Rifleman(Retd) Lachhiman Gurung, VC, Indian Airforce

Rifleman(Retd) Lachhiman Gurung, VC

At Taungdaw in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning a forward post on 12th May 1945. At 0120 hours, about 200 enemy assaulted his position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Gurung's section and by his post in particular.

Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position. One rolled to the lip of Rifleman Gurung's trench. He picked it up and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell inside the trench. Again he picked it up and threw it back. A third fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back but it exploded, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg.

The enemy, screaming and shouting, attempted to rush the position by sheer numbers. Rifleman Gurung, regardless of his wounds, loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were repulsed with heavy casualties. Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the company locality, 31 lay in front of this rifleman's section.

By his magnificent example, this rifleman so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last that, although surrounded and cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack. His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming odds were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy.