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Heroism Which Won Awards For Seven Canadians Is Told

The Windsor Star, 06 Oct 1944, Fri  Page 7

OTTAWA, Oct. 6 – This is the story of a gallant ordnance corps captain who coolly continued directing the bridging of a river after he was wounded and in the face of intense enemy fire and of some of his Canadian comrades who breached the Gustav Line in Italy.

Ignored Own Safety

The story was disclosed last night when defence headquarters announced citations covering seven awards for valor. The awards, announced previously, included five Military Crosses to two majors and a lieutenant of the Canadian Armored Corps and two captains of the ordnance corps, and two Military Medals to a sergeant of the ordnance corps and a trooper of the armored corps.

The citation covering the award of the Military Cross to Capt. Hugh A. G. Kingsmill, 26, of Toronto, said that a bridge was constructed under heavy fire to be used in an attack across the River Gari – a natural barrier in the Gustav Line.

Then, at once, under direct observation and subject to intense mortar and machine-gun fire. Capt. Kingsmill, with not a thought for his own safety coolly walked backward over open ground a distance of 500 yards in front of the moving bridge. He directed it successfully into place at the first attempt.

Remained At Post

Wounded by exploding shells, he dauntlessly remained at the river crossing during the final securing of the span. When an enemy counterattack developed from the opposite side of the river in an effort to dislodge the bridge, he methodically proceeded to machine-gun the German fire positions.

"Determined to stem the attack, he called for the received artillery support. Not until the counter-attack was beaton off, and the bridge firmly placed, did Capt. Kingsmill consider leaving to have his wounds attended. His courage and determination were at all time beyond praise. His most gallant action contributed directly to the smashing of the Gustav Line."

Tpr. George Maclean, 27. of Sydney Mines, N.S. won the Military Medal for helping Capt. Kingsmill. He used his tank to carry the bridge across the stream under a withering enemy fire.

Acts Of Heroism

Here are other stories of heroism:

Maj. F. N. Ritchie, 25, Westmount. Que., won the M.C., for pressing home a tank attack.
Maj. D. C. Raylor, 28, Toronto, won the M.C. for holding a position against repeated counter-attacks.
Capt. G. L. Patton, 27, Winnipeg, won the M.C. for recovering 23 tanks bogged down in a heavily-shelled river position.
Lt. W. V. Hill. 30, Toronto, won the M.C. for guiding a tank attack on foot.
Sgt. P. L. Carson, 38, Vancouver, B.C., won the M.M. for salvaging tanks.