Chindit Awards - Distinguished Service Order

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Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) C.J. Wilkinson DSO MC

[Transcript of Recommendation of Award]

Distinguished Service Order - Chindits Awards


16 Inf


3 Ind


2nd Bn The Leicestershire Regiment

Date of

10 Apr '44

Regtl. No.


Rank and Name

T/Lt Col Claude John Wilkinson

Action for which recommended -

On 26 March 1944 near INDAW Lt-Col WILKINSON, who had had his right arm broken in a skirmish the previous day, led two colns round the enemy's flank through exceedingly difficult country, partly in the hours of darkness. The Colns emerged onto a motor road along which the enemy's forward units were being deployed. The enemy was at first completely surprised and Lt-Col WILKINSON quickly probed north and south causing havoc behind the lines. The main force which had hoped to profit by this situation was meanwhile heavily engaged some ten miles away. Unable to defeat the enemy opposed to it and completely without water, the force was obliged to withdraw. The enemy was thus able to surround Lt-Col WILKINSON's force with greatly superior numbers, and to pin it to a small area bounded on one side by a high range of hills and on the other by a lake.

In this exposed position, Lt-Col WILKINSON continued to fight for two days and nights until ordered to withdraw, putting all weapons at his disposal to best use and employing direct air support with ingenuity and skill. He effected the withdrawal of his force complete with stores and animals, and extricating all the wounded. During the four days fighting, his troops sustained only ten fatal casualties whereas, apart from air support, no less than 130 Japanese were counted on the field.

Throughout the operation, which was a model of its kind, Lt-Col WILKINSON, despite his painful wound, handled his troops with admirable skill and set an unsurpassable example of personal courage. Only when the last of his wounded had been evacuated did he consent himself to hand over command.

Recommended By

Brigadier B.E. Fergusson DSO

Honour or Reward

Distinguished Service Order

Signed By

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

W.J.Slim Lieut-Gen
G.O.C-in-Chief, Fourteenth Army

General G. Giffard
Commander-in-Chief 11 Army Group

(London Gazette 22 June 1944)