Friday, September 23, 2011

Craine, Bruce, Sgt, M.M. B 32096

Page 192


On the south side of the Scheldt the 3rd Canadian Division had been battling throughout the month of October to clear the area north of the Leopold Canal—the “Breskens Pocket”, as it became known to Canadians. The 7th Brigade crossed the canal on 6 October in assault boats to establish a slender hold on the north side where, against opposition which prevented any sizable expansion, the troops contended during 12 of the most frustrating days of the campaign. Except for the dykes the country was low and flat and men moved as if under observation in a glass bowl. wireless operators could scarcely erect an aerial before it was observed and brought down smallarms fire. No bridges could be built. and the chiet physical contact with the south bank, aside from assault boats, was the brigade telephone line.

At the northeastern extremity of the pocket, the 9th Brigade made preparations for launching a water-borne landing to relieve the pressure on the 7th. Amphibious attacks always presented a challenge to signals, and “L” Section found this no exception. The “Buffaloes” to be used to ferry the troops across the canal from Terneuzen were assembled north of Ghent, so that it was necessary to have a wireless link to control their movement down the canal. 9th Brignde headquarters was at Terneuzen until the Commander crossed over. Artillery support for the assault was provided by the 4th Division’s artiilery with a medium and a heavy anti-aircraft battery under command. The Artillery sent over a tactical headquarters with the assaulting troops, its only communication for fire control of the guns on the east side being wireless. Sgt. B. Craine was N.C.O. in charge of the two wireless vehicles, which drew heavy fire immediately on landing. These mobile stations operated in exposed positions for 10 days during which time, 24 hours a day, the sergeant in charge was on call whenever trouble occurred. That the guns across the Braakman were able to provide immediate support during the critical period of the assault was due in no small measure to this sergeant’s inspiring work with his detachment, and he was later awarded the Military Medal for his part in this operation.

Link Canadian Army Overseas Honours and Awards Citation Details

DHH - Citation Details
Last Name: Craine
First Name: Bruce
Medal Type: MM
Month Awarded: November
Year Awarded: 1944
Rank at time of award: Sgt
Corp: 2 Cdn
Division: 4 Cdn Armd
Unit: H Tp Sigs 4 Cdn Armd Div Sigs

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