BREWSTER, Donald Jeffery
Captain (Local Major)
Honours & Awards:
Major Donald Brewster was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished services in operations in the South Arabian Federation.
From 14th September-10th November 1966, Major Brewster commanded X Company 45 Commando Royal Marines in a series of operations against the dissident tribesmen in Qutaibi Province of the South Arabian Federation. On 13th October 1966 X Company Group, consisting of a mixed force of commandos and parachute troops with an 81mm mortar and a 105 mm gun, was operating in the Wadi Taym, an area notorious for dissident activity.
On the night of 14th October his Company was attacked by very heavy and extremely accurate blindicide and mortar fire from the south and by automatic weapons and rifle fire from the west, several sangars received direct hits from blindicides. Regardless of his own personal safety and despite enemy mortar fire falling within a few yards of his command post, Major Brewster controlled the fire of his 81 mm mortar and 105 mm gun on to the enemy positions with great coolness, with a result that one dissident was killed and at least five others wounded. The dead man was a well known experienced leader of the principal dissident organisation in the area.
On 3rd November, again in the Wadi Taym area, but this time as part of a larger operation, Major Brewster commanded his company group as a decoy force, which included two 81mm ortars, a 105mm gun and a Radar team. Information was received that the dissidents were planning three ambush positions for the night 4th/5th November. Showing commendable foresight, Major Brewster deduced that the positions concerned would more probably be used as fire positions for an attack against his main position. He ordered his mortars to be silently registered and laid on these targets. At 0030 hours on 5th November, the Company were subjected to a heavy blindicide attack for about ten minutes, coupled with very accurate direct and plunging rifle fire which swept in over the tops of the sangars.
With great coolness and presence of mind, Major Brewster controlled the return of fire from his gun and mortars by a combination of radar and visual means. That this was immediately effective was due to the forethought and the high standard of professional skill he displayed throughout the operation and in particular during the engagement itself. At least one dissident was killed and two others wounded. The casualties inflicted in the two operations had a salutary effect on the dissidents in the area, and did much to strengthen the confidence of the local population.
Major Brewster displayed professional competence of the very highest order during the planning and execution of these operations, during which only one of his own men received minor wounds. Throughout, his cheerful disregard for his own personal safety was an inspiration and outstanding example to his men, and in the very highest traditions of the Service.
London Gazettes Supp. 44321, page 6081.
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