NX376 (N6) David Adie 'Torpy' Whitehead, DSO & Ba,r MC, CdG

Date of birth1896-09-30 Leith, Scotland, UK 
Date commissioned  1916-04-04   
WW1 Service 1  1916-04-04  lieutenant 9thmachine gun Company 
WW1 Service 2  1916-11-22  arrived France 
WW1 Service 3  1917-03-28  2iC 
WW1 Service 4  1917-04-09  Mention in Despatches 
WW1 Service 5  1917-04-11  acting officer commanding 
WW1 Service 6  1917-09-26  23rdmachine gun Company 
Interwar Service 1  1917-10-01  H/captain 
WW1 Service 7  1917-10-01  captain officer commanding 
WW1 Service 8  1917-12-14  Military Cross 
WW1 Service 9  1918-05-06  wounded in action (rod) 
WW1 Service 10  1918-05-27  wounded in action (rod) 
WW1 Service 11  1918-07-19  adjutant 3rdmachine gun battalion 
WW1 Service 12  1918-11-01  CdG 
WW1 Service 13  1918-11-14  attached Headquarters 3rdDivision 
WW1 Service 14  1918-12-31  general service officer grade 3 (temp) Headquarters 3rdDivision 
WW1 Service 15  1919-05-09  demobilised 
Interwar Service 3  1919-11-01  Area Officer A3 Bc 
Interwar Service 2  1919-11-01  adjutant 9th Light Horseregiment 
Interwar Service 5  1920-07-06  Area officers A3 Bb 
Interwar Service 4  1920-07-06  adjutant 5/3rd Infantry regiment 
Interwar Service 6  1921-03-29  brigade major 8th Brigade 
Interwar Service 7  1922-01-11  adjutant & QM 16th battalion 
Interwar Service 8  1922-07-01  Unattached List 
Interwar Service 9  1922-09-01  captain (subst.) 
Interwar Service 10  1922-09-01  10th Light Horse 
Interwar Service 11  1924-08-01  Unattached List 
Interwar Service 12  1925-08-03  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  1930-09-02  major 
Interwar Service 16  1936-10-01  1stmachine gun regiment 
Interwar Service 17  1937-10-01  lieutenant colonel commanding officer 1stmachine gun regiment 
Career summary 1  1940-03-18  enlisted 2AIF 
Career summary 2  1940-04-24  full time duty general service officer grade 1 Headquarters 1st CavDivision 
Career summary 3  1940-05-01  seconded commanding officer 2/2machine gun battalion 
Career summary 4  1941-01-31  arrived Middle East 
Career summary 5  1941-02-10  attached Headquarters 1 Australian Corps 
Career summary 8  1942-01-17 - 1942-02-13  Special  
Career summary 6  1942-02-27  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  1942-08-11  attached Headquarters 24th Brigade 2 
Career summary 7  1942-08-13  Companion of the Distinguished Service Order 
Career summary 10  1942-09-12  colonel (temporary BRIG) command 26th Brigade 
Career summary 12  1942-12-15  Mention in Despatches 
Career summary 13  1943-02-25  Returned to Australia (Melb) 
Career summary 14  1943-08-04  arrived Milne Bay 
Career summary 15  1944-02-03  ED 
Career summary 18  1944-02-15  Returned to Australia (Cairns) 
Career summary 16  1944-05-18  medical (malaria) 11 
Career summary 17  1944-05-31  Mention in Despatches (1 Apr-30 Sep 43) 
Career summary 19  1944-10-11  Special Duty 2 
Career summary 20  1945-03-09  Commander of the Order of the British Empire 
Career summary 21  1945-03-24  arrived Morotai 
Career summary 22  1945-05-01  arrived T'kan 
Career summary 23  1945-12-10  relinquished command 26th Brigade 
Career summary 24  1945-12-12  Returned to Australia (Bris) 
Career summary 25  1946-02-09  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 
WW2 Service 1    El Alamein 
WW2 Service 2    Benghazi 
Career summary 26    *** POST WAR *** 
Royal Military College     
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 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 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.' 
Interwar Service 15    course Assessed fit to command 
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 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 16    -Ext Sheet DN 12/42, LG Supp 36972/45 
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. 
WW2 Service 3    New Guinea 
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. 
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 5    Bar to DSO: 
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.' 
Career summary 11    BAR to Dstaff officer  
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. 

Background: Attended Royal Military College prior to WWI.; Cadet Service: Cdt lieutenant 1 Sep 13; Extra Service Number: N6; Militia Number: 3/107251; Occupation: Combustion Engineer