LEDGER, Christopher John Walton

Unit / Base: 
'45 Commando RM'
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Lieutenant Christopher Ledger, Recce Troop, aged 21, received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct in recognition of distinguished service in operations in the Radfan Area during the period 8 to 13 May 1965.
On Friday 8th May, 1965 Lieutenant Ledger led Recce Troop 45 Commando on a 24 hour patrol from AD DIMNAH on to the Jebel Shairi. At about 1245 hrs on 9th May, dissident movement was observed in the villages of DEREBE and KHORAIBA and fire was opened on them with artillery and mortars. This caused more dissidents to appear and an air strike was called for. Lt Ledger carried out an almost copy book series of strikes in the face of considerable communication difficulties.
On 13th May Lt Ledger, having spent a most exhausting previous 36 hours patrolling and picketing during the passage of a convoy to and from DHALA, was returning to AD DIMNAH when the position was attacked by heavy enemy mortar fire. His patrol though right in the middle of the enemy fire was unhit; however three members of the company at AD DIMNAH were wounded, two seriously. Dusk fell soon after and it was not possible to evacuate casualties in daylight. Eventually a Wessex helicopter was sent to attempt to do a night landing on the very small ledge of rock which served as a helicopter landing pad. Lt Ledger made easy contact with the pilot on his A 43 radio and in an extremely calm and competent manner talked the aircraft down to the helipad to enable the seriously wounded casualties to be evacuated to hospital. The fact that the helicopter was able to land and evacuate the casualties almost certainly saved their lives. The credit for this successful landing should be shared between the pilot and Lt Ledger, who showed outstanding calm and competence in a most critical situation.
It should be mentioned that six weeks previously Lt Ledger received the GOC's Commendation for the competent action he took during a serious fire at the Diplomatic Wireless Station on Perim Island [1].
  • 26.04.1972 promoted Local Captain [2].
  • 01.05.1973 Local Captain promoted Captain [3].
  • 30.08.1974 to Retired List (own request) [4].
[1] London Gazette 43773, page 8973 and  National Archives file WO373/137/13.
[2] London Gazette 45687, Page 6495.
[3] London Gazette 45965, page 5457.
[4] London Gazette 46398, page 10996.

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