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Captain J.E.D. Wilcox D.S.O.


Transcript of Distinguished Service Order Citation

Brigade

77th Indian Infantry

Division

3rd Indian

Unit

Royal Artillery attached
1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment

Date of
Recommendation

15th July 1944

Regtl. No.

200827

Rank and Name

Captain (temporary) Jack Eugene David WILCOX

Action for which recommended :-

At HENU during the occupation of WHITE CITY BLOCK, this officer commanded all MMGs. His co-ordination of the guns was a great factor in the successful defence of the area. During the period 23rd, 24th and 25th May 1944 when determined efforts were being made to destroy the INDAW- MOGAUNG railway, this officer, on three successive nights, attempted to carry out this task. The first and second attempts failed through weather and terrain difficulties. Each effort was most determined and entailed swimming the NAMYIN CHANUG and MANA Canal before the line could be reached. In all these areas the enemy were in dug-in positions which he had to go through. This called for the highest courage and guts. On the third night he carried boats to assist in the final crossing . This was successfully carried out despite a storm which raged the whole night, and the deep swamps. The railway was blown in three places and charges placed at intervals along the line to derail trains which were known to be running. These efforts called for great courage, determination and energy of the highest order.

On about the 19th May 44, this officer took his platoon through swamps and the MANYIM CHAUNG by using ropes, in a night attack on BANMAUK where it was thought enemy guns were hidden which were firing on the BLACKPOOL BLOCK. This was again a successful action, as then enemy were dug-in at the village and he immediately attacked them with his platoon inflicting several casualties on the enemy causing them to retire. In  this action his platoon suffered two killed and four wounded. As his platoon were leaving, still under a certain amount of fire he went back and brought out one of his wounded after searching inside enemy positions for him. This action called for great skill and determination and courage.

On the 12th June 44, during an attack on the enemy positions just outside MOGAUNG, his platoon was ordered to attack and hold a certain position which was known to be held by the enemy. No sooner had his platoon started to move when the first few men of his leading section were held and wounded. No one could locate the actual enemy snipers, neither could they recover the wounded.  Lieut. Wilcox fearlessly exposed himself in the open so as to make the enemy fire at him, in so doing disclose their exact positions. This the enemy did. He then personally stalked the two snipers killing them both and recovering his four wounded men. This called for daring courage and bravery. This action enabled his platoon to advance on to his objective. In the final attack on to the enemy strongpoint his platoon carried out a magnificent attack led personally by this officer. It was a success but costly to his platoon.  However , his attack led to the Company being able to attack the main enemy positions. Throughout the day he held his ground, despite continuous sniping. In this action he was wounded by a bullet through the neck but would not be relieved or sent back until his Company had completed his task.

In the final attack on MOGAUNG his platoon was in the centre of the Brigade attack, where the opposition was strongest. His objective was the railway. On this bearing was a known strong point. His platoon reached this point at first light and then started a house to house engagement in which his platoon killed all the Japs in this position. Again he was wounded in the head and despite the fact that he had only ten men left he continued mopping up the enemy, pushing on to the railway line.  He remained on his objective until the position was stabilised and then had to be ordered back by his Company Commander. He is still with the battalion refusing to be evacuated.

This officer has shown a splendid example of courage, bravery, determination of the highest order and is an inspiration to his men.

Dated MOGAUNG 27th June 1944

REMARKS BY THE BRIGADE COMMANDER
His Battalion Commander, in his citation, has mentioned this officer's magnificent achievement in getting through to the railway to blow it up. I had given orders to all battalions that the maximum effort must be made to achieve this as it was essential that movement of reinforcements North to MOGAUNG should be stopped. At least twelve attempts were made to cross the NAMYIN CHANUG but all except WILCOX's effort failed due to enemy action and extensive floods.

This officer's courage, determination and skill was outstanding in this venture. He is one of the three remaining Platoon Commanders in his battalion who have not been killed or wounded and evacuated. His repeated ac ts of courage and dash in numerous hard attacks have been brought to my notice again and again throughout the Campaign.

Recommended for an immediate award of the DSO.

Dated 15 July 44 at SHADUZUP.
 


Recommended By

Lieut-Colonel R. Degg
1st Bn The South Staffordshire Regiment

Brigadier J.M. Calvert DSO
Commander 77 Indian Infantry Brigade

Honour or Reward

D.S.O.

Signed By

Major General W.D.A. Lentaigne
Comd. 3 Ind. Div.

General G. Giffard
Commander-in-Chief 11 Army Group 

(London Gazette 26.04.45)

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