WW2 'Burma Operations' Distinguished Conduct Medal Group of Five - A. Sjt. J. O'Neill, Seaforth Highlanders

  • Product Code: MM-4655
  • Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
  • Era: WW2
  • Availability: Out of Stock

  • Price: £3,895.00

A second world war 'Burma Operations' DCM group awarded to 2824426 Acting Sergeant James O'Neill, Seaforth Highlanders. 

George VI Distinguished Conduct Medal named to 2824426 A. Sjt. J. O'Neill. Seaforth. 
1939-45 Star unnamed as issued 
Burma Star unnamed as issued 
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued 
War Medal 1939-45 unnamed as issued 

The DCM has some minor edge bruising but generally the medals are in good condition. Please see photos. 

D.C.M.: London Gazette - 30th September 1943
The original recommendation states:
  'When in command of two sections that suddenly encountered a company of Japs at Nampamaung (S.F. 2628) on 20 April 1943, he coolly and skilfully conducted the withdrawal of the two sections, covering their movement with fire and delaying, and inflicting casualties on the Japs.

One of his sections was thus enabled to withdraw southwards along the Chindwin and cross intact at Nanthanyit (S.F. 2321), but he and the other section had to swim the Chindwin - 600 yards wide - at Taungbola (S.F. 2525) under fire. Despite covering fire from the other section and from a patrol on the west bank, three were killed whilst swimming, one drowned and one missing. At least 20 Japs were killed in the engagement.

His placing of his other section in a position whence it could withdraw intact, whilst himself remining at the point of danger to cover its withdrawal, are in the best traditions of leadership.'

The following extracts are from the book “1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, India and Burma 1941 - 1944”. A copy of the book comes with the group. 

“At the time of his award the 1st Seaforth had been moved to Myothat, Burma to patrol the Chindwin River to help the returning Chindits to Escape Jap pursuit by drawing off the Japs between Thaungdut and Mawlaik. The survivors were then to be taken back to Tamu where they were to be fed, given baths, fresh clothing and a shave - if they wanted one!”

“It was on 22 April that a Recce patrol from C Company went out under the Command of Sgt O’Neill and ran into heavy mortar and LMG fire East of the Chindwin. O’Neill withdrew, leapfrogging the sections back to the river bank. One of his sections, covered but the other, was able to cross the river intact, but O’Neill and the other section eventually had to swim the 600 yard river under fire. Despite covering fire from the home bank Cpl Heckey and Ptes Wheatly and McColgan were killed swimming and Ptes Docherty and Williams were reported missing. O’Neills exemplary handling of the withdrawal and his cool leadership in very difficult circumstances earned him a recommendation for an MM. He was awarded a DCM.” 

In actual fact his original recommendation shows he was initially put in for a DCM which was changed by someone to MM and then changed back again to DCM.

The Chindits the Seaforths were helping were those returning from “Operation Longcloth”, the first Chindit expedition that commenced in February 1943.

The 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders arrived in Burma in May 1942, as part of 1st Indian Brigade, 23rd Indian Division and it was in the course of the bitter fighting of the First Arakan Campaign that O'Neill won his D.C.M. He was invested with his award by Lord Mountbatten on 8 February 1944.

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Tags: WW2 Medals, WWII, World War Two, Second World War, Military Medals, Campaign Medals, British Medals, Gallantry Medals, Gallantry, Seaforth Highlanders, Burma, DCM

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