James Allen Ward

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James Allen Ward VC (June 14, 1919 – September 15, 1941) was a New Zealand recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Ward went through training at Taieri and Wigram with Fraser Barron, who went on to be a standout bomber pilot during the war. Barron and Ward sailed together on the Aorangi in January 1941 and were both stationed at 20 OTU Lossiemouth, in Scotland.

He was 22 years old and a Sergeant in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, serving with 75 Squadron, Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He was killed in action over Hamburg, Germany, on 15 September 1941.

Engine fire incident and Victoria Cross award

He was serving as a co-pilot on the squadron's Vickers Wellington bombers flying out of RAF Feltwell in Norfolk, United Kingdom when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 7 July 1941 after an attack on M√ľnster, Germany the Wellington (AA-R) in which Sergeant Ward was second pilot was attacked by a German night-fighter. The attack opened a fuel tank in the starboard wing and caused a fire at the rear of the starboard engine.

The skipper of the aircraft told him to try to put out the fire. Sergeant Ward crawled out through the narrow astro-hatch (used for celestial navigation) on...
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