|Birth name||Herbert Richard Westmacott|
|Born||11 January 1952
Chichester, West Sussex
|Died||2 May 1980
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Special Air Service
|Battles/wars||Operation Banner †|
|Relations||Sir Peter Westmacott (cousin)|
Captain Herbert Richard Westmacott, MC (11 January 1952 – 2 May 1980) was a British Army officer who became the first person to be awarded a posthumous Military Cross. As an officer of the Grenadier Guards (2nd Battalion) on Extra Regimental Employment to the Special Air Service (SAS), he died in an encounter with the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was the highest-ranking SAS officer to be killed in Northern Ireland during Operation Banner.
He was in command of an eight-man plainclothes SAS patrol that had been alerted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary that an IRA gun team had taken over a house on Antrim Road, Belfast. A car carrying three SAS men went to the rear of the house, and another car carrying five SAS men went to the front of the house. As the SAS arrived at the front of the house the IRA unit, nicknamed the "M60 gang", opened fire from a window with an M60 machine gun, hitting Westmacott in the head and shoulder and killing him instantly. The remaining SAS men at the front returned fire but were forced to withdraw. One member of the IRA team was apprehended by the SAS at the rear of the house while preparing the unit's escape in a transit van. The other three IRA members remained inside the house. More members of the security forces were deployed to the scene, and after a brief siege the remaining members of the IRA unit surrendered.
After his death Westmacott was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in Northern Ireland during the period 1 February to 30 April 1980. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Michael's, Up Marden, West Sussex.
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- Murray, p.256
- Dillon, p.94.
- "Irish police arrest former IRA killer". BBC News. 4 January 2000. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
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|url=value (help). New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- John Mullin (10 March 2000). "Dublin court bails IRA man wanted for murdering SAS officer 20 years ago". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2007.