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The 36th Battalion: a record of service of the 36th Battalion with the Third Division in the Pacific

Military Cross: Second-Lieutenant L. T. G. Booth

Military Cross: Second-Lieutenant L. T. G. Booth

At approximately 1030 hours on 27 October 1943, he took part in the assault on the Japanese headquarters. At this time, the beach and the LSTs were being subjected to very heavy and accurate mortar fire from a high ridge west of the Saveke River. Casualties were being suffered by the unloading parties and the unloading operations on the beaches were in danger of being disorganised. Second-Lieutenant Booth was ordered to attack and capture the mortar posi-tion. Only a general indication of the direction from which the fire was coming could be given. Second-Lieutenant Booth led his platoon up a very steep ridge in face of heavy machine-gun fire and rifle fire.

Although the enemy was in considerable force on this ridge, Second-Lieutenant Booth succeeded in driving the enemy from the ridge and captured two 75 mm howitzers which had also been shelling the beaches. Both guns' barrels were hot when taken. Realising that the enemy still had a mortar in operation higher up on the ridge, Second Lieutenant Booth left one section to hold the gun positions and pushed on up the ridge.

After an advance up a very steep ridge the platoon encountered a strong position surrounding the mortar. Despite being outnumbered, page 108a determined attack was made on the enemy with tommy guns and grenades and the position was captured. The enemy fled, leaving ten dead around the position.

With the mortar was approximately 500 rounds of mortar ammunition and a large quantity of grenades and small arms ammunition. One light machine-gun was also captured. Second-Lieutenant Booth destroyed the mortar and howitzers and withdrew. His platoon suffered seven casualties, wounded, in this action. Second-Lieutenant Booth showed himself an officer of outstanding courage and initiative and the successful termination of the unloading of the LSTs was due in no small measure to his action.