Sgt M Dowling MM and LCpl F Evans, REME – KiA 26 February 1991


Michael James DOWLING.

16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers provided the reconnaissance for the 1st (UK) Armoured Division. On 25th February 1991, the regiment led the advance from Saudi Arabia, through the Iraqi defence line and into Iraq. The next day, they were attacking the enemy in the area code-named Objective LEAD.  Each squadron of the Regiment had a small tracked logistical element mounted in M548 load carriers crewed by personnel of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. On 26th February, two of these M548s, belonging to C Squadron, were being led by the Squadron Sergeant-Major in his Ferret scout car when an enemy T55 tank appeared and chased them.

Military Medal Citation of Sgt Dowling:

"Sergeant Dowling was employed as the REME Fitter Sergeant attached to C Squadron, 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers for their deployment on Operation GRANBY. On the morning of 26 February 1991, Sergeant Dowling was commanding one of the two M548 logistic load-carrying vehicles grouped with C Squadron. The Squadron was deployed in a screen to prevent reinforcement of the Regimental objective (Objective LEAD) from the north.

At approximately 1100 hours, while the Squadron was in close contact with the enemy, the two M548s came under enemy tank fire.. While trying to evade the enemy fire the rear M548 broke down. Sergeant Dowling moved quickly to take the crew off the broken-down vehicle. Shortly after this his M548 was engaged by enemy tank fire again. While ordering his driver to make best speed to avoid the enemy fire, and with total disregard for his own safety; , Sergeant Dowling leaned out of the cab of the M548 and engaged the tank with his personal weapon in order to try to kill the enemy commander who was engaging with his 12.7 mm machine gun. Next to him, Lance Corporal Evans, one of the rescued crewmen, was mortally wounded.  Sergeant Dowling continued to engage the enemy tank until he, too, was killed by enemy fire. This was a selfless act of outstanding bravery.

Sergeant Dowling was posthumously awarded the Military Medal. This painting was commissioned by the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess of 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers, and presented to the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

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