Kingsbury, Bruce Steel

Date of birth:
January 8th, 1918 (Armadale/Melbourne, Australia)
Date of death:
August 29th, 1942 (Isurava, New Guinea)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Cemetery Port Moresby
Plot: C6. Row: E. Grave: 1.
Service number:
VX19139
Nationality:
Australian (1901-present, Federal Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private
Unit:
2/14th Battalion, Australian Army
Awarded on:
November 20th, 1943
Citation:
"In New Guinea, the Battalion to which Private Kingsbury belonged had been holding a position in the Isurava area for two days against continuous and fierce enemy attacks. On 29th August 1942, the enemy attacked in such force that they succeeded in breaking through the Battalion's right flank, creating serious threats both to the rest of the Battalion and to its Headquarters. To avoid the situation becoming more desperate it was essential to regain immediately lost ground on the right flank. Private Kingsbury, who was one of the few survivors of a Platoon which had been overrun and severely cut about by the enemy, immediately volunteered to join a different platoon which had been ordered to counter-attack. He rushed forward firing the Bren gun from his hip through terrific machine-gun fire and succeeded in clearing a path through the enemy. Continuing to sweep enemy positions with his fire and inflicting an extremely high number of casualties on them, Private Kingsbury was then seen to fall to the ground shot dead by the bullet from a sniper hiding in the wood. Private Kingsbury displayed a complete disregard for his own safety. His initiative and superb courage made possible the recapture of a position which undoubtedly saved Battalion Headquarters, as well as causing heavy casualties amongst the enemy. His coolness, determination and devotion to duty in the face of great odds was an inspiration to his comrades."
Private Kingsbury’s Victoria Cross is publicly displayed at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.
The decorations that were received by Private Kingsbury formed a private collection for a long time. They were purchased on an auction by the The Victorian Branch of the Returned Servicemen’s for $ 158.000 and donated to the Australian War Museum on 9 November 1998.
Bruce Steel Kingsbury is buried at the Port Morseby War Cemetery,
Papua, New Guinea.
Award presented to his father on 20 November, 1943 at Government House, Melbourne.
Victoria Cross (VC)

Sources