Private Michael John McGee


Unit : "A" Company, 7th Parachute Battalion

Service No. : 14216814

Awards : Distinguished Conduct Medal


Fighting with "A" Company in Bénouville, Private McGee was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. His citation reads:


The above named soldier was one of the parachutists who landed behind the German lines on 6th June 1944. His company was in continual action for 21 hours during most of which time it was cut off from the battalion and attacked by superior numbers of infantry and tanks and self-propelled guns. On one occasion Private McGee by engaging a Panther tank at point blank range with his Sten gun fired from the hip, caused it to stop at a point when his comrades put it out of action with a hand bomb. The soldiers complete disregard for his personal safety was largely responsible for the successful and gallant action fought by his company.


Lieutenant Richard Todd, the 7th Battalion Acting Adjutant, wrote the following : "A" Company in Bénouville with all its officers killed or wounded was reduced to a strength of less than 20. From time to time, we could hear its Officer Commanding, Nigel Taylor, shouting encouragement. We knew that he was lying by the window of a house, one leg shattered, when his second in command, Jim Webber - himself shot through his chest - got through to us to report. Things might have been worse for "A" Company but for the action of one man, 19-year-old Private McGee. Fed up with being shot at by a tank as he ducked down in his fox-hole, he leaped up and charged down the street firing his Sten gun from the hip. The tank crew closed up the shutters and were temporarily blinded, whereupon McGee threw a plastic Gammon bomb from a few yards and crippled the vehicle, which slewed across the road blocking any further tank movement. McGee was awarded the DCM posthumously: he was killed a few hours later."


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