- John Avallone served with No. 1 Platoon. On 17 september 1944 he
landed on the dropzone along the Telefoonweg in Renkum. No. 1 Platoon
had the responsibility of marking and then defending Dropzone X. After
the landing of the 1st Parachute Brigade on DZ-X the platoon joined the
rest of the company at Reijerscamp, a farm near Wolfheze.
- On 18 september the platoon was to mark LZ-L, where a resupplydrop
was planned at 1000 hrs. Bad weather had delayed the take-off in England
and it was around 1530hrs that some 30 Stirlings dropped supplies. The
platoon then returned to Reijerscamp. At around 1900 hrs the company
began to move to a new position in Oosterbeek. After almost 4 hours the
company reached its new position on the northern side of Graaf van
Rechterenweg, in and around a large house called Dreijerheide.
- On 19 september No. 1 Platoon would again mark LZ-L., this time the
anti-tank guns of the Polish Brigade would land there. The platoon moved
to the LZ via the culvert near Wolfheze. At 1600 hrs the gliders with
the guns arrived. At that moment the Germans made an attack from the
north. The platoon's Bren gunners, probably John Avallone too, caused
casualties when German infantry crossed some open ground. The
Germans continued to attack from the north and the 4th Parachute
Brigade began to retreat towards Wolfheze. The platooncommander of No. 1
Platoon, Lieutenant Eastwood, decided to return to the rest of the
company and they crossed the railway on a high embankment. They moved
towards Oosterbeek and when darkness was falling they marched into the
company area, which by now was situated around the Ommershof estate.
- On 21 september Avallone was involved in putting a self-propelled gun
out of action. The sp-gun was first brought to a halt with a PIAT and
then the Bren guns opened fire when the crew ran for cover. A little
later the German brought up a truck in an attempt to tow the gun away.
Fire from three Bren guns dealt with this effort.
- At 0100 hrs on the friday morning, 22 september, the company
moved to a new position near the crossing of Utrechtseweg and
Stationsweg, later known as 'MDS crossroads'. No. 1 Platoon held the
first four houses running north from the crossroads. Lieutenant
Eastwood had his HQ in the first house from the crossroads, called
- According to the book 'Leading the way to Arnhem' (Peter Gijbels
and David Truesdale) on 23 september Avallone was manning a Bren gun
along with private Hillier in the garden on the corner of the Quatre
Bras house, at the crossing of Stationsweg and Utrechtseweg. He
was firing at a sniper when the Bren gun jammed. While Avallone tried to
clear it he was hit in the head and throat. Avallone was evacuated to
the Schoonoord Hotel on the far side of the crossroads, but died of his
wounds a short time later. Lieutenant David Eastwood: "John
Avallone was killed by a sniper outside Quatre Bras. Here he had
developed a very effective field of fire with his Bren, covering any
approach from Utrechtseweg. I recommended him for a Military Medal, but
it was unsuccesful."
- According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 1999 and 2011)
Avallone was given a field burial near the Schoonoord Hotel.