Victoria Cross awarded posthumously on the testimony from an enemy officer.

(Royal New Zealand Air Force) VC awarded solely on the testimony from the enemy.

Nola Trigg showing her children, John and Wayne, their late fathers’ medals, the Victoria Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross. A photograph of their father can be seen on the wireless behind them. New Zealander, Flying Officer Allan Trigg was a Liberator pilot attached to 200 Squadron RAF Coastal command who was posthumously awarded the VC on the testimony of the captain of the German U-boat he sunk.

Oberleutant Klemens Schamong explained:

“We opened deadly fire from our ‘two 20mm cannons’ and the first salvo at a distance of 2000m set the plane on fire.
Despite this, Trigg continued his attack. He did not give up as we thought and hoped. His plane flew deeper and deeper. We could see our deadly fire piercing through his hull. Such a gallant fighter as Trigg would have been decorated in Germany with the highest medal or order”.
(RNZAF Official photo)

Original wartime caption: One day in August 1943 Flying Officer Trigg of the R.N.Z.A.F. undertook, as captain and pilot, a patrol in a Liberator although he had not previously made any operational sorties in that type of aircraft. After searching for eight hours a surfaced U- boat was sighted. Flying Officer Trigg immediately prepared to attack. During the approach, the aircraft received many hits from the submarine’s anti-aircraft guns and burst into flames, which quickly enveloped the tail. There could have been no hesitation or doubt in Trigg’s mind. He maintained his course in spite of the already precarious condition of his aircraft and executed a masterly attack. Skimming over the U-boat at less than 50 feet with anti-aircraft fire entering his opened bomb doors. Flying Officer Trigg dropped his bombs on and around the U-boat where they exploded with devastating effect. A short distance further on the Liberator dived into the sea with her gallant captain and crew. The U-boat sank within twenty minutes and some of her crew were picked up later in a rubber dinghy that had broken loose from the Liberator. Flying Officer Trigg, missing believed killed, has been awarded the V.C. (Picture issued 1943). (IWM)

Artist’s impression based on account

Author: Alan Malcher

Military historian and defence commentator

3 thoughts on “Victoria Cross awarded posthumously on the testimony from an enemy officer.”

  1. Alan: B42? Could it be B24? The only B42 I know of is the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster, an experimental bomber aircraft, designed for a high top speed. Its two engines were mounted within the fuselage driving a pair of contra-rotating propellers mounted at the tail in a pusher configuration, leaving the wing and fuselage clean and free of drag-inducing protrusions. i don’t suppose it’s that one as only two were built.

    Liked by 2 people

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