Captain John Launcelot Cranmer-Byng


Unit : No.1 Para Platoon & 1st Para Jeep Section, 250 (Airborne) Light Composite Company, RASC

Army No. : 170362

Awards : Military Cross


At ARNHEM on the 20th September, Captain Cranmer-Byng was ordered to take an RASC party under cover of darkness and to take over a sector of the perimeter at a point where there was danger of enemy infiltration in the houses flanking the 4th Parachute Brigade position. This movement was successfully accomplished and the line was held, and at one time advanced, for four days in spite of heavy fighting and frequent attacks by mortar, self-propelled guns and single tanks.


Captain Cranmer-Byng was in command of the party throughout and was in much of the heaviest fighting. On one occasion, despite a slight wound in the hand, he shot an enemy sniper dead. On another occasion he took a party of men out with a PIAT and managed to drive off an self-propelled gun which was attacking the position at short range.


Subsequently, Captain Cranmer-Byng successfully disengaged his party, and led them down in the darkness through the enemy lines to cross the river to safety.


It was largely due to the inspiring leadership and coolness displayed by Captain Cranmer-Byng that the RASC sector held out against very considerable pressure, without food or sleep, and that the party was subsequently able to withdraw to safety when ordered to do so.


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