HOW THE ENEMY'S RECOMMENDATION WON THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR A HERO PILOT - FLYING OFFICER LLOYD TRIGG VC, DFC, RNZAF
"Daily Mail" - 7th May 1998

A Victoria Cross awarded to Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg, RNZAF, soley on the recommendation of an enemy officer, fetched a record £120,000 yesterday, 6th May 1998, at Spinks' auction in London. The VC was purchased on behalf of the Michael Ashcroft Trust, the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft's VC Collection.



( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg,
200 Squadron, Royal Air Force ( RNZAF )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Flying Cross ( DFC )
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Atlantic Star
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • New Zealand War Service Medal ( 1939-45 )


Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg and his crew showed unswerving gallantry as their crippled bomber took on and destroyed a German U-boat. Seconds later the Liberator aircraft smashed into the sea killing all on board, leaving no one to tell the tale. No one that is, except the captain of the submarine which also sank. And when he was picked up by a British warship he told admiringly of the devotion to duty displayed by the air crew in the face of certain death.


[ London Gazette, 2 November 1943 ]. Atlantic Ocean, Off West Africa, 11 August 1943, Flying Officer Lloyd Allan Trigg, Royal New Zealand Air Force, attached 200 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

On 11th August, 1943, off the coast of Dakar, West Africa. Lloyd Trigg and his crew were searching for enemy vessels and were successful when they spotted a German submarine on the surface. Trigg decided immediately to attack the submarine but the Liberator was badly hit by anti-aircraft fire from the U-boat on its approach but rather than ditch in the sea, Trigg maintained his attack course and flying at 50 feet dropped six depth charges on the submarine. He could have turned away then, but was determined to finish off the U-boat which he knew could go on to do untold damage to Allied shipping if it survived.

On its final approach the plane was such an easy target that astonished German gunners could see their shells exploding inside the open bomb doors. Following the attack, the Liberator crashed into the Atlantic, killing 29-year-old Trigg and his seven crew members instantly. The submarine, U-boat 468, sank 20 minutes later. U-boat captain Klemens Schamong was picked up with fellow German survivors the next day. As a result of his story, the Victoria Cross was awarded to New Zealand born Lloyd Trigg's widow, by the Governer General of New Zealand, Sir C. Newell, on 28th May 1944.

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Iain Stewart, 21 May 1998