Chindit Awards - Military Cross

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1st Lieut Robert Russell Brackett MC

[Transcript of Recommendation of Award]

Military Cross - Chindits Awards

Brigade

Division

3rd Indian

Unit

900th Airborne Engineer Aviation Company / Corps of Engineers / United States Army Engineers

Date of Recommendation

15th July 1944

Regtl. No.

0-1112035

Rank and Name

1st Lieut Robert Russell Brackett

Action for which recommended -

Lieut. BRACKETT, after an officer had been killed at TAMU airstrip and his Commanding Officer killed in a Glider landing at BROADWAY airstrip, as the only surviving officer took command of the American Engineers at BROADWAY.

He came in on the first night in a Glider with his Bulldozer. The Gilder crashed and the Bulldozer charged through it nose hurling the Pilot and himself up in the air. Lieut BRACKETT by a miracle escaped. He immediately inspected the Bulldozer and got it going to drag the smashed Gliders which were causing further crashes, off the field. He organised the few engineers he had, to continue on this throughout the night, whilst he by himself made a rapid inspection of the whole field, in spite of the fact that it was thought then that the Japanese were present and a few shots had been fired.

At dawn he started at once with the surviving Bulldozers and Sweepers to make the ground fit for DCs. He and his men worked, never stopping throughout the day, in appalling condition of heat, dust and lack of water, knowing that they were a sitting target for any Japanese Patrol or 'Plane coming on the scene.

During the day, both the Brigade Commander and the Senior American Air Force Officer thought that the strip could never be prepared in time, but Lieut BRACKETT said it could be done. On this advice word was sent that DCs could land that night. Lieut BRACKETT and his men completed the task that night (at nightfall) and the first DCs landed a few minutes later.

Lieut BRACKETT's courage, determination and outstanding devotion to duty were of the highest order and to him must go most of the credit in preparing the airstrip in time, a factor on which the success of the operations depended. Lieut BRACKETT's unassuming manner conceals a character which most strongly impressed those seeing him at work during those twentyfour hours.  Immediately his task was finished Lieut BRACKETT volunteered to be snatched out by Glider with his Bulldozer and be dropped at another Glider Landing Ground. I am uncertain whether this occurred but it is another example of this Officer's selfless devotion to duty.

(Signed) J.M. Calvert, Brigadier,
Comd. 77 Ind Inf Bde.
Dated 15th July 1944.

Recommended By

Brig. J.M. Calvert DSO
Comd. 77 Ind Inf Brigade


Honour or Reward

Military Cross

Signed By

W. Lentaigne, Major General
Comd. 3 Ind.Div.

G. Giffard, General
C-in-C 11 Army Group

(London Gazette - Not Announced)



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