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Corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata VC - NZ VC in Afghanistan

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  • Corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata VC - NZ VC in Afghanistan



    NEW ZEALAND GALLANTRY AWARDS
    The Queen has been pleased to approve the following New Zealand Gallantry Awards:

    VICTORIA CROSS FOR NEW ZEALAND (V.C.)

    Corporal Bill Henry APIATA (M181550) - Citation

    "Lance Corporal (now Corporal) Apiata was, in 2004, part of a New Zealand Special Air service (NZSAS) Troop on patrol in Afghanistan, which laid up in defensive formation for the night.

    At approximately 0315 hours, the Troop was attacked by a group of about twenty enemy fighters, who had approached by stealth using the cover of undulating ground in pitch darkness. Rocket-propelled grenades struck two of the Troop's vehicles, destroying one and immobilising the other.

    The opening strike was followed by dense and persistent machine gun and automatic rifle fire from close range.

    The attack then continued using further rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun and rifle fire. The initial attack was directed at the vehicle where Lance Corporal Apiata was stationed.

    He was blown off the bonnet by the impact of rocket propelled grenades striking the vehicle. He was dazed, but was not physically injured.

    The two other vehicle crew members had been wounded by shrapnel; one of them, Corporal D, was in a serious condition.

    Illuminated by the burning vehicle, and under sustained and accurate enemy fire directed at and around their position, the three soldiers immediately took what little cover was available. Corporal D was discovered to have sustained lifethreatening wounds. The other two soldiers immediately began applying basic first aid.

    Lance Corporal Apiata assumed command of the situation, as he could see that his superior's condition was deteriorating rapidly.

    By this time, however, Lance Corporal Apiata's exposed position, some seventy metres in front of the rest of the Troop, was coming under increasingly intense enemy fire. Corporal D was now suffering serious arterial bleeding and was lapsing in and out of consciousness.

    Lance Corporal Apiata concluded that his comrade urgently required medical attention,or he would likely die. Pinned down by the enemy, in the direct line of fire between friend and foe, he also judged that there was almost no chance of such help reaching their position.

    As the enemy pressed its attack towards Lance Corporal Apiata's position, and without thought of abandoning his colleague to save himself, he took a decision in the highest order of personal courage under fire. Knowing the risks involved in moving to open ground, Lance Corporal Apiata decided to carry Corporal D singlehandedly to the relative safety of the main Troop position, which afforded better cover and where medical treatment could be given.

    He ordered his other colleague, Trooper E, to make his own way back to the rear.

    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.

    By his actions, he removed the tactical complications of Corporal D's predicament from considerations of rescue.

    The Troop could now concentrate entirely on prevailing in the battle itself. After an engagement lasting approximately twenty minutes, the assault was broken up and the numerically superior attackers were routed with significant casualties, with the Troop in pursuit.

    Lance Corporal Apiata had thereby contributed materially to the operational success of the engagement. A subsequent medical assessment confirmed that Corporal D would probably have died of blood loss and shock, had it not been for Lance Corporal Apiata's selflessly courageous act in carrying him back to the main Troop lines, to receive the immediate treatment that he needed."

  • #2
    Good to see someone surviving an action to receive the VC in person.

    Well done that man...
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Well done, no doubt about it. First non Posthumous VC since Beharry, Second VC in Afghanistan.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        He put his comrades life before his own in the face of grave danger. Under the circumstances nothing less than a VC would be fitting.

        Well done that man.
        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

        Comment


        • #5
          well done

          it is true, that the metal blockthe medal is made from, there is not much left
          hurry up and wait, are you back yet

          Comment


          • #6
            Absolutely fascinating stuff really, well worth a browse, especially have a look at the very high number of Irish winners

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Cross
            Beyond the Leap, beyond the law!

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            • #7
              At the rate they have been given since the end of WW2, there is plenty of the metal left for some time yet. The quantity awarded decreased proportionally since WW1


              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                ...there is plenty of the metal left for some time yet. ...
                Enough for 80 VCs apparently.

                At the rate of awards since 1945 that will last until about the year 2400.
                Groundhog
                Chief of the Diet Tribe
                Last edited by Groundhog; 5 September 2007, 21:13.
                sigpic
                Say NO to violence against Women

                Originally posted by hedgehog
                My favourite moment was when the
                Originally posted by hedgehog
                red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                • #9
                  The rate of award is diminishing.


                  Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                    The rate of award is diminishing.
                    I think it's actually increasing if you consider there were 10 awarded between 1945 and 2005 and 3 in the last two years.
                    sigpic
                    Say NO to violence against Women

                    Originally posted by hedgehog
                    My favourite moment was when the
                    Originally posted by hedgehog
                    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Didn't they find that quite a few VC's were not made with the Russian cannon metal but from Chinese ones?
                      Dr. Venture: Why is it every time I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?

                      Dr. Venture: Dean, you smell like a whore

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mutter nutter View Post
                        Didn't they find that quite a few VC's were not made with the Russian cannon metal but from Chinese ones?
                        The cannons were made in China but captured from the Russians in Crimea.
                        sigpic
                        Say NO to violence against Women

                        Originally posted by hedgehog
                        My favourite moment was when the
                        Originally posted by hedgehog
                        red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well,if they run out, they could use some of the metal in the facades of the Wellington monument in the Phoenix Park.The metal is said to have been melted down from French guns taken at Waterloo.Equally as valid as Crimean weapons.
                          regards
                          GttC

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                          • #14
                            There used to be two Crimean cannon mounted on Granite in the Peoples Park in Waterford City. I think they were moved to infront of the council offices but they still do exist.
                            Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                              Well,if they run out, they could use some of the metal in the facades of the Wellington monument in the Phoenix Park.The metal is said to have been melted down from French guns taken at Waterloo.Equally as valid as Crimean weapons.
                              regards
                              GttC
                              2 of the cannons on 2 Bn Square are from the same battle

                              I may just put them up on ebay
                              Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                              Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
                              The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
                              The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
                              The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                              Are full of passionate intensity.

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