Richard Kelliher VC
QX20656 Private Richard KELLIHER
2/25 Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF
13th September 1943, near Nadzab, New Guinea
Richard KELLIHER was born on 1 September 1910 at Ballybeggan, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. He died in 1963 and was buried in Springvale Cemetery, Victoria.
London Gazette: 30th December 1943:
"During an attack by this soldier's platoon on an enemy position at Nadzab, New Guinea, on the morning of 13th September 1943 the platoon came under heavy fire of a concealed enemy machine gun post approximately 50 yards away. Five of the platoon were killed and three wounded and it was found impossible to advance without further losses. In the face of these casualties Private Kelliher suddenly, on his own initiative, and without orders dashed towards the post and hurled two grenades at it killing some of the enemy, but not all. Noting this, he then returned to his section, seized a Bren gun, again dashed forward within 30 yards of the post, and with accurate fire completely silenced it.
"Returning from his already gallant action Private Kelliher next requested permission to go forward again and rescue his wounded section leader. This he successfully accomplished, though under heavy fire from another position. Private Kelliher, by these actions, acted as an inspiration to every one in his platoon and not only enabled the advance to continue, but also saved his section leader's life. His most conspicuous bravery and extreme devotion to duty in the face of heavy enemy fire resulted in the capture of this strong enemy position."
[Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial]