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Anderson, John Thompson McKellar

Date of birth:
January 12th, 1918 (Hampstead/London, Great Britain)
Date of death:
October 5th, 1943 (Termoli/Campobasso, Italy)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Cemetery Sangro River
Plot: VIII. Row: A. Grave: 44.
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Major John Anderson served in North Africa and Italy. He distinguished himself in Tunesia while wounded.

Promotions:
23 March 1940: 2nd Lieutenant
?: WS/Lieutenant
?: T/Captain
?: A/Major

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Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Captain
Unit:
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) (Bagshot, Surrey).
Awarded on:
May 18th, 1943
Action:
Citation:
"In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North Africa."
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Major
Unit:
8th Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, British Army
Awarded on:
June 29th, 1943
Action:
Citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry and outstanding devotion to duty during the attack on "Longstop" Hill, Tunisia, on the 23rd April, 1943.
Over a period of five hours Major Anderson led the attack through intense enemy machine-gun and mortar fire. As leading Company Commander he led the assault on the Battalion's first objective, in daylight, over a long expanse of open sloping hillside and most of the time without the effective cover of smoke. Enemy infantry opposition was most determined, and very heavy casualties were sustained, including all other rifle Company Commanders, before even the first objective was reached.
On the first objective and still under continual enemy fire, Major Anderson reorganised the Battalion and rallied men whose Commanders, in most cases, had been either killed or wounded. The Commanding Officer having been killed, he took command of the Battalion and led the assault on the second objective. During this assault he received a leg wound, but in spite of this he carried on and finally captured "Longstop" Hill with a total force of only four officers and less than forty other ranks. Fire had been so intense during this stage of the attack that the remainder of the Battalion were pinned down and unable to advance until Major Anderson had successfully occupied the hill.
During the assault, he personally led attacks on at least three enemy machine-gun positions and in every case was the first man into the enemy pits; he also led a successful attack on an enemy mortar position of four mortars, defended by over thirty of the enemy. Major Anderson's force on the hill captured about 200 prisoners and killed many more during the attack. It is largely due to this officer's bravery and daring that "Longstop" Hill was captured, and it was the inspiration of his example which encouraged leaderless men to continue the advance."
Details:
Major Andersonís Victoria Cross is publicly displayed at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum in Stirling Castle in Scotland.
Killed on the battle field at Termoli in Italy on October 5, 1943.
John Thompon McKellar Anderson is buried at the Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy.
Victoria Cross (VC)

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