Wingate, Orde Charles

Date of birth:
February 26th, 1903 (Naini Tal, India)
Date of death:
March 24th, 1944 (Burma)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Graves Arlington National Cemetery
Service number:
27013
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Orde Wingate, son of an Army Colonel and nephew of Sir Reginald Wingate, Governor-General of Sudan and third out of seven children, was born into a strict Christian family.
Wingate attended the spartan secondary school Charterhouse after which he was accepted to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was subsequently commissioned as an artillery officer.
Wingate served with the Sudan defense force (192833) and on special duty in Palestine (193639) where he first used guerrilla tactics against Arabs with his Special Night Squads. He was awarded a DSO for his actions and tactics but was withdrawn from Palestine by his superiors when they saw that Wingate, highly relgious as he was, became too much personal involved with political issues there. This could endanger in their opinion the British interests in Palestine.
In World War II, although only a major, he commanded the British and African troops who defeated the numerically superior Italians from Ethiopia and restored Emperor Haile Selassie to the throne.
Wingate was subsequently sent to India where he trained and led a force of raiders into Japanese-held Burma for a period of seven months (1943). His guerrillas became known as the "Chindits" or "Wingate's raiders." He was made a major general and placed in command of a larger army, which was flown into Burma, but he was killed in an airplane accident two weeks after this operation began when his B-25 crashed in north Assam, Burma. Initially his remains were buried at the crash site. In April 1947 his remains and those of other victims of the crash, were moved to the British Military Cemetery in Imphal, India. In November 1950 all the remains were reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, as the mass of the victims were Americans.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Royal Regiment of Artillery
Awarded on:
April 1st, 1941
Action:
Citation:
"For distinguished services in the Middle East during the period August, 1939, to November, 1940."
Mentioned in Despatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Colonel
Unit:
Royal Regiment of Artillery
Awarded on:
December 30th, 1941
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Action:
Citation:
"In recognition of distinguished services in the Middle East (including Egypt, East Africa, The Western Desert, The Sudan, Greece, Crete, Syria and Tobruk) during the period February, 1941, to July, 1941."
Details:
Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Brigadier
Unit:
Royal Regiment of Artillery (Aberdeen)
Awarded on:
August 5th, 1943
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Action:
Recommedation:
"Brigadier WINGATE trained 77 Inf Bde and commanded it during the recent operations in Burma.
Throughout the operation he displayed skill, personal courage and endurance of a high order. His determination and inspiring leadership were largely responsible for the success attained by what was definitely an arduous and dangerous undertaking. His ability and resolution gave great confidence to those under his command. It was noticeable that almost the first question asked by many officers and men on their return was for news of the Brigadier. Their relief at his safe return was most marked and was accompanied by spontaneous expressions of admiration for his courage and leadership. This attainment is reached by few.
Brigadier WINGATE has again proved himself to be a skilful and intrepid leader. His achievements during the recent operations were of a very high order and, in my opinion, merit immediate recognition."
Details:
Third DSO awarded as second bar for on the riboon of the first DSO.

Sources