A post-war reunion of British Airborne medical officers

Captain James Watt Logan


Unit : Battalion Headquarters, 2nd Parachute Battalion.

Army No. : 188966

Awards : Distinguished Service Order, Bronze Leeuw.


Captain Jimmy Logan had served with the Airborne Forces since the North African campaign in 1942, where he was a member of the 16 Parachute Field Ambulance and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his conduct during the Battle of Tamera. His citation reads:


On 17th March 1943 the Advanced Dressing Station was at Tamera. The surrounding area was being not only shelled constantly but was dive-bombed eight times during the same day. At the end of the day (during which over 100 cases were treated) there was not a square yard of the Advanced Dressing Station site left untouched by splinters of bomb or shell. Captain Logan was on duty throughout the whole of this day and on one occasion was amputating a badly mangled arm when a dive-bombing attack took place. Although all personnel were ordered to take cover, Captain Logan remained as his post as the patient was bleeding freely and surgical attention was required immediately if his life was to be saved. Assisted by 7373608 Staff-Sergeant Stevens E.G., Captain Logan continued with the amputation and arrested all bleeding in spite of the fact that one bomb exploded about fifty yards away and shells were bursting all round while this operation was in progress.


On 31st March 1943 the Advanced Dressing Station was at Tamera. Captain Logan was again Medical Officer on duty when enemy aircraft were dive-bombing targets on the road beside the Advanced Dressing Station. Seven such aerial attacks were sustained during the day, one bomb falling 30 yards from the tent in which Captain Logan was working and setting fire to a carrier filled with ammunition and grenades. Captain Logan was wounded in the back by splinters from this bomb but remained at his post and carried on treating wounded until next morning. Although superficial, his wound must have been extremely painful, especially when bending down to administer medical attention.


This officer, by his courage, cheerfulness, conspicuous devotion to duty, has set a very high standard and his behaviour under fire at Argoub and at Tamera has been an inspiration to his medical orderlies and a most steadying influence on the wounded men under his care.


At Arnhem, Logan was the Regimental Medical Officer of the 2nd Parachute Battalion. He was awarded the Dutch Bronze Lion for his care of the wounded at Arnhem Bridge:


Captain Logan was one of two Medical Officers who succeeded in reaching the Arnhem Bridge. The manner in which this officer dealt with the very large numbers of wounded in inconceivably difficult circumstances is beyond praise. All the wounded were evacuated to the cellars of a house which was under continuous fire. The situation was made more difficult by the cutting of the water supply on the second day, after which very little water was available. By the end of the third day of the engagement there were some 200-300 wounded in the cellars. For three days Captain Logan worked incessantly without rest, and there can be no doubt that his devotion to duty and skill saved many lives. His calmness and cheerfulness instilled a great feeling of confidence among the wounded. Captain Logan frequently went out under heavy fire to supervise the evacuation of wounded back to the Dressing Station. On one occasion when one of the stretcher bearers was killed and the others had run for cover, Captain Logan went out ignoring enemy fire and started to drag the casualty to cover until he received assistance. By this action he undoubtedly saved the life of the wounded man. When the dressing station was finally evacuated under enemy fire in the darkness, Captain Logan, by his own personal energy and example, helped to maintain a high degree of control and discipline amongst the wounded at a critical moment. When the wounded were eventually transferred to a German held hospital, he continued to work although already exhausted. Captain Logan's conduct throughout was beyond praise, and in the highest tradition of the Service, and was undoubtedly the means of saving many lives.


Back to 2nd Parachute Battalion

Back to Biographies Menu