Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu is awarded the Victoria Cross

This citation for Ngārimu's Victoria Cross is reproduced from the April 1986 The Battalion Remembers II booklet: 

On the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief, Middle East Forces, the King has approved the award of the Victoria Cross to Second-Lieutenant Moana Nui-a-Kiwa NGARIMU, 28 NZ (Maori) Bn, for most conspicuous gallantry and outstanding leadership during the action at TEBAGA GAP in the MATMATA Hills, TUNISIA, on 26 March 1943. 2nd Lieut NGARIMU commanded a platoon in an attack upon the vital hill feature, Point 209. He was given the task of attacking and capturing an underfeature forward of Point 209 itself and held in considerable strength by the enemy. He led his men with great dash and determination straight up the face of the hill undeterred by intense mortar and MG fire which was causing considerable casualties. Displaying courage and leadership of the highest order he was himself first on the hill crest personally annihilating in the process at least two enemy MG posts. In the face of such a determined attack the remainder of the enemy fled but further advance was impossible as the reverse slope was swept by MG fire from Point 209 itself.

Under cover of a most intense mortar barrage the enemy counter-attacked in an attempt to retain their dug-in positions. 2nd Lieut NGARIMU ordered his men to stand up and engage the enemy man for man. This they did with such good effect that the attackers were literally mown down, 2nd Lieut NGARIMU personally killing several. During this encounter he was twice wounded, once by rifle fire in the shoulder and later by shrapnel in the leg and though urged by both his Co. Comdr and Bn Comdr to go out of the line he refused to do so saying that he should stay a little while with his men.

During one of these counter-attacks the enemy by using hand grenades succeeded in piercing a certain part of the line. Without hesitation 2nd Lieut NGARIMU rushed to the threatened area and those of the enemy he did not kill he drove back with stones and with his tommy gun. During another determined counter-attack by the enemy, part of his line broke. Yelling out orders and encouragement he went to his dislodged men, rallied them and led them in a fierce onslaught back into their old positions.

All through the night, between attacks, he and his men were heavily harassed by MG and mortar fire, but 2nd Lieut NGARIMU watched his line very carefully, cheering his men on and inspiring them by his gallant personal conduct. Morning found him still in possession of the hill feature but only he and two unwounded other ranks remained. Reinforcements were sent up to him.

In the morning the enemy again counter-attacked and it was during this attack that 2nd Lieut NGARIMU met his death. He was killed on his feet defiantly facing the enemy with his tommy gun at his hip; and as he fell he came to rest almost on top of those of the enemy who had fallen to his gun just before he fell to theirs.

The hill feature that this officer had so gallantly defended was strewn with enemy dead and was a bold witness of the great courage and fortitude with which 2nd Lieut NGARIMU had fought and died.

Submitted by mbadmin on Thu, 18/06/2009 - 10:48

Takupu (0)