On 17 April 45, ‘B’ Squadron was ordered to advance from 407928 (Sheet M4) where one of our armoured cars had been knocked out.
4th troop was leading and as soon as the troop advanced past the burning armoured car it was engaged by an 88 mm and a Panther tank at close range. The Panther was camouflaged and well hidden among the trees and houses.
Leaving one tank to watch the flank the troop leader pulled over to his right with Cpl Hayward’s tank, in orders to locate and take on the guns.
Cpl Hayward pulled right out into the open to draw the enemy fire. Immediately the Panther and 88 mm opened up and the troop leader was able to locate them at once.
The 88 mm was knocked out and AP hit the house immediately behind the Panther and HE from Cpl Hayward’s tank scored direct hits. The enemy crew bailed out and the troop was able to proceed on to their objective.
Cpl Haywood throughout this action showed great coolness and courage, and it was his own complete disregard for safety that enabled the troop to locate and destroy the enemy guns.
His leadership and determination to close with the enemy set a fine example.
GRD Fitzpatrick, DSO, MBE, MC.