Major Gerald Ritchie


Unit : "A" Company, 12th Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 62605

Awards : Military Cross


This Officer landed by parachute in command of a Company on March 24th 1945, East of the Rhine.


Through his decisive leadership his company rapidly attained their objective on the Drop Zone, and captured some 88mm guns which were engaging his company locality at very close range.


On March 28th during the night attack on Erle, Major Ritchie's company came under close range fire as it was about to reach its objective. His fine leadership enabled his company to secure its objective rapidly and account for some forty enemy.


On April 3rd, during the advance to Osnabruck, Major Ritchie's Company was the leading company during the advance, which was carried out in complete darkness. Opposition was first met in a village, when the enemy opened fire at very close range. Major Ritchie at once personally led his company into the village, in spite of the heavy and accurate fire. Throughout this engagement his voice could clearly be heard above the din of battle, encouraging his men.


Through his outstanding leadership, Major Ritchie's company was able to secure complete control over the village in 30 minutes, accounting for some 30 enemy.


Throughout this period Major Ritchie has set a magnificent example to his men, who have been imbued with his offensive spirit and determination to close with the enemy whenever met.


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