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Now there’s some gongs

Major Michael Sadler MC MM

Both the Military Medal and the Military Cross.

Each means about the same thing. But, back then, one was for non-officers, one for officers. So, having both means having done the thing as a non-officer, become an officer, and done the thing again.

That’s, erm, impressive. And I’d doubt there are all that many who’ve achieved that double. Rather rarer than MC and bar I would have thought?

6 thoughts on “Now there’s some gongs”

  1. MM for actions in the desert with LRDG, MC for action in France with SAS. Was he commissioned on leaving LRDG and joining SAS?

    Promotion was a bit of a pick and mix in those ad hoc units, mostly to a rank that made sense to the orthodox military. If you needed a commission to be taken seriously then you’d get one; conversely, if you didn’t want to be posted away by your regiment you might refuse a commission or a promotion.

  2. Didn’t the Long Range Desert Group morph into the SAS. I’m relying on my Boys Own magazine history from 60 years ago, so I’m probably not quite right?

  3. No, it was a separate private army. They worked together, with LRDG providing transport for SAS patrols in the early days, before SAS acquired their own vehicles and decided to work in a more LRDG-like way.

    Compare No 1 Demolitions Squadron (PPA), which was also originally envisaged as a foot unit to be carried by LRDG but in the event was formed with its own vehicles.

  4. Lesley Baveystock DSO DFC DFM

    As a sergeant pilot, he was shot down during the first Thousand Bomber Raid.

    He kept his Manchester straight and level on one engine, enabling the crew to bale out.

    By the time he got out, he was over Holland. The Resistance got him across the Pyrenees, then he returned home via Gibraltar.

    Because he knew the escape route, he couldn’t fly over occupied Europe again, so he requested assignment to Coastal Command, to fly Sunderland flying boats and protect the Atlantic convoys.

    They got him commisioned, and also specifically made sure he got the DFM, to ensure that he had enough about him to be taken seriously in his new role.

    He sunk two U-Boats, and got the DFC and DSO.

    His book is a rattling good read:

  5. Canadian Charles Smith Rutherford received the VC, MC and MM in a period of six months from February to August 1918 – MM first (as a sergeant), then the MC and the VC (as a lieutenant). The VC included single-handedly taking 45 Germans prisoner by bluffing them that their pill box was surrounded.

  6. Was he commissioned on leaving LRDG and joining SAS?</i?

    In the SAS, from The Times obit:

    After General Sir Bernard Montgomery’s success at El Alamein in October 1942 and Rommel’s consequent withdrawal westwards, Stirling’s force returned to intelligence gathering and reconnaissance. About this time — quite irregularly, though later formalised — Stirling commissioned Sadler in the field.

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