed in the defence of Tobruk harbour. Interestingly Bombardier THOMAS is reported as having died at sea in the Army Roll of Honour. On the date that he was killed the hospital ship RAMB IV ,which had been captured by the British forces from the Italians, was attacked by enemy aircraft whilst en route from Tobruk to Alexandria.The ship was bombed and set alight causing the deaths of 155 of the wounded troops aboard. It is therefore highly likely that Bombardier Thomas was killed during the attack on this ship whilst recovering from wounds earlier recieved.