Sergeant Ronald James McDowell


Unit : No.2 Para Platoon & 2nd Para Jeep Section, 250 (Airborne) Light Composite Company, RASC

Army No. : T/144600

Awards : Bronze Star


At Arnhem, on the second day of the battle, 18th September 1944, Sergeant McDowell led the bulk of his Platoon back from an ambush in which his Platoon Officer and several other men became missing, believed killed. Having reported the facts, he then volunteered to accompany a relieving force with a 6-pounder Gun to the scene of the ambush in an unavailing attempt to rescue the remainder of the Platoon. On the following day, he took command of the Platoon, and was ordered to hold some houses in an exposed part of the perimeter, and this he did with great success until the end of the battle. It was due to his resourceful leadership and inspiring example that this part of the perimeter was never penetrated by the enemy.


Finally, when ordered to withdraw, he brought back the remainder of his Platoon in good order across the river, having displayed throughout the whole action leadership far higher than that normally consistent with his rank.


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