VC sold as part of record Aus$1 mln war medal haul
The medals of an Australian Second World War veteran, including a rare Victoria Cross for valour, were sold at auction to a mystery buyer for a record Aus$1 million on Thursday.
The VC, one of only 20 awarded to Australian soldiers during WWII, was the most prestigious of 10 medals belonging to Private Ted Kenna, who received it for single-handedly taking out a Japanese machine gun post in Papua New Guinea.
A bidder taking instructions by telephone from an unknown buyer paid Aus$1,002,000 ($1,108,627) at auction in Melbourne for the lot including the VC.
"I don't know what dad would say about this ... because he wasn't driven by money at all and he would never sell it and he left the responsibility to us," Kenna's son Rob said, choking back emotion.
"His wish was to share the value of that medal in dollar terms among the four children."
The younger Kenna said he would "buy a (beer) for (his father) and drink it, that's what he would want me to do," and that he hoped the bidder, who wants to remain anonymous, would share his father's medal with the public.
"Of course we'd want it on public view, and that was one of the main reasons (we sold it).
"We want all Australians to share in it and let's just hope it works out that way."
Private Kenna died in 2009. He was 90 years old.
© 2011 AFP