• 24th March 1945
Victoria Cross - Topham, Frederick George
On 24th March, 1945, Corporal Topham, a Canadian medical orderly, parachuted with his Battalion onto a strongly defended area east of the Rhine. At about 1100 hours, while treating casualties sustained in the drop, a cry for help came from a wounded man in the open. Two medical orderlies from a field ambulance went out to this man in succession but both were killed as they knelt beside the casualty.

Without hesitation and on his own initiative, Corporal Topham went forward through intense fire to replace the orderlies who had been killed before his eyes. As he worked on the wounded man, he was himself shot through the nose. In spite of severe bleeding and intense pain, he never faltered in his task. Having completed immediate first aid, he carried the wounded man steadily and slowly back through continuous fire to the shelter of a wood.

During the next two hours Corporal Topham refused all offers of medical help for his own wound. He worked most devotedly throughout this period to bring in wounded, showing complete disregard for the heavy and accurate enemy fire. It was only when all casualties had been cleared that he consented to his own wound being treated.

His immediate evacuation was ordered, but he interceded so earnestly on his own behalf that he was eventually allowed to return to duty.

On his way back to his company he came across a carrier, which had received a direct hit. Enemy mortar bombs were still dropping around, the carrier itself was burning fiercely and its own mortar ammunition was exploding. An experienced officer on the spot had warned all not to approach the carrier.

Corporal Topham, however, immediately went out alone in spite of the blazing ammunition and enemy fire, and rescued the three occupants of the carrier. He brought these men back across the open and, although one died almost immediately afterwards, he arranged for the evacuation of the other two, who undoubtedly owe their lives to him.

This K.C.O. showed sustained gallantry of the highest order. For six hours, most of the time in great pain, he performed a series of acts of outstanding bravery and his magnificent and selfless courage inspired all those who witnessed it.
Distinguished Conduct Medal - Green, George William
CSM GREEN landed by parachute east of the RHINE on 24 March 1945. Fire round the dropping zone was extremely heavy, and it was largely due to the leadership and drive of this WO that opposition was quickly overcome and the company collected as its rendezvous.

Immediately afterwards the company was directed on a village. A strong and determined enemy force was holding a group of fortified houses on the edge of the village. The attack was checked and success hung in the balance. In this emergency under heavy fire, CSM GREEN lead a PIAT detachment up to the first house. Having organized covering fire, he led the assault himself on to the house. After capturing it, he then cleared all the remaining houses in succession. The enemy was full of fight but was worsted by the vigour of CSM GREEN's attack.

This WOs quick and determined action was of the greatest value in clearing a dangerous obstacle and restoring the impetus of the advance. His contempt for danger and eagerness to close with the enemy were an inspiration to the men.
Distinguished Conduct Medal - Kemp, John McKay

Immediately after the parachute drop, CSM KEMP'S company had to storm a strongly fortified enemy position covering the RHINE approaches. The coy cam under heavy enemy mortar and MG fire and several of its officers were killed. CSM KEMP immediately assumed command of the men in his area and speedily re-organised them. With complete disregard for his personal safety he led the attack on the enemy LMG positions which were holding them up. Again under heavy fire he stormed and captured the houses which formed the backbone of the defence of the positions. By his readiness to assume responsibility and by his inspiring conduct under fire, he achieved the early capture of a vital objective.
Military Medal - Bray, Aurelle
On 24 Mar 45, after landing on the Dropping Zone North of DIERSFORDTER WALD, GERMANY, Sgt BRAY came on a platoon of another Battalion pinned down by heavy enemy MG fire. He assumed command of the platoon and immediately led three of the men in an assault on the MG nest. After assaulting and capturing the MG, Sgt BRAY proceeded to his own platoon objective.

On arriving before his own platoon objective, he discovered that he was the only member of the platoon to reach there. Knowing full well that it was vital to capture the objective to ensure the carrying out of his Battalion's plan, he moved straight on with a Sten gun as his only weapon. By this outstanding act of courage, he captured the feature and 16 German Luftwaffe troops.

Two other members of his platoon then joined him and dashing forward they captured a further 45 prisoners.

By his outstanding initiative, courage and leadership he ensured that the objective was captured and the lives of many of his platoon and coy were saved.
Silver Star - Eadie, George Fraser
Lieutenant Colonel George EADIE (then Major) 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion for gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United States in the vicinity of WESEL, GERMANY on the 24th March 1945. Lieutenant Colonel EADIE parachuting into GERMANY at H-Hour quickly organized his Battalion and led it against extremely defended position. His aggressiveness personal leadership and courage carried his battalion forward in a driving attack which destroyed the enemy and permitted a rapid consolidation and exploitation of the area. Constantly to the fire, Lieutenant Colonel EADIE, by his bravery, intrepid action and gallantry, contributed materially to the success of the airborne mission.
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