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Jul 10, 2009

Australia's last remaining World War II Victoria Cross recipient, Edward Kenna, has died.

C2NN article to note 
Original story in ABC

Mr Kenna was awarded the highest award for gallantry in May 1945 for his courage in a battle near Wewak in New Guinea.

Private Kenna exposed himself to heavy gunfire when his company was held up by a machine gun post on a ridge. On his own initiative, Private Kenna stood up in clear view of the enemy, less than 50 metres away, and started firing his Bren gun from the hip. The Japanese shot back with such accuracy that bullets passed between between Private Kenna's arms and body. When his magazine was exhausted, he called for a rifle and, despite a continuing hail of bullets, shot dead two more machine gunners with two rounds.

Three weeks later he was shot in the mouth and spent more than a year recovering in hospital.

The 90-year-old died in a Geelong nursing home last night after suffering complications following a fall two weeks ago.
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He was a father of four, grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of 15.
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Mr Kenna's youngest daughter, Marlene Day, was with her father when he died. She says while her father was remembered as a war hero, he did not see himself that way. "He was very modest really. If you asked him he'd just say 'I was doing my job'...He didn't talk a lot about it. He talked about the fun times, the mateship, but not much about the actual war."
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In a joint statement Acting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Minister for Veterans' Affairs Alan Griffin described Mr Kenna's death as "a sad day for Australia...Private Kenna made an outstanding contribution to the nation and will be remembered for his courage."
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Mr Kenna's family has accepted the Victorian Government's offer of a state funeral.

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Posted: Jul 10, 2009 7:51pm

 

 
 
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