A while back I did a couple of posts inspired by recent obituaries. I saw a brief article the other day recording the death of Walter Palmer one of the now very few surviving Tuskegee Airmen, feared and respected by the Germans as the 'Schwartze Voglemenschen' (Black Birdmen). Palmer makes a couple of appearances in Aviation Elite Units: 332nd Fighter Group - Tuskegee Airmen, which we published just in time for the ceremony belatedly honouring this extraordinary unit. I found a great portrait of Palmer.

In the same paper there was a fuller obituary of another remarkable World War II veteran, John Gunn. The paper printed a fantastic pre-war portrait of him in his regimentals, but this unfortunately doesn\'t seem to be available online. I was unsuccessful with a brief search to find out more about the action in which Gunn won his Military Cross commanding tanks of the Scots Greys “in the Low Countries” towards the end of the war. The citation stated, “Four POWs were captured who declared that the enemy had withdrawn on hearing the approach of tanks over such an unexpected route to a position of such advantage, and our infantry advanced and occupied their objectives. By his determined action over extremely difficult country and under heavy fire Captain Gunn enabled our infantry to occupy their objectives with the minimum of loss and reorganise their new position secure from counter-attack which might have proved serious"

However the search did turn up another John Gunn, who died in November 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1506486/Colonel-John-Gunn.html
This obituary has rather more action in it! For example, “Every attempt made by Gunn's company to erect wire to strengthen their position was met by a hail of accurately thrown grenades. Most of these fell on his forward platoon, and three times in an hour all the men in the trench nearest the Japanese were hit and had to be replaced. Gunn kept the situation under control, hurling grenades himself and, on one occasion, fending off with his arm a grenade that would have fallen into a trench full of his men. Eventually, he was hit in the stomach by a grenade and fell, severely wounded for the fifth time”.

Indeed, the greatest generation!

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