COPLAND, William Oranmore
Major Copland was 2 i/c No 2 Commando. He served with No 4 Independent Company and then with the newly formed No 2 Cdo. He took part in Operation Chariot and was awarded the DSO for his gallantry on the raid. He was taken Prisoner after the raid.
"Under intense fire and very difficult conditions, the disembarkation (from HMS Campbeltown) was completed in very rapid time under his personal direction. Many of the Commando force were wounded, some very seriously, and Major Copland, showing complete disregard for his own personal safety, effected the evacuation of the more seriously wounded on to the light naval craft, and by doing so expedited the whole disembarkation.
During the fighting and demolition work on shore Major Copland was again outstanding in his efforts to overcome the enemy. When the work of the destruction was complete and the escape from the port proved to be an impossibility, as the Royal Navy craft had been sunk or had been forced to withdraw owing to heavy fire from enemy gun emplacements, Major Copland played a major part in reorganising the force and breaking out into the town. He was conspicuous throughout the entire fighting and his leadership was instrumental in the destruction of many of the enemy and his equipment.
Major Copland, throughout this action, proved by his leadership, courage and disregard for danger, to be a great example to all."