Corporal Clemont Burton Sproston


Unit : 253 Company, RASC, 49 Air Despatch Group

Awards : Military Medal


On the 21st September 1944, Corporal Sproston was a member of a despatch crew of two flying in a Stirling Aircraft on a re-supply mission to the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem. On approaching the dropping zone the aircraft was hit by Anti-Aircraft fire and caught fire. Corporal Sproston was given orders to despatch the load. Although the aircraft was well ablaze and the rear gunner's ammunition was exploding inside the fuselage, Corporal Sproston continued to despatch the load, which consisted of high explosives, at the right moment. It was entirely due to Corporal Sproston's coolness and courage in despatching this extremely dangerous load, that the pilot of the aircraft was able to crash land it without loss of life.


After the aircraft had been crash landed Corporal Sproston and the crew of the aircraft eventually reached an Allied Headquarters from which they were despatched to Brussels in a troop carrying vehicle. On the way, the convoy, in which they were travelling, was attacked by four enemy Tiger tanks and a number of vehicles were knocked out. A small party from the convoy took up their positions in a house and Corporal Sproston was put in charge of a forward observation post from which, although under heavy enemy fire, he directed with great effect the fire of a Bofors gun. Throughout this little action Corporal Sproston's courage and devotion to duty was an example to all.


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