A/Cpl Oscar Lyndon Harrison, 3rd Field Company, Military Medal

A/Cpl Oscar Lyndon Harrison, MM
Military Medal
Background 

On 23 May 1944, at 0600 hours, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry right and the Seaforth Highlanders left, assaulted the Adolf Hilter Line with the 3rd Field Company in support. The unit's war diary describes the day well. 

Reveille sounded at 0400 hours and the sapper detachments were soon on their way to join their infantry battalions. The barrage opened at 0500 hours and the leading infantry companies set off at 0600 hours with sappers in close support. All went well until 0740 hours when a minefield was reported in the PPCLI area. The platoon commander, Lieutenant Carr-Harris, had lost touch with both the engineer and infantry headquarters.  Sergeant Kerr was sent forward with a party of sappers to deal with the delay but was pinned down by enemy fire, losing three sappers.  As it turned out, Carr-Harris was already in the thick of it. He had taken his men with him as soon as the tanks encountered the minefield and the anti-tank guns covering it from a distance. Under pressing pressure from artillery and directed machine-gun fire, the sappers were able to find a way through the minefield.  Lieutenant Carr-HarrisLance Sergeant Irvine and Acting Corporal Harrison were all decorated for bravery that day.  The hell the sappers suffered that day on the Hitler Line saw the worst carnage of the Italian Campaign. By the end of the day the Hitler Line was smashed and the 5th Armoured Division started moving forward to seize a crossing on the Melfa River to open the Road to Rome. The 3rd Field Company had lost five killed and 13 wounded or missing.


Oscar Lyndon "Jim" Harrison was born and raised in Port Credit ON and spent most of his life there. He died in Mississauga ON on 30 September 2000 at the age of 85 years and is buried in Springcreek Cemetery.

Citation 

On the 23rd May 1944, 2 Canadian Infantry Brigade attacked the Adolf Hitler Line between Acquino and Pontecorvo, Italy. Sapper Harrison was detailed as a member of a mine sweeping party which moved in support of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the leading battalion. At 0740 tanks of the North Irish Horse encountered mines at 74719, 6. This mine sweeping party moved forward and in the face of heavy enemy fire began to sweep a lane for the tanks. During this action both the officer and Sergeant moving with his party were wounded and unable to carry on. Sapper Harrison, showing great determination, then took charge of the sweeping party and in spite of ever increasing enemy fire completed the task. As a result of this gallant action the tanks were able to push on to give the infantry the close support they sorely needed. Sapper Harrison's coolness, determination and devotion to duty are worthy of the highest praise.

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