Lance Corporal Robert Weir MacKay, DCM

The Military Medal
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His Citation reads:

On 10 Apr 45, L/Cpl MacKAY was acting as crew comd of a light tank in No.3 Section of the Reconnaissance Troop of 21 Cdn Armd Regt. This section was operating in front of the advanced guard of 4 Cdn Armd Div on the divisional centre line. The section came under heavy machine gun and anti-tank fire from the vicinity of the road junction at MR 895711 and the section leader's tank and the third tank were hit and set on fire, their crews being forced to abandon them. These crews were pinned to the ground by fire from three 20 mm guns sited in the immediate area of the road junction. Realizing that the unhorsed crews could not get back without fire support, L/Cpl MacKAY ordered his tank to swing clear of the protection of the burning vehicles and took up a position in the open to shield them from observed fire. The three 20mm guns immediately concentrated their attention on this one tank. Undeterred in the face of this point blank fire, L/Cpl MacKAY carried straight on knocking out one gun with his 37mm [gun] and crushing another under the tracks of his tank before it was finally immobilized. Although now a sitting target which was receiving repeated hits, L/Cpl MacKAY continued to fight his tank until the third gun was put out of action. As his vehicle was now burning he ordered his crew to bail out and make their way back. On leaving the tank, L/Cpl MacKAY received a bullet wound in the stomach. Although in great pain and unable to stand, he worked his way into a nearby ditch and engaged the advancing enemy infantry who threatened the escape of his crew, with a sten gun, driving them to the ground. He continued to command the area until infantry elements of the advanced guard working forward on the flanks, were able to overrun the enemy thus held in the open. Throughout this entire action this junior NCO displayed the greatest heroism and devotion to duty. The intense and accurate fire he directed from his tank and while lying wounded on the ground was instrumental in saving the lives of his comrades and in enabling the infantry to move steadily forward. The carefully sited rearguard position was swept aside and the divisional advance continued uninterrupted.

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