Brigadier David Adie 'Torpy' Whitehead

Service number NX376
Ranks Held Captain, Lieutenant, Brigadier, Lieutenant Colonel, Temporary Brigadier
Birth Date 30 September 1896
Birth Place United Kingdom: Scotland, Edinburgh, Leith
Final Rank Brigadier
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Place Leith
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-01
Published in London Gazette in 1944-04-27
Published in London Gazette in 1917-12-17
Published in London Gazette in 1943-02-11
Published in London Gazette in 1945-03-08
Published in London Gazette in 1942-12-15
Published in London Gazette in 1918-04-23
Published in London Gazette in 1942-09-24
Published in London Gazette in 1919-01-07
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-05-02
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1944-04-27
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1945-03-15
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-09-24
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Machine Guns
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant
    London Gazette
    01 June 1917 on page 5423 at position 58
    Commonwealth Gazette
    04 October 1917 on page 2625 at position 11
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    26th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945
    Rank
    Brigadier
    London Gazette
    11 February 1943 on page 743 at position 1
  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    23rd Australian Machine Gun Company
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Captain
    London Gazette
    17 December 1917 on page 13185 at position 33
    Commonwealth Gazette
    02 May 1918 on page 1035 at position 52
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Captain
    London Gazette
    07 January 1919 on page 314 at position 12
    Commonwealth Gazette
    23 May 1919 on page 893 at position 20
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
    London Gazette
    15 December 1942 on page 5446 at position 10
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Captain
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
    London Gazette
    24 September 1942 on page 4154 at position 1
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945

