NEWBY, George Eric

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
P.O.W. number: 
Honours & Awards: 
Lieutenant George Newby, 'M' Section of the  Special Boat Section, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field [1][2][3]. He had previously served in 1 Special Service Regiment. He was part of Operation Whynot, a raid in Sicily commencing on 11 August 1942 to disrupt a German bomber base in range of a relief convoy for the beseiged island of Malta. They landed by canoes launched from HM Submarine Una and were captured after the raid as they tried to make good their escape [4][5].
"In support of the vital convoy due at Malta from Gibraltar in mid-August 1942, a Commando raid was planned to destroy Junkers 88 bombers on Catania aerodrome, Sicily. Three officers and three other ranks landed on the night of August 11th-12th, 1942 in poor weather conditions on a defended beach. The party penetrated to the airfield to find armed sentries on every aircraft. After reconnoitring for four hours they were detected but whilst retiring used their explosive to destroy some electric power pylons. During the withdrawal to the beach Sergeant Dunbar was wounded and taken prisoner. The remaining five were unable to find Una at the rendezvous and one canoe capsized; they were taken prisoner after daylight some five miles out to sea. Newby showed courage and resource of a very high order. The raid was carried out with great determination and although the object was not achieved due to the enemy's exceptional precautions, the boldness and initiative shown are considered most deserving of recognition" [2].
[1] London Gazette 37536, page 1950.
[2] National Archives file WO373/101/483.
[3] SBS in World War Two, author G.B. Courtney.
[3] Love and War in the Apennines, author Eric Newby.
[4] POW Lists / National Archives files WO392/21 and WO392/1.
[5] Casualty List 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/3.


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