YOUNG Russell Richard Thomas
30024, Major temp Lieutenant Colonel, 28 (Maori) Battalion, New Zealand Infantry, WW2

Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 1 February 1945,
On the night 17/18th February 1944 the Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Young attacked the well concealed and heavily defended enemy positions covering the area of the Cassino Railway Station. At an early stage in the attack the assaulting troops were held up by anti-personnel mines, heavy machine gun and mortar fire and wire. Lieutenant Colonel Young at once went forward and by his coolness and confidence under heavy fire and skilful judgement in handling his troops was largely responsible for maintaining the advance. On other occasions during the night Lieutenant Colonel Young went forward to his troops always at great risk and quite ignoring his own personal safety, by his example and leadership he played a vital part in the enemy line being broken and the more important objective captured. First light the following day found the battalion in a difficult situation. Enemy fire had prevented the completion of the route forward for tanks and supporting arms. The salient in the enemy line had to be held if possible. Throughout the day the area was under heavy fire and repeated counter attacks were made and thrown back.  Although under continuous fire Lieutenant Colonel Young retained a calm confidence and cool judgement which inspired his men. His fine personal example and quite outstanding leadership under most difficult conditions proved of vital; influence on the entire operation

Distinguished Service Order
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Italy Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
New Zealand War Service Medal

Born 25 June 1902, Wellington, New Zealand