Timeline

Date of birth 30 September 1896 Leith, Scotland, UK
Date commissioned 04 April 1916
WW1 Service 1 04 April 1916 lieutenant 9thmachine gun Company
Date of embarkation 01 May 1916
WW1 Service 2 22 November 1916 arrived France
WW1 Service 3 28 March 1917 2iC
WW1 Service 4 09 April 1917 Mention in Despatches
WW1 Service 5 11 April 1917 acting officer commanding
WW1 Service 6 26 September 1917 23rdmachine gun Company
Interwar Service 1 01 October 1917 H/captain
WW1 Service 7 01 October 1917 captain officer commanding
WW1 Service 8 14 December 1917 Military Cross
WW1 Service 9 06 May 1918 wounded in action (rod)
WW1 Service 10 27 May 1918 wounded in action (rod)
WW1 Service 11 19 July 1918 adjutant 3rdmachine gun battalion
Date of recommendation honour or award 27 August 1918
WW1 Service 12 01 November 1918 CdG
WW1 Service 13 14 November 1918 attached Headquarters 3rdDivision
WW1 Service 14 31 December 1918 general service officer grade 3 (temp) Headquarters 3rdDivision
WW1 Service 15 09 May 1919 demobilised
Interwar Service 2 01 November 1919 adjutant 9th Light Horseregiment
Interwar Service 3 01 November 1919 Area Officer A3 Bc
Interwar Service 4 06 July 1920 adjutant 5/3rd Infantry regiment
Interwar Service 5 06 July 1920 Area officers A3 Bb
Interwar Service 6 29 March 1921 brigade major 8th Brigade
Interwar Service 7 11 January 1922 adjutant & QM 16th battalion
Interwar Service 8 01 July 1922 Unattached List
Interwar Service 10 01 September 1922 10th Light Horse
Interwar Service 9 01 September 1922 captain (subst.)
Interwar Service 11 01 August 1924 Unattached List
Interwar Service 12 03 August 1925 21st Light Horseregiment
Interwar Service 13 1925-08-03 - 1929-08-02 seconded A/general service officer grade 3 Headquarters 1st CavDivision
Interwar Service 14 02 September 1930 major
Interwar Service 16 01 October 1936 1stmachine gun regiment
Interwar Service 17 01 October 1937 lieutenant colonel commanding officer 1stmachine gun regiment
Career summary 1 18 March 1940 enlisted 2AIF
Career summary 2 24 April 1940 full time duty general service officer grade 1 Headquarters 1st CavDivision
Career summary 3 01 May 1940 seconded commanding officer 2/2machine gun battalion
Career summary 4 31 January 1941 arrived Middle East
Career summary 5 10 February 1941 attached Headquarters 1 Australian Corps
Career summary 8 1942-01-17 - 1942-02-13 Special
Career summary 6 27 February 1942 commanding officer 2/32nd battalion
Appointment 1942-02-27 - 1942-09-09 Battalion: 2/32nd; Rank on appointment: lieutenant colonel; Appointed from: commanding officer 2/2ndmachine gun battalion ; Reason for end of appointment: promotion field command: 26th Brigade
Career summary 9 11 August 1942 attached Headquarters 24th Brigade 2
Career summary 7 13 August 1942 Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Career summary 10 12 September 1942 colonel (temporary BRIG) command 26th Brigade
Career summary 12 15 December 1942 Mention in Despatches
Career summary 13 25 February 1943 Returned to Australia (Melb)
Career summary 14 04 August 1943 arrived Milne Bay
Career summary 15 03 February 1944 ED
Career summary 18 15 February 1944 Returned to Australia (Cairns)
Career summary 16 18 May 1944 medical (malaria) 11
Career summary 17 31 May 1944 Mention in Despatches (1 Apr-30 Sep 43)
Career summary 19 11 October 1944 Special Duty 2
Career summary 20 09 March 1945 Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Career summary 21 24 March 1945 arrived Morotai
Career summary 22 01 May 1945 arrived T'kan
Career summary 23 10 December 1945 relinquished command 26th Brigade
Career summary 24 12 December 1945 Returned to Australia (Bris)
Career summary 25 09 February 1946 Reserve of Officers colonel (H/BRIG)
Career summary 27 1949-01-11 - 1952-05-14 aide de camp to Governor General (hon)
Career summary 28 1953-03-16 - 1953-06-17 full time duty Citizens Military Force command Coronation Contingent
Career summary 11 BAR to Dstaff officer
Career summary 26 *** POST WAR ***
Citations 10 The Brigade embarked at "G" Beach LAE on night 19/20 October for FINSCHHAFEN landing at LANGEMAK BAY the following day and come[sic] into divisional reserve. At this time the Japanese 20 Division with elements of other divisions was in possession of SATELBERG mountain which dominated the area, also of the WAREO mountain to the North, and had recently made a divisional attack upon out [sic] position in the vicinity of KATIKA and SCARLET BEACH.
Citations 11 Brigadier WHITEHEAD was ordered to attack and capture the SATELBERG position and exploit towards WAREO, and later, the capture of WAREO. He had Fd Arty and Matilda tanks as supporting arms.
Citations 12 The country was difficult in the extreme, containing mountain ridges covered with dense jungle and bamboo scrubs, deep gorges with precipitous approaches, and razorback ridges.
Citations 13 The enemy had established strongly dug in positions, well sited and naturally camouflaged and in many cases particularly diffiuclt to apparoach from a flank. The operation involved a series of attacks by the units of the Bde Gropu. The first attack commenced on 17 November 1943. The attack was pushed home with great determination and vigour. Movement was necessarily slow and communications exceedingly hard to maintain. The enemy fought stubbournly but all attacks by 26 Aust inf Bde Gp. were pressed unceasingly and determinedly. On 18 Nov. COCONUT RIDGE a prominent feature below SATELBERG was captured. The final assault on SATELBERG itself was over the most precipitous terrain then encountered by the division in the campaign.. On 25 Nov. after continual hard fighting SATELBERG was captured.
Citations 14 The Brigade immediately began the apparoach to the strong enemy position and mountain base of WAREO. The country was similar and in some respects even more diffiuclt than that of SATELBERG. On 26 Nov. MOSANKOO was occupied and the next day MOGAKO, KUANKO, PEAK HILL and JOANGANG were occupied during the first week in December after determined fighting in precipitious country and on 8 Dec. WAREO was captured.
Citations 15 The detailed Brigade palns for this series of operations were prepared by Brigadier WHITEHEAD, and his conduct of the operations was forceful and masterly showing excellent judgement and command, all of which largely contribute to the complete defeat of the enemy.'
Citations 16 -Ext Sheet DN 12/42, LG Supp 36972/45
Citations 2 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He personally led his battery of eight machine guns from his barrage position to a forward barrage position about 1,000 yards away under heavy fire. He inspired great confidence in his company, which was in action for the first time.'
Citations 4 'At Tel El Eisa Lt Col D.A. WHITEHEAD commanded 2/32nd Bn in attack on first objective - high ground west of pt 22 87602950 - CAIRN 8754 2962 - on 22 Jul 42. From first light until last light his Bn. was heavily enagaged with German forces. The objective was gained and held despite fierce counter attacks and by enemy pressure throughout the day, which considerably depleted the strength of our forces. By his cool, courageous and clever leadership, Lt Col WHITEHEAD was mainly responsible for the successful result. He moved from flank to flank throuhgout the day, through hy and continuous fire, coolly summing up the situation and moving the subunits uinder his command to more advantageous positions to ensure the security of his Bn. and to enable his offensive weapons to deal with enemy strong posts. Many enemy casualties were caused, 65 German prisoners captured, 4 hy A Tk guns and much other material captured or destroyed. Col WHITEHEAD was an inspiration to his men throughout this attack and his actions an object lesson in calm, courageous and brilliant leadership.'
Citations 5 Bar to DSO:
Citations 6 'In the Battle at El Alamein Brigadier Whitehead's Brigade was on the right flank of Eight Army and this was an open flank. In the initial attack on 23rd October, 1942, the Brigade was completely successful and for this the thorough and expert planning and preparation by its commander and the high quality of his leadership were largely responsible.
Citations 7 Thereafter the Brigade exploited northwards towards the coast, first capturing a vital point, then a series of defences to the east. Finally in conjunction with other units of the Division, the Brigade attacked the enemy's forward positions in the rear. The Brigade had the greatest task in the Division, and by hard, resolute and very stern fighting it successfully carried out all its tasks. Brigadier Whitehead exercised command with great courage and determination and with pronounced skill and judgement.'
Citations 9 'Brig. WHITEHEAD commands 26 Australian Infantry Brigade which landed at RED BEACH East of LAE on the 4 September, 1943 and immediatle proceeded as advanced troops of the division westward along the coast towards LAE. He commanded his Brigade with distinction throughout the highly successful divisional operations which resulted in the early capture of LAE.
Interwar Service 15 course Assessed fit to command
Royal Military College
WW2 Service 1 El Alamein
WW2 Service 2 Benghazi
WW2 Service 3 New Guinea