Major David A. Breese Biography-1

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Major David A. Breese:  WW2 British Sapper & His 1947 Orator Watch

David Alexander Breese MBE (1920-2009) had a long and illustrious career as a WW2 British Royal Engineer – a “Sapper”**.  Lt. Breese was part of the D-Day Operation Neptune / Overlord as a section commander of 3rd Parachute Regiment. They parachuted over Normandy behind enemy lines early on the morning of June 6, 1944. Their successful mission was to destroy critical bridges over the Rivers Orne and Dives to slow the movement of German troops towards the crucial city of Caen. Breese’s exploits are chronicled in Alexander McKee’s book, “Caen – Anvil of Victory”.

 

In May 1947, Lt. Breese was promoted to Captain, and purchased his Orator military-style wristwatch, engraved with his Service # and Name: P/264541 ~ Capt D Breese”.  He then joined the 1st Airborne Squadron in Palestine as B Troop Commander. 

Upon his demobilization, he resumed his career as an architect. Capt. Breese continued as a civilian to serve with Airborne Forces from 1947 to 1964 in the 131st Airborne Engineer Regiment. In 1960, Capt. Breese was honored as an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). He retired in 1964 and was promoted to Major.

Major Breese died in 2009 aged 89, and was buried near his home town of Colwyn Bay, Wales. He was a founder member, life member, and past President of the North Wales Branch of the Royal Engineering Association.

** "The Royal Engineers, or Sappers as they are known, have blazed a trail of innovation and achievement through history. The term Sappers originates from the trenches or 'saps' which engineers were employed to build towards enemy positions to allow the placing and detonating of explosive charges..."

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