DOWNEY, John Joseph

Warrant Officer Class 2
Royal Artillery
Service number: 
Honours & Awards: 
Sgt John Downey MM 1 Commando
Warrant Officer 2 John Downey was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during operations at Kangaw, Burma [1]. He was wounded during the operation [2].
  • Attested into the Royal Artillery 25 April 1936 [3].
"Arakan. 1945 On 23 Jan 45 at Kangaw Hill 170 (Map ref 515414 Myebon Sheet East 1/25,000), BSM Downey was in a key trench which was fiercely attacked for two hours by night. Early on he was wounded with multiple grenade wounds of the back and sniper fire penetrating the base of his forehead and through the nose.
All the occupants of the trench were wounded. He helped evacuate two casualties and withdrew. He then, although in great pain and under heavy MMG and grenade fire at point blank range, went forward and brought in a casualty wounded in both legs.
He refused treatment for his wounds until all other casualties had been dealt with and remained in action until five hours later with the situation completely in hand he was ordered out of battle." [4].
[1] London Gazette 37040, page 2080.
[2] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/88.
[3] Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942.
[4] National Archives file WO373/36/49.

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