Regular followers of this space are aware of my almost daily habbit of using the GOOGLE "News" search filter to see what is happening in the VC and MOH worlds. Several stories have been discovered that need mentioning here in the days to come.
The image on the left is that of an actual Victoria Cross awarded to a Canadian, and held by our National War Museum at Ottawa. A museum highly recommended to be visited by all. The image to the right on that sheet of VC stamps is a depiction of the new Canadian version of the VC, which has replaced tthe English version... "For Valour" with the Latin... Pro Valore." It also bears the approval via signature of HRH Queen Elizabeth ll, and was unveiled in May of 2008.
Past blogs have also told of the sheet of stamps, above at right, honouring Nova Scotia born William Hall and released during Black History Month, back in February 2010. This son of a slave went on to become the first man of colour, not only from Canada, but in the entire world... to be awarded the Victoria Cross, for his heroism in 1857 during the Indian Rebellion. He was the recipient of Canada's third VC, and was the first Canadian naval man to be so awarded.
Having written about these men in the past, I was very interested to learn in days past that the post office in Australia has issued five new stamps effective about a week ago, in honour of five of that country's Victoria Cross recipients. The issue is part of the Legends program and is released in preparation of the 100th anniversary coming up of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli, Turkey in WW l.
The post office's Legends Awards, not only recognized the heroes of Australia, but also acts as a fund raising tool by the selling of various products. A portion of the money is donated to needy service members and families affected by war.
Chief Warrant Officer Payne, VC, shown at above right, was also honoured with an Australian stamp released back in 2000 and as shown below, at far right.
After basic training in New Brunswick he was sent to the Ottawa area for secret training in a new invention then known as... Radio Detection And Ranging. Today we simply call this... radar. Then off to England he was sent, served with the Canadain troops there and when the US entered the war he switched over to the US forces again and went of to Africa and many acts of heroism there and in Vietnam and Korea resulting in many heroism medals including the Medal of Honor, and the Distinguished Service Cross.
The family had another favorite story about their hero father. It was that Lewis often made it well known, that the talents he needed to conduct the bayonet charges in Korea, were not learned during US...but Canadian basic training. This same talent was dircetly put to the test in battles that ultimatley resulted in his being awarded first the Distinguished Service Cross and within weeks the Medal of Honor.
Yet another was Lewis's fond bragging often that he was the only Coolnel in US history to be charged and convicted of desertion and then go on to earn the Medal of Honor.
On Sunday I will tell you how this all comes together.