Sergeant John Anderson had been serving with the 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, R.A. since 1942.
In May 1943 he sailed to North Africa with the Battery, and there took part in the training for the assault on Sicily. He was by now a Gun Commander in ‘A’ Troop.
On the night of the 13 July 1943 he took off in a Horsa glider from Airfield ‘F’ in Tunisia. They were being towed by a Halifax bomber from 295 Squadron, R.A.F., piloted by Flight Lieutenant Grant. The glider, piloted by S/Sgt HG Protheroe and Sgt. AM Kerr, made a successful landing, and the crew with their Jeep, and 6 pounder anti-tank gun, were able to unload and move to their assigned position.
For his actions during the 14 July, Sgt. Anderson was awarded the Military Medal.
On the 14 July 1943 South of the River Simeto, Sq 9467, Sergeant Anderson after hacking a way out of the Glider for his gun and Jeep, took up position to the South of the River. When the 1st Parachute Battalion was withdrawn South of the Bridge, he engaged the enemy occupied pill box on the North side and silenced the fire coming from it. Amongst the last to withdraw he brought his detachment, gun, and Jeep back along the bare fire-swept road to fresh positions. He was always exceedingly cool and collected.
Sgt. Anderson also took part in Operation ‘Slapstick’, the landings at the port of Taranto in Southern Italy in September 1943.
A year later, and still a Gun Commander in ‘A’ Troop, he took part in Operation ‘Market-Garden’, and again landed by Horsa glider on L.Z. ‘Z’, Nera Wolfheze on Sunday, 17 September 1944.
‘A’ Troop were attached to the 1st Parachute Battalion, and initially they tried to get to Arnhem by the route to the North, code-named ‘Leopard’. This met with considerable enemy opposition and the Battalion, and their anti-tank Troop were forced to try and get through to Arnhem Bridge by the lower road route. By the 19 September all hopes of getting through to the Bridge had failed, and the survivors fell back toward Oosterbeek, where they continued the fight for another 6 days.
On the night of the 25/26 September 1944, Sgt. John Anderson managed to get back across the Lower Rhine, on the withdrawal.
Created with information kindly supplied by R Hilton.Read More