One of a series of posts concerning Gurkha recipients of the Victoria Cross, each of which will appear on the anniversary of the action leading to the award.
Recipient: T/Major Frank Blaker
Unit: Attached, 3/9th Gurkha Rifles
Date: 9 July 1944
Engagement: Taungni, Burma
Citation: The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: Captain (temporary Major) Frank Gerald Blaker, M.C. (193864), The Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) (attached 9th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army).
In Burma on 9th July, 1944, a Company of the 9th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to carry out a wide, encircling movement across unknown and precipitous country, through dense jungle, to attack a strong enemy position on the summit of an important hill overlooking Taungni.
Major Blaker carried out this movement with the utmost precision and took up a position with his Company on the extreme right flank of the enemy, in itself a feat of considerable military skill.
Another Company, after bitter fighting, had succeeded in taking the forward edge of the enemy position by a frontal assault, but had failed to reach the main crest of the hill in the face of fierce opposition.
At this crucial moment Major Blaker’s Company came under heavy and accurate fire at close range from a medium machine gun and two light machine guns, and their advance was also completely stopped.
Major Blaker then advanced ahead of his men through very heavy fire and, in spite of being severely wounded in the arm by a grenade, he located the machine guns, which were the pivot of the enemy defence, and single handed charged the position. When hit by a burst of three rounds through the body, he continued to cheer on his men while lying on the ground.
His fearless leadership and outstanding courage so inspired his Company that they stormed the hill and captured the objective, while the enemy fled in terror into the jungle.
Major Blaker died of wounds while being evacuated from the battlefield. His heroism and self sacrifice were beyond all praise and contributed in no small way to the defeat of the enemy and the successful outcome of the operations.
London Gazette: 26 September 1944
If you have enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog
to be notified of future posts. Further VC-related posts will follow.