Honours & Awards:
Sergeant Peter Littlewood was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished services in operations in the South Arabian Federation.
During October and November 1966, Corporal (now Sergeant) Littlewood was the 81mm Mortar Section N.C.O. of X Company, 45 Commando, Royal Marines, and was operating with the company in the Wadi Taym area of Qutaibi Province in the South Arabian Federation. On 14th October, X Company position was heavily attacked by dissidents from two directions at once with mortars and blindicides from the south, and automatic and rifle fire from the west. The mortar pit sangar suffered a direct hit from a blindicide and enemy mortar shells were landing close by.
Under very heavy fire and with complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Littlewood directed and inspired his crew to switch the mortar through an arc of 180 degrees so as to engage the enemy. The commendable speed at which he completed this hazardous task and the accuracy of the fire he brought down were instrumental in the enemy sustaining severe casualties.
On the night of 4th/5th November, again in the area of the Wadi Taym, X Company which was acting as a decoy force was heavily attacked with blindicide, automatic and rifle fire. The small arms fire was intense and included direct and plunging fire sweeping into the mortar pits. The enemy dispositions were such that it became necessary for each mortar to engage a separate target. Although he was receiving fire control orders from two sources, and still under heavy fire, which was falling around his position, with great coolness Corporal Littlewood kept the mortars firing without a stop. The speed with which he worked out corrections on the plot enabled fire to be effective throughout the engagement and again resulted in severe enemy losses.
In both operations, Corporal Littlewood acted with an extremely high degree of professional skill, initiative and coolness under fire. His outstanding leadership provided a magnificent example not only to his own mortarmen, but to the company group as a whole.
London Gazettes Supp. 44321, page 6081.
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