Lieutenant-Colonel Darling with Field Marshal Montgomery in the Ardennes

Officers of the 6th Airborne Division with Field Marshal Montgomery on the 14th May 1945

Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Thomas Darling


Unit : Battalion Headquarters, 12th Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 44052

Awards : Distinguished Service Order


On 24th March 1945 Lieutenant-Colonel Darling landed by parachute with his battalion in the vicinity of Hamminkeln.


The landing was made in broad daylight, close behind the Rhine defences, and in the midst of the enemy gun areas. Fire was extremely heavy both during and after landing. In these circumstances the collection and organising of the battalion was far from easy, as there was considerable interference not only from a large number of 88mm guns but also from accurate small arms fire.


It was entirely due to Lieutenant-Colonel Darling's coolness and skill that 12th Parachute Battalion was rapidly formed into a fighting force. He showed complete disregard for his personal safety and the utmost determination and resource in leading his men to their objectives. The fact that these were gained within one hour of landing, with the capture of six 88mm guns and hundreds of prisoners bears striking witness to the inflexible drive and resource of this officer. His devotion to duty was quite outstanding, and his courage inspired all ranks.


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