From today’s NZ Herald
A New Zealand SAS corporal has been awarded the Victoria Cross – the first since World War 2 – after carrying an injured colleague through enemy fire in Afghanistan.
Corporal Bill Apiata, known as Willy, joins an elite club in receiving the medal.
He becomes the 22nd member of New Zealand defence forces to win a Victoria Cross, the first to receive once since WW2, and the first winner of the new Victoria Cross for New Zealand, which was instituted in 1999.
In 2004 Lance Corporal Apiata was part of an NZ SAS patrol in Afghanistan.
The troops had put up a defensive formation for the night when they were attacked by a group of around 20 enemy fighters. Grenades destroyed one of the troops’ vehicles and immobilised another.
This was then followed by fire from machine guns and further grenade attacks.
The initial attack was aimed at the vehicle where Lance Corporal Apiata was stationed, and he was blown off the bonnet by the impact of the grenade. He was not physically injured but another soldier – named only as Corporal D – was in a serious condition.
The soldiers were under constant fire from the enemy and, as they were exposed by the fire from the vehicle, they immediately tried to take cover.
Corporal D’s injuries were life threatening, and the other two soldiers began to apply first aid.
Apiata took control of the situation, as D was rapidly deteriorating. However, he was in a very exposed position and the enemy fire was becoming increasingly intense.
D was suffering from arterial bleeding and so Apiata came to the conclusion that he needed urgent medical attention or he would die.
So without considering abandoning his fellow soldier to save himself Apiata decided to carry D to the safer position where the rest of their troops were stationed and where D could get proper medical attention. Apiata then carried D seventy meters through exposed ground and enemy fire – and miraculously neither man was hit.
Apiata then resumed the fight.
Medical evaluation revealed that D would have probably died from blood loss had it not been for Apiata’s bravery in getting him the proper medical attention. D is now back on active duty.
Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, said Corporal Apiata was a humble man who when praised for his bravery had said: “I was only doing my job, boss.”
14 thoughts on “Kiwi Hero Honoured”
Cpl. Apiata 10, Taliban 0
This is the kind of ratio that happens when great warriors take on lesser warriors. It has nothing to do with human rights or wrongs.
Until you produce some REAL evidence of my “racist” comments, you Steve are nothing more than a troll who is racist toward Israeli Jews and to anyone who is Jewish and supports Zionism.
The only egocentric fool right here is you Steve for your bullying and harassment tactics on this blog.
Oh I know Mah – you’re as sweet as with everybody as long as they lie down to Israel. Such an egocentric fool you are Mah Mah.
Accordingly you are intensely racist, albeit much like a child. As long as everyone respects “me, me, me” and I get “my, my, my” way…..(stamp the little foot).
I might also say to Fried of Amerika – your entire ethos, the very basis of your thinking, is grossly, spectacularly, intensely violent. You just love those cluster bombs raining down on the heads of those “depraved losers” the Palestinians.
Which is where the Holocaust Naziism comes in of course. “Israel right or wrong !”
Come to think of it – who’s the most violent thug and war criminal hailing from the western world ? Right ! The Chickenhawk. The One You Luv !
Transfer pre-emptive attack to a much scaled down domestic household environment – violent home invasion is what you get. The province of the “violent thugs” you’ve conceived. But The Chickenhawk is the master practitioner !
“you Mah Mah, not to forget Exocet……would all be viewed very strangely !”
Knock off your trollish projections. When have I ever used a racial slur against Palestinians? Against Palestinians who happen to be terrorist orientated?
I guess it must be okay for YOU to be racist toward Israeli Jews and likely any Jew supporting Israel.
Steve from Northland says “After all, he is the man who belittled Maori, postulating the wonders of putting them on reservations in Northland.”
Steve, I wasn’t belittling the Maori as a nation. I was belittling those Maori, like Maria Bargh, who don’t believe in modern capitalist development. I also belittled you Steve for claiming violent Maori street thugs would attack me for speaking my mind. And I attack all third worlders and indigenous peoples (such as yourself) who are anti-Israel.
Steve Northland says “So stop trying to hook into the mana of New Zealand’s Maori hero.”
We finally agree on something. Cpl. Apiata is a hero. He is obviously a great warrior and a role model for NZ youth. Now why would you or anyone else claim a non-Maori praising him as a role model is wrong?
We don’t need the likes of Fried of Amerika commenting on what’s good for NZ school kids. He’s a racist whose morbidity is palpably inimical to the interests of children everywhere.
After all, he is the man who belittled Maori, postulating the wonders of putting them on reservations in Northland.
And there are Palestinian children attending New Zealand schools Fried.
Can just see you lurking at the school gates – ready to heap abuse on these innocent offsspring of the less than human, “depraved losers”, the Palestinians.
You said it Fried, not me, so wear the response.
And you know what…..Willy Apiata VC came originally a place not 30 km from where I conduct my daily life. A place where the cant and the unabashed racism of you Fried, you Mah Mah, not to forget Exocet……would all be viewed very strangely !
So stop trying to hook into the mana of New Zealand’s Maori hero.
Unconscionable, given your various ugly and interminable outbursts about other people and races !
“securing places like Afghanistan for US oil interests”
What the bloody hell are you smoking cameron???
“Or do you believe NZ doesn’t need a military because the nuclear US Navy will be there to protect you?”
This sort of rhetoric is similar to what I am hearing from far left folks in San Fran. Yuck!
Cameron says “Yeah real great role model!”
The military is a calling that isn’t for everybody. I’d say only a small portion of modern men are natural-born warriors. Since military service is voluntary why would you belittle those that freely and genuinely want to protect NZ? Or do you believe NZ doesn’t need a military because the nuclear US Navy will be there to protect you?
“Afghanistan for US oil interests.”
So typical. Yea Cameron, we should give Afghanistan back to Osama bin Laden and his Taliban friends. They’re “oppressed” by “Western imperialism”.
“Corporal Bill Apiata is a role model for NZ youth. I don’t think he will be welcomed to lecture school children the way organizations with “Peace” in their names are.”
Yeah real great role model! When I have kids I’ll be encouraging them to do lots of sports when they’re little so they can be very strong and then join the NZ SAS to fight the good fight overseas securing places like Afghanistan for US oil interests.
Great heroism! The word hero is overused and abused but Corporal Bill Apiata is a true hero.
Corporal Bill Apiata is a role model for NZ youth. I don’t think he will be welcomed to lecture school children the way organizations with “Peace” in their names are.
Do you really have to undermine someone even in the New Zealand army like this? Really disgraceful.
You pretend to always be for the military, but be comfortable with folks like Hugo aligning with his buddies in the Islamo-Nazi Republic of Iran that’s arming the enemies of every allied soldier in Afghanistan and even in Iraq.
I might be an American, but even I see this to be disgraceful whenever any allied soldier is being attacked in this manner. You pretend to support the troops in the country you are based in, but like your kind everywhere in the West, you don’t give a damn about their cause.
Send that Gong hunter back to Fallujah, Helmand Province for another endless deployment, while the
arms industry laugh all the way to the bank.
Looks like NZ is in store for a nightmare in PSD cases that has claimed several SF troop’s lives in murder suicides(after discharge).