North West Wales

Military Cross for Gwynedd soldier James Palmer

A Gwynedd soldier who risked his life to save an Afghan convoy under attack is to receive the Military Cross.

Warrant Officer Class 2 James Palmer, 39, of the Royal Logistic Corps, ran through enemy fire to drag a wounded soldier from a ditch in Afghanistan.

He was mentoring a company from the Afghan National Army when the assault happened in Sangin Province on 5 December 2010.

The former marine from Tywyn said news of the accolade "was still sinking in".

WO2 Palmer was on patrol when the ambush happened.

The Afghan soldiers leapt to safety from their unarmoured vehicles and took cover in a drainage ditch as heavy machine fire rained down on them from several points.

When he realised the group was trapped and faced death if he didn't act, he left his own vehicle and ran through the fire to rally the troops.

'Chuffed'

Image caption Warrant Officer Class 2 James Palmer displayed "inspirational leadership", the MoD said

He said: "I noticed one of them had been shot in the leg and blood was coming out so I dragged him over to my vehicle using the ditch for cover."

The Ministry of Defence said WO2 Palmer managed to get the soldier prompt medical treatment "acting in complete disregard for his own safety".

He then encouraged the soldiers to regroup and drive out of the ambush.

The MoD added: "Had it not been for his actions there would almost certainly have been loss of life and critical equipment.

"He displayed inspirational leadership."

Reacting to the news of his citation, WO2 Palmer, who had been training the ANA in logistics, said: "The missus is chuffed to bits and the whole family is too.

"It's a prestigious award and not many people in the Royal Logistic Corps have won a medal like this.

"I just did what I had to do."

He said he had remained "like brothers" with the man he rescued when they returned to barracks, adding that they were still in touch.

The Military Cross is the third-level award for gallantry.

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