What do 21-year-old lads do nowadays? Apart from having about 5 hair cuts on one head and crying about lots of things whilst thinking they are hard as fuck I can suggest they don’t do much. They don’t do what Thomas Peck Hunter did.
They can learn a few lessons from the man I am going to talk about today. A true hero if you ever need to find one. Cpl Thomas Peck Hunter was 21 years old. The Commandos book covers Hunter’s exploits in more detail.
Thomas was born in 1923 and was just 21 years old when he was fighting in Lake Comacchio.
The Early Days
Hunter was based at 43 Commando, Fleet Protection Group RM and was quickly promoted to Lance Corporal before becoming a temporary Corporal during the Allied spring offensive in 1945 when the Allies tore the Germans a new arsehole.
Hunter, of “C” troop was in charge of the Bren group as the allies were nearing the end of Operation Roast.
Facing 400 yards of open ground that needed to be crossed, the Bren group raced across towards the final objective. The enemy were sitting in some houses loaded up with MG-42’s ready to go. Now these weren’t fucking Nerf guns, just in case you’re thinking this would be easy so Hunter had his work cut out.
Let’s take a little look at some MG-42’s in action and this is with blanks so it’s toned down to the real thing of course.
Right, now you’ve seen them MG42 in action it’s time to picture yourself facing three of them. Running across open ground with three of these firing at you with the sole intention of seeing you die.
Not for this call sign though. Cpl Hunter grabbed a Bren gun and started charging towards the houses. There were some Nazi’s that needed wiping out and Hunter decided he was the man to do it.
By offering himself as the target that was attracting the enemy fire he was saving many lives of his troop. Then it gets all Hollywood despite being a true story.
He runs over 200 yards across open ground. Check. Straight towards the enemy MG-42’s. Check. Changing magazines on the run like a fucking hero. Check. Didn’t get hit. Check. John McClane would be jealous.
He cracked on and cleared the houses alone and found SIX, yes SIX German soldiers that wanted to put their chits in because he was storming the said houses like a hero which scared the shit out of them.
What About the Rest of the Germans?
The rest of them had dirty underwear and fled the scene to cry somewhere in corner. Clearly haunted by the green beret that destroyed their world on that April afternoon.
The Germans on the other side of the canal now started firing at the troop so Hunter set up on a pile of rubble and starting firing back. Doing this attracted most of the enemy fire once again, allowing his troop to run towards safety.
Thousands of rounds would have whizzed past Hunter’s ears and he managed to not have a scratch on him before his luck took a turn for the worse.
Hunter was killed by a shot to head after demoralising the Nazis since running like Billy Whizz meant dodging the rounds that were non stop heading his way.
Hunter earned the Victoria Cross by displaying massive amounts of commando qualities therefore it was only right that he received the medal.
Next time you see a 21-year-old crying about something that just doesn’t matter, don’t waste your time trying to tell them about heroes like Cpl Hunter, it’s pointless. Just push them in a bush and let them deal with their sad existence there.
They’re not worthy of hearing about a Royal Marine as loud and proud as Cpl Thomas Peck Hunter RM.