MONTANARO, Gerald Charles Stokes

Rank: 
Lieutenant (T/Captain)
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Engineers
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
69057
Captain Gerald Montanaro, 101 Troop No.6 Commando, was appointed D.S.O. [1], in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on 11/12 April 1942 at Boulogne harbour.
 
Recommendation
"On the night of 11/12 April 1942 Captain Montanaro accompanied by Trooper Preece, entered Boulogne Harbour in a canoe which had been taken by a Motor Launch to about one and a half miles from the harbour entrance. Successfully avoiding detection by the breakwater forts, and a number of vessels which were active in the harbour, they manoeuvered the canoe alongside an enemy tanker to which eight explosive charges were attached below water. They withdrew still undetected and commenced their return across channel without great expectation of being picked up until daylight some four hours later. The canoe had suffered some damage during the operation and the sea conditions were deteriorating so that it was fortunate that as planned the motor launch was able to make contact and pick them up  an hour after they had left Boulogne Harbour, by which time they were 2 to 3 miles clear of the enemy coast. Subsequent air reconnaissance has established that the tanker was damaged and beached. Captain Montanaro displayed a high degree of courage, resolution, and indifference to danger, as well as skill in successfully carrying out this operation." [2].
 
He later joined the Special Boat Section (Home) (2 S.B.S.) and was the Chief Instructor in the early days until detached to command the Mobile Flotation Unit, being granted a commission as Lt. Commander in the Royal Navy and left the S.B.S.[3].
 
Remaining in military service post war, Brigadier G. C. S. Montanaro, D.S.O., M.A., A.M.I.C.E., A.M.I.Mech.E., A.M.I.E.E., A.F.R.Ae.S, A.M.B.I.M., late R.E., retired on the 24th July 1965 [4].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 35595, page 2639.
[2] National Archives file WO373/93/330.
[3] 2 SBS timeline memorandum.
[4] London Gazette Supp.43730, page 7441.
 

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