Major Clarence Weatherill Stephens


Unit : "C" Company, 12th Parachute Battalion.

Army No. : 174249

Awards : Military Cross


Major Stephens commanded "C" Company in Normandy and, in 1945, was awarded the Military Cross for his consistent excellent conduct:


This Officer landed by parachute with the Battalion on 6th June 1944 in Normandy. On 12th June, his company led the assault on Breville. During the attack considerable casualties were suffered and Major Stephens was wounded. Nevertheless he continued to lead his company, and the fine example set by this officer was a major factor in his company attaining their objective.


On 24th March 1945, this officer again landed by parachute East of the Rhine in command of a Company. He was among the first of his company to arrive at his company RV, which was under heavy fire. Rapidly collecting the first twenty men of his company to arrive at his rendezvous he captured his company objective before the enemy could sense what was happening.


On 3rd April 1945, during the advance to Osnabruck, the advance was held up by some infantry and an 88mm gun which had already accounted for two tanks. He rapidly led his company round the left flank, dealing with all opposition en route, and eventually accounting for the 88mm gun, killing or capturing the crew to a man.


On 7th April 1945, in the advance to the River Leine, his company was the vanguard company. Three times during the advance it was necessary for the company to be deployed to deal with opposition. Each time showing complete disregard for danger, this officer led his company so effectively and decisively that all opposition was crushed.


Throughout the campaign this officer has inspired his men with his offensive spirit and contempt for danger.


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