WWII Memories of Frank Dennis Gent

RESCUE FROM BURNING TANK

Incidentally, it was at this time that Brian Ross's tank was hit and set on fire. I was in the Honey troop and ran the few yards to Brian's Sherman and jumped on to the hull as his head and shoulders appeared out of the hatch in the turret.I thrust my hands under his armpits and dragged him bodly out and got him onto the ground as the MO came over.

Poor Brian had burns and was partially blinded.

He eventually recovered from his burns in hospital, but never fully regained his sight, and his eyes gave him trouble for the rest of his life.

We became close friends until he died a few years ago.

He always said that I saved his life and should have had a medal. Not true of course.

 Brian also said afterwards, that if he had been an officer I had 'saved', I would almost certainly have got a medal.....and he's probably right!

Note. My Father finally added this incident after much encouragement by me and other members of our family. He has rather 'underplayed' the importance of his role in saving his comrade's life, and the bravery involved.

At any time that tank could have exploded in a ball of fire and although my father says he was the nearest, there were no others running in that direction, and I feel he is being more than humble in his telling of this incident.

Brian Ross' lifelong frienship and gratitude to my father tells a rather different story. I, as a small girl remember him coming to stay with our family and I remember him telling me that my father saved his life and if it were not for his bravery he would not be alive today.

Rina Gent January 13th 2011 Dad had his 89th birthday yesterday!