- Group 1:
Daniels, George Douglas
Robinson, Joseph Henry
Stokes, Horace Leonard
Curtis, Leonard William
- Group 2
Brunt, Bernard Oliver
Challenor, Harold Gordon
Foster, William Johnstone
Shortall, James Patrick
MM - Daniels, George DouglasThis officer was one of a party of 2 offrs & 5 men dropped by parachute North of Florence on 8 Sep 43, with the object of disorganising enemy railways & communications. Despite two broken ribs and other injuries sustained when landing in rocky country, Lt Bell took command of the part as the other office was missing after the drop. Although in great pain he lead the party for another 24 hours after which, finding himself forced to keep taking morphine on account of his injuries, he handed over command of the party to the senior N.C.O. although continuing to keep up with the party as well as he could. Two days later he felt well enough to re-assume command, and continued to lead his men under conditions of great hardship owing to lack of food and bad weather. With his party he derailed one train in a tunnel on the Pistooia - Bologna line, and later another on the Prato - Bologna line. Working round to the South of Florence they derailed a third train. Three weeks after dropping Lt Bell, on the way back through Central Italy towards Allied lines, organised a band of Italian partisans in telephone wire cutting and train-wrecking operations. On the fortieth day his party had a brisk exchange of fire with a German mobile patrol, taking 2 German prisoners, scattering the rest of the patrol and destroying a truck.
73 days after dropping Lieut Bell brought his party intact through enemy lines, after a march of over 250 miles.
This officer showed outstanding powers of leadership and unfailing judgement in most difficult circumstances. He was an inspiration to the small force under his command.
MM - Challenor, Harold GordonThis NCO was dropped North of Florence on 8 September 43 and returned to our lines 73 days later. The commander of his stick Lieut Bell, 2 S.A.S. Regiment, broke two ribs on landing and being in considerable pain for three days, handed over command of his party to Sgt. Daniels while he was taking morphine to ease the pain. Sgt. Daniels succeeded in keeping Lieut Bell with the party, and was conspicuous throughout the operation during which three trains were sabotaged and much other damage to enemy L of C. By his leadership he made the operation a great success when failure seemed likely.
This N.C.O. was dropped by parachute near Borgo val di Taro, north of Spezia, on the 7th Sept 43. The total detachment consisted of 2 officers and 4 O.R's. After landing the detachment split, L/Cpl. Challenor accompanying one officer. This small detachment succeeded in derailing two trains on the Spezia - Parma line on night 14th of September at a point north of Pontremoli. Again on night 18th September a third train was derailed south of Villafranca. Having no further explosives the detachment started to return to our own lines. During this time the enemy were continually searching for escaped P.W. and on 27 December the officer 20 Jun. was captured. L/Cpl. Challenor continued southwards alone; he was captured north of Chieti but succeeded in escaping later from Aquila P.W. camp. He continued south and on 5 April 44 was again captured while attempting to pass through the enemy lines; on the 7th of April he again escaped and reached our lines.
Throughout the seven months spent behind the enemy lines this N.C.O. displayed the highest courage and determination.