Duane, John

Date of death:
January 17th, 2012
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


Died in Retreat Nursing Home, Athlone Co. Westmeath, aged 97

9 August, 1941: Second Lieutenant

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Temporary Captain
2 Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Awarded on:
May 4th, 1944
"On 28 December 1943 Captain Duane was ordered to take a patrol out with the object of getting behind the German positions in the TORRICELLA area, to ascertain enemy positions, strength and supply line, with a view to carrying out a raid. Subsequently Captain Duane led his patrol with outstanding skill over the difficult mountain country to a position some 300 yards behind the enemy's forward posts, and remained in the area for twenty four hours in observation. He brought the patrol back with valuable and detailed information without being detected by the Germans, though at periods they passed within 150 yards of posts.
On 31 December 1943, Captain Duane led a raiding party, 30 strong, to attack certain positions well behind the enemy's line, selected as a result of his reconnaissance. Captain Duane succeeded in getting this considerable number of men into the selected places without detection, but that evening here was a severe blizzard which lasted until the following evening. This made the projected attack impracticable and Capt Duane, with very fine military sense, got a contact patrol back which enabled the supporting fire programme to be held up. He brought his raiding party safely back through deep snow drifts under conditions of extreme cold and difficulty, and through enemy posts of a German mountain unit equipped for snow work. The leadership, personal courage and soldierly qualities in the presence of the enemy during both phases of this operation, were of a quite outstanding quality, and it is no exaggeration to state that without them, this raiding party would almost certainly have suffered severe, if not total casualties, between the enemy and the weather."
Military Cross (MC)