Military Medal, G.VI.R. (962728 Bmbr.W.J.O'Leary. R.A.). With original box of issue. Very fine. (1)
M.M. London Gazette 21.6.1945.
On 13th Nov. 1944 an order was given to attack and capture a German outpost in a farmhouse (Ravenna area), which was holding up our advance towards the Fiume Uniti. A condition was laid down that the operation had to take place without firing of weapons, in view of denying to the enemy the knowledge, for several hours or even days, that he had lost that important strong point. At approx. 0730 hrs the PPA party commanded by an officer rushed into the farm and captured four suprised enemy who were on the bottom floor. Cpol O'Leary without hesitation or orders ran upstairs and meeting an enemy soldier with an automatic weapon in his hand, who had obviously heard the noise of our entrance below, charged him and knocked the weapon from his grasp. Then completely regardless of his own personal safety rushed into a room in which the other enemy were, three of the remaining four were in bed, but the fourth was caught reaching for an automatic weapon by Cpl. O'Leary who knocked him on his back, and called on the four enemy to surrender, which they did. There is no doubt that the prompt action and the high standard of personal courage shown by this NCO witholding his fire when he was one against four, to obey orders received, ensured the success of the attack.