Sergeant John Thomas Richards
Unit : "T" Company, 1st Parachute Battalion
Army No. : 4195046
Awards : Military Medal, Commander-in-Chief's Certificate.
Jack Richards had served with the 1st Battalion throughout the Tunisian Campaign in 1943, and later in Sicily and Italy. He was captured at Arnhem, yet for his actions here he was awarded both the Military Medal and a Commander-in-Chief's certificate. The citation for the former reads:
On the 18th September 1944 at Arnhem, Sergeant Richards took over command of a platoon after his officer had been severely wounded in both legs. His first action was to go forward under heavy fire and drag his officer to safety - he was exposed to enemy fire in open ground for nearly twenty minutes. In one attack on a factory he himself crawled forward and threw a grenade into a window and then put smoke down. The platoon were able to advance and secure the factory, fire from which had been stopping the battalion's advance. Later, in the last attack the battalion carried out he led the remnants of his platoon through dug in positions of the enemy to capture an intermediate objective. Here he held on until there were only three survivors of his platoon left alive. His courage had been beyond praise, and his contempt of danger was largely responsible for the momentum of the attack going forward.
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