Major Derick Rowland Reid

 

Unit : "B" Company, 7th Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 129933

Awards : Military Cross

 

For outstanding leadership, presence of mind and personal gallantry on 7th and 8th April 1945 at Neustadt.

 

When his battalion had been ordered to seize the bridge at Neustadt with all speed it was caught in motor transport by concealed German machine gun and panzerfaust positions, while crossing an airfield. The leading lorries of Major Reid's company came under concentrated cross fire and many casualties were suffered. He at once sized up the situation and personally rallying his men led them across the open airfield after arranging a simple but effective cover plan. The gallantry and leadership of this officer resulted in the enemy positions being routed and further casualties to the battalion avoided.

 

The same night, he was ordered to seize the bridge. Despite the severe casualties he had already suffered, he led his depleted and weary company in a most spirited and skilful attack and by rush tactics, succeeded in gaining a substantial footing on the far side before the bridge was blown. The explosion cost him further casualties but with complete disregard to his own safety he supervised the evacuation of these, successfully held his bridgehead, and also sent a most clear and concise report back to his Commanding Officer.

 

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