Lieutenant-Colonel Michael St. John Packe


Unit : Headquarters, Royal Army Service Corps

Army No. : 66968

Awards : Officer of the British Empire, Bronzen Kruis


The Commander of the Royal Army Service Corps in the 1st Airborne Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Packe was awarded the Dutch Bronze Cross after Arnhem. His citation reads:


This officer was Commander Royal Army Service Corps of the Division during the battle of Arnhem, 17th-25th September. The Division was resupplied from the air during this period and, owing to enemy action and the confined area in which the Division was fighting, the collection of these supplies was a very hazardous business. Colonel Packe so directed and organised the collection that, in spite of very heavy enemy fire and the extremely difficult conditions, the majority of the supplies which dropped within or near the Divisional area were brought in and distributed.


This officer was constantly under fire. His cheerful demeanour and his determination to carry out his task in spite of appalling difficulties was stirring example to those under his command.


In late 1945, Lieutenant-Colonel Packe was made an Officer of the British Empire:


Lieutenant-Colonel Packe took over command of the Divisional RASC in November 1943 and was responsible for the reorganisation on the present airborne War Establishment. He has at all times maintained the highest possible standard in his work. This work was tried out to the full during the many moves entailed by some fifteen operations during 1944 which were planned and not executed before that on Arnhem. During the Arnhem operation his arrangements for maintenance were excellent and the fullest use was made of the stores received. Despite the conditions and of the enemy fire, Colonel Packe was indefatigable in his efforts to keep the Force supplied. Owing to the heavy losses during this operation, Lieutenant-Colonel Packe had once again to reform, reorganise and train the whole Divisional RASC. However, he was undeterred by the many difficulties that existed, and with untiring enthusiasm he succeeded in bringing his units up to the standard of efficiency required in Airborne Forces. On 6th May 1945 the Division was given 48 hours notice to move to Norway emplaning from aerodromes in Southern, Eastern and Northern Commands and landing in Oslo and Stavanger. Once again this called for the highest standard of work and efficiency from the RASC in the movement of personnel to the very scattered airfields with limited resources in transport and preparing the maintenance and resupply plan at two places in Norway. Once again this was entirely successful. On arrival in Norway he performed the duties of [DOST?] for the first three weeks, which entailed the maintenance of all Allied Forces in Norway, the laying out of base supply installations and reception bulk supplies and POL from the first two convoys, all of which were done with the skeleton HQ RASC and the Light Composite Company RASC which came by air, supplemented by German transport. Lieutenant-Colonel Packe's outstanding work, cheerful spirit and his abounding energy in both battle and preparation for operations has at all times earned him the respect of both his superiors and subordinates.


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