Lt R. A. Vasey, MC; Awanui; born Awanui, 15 Oct 1917; driver; wounded 17 Apr 1945.
(Kay, R. 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. p. 481.) (Source: Kay, R. 27 (Machine Gun Battalion. p.481.)
'At 5.30 a.m. on the 17th, without any opposition, 9 Brigade moved off again, 22 Battalion and C Squadron on the right and 27 Battalion and A Squadron on the left. The infantry were in Kangaroos. Apart from the delays occasioned by the many ditches to be crossed, the advance went unhindered until the next major barrier, the Gaiana River, was approached. Here the New Zealand Division’s old opponents, 4 Paratroop Division, were holding a line. Bazooka, mortar, machine-gun and small-arms fire greeted the attacking force, and casualties were heavy, for the terrain in this area was flat and treeless and there was little or no cover from fire or from view.
Nevertheless, without any delay, a forceful attempt was made to assault the stopbanks. On the right 4 Company 27 Battalion, with No. 2 Troop (Second-Lieutenant MacDiarmid) in support, and on the left 2 Company with No. 4 Troop (Second-Lieutenant Vazey) in support, moved up smartly to attack. Ron Vazey led his troop to within thirty yards of the stopbank, coolly left his tank, and went forward on foot to climb to the crest to reconnoitre the position. In the face of heavy fire he made his observations and returned to his tank with vital information concerning the canal and the demolished railway bridge. He then directed the troop on to enemy positions and continued to give supporting fire to the infantry until his tank was hit, first by heavy mortar and later by bazooka, and set on fire. Vazey was seriously wounded, but as a result of his bold venture and cool leadership, a hold was secured on the near stopbank. His daring exploits in this engagement earned him the MC. Second-Lieutenant Ryan (OC No. 6 Troop B Squadron), working with Divisional Cavalry Battalion, also distinguished himself by repeating the performance which had earned him such high praise from the infantry during the Sillaro attack. His tank, from the top of the stopbank, once more played a leading part in subduing the enemy fire.' (Source: Sinclair, D.W. 19 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. p. 501.) AWMM