October 31 This Day During World War ll

October 31, 1942 – Having earlier silenced a machine gun post and taken 12 prisoners, Sergeant William Kibby was leading an Australian advance near Alamein taking enemy positions with grenades when he was cut down by machine gun fire. He was posthumously awarded the Vctoria Cross. William Henry (Bill) Kibby VC (15 April 1903 – 31 October 1942) was a British-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Commonwealth forces. At the Battle of El Alamein, during the period of 23–31 October 1942, Kibby distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon, after his commander had been killed, during the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge. On 23 October, he charged a machine gun position, firing at it with his Thompson submachinegun; Kibby killed three enemy soldiers, captured 12 others and took the position. His company commander intended to recommend him for the Distinguished Conduct Medal after this action, but was killed. During the following days, Kibby moved among his men directing fire and cheering them on. He mended his platoon’s telephone line several times under intense fire. On 30–31 October, the platoon came under intense machine gun and mortar fire. Most of them were killed or wounded. In order to achieve his company’s objective, Kibby moved forward alone, to within a few metres of the enemy, throwing grenades to destroy them. Just as his success in this endeavour appeared certain, he was killed.

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