Private Ernest A Smith, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada wins the Victoria Cross for gallantry, Po Valley, Italy, 21st October 1944
During the fighting in the Po Valley in October 1944 Private Ernest A “Smokey” Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross when having sited his PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank), he was approached by a Mark V Panther tank which wounded his comrade with machine gun fire.
His citation reads:
“At a range of 30 feet, and having to expose himself to the full view of the enemy, Private Smith fired the PIAT and hit the tank putting it out of action. Ten German infantrymen immediately jumped off the back of the tank and charged him with Schmeisssers and grenades. Without hesitation Private Smith moved out onto the road and at point blank range with his Tommy gun killed four Germans
and drove the remainder back. Almost immediately another tank opened fire and more enemy infantry closed on Smith’s position. Obtaining some abandoned Tommy gun magazines from a ditch, he steadfastly held his position, protecting his comrade and fighting the enemy with his Tommy gun until they finally gave up and withdrew in disorder”.
(London Gazette 20th December 1944)