63723 Sergeant James Dodds Carson, MM
Excellent 2NZEF MM Group for Italy
The excellent MM Group of seven awarded to James Dodds Carson, who earned his Military Medal in Italy in October 1944 whilst operating as infantry during a German attack on his position.
Unfortunately the service file for James Carson has not been obtained, so details of his service and confirmed medal entitlement are not confirmed although the campaign medals come in their original wax packets. It is known he was born 4th July 1912 at Kaitangata, son of a grocer, Moses Carson, and his wife Annie Hamilton Kelly. Prior to the Second World War, James Carson was working in Dunedin as an assistant at a hardware store on Cumberland St.
Carson embarked as a gunner with an artillery reinforcement draft in mid 1941. Presumably he served in the field with 7th Anti-Tank Regiment throughout the campaign in the Western Desert before transferring to the Italian front in 1943. Carson earned his Military Medal (Immediate) for his actions on the night of 9th October 1944 (L.G. 10/5/1945): " In October 1944 two guns under the command of Sergeant Carson were attached 3 Greek Mountain Brigade in position with the most forward platoon, several hundred yards south of the FIUME RUBICONE, Italy. On the night of 9 October on being warned of the approach of a German patrol he posted his men in prepared infantry positions and then, with complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of intense fire from machine guns, small arms and automatic weapons, controlled and coordinated the fire of his scattered posts established as part of his plan of infantry defence previously arranged with the Greek Platoon Commander. His coolness and sound judgment proved invaluable to his men, who were not trained as infantry but were steadied by his example so that they fought off the threat to their sector of the front. Late the same evening haystacks close to one of the guns were set alight by enemy machine-gun and mortar fire. Again disregarding his personal safety Sergeant Carson assisted in removing endangered ammunition from an area made as light as day by the blazing stacks. The men silhouetted against the light became a definite and tempting target for the enemy who did not fail to intensify his machine-gun and mortar fire. Sergeant Carson at all times proved a fine example to his men and showed himself to be a cool and efficient leader. On this night his coolness and courage were an inspiration to all under his command".
2NZEF Military Medals were hard-won awards, and this one is no exception. The medal is correctly impressed 63723 SGT. J.D. CARSON. 2ND NZEF 45. Note, this lot comes with the original box of issue as received from the UK. The UK practice of referring to the 2nd NZEF as "N.Z. Mil. F." is marked on the box, but as the medal was named in New Zealand, it is named to 2NZEF. The photo is representative of the 7th Anti-Tank Regiment, and was taken in Italy in January 1945.