OLAND, John Henry Dwight, Lieutenant -

Military Cross -

Armour (22 Canadian Armoured Regiment, Canadian Grenadier Guards) - awarded
as per Canada Gazette and Canadian Army Routine Order 5695, both dated 19 May
1945. Recommended for immediate award on 1 March 1945; document with
Headquarters, 4 Canadian Armoured Brigade, 11-13 March 1945; with
Headquarters, 4 Canadian Armoured Division, 13 March 1945; with Headquarters,
2 Canadian Corps, 14-21 March 1945; with Headquarters, First Canadian Army, 22
March to 8 April 1945.

On 28 February a force consisting of two squadrons [of] 22 Canadian Armoured Regiment
(Canadian Grenadier Guards) with under command Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) was to
seize and hold the high ground Map Reference 035407, 1:25,000, sheet 4303 to enable 4
Canadian Armoured Brigade to pass through to the Hochwald. Lieutenant Oland
commanded No.2 Troop of No.4 Squadron. The entire force was subjected to intense
enemy fire immediately after crossing the start line. Casualties among the officers and tanks of
No.2 Squadron were heavy and Lieutenant Oland soon found that in this, his first action, he
was in command of the five remaining tanks of his squadron. He quickly regrouped the tanks
to form a fighting troop and moved them to the left flank. As he moved to take up his position
the tanks came under accurate fire from an 88-mm gun located in the woods at Map
Reference 033413 and their advance was held up. Calmly ordering his tanks to take up hull
down positions and give him supporting fire, Lieutenant Oland using smoke skillfully
manoeuvred his tank into a position from which he destroyed the gun. Five enemy
surrendered to him. The advance of the tanks to the objective then continued. After
proceeding about 600 yards an estimated six enemy anti-tank guns opened up from Map
Reference 037408, destroying four of Lieutenant Oland's tanks. With his own sole surviving
tank, Lieutenant Oland took what cover there was available and coolly and systematically
searched with fire for the enemy anti-tank positions. After a fire duel lasting an hour and a half
he destroyed two self-propelled anti-tank guns. Those remaining were ultimately dealt with by
another squadron. The force was thus enabled to reach its objective. Lieutenant Oland
through his great determination, cool deliberate leadership and gallant action was largely
responsible for achieving an objective which at the outset appeared practically impossible.
Lt Col John H.D. Oland MC,CD