Pte Bruce Steel Kingsbury
Born in Melbourne, Victoria.
During the Battle of Isurava on August 29, 1942 at heavy Japanese attacks began and the Australian defenders managed to repelled two assaults before their line was broken and forced the Australians to commit their reserves. In an attempt to repel the enemy, Private Bruce Kingsbury rushed forward firing a Bren gun from his hip and cleared a path through the enemy before being shot by a sniper. He posthumously earned the Victoria Cross.
|Victoria Cross Citation
In New Guinea, the Battalion to which Private Kingsbury belonged had been holding a position in the Isurava area for two days against continuous and fierce enemy attacks. On the 29th August, 1942, the enemy attacked in such force that they succeeded in breaking through the Battalion's right flank, creating a serious threat both to the rest of the Battalion and to its Headquarters. To avoid the situation becoming more desperate, it was essential to regain immediately the lost ground on the right flank.
Private Kingsbury, who was one of the few survivors of a Platoon which had been overrun and severely cut about by the enemy, immediately volunteered to join a different platoon which had been ordered to counter-attack.
He rushed forward firing his Bren Gun from the hip through terrific machine-gun fire and succeeded in clearing a path through the enemy. Continuing to sweep the enemy positions with his fire and inflicting an extremely high number of casualties on them, Private Kingsbury was then seen to fall to the ground shot dead, by the bullet from a sniper hiding in the wood.
Private Kingsbury displayed a complete disregard for his own safety. His initiative and superb courage made possible the recapture of the position which undoubtedly saved Battalion Headquarters, as well as causing heavy casualties amongst the enemy. His coolness, determination and devotion to duty in the face of great odds was an inspiration to his comrades.
(London Gazette: 9 February 1943)
Kingsbury is buried at Bomana War Cemetery.
WW2 Nominal Roll - Bruce Steel Kingsbury
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