Lieutenant-Colonel John Sydney Lepage Norris

 

Unit : Headquarters Royal Artillery, 6th Airborne Division

Army No. : 17089

Awards : Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Military Cross

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Norris was awarded the OBE for his role in the Normandy campaign. His citation reads:

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Norris as Commander Royal Artillery of the 6th Airborne Division had to make all arrangements for the provision of fire support from 3rd British Infantry Division, I Corps, Army Group Royal Artillery and Naval units. This involved a most detailed and elaborate system of Forward Observation Officers, both Naval and military, and the organisation of a sound and workable system of communications. For all this there was little or no precedent. For months without an adequate staff Lieutenant-Colonel Norris worked at these problems. The result of his labours passed all the most [?] expectations and the system which he evolved when put into operation for the first time in military history worked effectively and efficiently. A heavily supported small mounted attack was repulsed on D+1 by artillery fire called for from across the River Orne by a division already engaged with the enemy in spite of the fact that [it had no line] communication. On more than one occasion co-ordinated naval and military gun fire saved the situation on subsequent days. This was no fortuitous accident, it was the direct outcome of Lieutenant-Colonel Norris' brilliant and painstaking working throughout the planning period of Operation Overlord.

 

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