WW2 AUSTRALIAN D.C.M. GALLANTRY GROUP QX5634 McLACHLAN 2/15 BN – OPERATION BULIMBA

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Offered is the iconic WW2 Australian Distinguished Conduct Medal group, as awarded to QX5634 Corporal Horton Ford McLachlan (later Sergeant, DCM) 2/15 Battalion 2nd A.I.F. for heroism in combat in relation to Operation Bulimba (Egypt, September 1942), in which Corporal McLachlan won the D.C.M. for great courage, dash and leadership, in that he personally eliminated 11 German soldiers, with the use of bayonet, mills bomb and sub machine gun (used as a club), and responsible for the elimination of a number of machine gun posts and a further 4 enemy.

The period mounted medal group consists of:
GVI Distinguished Conduct Medal, impressed named: QX5634. CPL. H. F. McLACHLAN. A. I. F.
1939-45 Star, The Africa Star, with 8th Army Bar, The Defence & War Medal & The 1939-45 Australian Service Medal, impressed named to: QX5634 H. F. McLACHLAN
Tobruk Siege Commemorative Medal, engraved to rear McLachlan. Original D.C.M ribbon bar, as worn by McLachlan before he was officially awarded the medal.
McLachlan was 24 years old when he enlisted at Toowoomba on the 24th of May 1940. He was allotted to the 2/15th battalion, proceeded overseas on the 26th of December 1940, arriving in the Middle East on the 3rd of February 1941. Promoted Corporal on the 15th of April 1941. Promoted Acting Sergeant on the 8th of October 1942.

His D.C.M. citation reads:

During an attack carried out by an Aust. Inf. Bn. on enemy positions, near TEL EL EISA on 1 Sep 42, Cpl. McLachlan showed great courage, dash and leadership.

McLachlan, who was in command of the rear section of his platoon, was ordered to attack an enemy post which was firing at his platoon from the right. Leading his section into the attack he bayoneted three enemy and subdued the post. He then took a Thompson sub-machine gun from a wounded man in his section, and led a further attack, in the face of Spandau fire, on another post 100 yds ahead which was enfilading his company. With his section he cleared out this position himself killing the enemy machine gunner and three others with his machine gun. Moving forward with the only two of his men left, McLachlan, assisted by covering fire from the right, assaulted another enemy post 200 yds ahead, throwing two grenades, which killed four enemy. Having by this time exhausted all his ammunition, he threatened four enemy (the crew of a spandau) with his sub-machine gun used as a club. One of these men seized McLachlan by the right leg, but Mclachlan got free by kicking him in the face, at the same time calling on one of his section to throw a grenade into the pit, which disposed of the four men in it. The determination and fighting spirit of the NCO were largely responsible for enabling his company to get on to its objective.

Recommended by Major C.H. Grace, acting C.O. 2/15th Bn. Signed/approved by Generals Windeyer, Morshead, Leese and Alexander, Commander in Chief of Meditteranean Expeditionary Forces.

Shortly after this action, on the 28th/29th October, he was severely wounded in action and returned to Australia, where he convalesced and took on a training role for recruits and according to the family was in charge of a group of Gurkhas who were training in Toowoomba. Another interesting fact is that McLachlan enlisted having only 60% of his right foot, the remaining having been sheered away in a peace time hunting accident. The family has stated that this became apparent when he was hospitalised when severely wounded and was subsequently returned to Australia, seeing out the rest of the war as a senior N.C.O. in a training capacity.

The D.C.M. appeared in the London Gazette on the 5 November 1942.
McLachlan was discharged on the 12th May 1945, being class B (Unfit for Marching), medically unfit for further duty. This most famous of actions was immortalised in 1965 with an oil painting by Ivor Hele, which is currently displayed in the Australian War Memorial.

The complete service file for McLachlan can be found by slicking the following link:
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4838540

Along with the medals is his uniform, personal effects and paperwork.
This group is fresh to the market from the family, has never been for sale before and this is a chance to secure arguably the finest Australian D.C.M./Gallantry group of the Second World War. I might personally add, I am at a loss as to why he was not cited for award of the Victoria Cross for this most courageous of actions. Please feel free to contact Jamey at JB Military Antiques during office hours regarding purchasing this group.

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