- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Acting Major
- B Company, The Cape Breton Highlanders, 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division, Canadian Army
During the crossing of the Melfa River on 25 May 1944, "B" Company, under command of Captain (Acting Major) MacLachlan, was one of the two forward companies leading the attack. After crossing the river, the company came under intense mortar fire, shell fire from enemy self-propelled guns and direct machine gun fire.
Major MacLachlan went forward under this fire to each platoon, encouraging and urging his men forward. While doing this he was severely wounded in the chest by shrapnel, but in five minutes time he had his wounds dressed and went forward to his company which he found pinned by the intensity of the enemy mortar and machine gun fire.
Realizing the vital necessity of his company taking their objective in order that the two remaining companies of the Battalion could pass through, although in great pain, he asked for artillery support and still under heavy fire and with utter disregard for his own safety, personally led his company on to the objective.
Only when the position had been consolidated did he allow himself to be evacuated.
The gallantry, determination and leadership of this officer contributed largely to the Battalion being successful in taking and consolidating all their objective.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 31 August, 1944.