Major William Alexander Carlton Collingwood


Unit : Brigade HQ, 3rd Parachute Brigade

Service No. : 64582

Awards : Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.


For great gallantry and devotion to duty. Owing to the diverse tasks and scattered nature of the duties allotted to the Brigade in the Divisional Plan, the successful conclusion of the Brigade operation was in great part due to careful and meticulous planning. The success in the planning was in great part due to the hours of labour and careful thought devoted to the preparation of the operation by this officer.


This officer was detailed to drop with the advanced party half an hour before the rest of the Brigade. When approaching the coast his aircraft was hit by flak and the blast rendered him unconscious. He was left hanging from the aperture of the Albemarle aircraft by one leg which was caught in the strops. He was eventually hauled back into the aircraft half way back across the Channel and regained consciousness on arrival at the base airfield. In spite of the Doctor's warning that he was in no fit condition to undertake the journey, he insisted on rejoining the Brigade by glider the next day.


For the first five weeks in spite of a badly damaged knee due to his accident in the aircraft, he carried out his duties of Brigade Major during a very critical time in an exemplary manner until his injury forced his evacuation to England.


His gallantry and devotion to duty throughout the campaign have been an inspiration to all with whom he has been in contact.


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