Downey, 22, had taken command at Lesboeufs, France, when his CO was injured and had led his men to capture a German machine gun post.
Although wounded in the attack, he remained with his company, giving valuable assistance while the position was consolidated.
When he arrived back at Central Station, a cheering crowd carried him shoulder high to a waiting taxi.
Downey, a very modest man, would later joke that he won the medal for shooting the company cook.
After the war, he spent many years working on the turnstiles at Celtic Park. He lived in Springburn until his death, aged 74, in 1968.