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Gonder, Berthram Harold "Hal"

Date of birth:
May 19th, 1909 (China)
Nationality:
Canadian (1931-present, Constitutional Monarchy)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
No.5 Platoon, "A" Company, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (MG), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division (No.5 Platoon, "A" Company, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (MG), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division)
Recommendation:
On 8 June 1944 at approximately 1145 hours Captain Gonderís Platoon position was heavily mortared and machine-gunned from which casualties resulted. This was followed by a direct attack by enemy armour, while the troops were still suffering from the shock of the intense mortar fire and disorganized by the casualties.
Captain Gonder, being the senior officer of the small force holding this vital but exposed position on the extreme flank of the Brigade sector, at once set about organizing a ďlast standĒ in the determination that whatever the cost the position would be held. In so doing he constantly exposed himself to the heavy fire with complete disregard for his own safety and was always to be found where the fire was hottest and his cool and commanding presence most required Captain Gonder so conducted himself that with the few remaining men still capable of bearing arms, and although still heavily outnumbered and out-gunned, he succeeded in beating back the enemy and this gallant little force though badly mauled help their ground throughout the day.
In the evening Captain Gonderís Platoon was once more called upon and without hesitation and with complete coolness he led them forward in support of the 1st Battalion Canadian Scottish Regiment who had been ordered to recapture the right half of Putot-en-Besson.
There is no doubt that, but for Captain Gonderís conspicuous leadership and fearless conduct the position must have fallen and laid open to an armoured thrust the whole of the 3 Canadian Infantry Divisionís right flank at a time when such threat might easily have resulted in a serious set-back to the operation as a whole.
Military Cross (MC)

Sources

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