Lieutenant Douglas Galbraith

 

Unit : No.2 Section, "A" Troop, 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron

Army No. : 240321

Awards : Military Cross

 

The above mentioned officer at ARNHEM took over command of "A" Troop 1st Airborne Recce Squadron on the night of 21st September 1944, his Troop Commander having been wounded. The task of the Troop was to hold a line of houses on the north of the perimeter. His troop were continuously attacked by infantry and self-propelled guns, but the position was still held. On 25th September 1944 one of his sections was forced to withdraw owing to the intense bombardment Lieutenant Galbraith rallied his Troop and led them into an assault to retake the house. Amidst intense mortar fire and severe sniping, Lieutenant Galbraith rushed up to the house throwing 30 grenades on the windows. The house was retaken and held. Throughout the whole of the action at Arnhem, Lieutenant Galbraith was outstanding in leadership and maintenance of his objective.

 

On the 24th September, Panzergrenadiers had infiltrated the right flank of "A" Troop and fired a panzerfaust at one of the walls of their buildings, bringing injury and confusion to those inside. Lance-Corporal Ken Hope recalled, "...I remember gazing around wildly, the Bren muzzle describing the frenetic 180-degree arc, and wondering from which direction opponents in field grey would suddenly appear... The concussion {from the panzerfaust} was quite catastrophic. "Where the bloody hell do you think you are all going? Now just bloody well settle down!" There was no mistaking the Scots accent of Lieutenant Galbraith. The command was compelling, imperious, demanding instant obedience. The effect was instantaneous, a text-book exercise in disciplined response to sustained military training. Control was immediately restored, the panic instantly dissipated; everyone was alert, ready to react."

 

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