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Divisional Headquarters Intelligence Officers

Major Gerald August Charles Lacoste

 

Unit : Divisional HQ, 6th Airborne Division

Army No. : 35228

Awards : Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Bronze Star

 

For exemplary organising ability and zealous work as GSO 2 (Intelligence) of the 6th Airborne Division during the planning of the assault. The volume and the intricate detail of intelligence required to launch a successful airborne operation is very much larger and more complex than that required for more normal operations. The operation carried out by this division was far larger than anything heretofore attempted and many of the sources from which information was obtained were new and almost unknown. That the problem of collecting and collating this mass of information was successfully solved was entirely due to Major Lacoste unflagging energy, good humour and ability.

 

In addition to these intelligence duties Major Lacoste provided considerable assistance to the RAF intelligence and to those of 1st Special Service Brigade staff, made all arrangements for the provision of the most detailed briefing material and its distribution to a number of airfield transit camps and to several transit areas for our seaborne parties. He was responsible for the entire security of the planning and of the troops scattered in the widely dispersed airfield camps. Without the strikingly accurate information provided by Major Lacoste and this most thorough training of the intelligence organisation within the Division which continued to function efficiently in spite of heavy casualties incurred in the early days, the operation would have been very much more difficult.

 

Major Lacoste was later awarded the American Bronze Star:

 

Major Gerald A. C. Lacoste, 35228, Royal Artillery, rendered distinctive and exceptional meritorious service while serving with the Army of the United States from 14 September 1944 to 1 April 1945.

 

By reason of his extraordinary knowledge of the German Army's Order of Battle, tactics, and defenses, Major Lacoste was able to furnish estimates of the enemy situation for the Commanding General, the staff, and the troops which were remarkable for their accuracy and completeness. His extensive knowledge of the requirements of airborne troops and his wealth of practical experience proved to be an inspiration and a guide to his experienced members of the staff.

 

The professional skill, sound judgement, and untiring zeal displayed by Major Lacoste were most apparent at all times and contributed greatly to the success of airborne operations planned and mounted by this Headquarters.

 

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