John Edward Dillon G.M.

Falklands War 1982

John Edward Dillon, George Medal. Hero of the Falkland war

The George Medal is the 2nd highest, to the George Cross, gallantry medal that a civilian can win. As with the George Cross, Military personnel are eligible for the George Medal if their act does not qualify for a military gallantry award.

The Heroe's Dinner

Words of Commander Ken Enticknap

(John D. Dillon is called by mistake John E. Dylan)

Able Seaman (Radar) John Dillon
Royal Navy
George Medal

John Dillon

The HMS Ardent under attack

On 21 May 1982 Able Seaman Dillon was in the After Damage Control Party on board HMS Ardent in Falkland Sound. Following a bomb attack on the ship he was assisting in the control of flooding in the dining hall when the area sustained further major bomb damage and he was rendered unconscious.
On regaining consciousness he found that he was pinned to the deck by heavy debris in the dimly-lit devastated compartment. A fire was raging and the area was rapidly filling with thick smoke.

He extricated himself and despite pain from a large shrapnel wound in his back attempted unsuccessfully to free a man pinned down by a girder across his neck. He then made his way through the smoke towards a further man calling for help, whom he found trapped under heavy metal girders, bleeding from head and face wounds and with his left hand severely damaged.
After several attempts, between which he had to drop to the deck to get breathable air, AB Dillon succeeded in raising the debris sufficiently to allow the man to drag himself free. AB Dillon's anti-flash hood had been ripped off in the explosion, so afforded him no protection from the heat and his left ear was burned. In their search for an escape route, the man, who was heavily built, fell into a hole in the deck, but was dragged out by the much slighter AB Dillon to a hole in the ship's side where, although the man was able to inflate his own life-jacket, AB Dillon was unable to follow suit, due to the pain in his throat caused by the smoke. Despite this, fearing that the weakened man would be dragged beneath the ship, AB Dillon followed him into the water and pulled him away from the ship's side. By this time his exertions, pain and the cold of the sea had weakened AB Dillon until he could do little to support himself in the water.
Realizing that there was a danger of him pushing the man under the water if he continued to hold on to him, he moved away, and appreciating that he could no longer swim or grasp the strop lowered to him from a helicopter, slipped beneath the surface. He and the man were then rescue by
Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly. ...more
There is a little doubt that but for Able Seaman (radar)Dillon's selfless acts with complete disregard for his personal safety the other man would not have escaped from the ship which was then being abandoned and sinking.

Through Fire and Water HMS Ardent by Mark Higgitt

Falklands Medals Awarded


Ardent, Falklans War

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