Official Letters

 

 

From the 6th Airborne Division

 

From Major-General Richard Gale to Major-General Matthew Ridgway, Commander 82nd Airborne Division

9th July 1944

 

My dear General,

 

I hope you will accept from myself personally as well as from all officers and men of the 6th British Airborne Division our heartfelt congratulations on the magnificent achievements of the division under your command.

 

The conditions of battle have made it difficult for me to write to you before; and I hope you will accept this as the only excuse for the lateness of this letter.

 

If one thing is clear from this Campaign, it is the great influence our airborne forces can have in war: & I am very proud that, tho' separated by distance, we were able to make this great entry into the battlefield on a large scale together.

 

Yours v. sincerely,

Richard Gale

Major General

 

Reply

 

11th July 1944

My dear General Gale:

 

The 6th Airborne Division has been very much in our thoughts since D-Day. Knowing full well the magnitude of its mission, it had been the frequent subject of our hearty good wishes for the success we felt in the face of such severe resistance as you encountered surpassed our most sanguine hopes.

 

We are proud indeed to share with your splendid officers and men the high distinction of membership in the Airborne Forces of our United Armies.

 

Should the exigencies bring the 82nd Airborne Division to join with the 6th Airborne Division in the attainment of common objectives, there will be, on our part, complete confidence that whatever the task, the 6th and 82nd can go it.

 

With lively appreciation of our thoughtfulness in writing, and with high respect and best wishes for the 6th Airborne Division and its gallant Commander, I am,

Sincerely,

M.B. RIDGWAY.

Major General, U.S. Army,

Commanding

 

 

To the 6th Airborne Division

 

From Lieutenant-General Crerar, Commander 1st Canadian Army

Desire you inform Gale of my appreciation immense contribution 6th Airborne Division and all Allied contingents under his command have made during recent fighting advance. The determination and speed with which his troops have pressed on in spite of all enemy efforts to the contrary have been impressive and of the greatest assistance to the Army as a whole.

 

 

To the 1st Belgian Brigade

 

From Lieutenant-Colonel Godfrey Stewart, Commander 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment, to Colonel Piron, Commander 1st Belgian Brigade

6th Airborne Armoured Recce Rgt.

29 August 1944

 

Dear Colonel,

 

I am writing to let you know how much we appreciated having the 1st Belgian Armoured Cars Squadron under command during the recent operation.

 

They were an absolute joy to work with, for nothing was too much trouble or too difficult for them to undertake, and they found out all the information that was required of them. The highest word of praise that I can give them was one that I overheard, namely that <they worked as smoothly as a demonstration squadron>. This I may say was from an officer with considerable experience of reconnaissance work.

 

I would like to wish you and them the very best of luck in future operations, and hope that we may one day have the good fortune to work with them again.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Lt. Col. X.,

O.C. 6th A.A.R. Regt.

 

From Lieutenant-Colonel Godfrey Stewart, Commander 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment, to Major B.E.M. de Selliers de Moranville, Commander 1st Belgian Armoured Cars Squadron

6th Airborne Armoured Recce Rgt.

29 August 1944

 

Dear Major,

I am writing to thank you for all you did for us during the recent operation. To be quite honest, I don't know how we should have got on without you. I am afraid very slowly.

 

Not only did you help us a great deal, but I think we all, I certainly know I did, learnt a great deal from you. It is a joy to work with men as keen and efficient as yours, and I feel it is a great honour to have had you under command.

 

I do wish you all the very best of luck in future operations and a speedy return to Belgium. I only wish we could be with you and help in the liberation. Perhaps we shall.

 

Once more, so many thanks and I hope we may meet again under more comfortable conditions.

 

Yours very sincerely,

 

Lt. Col. X.,

O.C. 6th A.A.R. Regt.