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Biography

Brig W.J. Megill, DSO, CD

Commanding Officer VACC, Vernon, BC - 1954

 

 

MEGILL, William Jemmett, Brigadier - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 17 March 1945 and CARO/5466 dated 19 March 1945.

Brigadier Megill has commanded 5 Canadian Infantry Brigade since February 1944 and has been continuously in action throughout the present campaign in France, Belgium and Holland. During the latter part of August the brigade was advance guard of the division in the quick pursuit from Rouen to Dieppe. To exploit every advantage, the brigade went forward in an independent role. Although considerable pockets of enemy resistance were encountered and the strength of enemy defences towards Dieppe was not known, Brigadier Megill continued a bold and determined thrust forward to surprise and overrun the enemy positions. He was continually with the forward elements of his units, directing their further advances and making a succession of quick plans to destroy opposition as it was encountered. His aggressive determination, bold tactics and absolute control of the brigade group made possible an unusually rapid advance and resulted in the evacuation of Dieppe by German forces. After crossing the Antwerp-Turnhout Canal, the brigade was assigned the task of advancing west to clear the north bank of considerable and heavy German forces. For four days, the brigade advanced against a numerically superior enemy force, encountering strong defensive positions and continuous artillery fire. Brigadier Megill, with unlimited endurance and without regard for his personal safety under shell, mortar and small arms fire, directed these difficult operations from the most forward positions. The success of this action opened a bridgehead for the crossing and further advance of 2 Canadian Infantry Division.

MEGILL, William Jemmett, Brigadier, DSO - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 9 March 1946 and CARO/6431 dated 8 March 1946.

MEGILL, William Jemmett, Brigadier, DSO - Officer of the Order of Leopold with Palm (Belgium) and Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm (Belgium) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 31 August 1946 and CARO/6733 dated 2 September 1946. Recommended by Lieutenant-General G.G. Simonds; document at Headquarters, Canadian Forces in the Netherlands, 3-6 October 1945.

Brigadier Megill commanded 5 Canadian Infantry Brigade throughout operations in Northwest Europe with efficiency and energy. The aggressive manner in which he directed the operations of the infantry units under his command and coordinated the support provided by other arms working in conjunction with them enabled his brigade to achieve considerable success during the operations which led to the liberation of Belgium.