Officers Service Dress Jacket

7254 Denver James FOUNTAINE

Born Westport, NZ in    1914. Enlisted in the 2nd NZEF 05/10/1939. Occupation at time of enlistment was company secretary. Embarked as a Lieutenant. Promoted to Captain with the 20th Battalion 1941. Was wounded 26/11/1941 at the attack on Bel hamed. Was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer of 20 Battalion on 20/07/1942. Was latter made Commanding Officer of 26th Battalion in September 1942 and Colonel and Commander NZ Advanced Base Italy in October 1944. Was discharged in September 1945. Was a member of the NZ Contingent to the Victory parade in London in 1946. Was made Honorary Colonel Nelson Marlborough and West Coast Regiment 1951 to 1959. Medals awarded were the Distinguished Service order, Military Cross, Mention in Dispatches, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, NZ War Service Medal and Efficiency Decoration and clasp. Citation for the DSO “Lieutenant Colonel Fountaine commanded one of the two battalions which took part in the night attack on an enemy position west of the Roman Wall on 21/22 march 1943. The position was well organised and protected by a minefield, anti-tank ditches and wire obstacles. Only a limited amount of artillery covering fire was available to support the attack, but despite this his battalion penetrated the position to a depth of over 2,000 yards capturing its objective in the face of considerable opposition and taking several hundred prisoners. As a result of this attack a bridgehead was gained over the minefield and our tanks were able to exploit the success gained. Lieutenant Colonel Fountaine showed great skill and powers of leadership during this operation and inspired his officers and men by his own coolness, courage and determination.” His Military Cross citation is pretty good too “This Officer showed outstanding qualities of leadership and command throughout the operations when his company was attacked by seven tanks on the Bardia Road on 22 November 1941, he extricated it with small loss from what appeared to be a desperate position and latter in the same day made a brilliantly successful attack with his company. At Bir Cleta on 23 November 1941 he led his company with equal dash and spirit in attack and again in the night attack on Bel Hamed on 25 November 1941 led his company to the assault with great gallantry. He had just succeeded to command of the Battalion when he was wounded. This officer also did outstanding work in the attack on Meleme in Crete on 22 May 1941.”   He died at Westport on 20/11/1993.

FountaineDSO, MC Lt Col SD ftDSO, MC Lt Col SD sideDSO, MC Lt Col SD ribbon

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