Three posthumous gallantry medals approved by GG

The Governor-General has approved the posthumous awarding of gallantry medals for three servicemen for their actions during World War I and World War II.

Captain Raymond Jesse Allsopp is posthumously awarded the Star of Gallantry for his actions during World War II. Captain Allsopp was the medical officer attached to 2/5th Australian Cavalry Commando Squadron and was killed in action on 1 July 1945 near Balikpapan whilst tending wounded. He was recommended for a posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) by his Squadron Commander on 24 July 1945. For his actions he was awarded the Mention in Despatches (MID) posthumously on 6 March 1947.

Lieutenant Basil Hilder Billett was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during World War II. Lieutenant Billett was recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his actions as a platoon commander with the 2/40th Battalion in Dutch Timor between 19 February and 23 February 1942. The battalion surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army on 23 February 1942 and Lieutenant Billett spent the remainder of the war as a Prisoner of War until he was repatriated to Australia on 23 September 1945. He passed away on 11 August 2001.

Staff Sergeant Frank Cahir was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his actions during World War I (but CONTACT could find no record on www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au).

Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan said the announcement by the Governor-General His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove paid tribute to the three servicemen.

“The actions of the servicemen were considered by the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal as part of the Acts of Valour Inquiry,” Mr Tehan said.

“I thank the tribunal for their thorough consideration, and recognise the families of these great servicemen who have waited many years for this outcome.”

The Tribunal’s full reports can be found online at www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au

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FILE PHOTO: Then 75-year-old Rufino Correia, who worked with 2/2 Commando Squadron during WWII, reminisces with Australian soldiers in Dili, in 1999. Photo by Warrant Officer Class 2 Wayne Ryan. 

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Brian Hartigan

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