[Daily article] January 8: Bruce Kingsbury

Bruce Kingsbury (1918–1942) was an Australian soldier of the Second
World War. After serving in the Middle East, he gained renown for his
actions during the Battle of Isurava, one of many battles of the Kokoda
Track campaign in New Guinea. His bravery was recognised with the
Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry “in the face of the
enemy” that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth
armed forces. Kingsbury was a member of the 2/14th Infantry Battalion.
During the Battle of Isurava, he was one of the few survivors of a
platoon that had been overrun by the Japanese. He immediately
volunteered to join a different platoon, which had been ordered to
counterattack. Rushing forward and firing his Bren gun from the hip, he
cleared a path through the enemy and inflicted several casualties.
Kingsbury was then seen to fall, shot by a Japanese sniper and killed
instantly. His actions, which delayed the Japanese long enough for the
Australians to fortify their positions, were instrumental in saving the
battalion headquarters. He was the first serviceman to receive the
Victoria Cross for actions in Australian territory.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Lotario de Conti was elected as Pope Innocent III; he later
worked to restore papal power in Rome.


American forces led by General Andrew Jackson defeated the
British Army at the Battle of New Orleans, two weeks after the United
States and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Ghent to end the War
of 1812.


Five Evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States
were killed by the Huaorani in the rainforest of Ecuador shortly after
making contact with them.


The oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded at the offshore jetty of the
Whiddy Island Oil Terminal off Bantry Bay, Ireland, killing
approximately 50 people (memorial pictured).


An Antonov An-32 cargo aircraft crashed into a crowded market
in Kinshasa, Zaire, killing up to 237 on the ground.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (transitive) To demolish; to level to the ground.
2. (transitive) To scrape as if with a razor.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Virtue alone is for real; all else is sham. Talent and greatness
depend on virtue, not on fortune. Only virtue is sufficient unto
herself. She makes us love the living and remember the dead.  
–Baltasar Gracián

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