Captain Aiden Francis Michael O'Hanlon
Unit : 4.2" Mortar Troop, "C" Squadron, 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment
Army No. : 302989
Awards : Military Cross
Captain O'Hanlon has been outstanding in this regiment through all its operations in North West Europe.
In Normandy he was wounded early on, while rescuing a badly wounded brother officer from No Man's Land.
On 24th March 1945, he landed by glider with a jeep, 4.2 inch Mortar and ammunition, among the outbuildings of Hamminkeln village. These were firmly held by the enemy, who was supported by 20mm flak guns sited in a ground role.
Captain O'Hanlon collected his own crew and a platoon of the 12 Devon who had landed nearby and led a successful attack on the enemy who were evicted with the bayonet. Captain O'Hanlon then went back to his glider, disembarked jeep and trailer and drove back to the rendezvous. During this drive much of the route was swept by machine gun and rifle fire. For the following two days Captain O'Hanlon occupied a very exposed Observation Post in Hamminkeln Station directing fire both for his mortars and the light regiment. This Observation Post was in direct view of the enemy who shelled it with direct fire from Self-Propelled guns. Though forced to evacuate it on occasions, he always returned.
On 4th April 1945 at Holzhausen part of Captain O'Hanlon's squadron came under heavy and accurate fire from an Anti-Aircraft Battery at point blank range. In an endeavour to extricate them he seized a Piat and with one companion stalked the battery and engaged it from a flank. In this action he was severely wounded but his courage undoubtedly enabled many of his men to escape.
During the whole campaign this officer has displayed courage and leadership of the highest quality.
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