Lloyd Allan Trigg VC
Name: Lloyd Allan Trigg
Conflict: Second World War
Gazetted: November 2, 1943
Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Lloyd Allan Trigg VC
Place/date of birth: Houhora, North Auckland, New Zealand/June 5, 1914
Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Flying Officer
Date of bravery: August 11, 1943
London Gazette citation:
Flying Officer Lloyd Allan TRIGG, D.F.C. (N.Z.4I35I5), Royal New Zealand Air Force (missing, believed killed), No. 200 Squadron.
Flying Officer Trigg had rendered outstanding service on convoy escort and anti- submarine duties. He had completed 46 operational sorties and had invariably displayed skill and courage of a very high order.
One day in August, 1943, Flying Officer Trigg undertook, as captain and pilot, a patrol in a Liberator although he had not previously made any operational sorties in that type of aircraft. After searching for 8 hours a surfaced U-boat was sighted.
Flying Officer Trigg immediately prepared to attack. During the approach, the aircraft received many hits from the submarine’s anti-aircraft guns and burst into flames, which quickly enveloped the tail.
The moment was critical. Flying Officer Trigg could have broken off the engagement and made a forced landing in the sea. But if he continued the attack, the aircraft would present a “no deflection” target to deadly accurate anti-aircraft fire, and every second spent in the air would increase the extent and intensity of the flames and diminish his chances of survival.
There could have been no hesitation or doubt in his mind. He maintained his course in spite of the already precarious condition of his aircraft and executed a masterly attack. Skimming over the U-boat at less than 50 feet with anti-aircraft fire entering his opened bomb doors, Flying Officer Trigg dropped his bombs on and around the U-boat where they exploded with devastating effect. A short distance further on the Liberator dived into the sea with her gallant captain and crew.
The U-boat sank within 20 minutes and some of her crew were picked up later in a rubber dinghy that had broken loose from the Liberator.
The Battle of the Atlantic has yielded many fine stories of air attacks on under-water craft, but Flying Officer Trigg’s exploit stands out as an epic of grim determination and high courage. His was the path of duty that leads to glory.
Click here to see full Gazette entry.
Other decorations: DFC
Place/date of death: Atlantic Ocean, west of Africa/August 11, 1943
Grave/memorials: The Malta Memorial, Malta GC; Returned Servicemen Association, Dunedin, New Zealand
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Spink, London, 1998
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum