Citation:   Ottawa Offi­cer Leads Gun­ners In Wild Fight.  (1945 04 19).  The Even­ing Citi­zen.  Ottawa, Ontario:.  pp. 1,12.

Ottawa Officer Leads Gunners In Wild Fight

Lt. Jim Stone Among Heros at Otterloo
OTTERLOO, Holland. April 19 — (CP Cable) — Field guns, fired at point-​blank range over open sights, mowed down scores of German troops during the enemy attack early Tuesday on a newly estab­lished Cana­dian head­quarters in this town 11 miles southwest of Apeldoorn.
Otterloo was attacked by a German regiment, equi­valent to a Cana­dian brigade, and a battery of dis­mounted gunners.  portrait of Lieutenant Jim Stone By the attack was broken up, more than 240 Germans were killed, 438 were taken prisoner, several of their mortar guns were captured and the rest of the enemy per­son­nel was rapidly being flushed as the area of mopping-​up opera­tions widened.

Smashing Victory

The force achieving this smashing victory over a crack enemy forma­tion determined to break out of a Cana­dian-​made pocket enclosing them was the ordinary estab­lish­ment of a Cana­dian head­quarters — clerks, batmen, drivers, switch­board oper­ators and staff officers.  Two field bat­teries were sta­tioned in the area, in addi­tion to the infantry regi­mental head­quarters and one of its com­panies, and a squad­ron of tanks helped to turn on the heat too.
Through the whole battle the field gun­ners never left their field pieces.  With the enemy almost within spit­ting dis­tance, ammu­ni­tion trucks and trac­tors blazing to charred crisps behind, they stuck it out.

Directed Battle

Lieut. Jim Stone of Ottawa directed the battle in this sector from a battery command post.  Until the enemy infil­trating between the guns forced an entrance into the billet he was able to keep regimental headquarters fully informed of progress from there. 
As the Germans forced their way in, Stone kicked the wire­less set into smith­ereens and made his way out into a scout car sitting on the far side of the house.  There he hooked the vehicle's wire­less set on to the regi­mental frequency and resumed control of the battle. 
The enemy was entering the initial phases of the attack when the headquarters arrived at its new location on a Monday night.  By midnight a full-​scale battle was in progress, the full Canadian firepower unloosed in the face of constantly increasing enemy pressure.
The crisis was passed by and two hours later the count of bodies began.

Point-Blank Range

Troops with field guns under Lieut. S.W.B. Burton of Saskatchewan, Lieut. A.M. Ross of Guelph and Lieut. W.T. Athey fired at point-blank range over open sights.  They exhausted their stocks of 25-​pounder ammunition and used “fantastic quantities” of airburst shells fused at zero so they would burst immediately in front of the muzzle.
Scores of the enemy were killed within a 200-​yard range of their guns.  Twelve men more fanatical than the rest managed to reach points within eight feet of the gun positions, actually digging themselves in.  All were dead when found.
Two flame-thrower universal carriers, belonging to a company of a Toronto infantry battalion, holding the town, charged one sector under a Toronto corporal.  Squirting two terrific sheets of flame in the nerve center of the German attack they alone killed 60 men whose crisped corpses were collected a few hours later.
An artillery section at this headquarters captured four officers and 118 other ranks, a terrific accomplishment for the small group of batmen, drivers and clerks co-ordinated under Lieut. David Hutcheson of Montreal.
Within six feet of one pair of guns were the bodies of eight Germans.

Attack Cemetery

A group of five armored vehicles equipped with flails, used by engineers for detonating minefields, attacked Otterloo cemetery, chains whirling and guns firing.  They thrashed about like Martian pachyderms for a short while.
When the scene of the battle was examined later in daylight, the commanding officer, a much-​decorated veteran said: “I would like to be able to give the Victoria Cross to every man in this headquarters.  The courage displayed by everyone of these men, most of whom have done nothing but clerk, bat or drive since the war began, has been of the highest order.”
Born and educated in Ottawa, Lt. Jim Stone is a graduate of Glebe Collegiate and enlisted in the RCAMC on his 19th birthday in 1940.  He transferred to the artillery in May 1941, and went overseas in July of that year.  He took his officer's training course in England and was posted to Italy in February 1944.  He was transferred to Belgium last month.  His parents, Col. and Mrs. E.L. Stone, reside at 278 Powell avenue.