Monday, 18 October 2010

"Forgotten" Army hero dies, aged 91

From the Glasgow Evening Times website:

"A hero of the Second World War who won two of the highest awards for bravery has died on his 91st birthday.

James Rodger was decorated with the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his heroism fighting the Japanese in the jungles of Burma.

A native of Govanhill in Glasgow, Mr Rodger joined the Highland Light Infantry as he thought he would get to ride a motorbike, but ended up fighting behind enemy lines as a member of the 14th “Forgotten” Army.

He served with the Royal Armoured Corps as part of the 81st (West African) Division, and was selected for the elite Recce Corps.

His bravery was first recognised in 1944, after he repeatedly volunteered to lead patrols deep into Japanese-held territory. He was presented with his DCM by King George.

After the war Mr Rodger returned to his trade as a monumental sculptor in Cathcart before training as a chiropodist."

I was unable to find his citation for the DCM, but his Military Medal citation reads:

"This NCO has led a very large number of patrols into and through strongly held enemy positions. He has achieved his object on every occasion despite opposition and the difficulties of the terrain. His reports on enemy dispositions and strength have been repeatedly most accurate and he has displayed great coolness in continuing his observations even though discovered by the enemy and subjected to heavy fire from automatic weapons and mortars. He has frequently volunteered to lead other parties immediately after his return from patrol and has gone out again with little rest in order to assist our troops to the utmost with his knowledge of the ground and enemy dispositions."

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