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PLAQUE NO. 83 ... VICTORIA CROSS PLAQUE

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Plaque erected in 1995 to commemorate the two Victoria Cross winners (Chowne & Kenna) in the Aitape/Wewak campaign of 1944-1945.

Mr Ted Kenna VC and the widow of Lt Albert Chowne VC unveiled the one metre square plaque. Mission Hill was the site where Kenna actually won his Victoria Cross.

The plaque has a relief map of the coast from Aitape to Wewak and marked are the sites of the two VC's. Bottom centre is a large picture of a VC. The portraits of Kenna and Chowne are in the lower corners. Tetx is also in Pigin English

 
Plaque Text:

SINCE THE VICTORIA CROSS WAS INSTITUTED BY QUEEN VICTORIA IN 1856, 96 AUSTRALIANS HAVE RECEIVED THE DECORATION. IT IS THE HIGHEST MILITARY AWARD FOR COURAGE IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY THAT CAN BE BESTOWED.

SIX CROSSES WERE AWARDED IN THE BOER WAR (1899 - 1902), 86 IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR (1914-1918), 20 IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR (1939-19450 AND 4 IN VIETNAM (1965-1975). ALMOST 30% OF THE RECIPIENTS DIED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE ACTION THAT RESULTED IN THEIR AWARD.

ALL THE MEN WHO HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS DISPLAYED EXTRAORDINARY COURAGE, SELF-SACRIFICE AND DEVOTION TO DUTY IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY.

 
PRIVATE EDWARD KENNA V.C.

2/4 INFANTRY BATTALION AIF

WIRUI MISSION HILL, WEWAK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

 ON THIS HILL ON 15 MAY 1945, EDWARD KENNA SINGLE-HANDEDLY ENGAGED AND OVER CAME TWO JAPANESE MACHINEGUN POSTS THAT WERE IMPEDING THE AUSTRALIAN ADVANCE. HIS LONE ACTION SAVED THE LIVES OF MANY OF HIS COMRADES AND HELPED SECURE A VITAL HILL ABOVE THE WEWAK AIRFIELD.

 FOR THIS OUTSTANDING BRAVERY HE WAS AWARDED AUSTRALIA'S HIGHEST MILITARY HONOUR - THE VICTORIA CROSS.

 
LIEUTENANT  ALBERT CHOWNE V.C.

2/2 AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION, A.I.F.

NEAR DAGUA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

ON 25 MARCH 1945 ALBERT CHOWNE ADVANCED SINGLEHANDED, ALONG A NARROW JUNGLE RIDGE AND ATTACKED MAJOR JAPANESE POSITIONS OBSTRUCTING THE AUSTRALIAN ADVANCE. THIS GALLANT OFFICERS ACTION DESTROYED TWO MACHINEGUN POSTS AND INSPIRED HIS MEN TO CAPTURE THE ENTIRE POSITION. IN DOING SO, HE EXPOSED HIMSELF TO INTENSE ENEMY FIRE AND WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED ATOP THE LAST ENEMY POST.

 FOR THIS OUTSTANDING BRAVERY, HE WAS AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY AUSTRALIA'S HIGHEST MILITARY HONOUR THE VICTORIA CROSS.

 



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