Special forces commando took on Taliban single-handedly
A special forces commando saved the lives of his colleagues in an act of “selfless bravery” during a raid on a Taliban stronghold after he took on the insurgents single-handedly, an inquest heard, writes Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent for The Telegraph
Cpl Seth Stephens was posthumously awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his bravery after rescuing comrades from the Special Boat Service who were pinned down by heavy fire.
In his citation for the award, that is second only to the Victoria Cross, the court heard that the former Royal Marine had “almost certainly saved the lives of his comrades” after exposing himself to enemy fire during a substantial gun battle. In a story that has never been told before, the inquest heard that Cpl Stephens was part of a large British and Afghan special forces raid on a Taliban headquarters in Helmand province.
In the early hours of July 1 last year Chinooks carrying the teams landed near Haji Wakil village in the Bahram Chah area at 2am and quickly came under determined enemy resistance. After more than five hours of heavy fighting the SBS force found “progress extremely difficult” as they fought their way through an orchard coming under fire from all sides, the inquest in Bournemouth heard.
On his own initiative Cpl Stephens, 42, used a ladder to climb a 9ft compound wall and began to fire down onto enemy positions that were attacking the men stranded in the orchard.
To read the rest of this heroic story on The Telegraph Online, click HERE, or on the image above.