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Pacific Saga: the personal chronicle of the 37th Battalion and its part in the Third Division's Campaign

Military Cross

Military Cross

On 16 November, 1943, on Vella Lavella, a fighting patrol of two platoons was sent from Doveli Cove to the northern side of Tambama Bay to destroy a party of Japanese who were reported to be there. While at Tambama Point, an enemy lugger was seen to be entering the bay. One platoon followed it down the bay and successfully boarded it. Lieutenant Bartos remained at the point. On hearing sounds of firing from the direction of the lugger, he took six men and moved down the coast. The platoon on the lugger had killed fourteen Japanese, but it was ascertained that some were still on shore, who might attempt the recapture of the lugger. Lieutenant Bartos set out to locate this party and did so among a tangle of mangroves and banyan roots. His party came under enemy fire and Lieutenant Bartos was blown off his feet by a Japanese grenade. He then so disposed his party that the enemy were trapped and killed. The leadership of Lieutenant Bartos on all occasions when in contact with the enemy was outstanding, and deserves the highest commendation.