Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Major David Breese



David passed away on 29th August 2009 aged 89.

He served with 3 Para Sqn RE 1943 to 1945 and is remembered kindly by his exploits in the 6 Airborne Division Assault in Normandy. As a young Lt he was the right hand man of the Sqn OC Major JCA Roseveare DSO RE in the heroic dash through enemy occupied Troarn in jeep and trailer to successfully demolish the bridge on the main road linking Rouen with Caen at St Samson.

Then around about D+ 8 he was riding a motorcycle in order to attend an O Group with 8th Battalion at Breville and unsuspectingly rode on into enemy territory and spent the rest of the war as a POW.

Upon his return home when war ended and with time still to serve he joined 1st AB Sqn RE in Palestine as B Troop Commander.


Upon his demobilisation he resumed his career as an Architect but continued as a civilian to serve with Airborne Forces 1947 to 1964 in 131 AB Engr Regt, being a founder member of 300 Para Sqn RE TA (Scottish) with a direct responsibility for the Liverpool Troop.

His final gesture was to donate his battle dress blouse to the Chatham Branch for use in the Airborne Engineer Display in the RE Museum.

He will be sadly missed by son Gareth and many friends and former comrades.

Major David Breese by Roy Gambrill

Subsequent to Major David Breese’s obituary in the December 2009 issue of our journal, the photographs illustrated were taken whilst David prepared an explosive charge on a washed-up unexploded sea mine post WWII. The younger element of our readers will take note of the body armour issued for this type of Sapper task, namely ‘shirt sleeve order’!

During his unscheduled stay, (courtesy of the Germans), in Stalag Vll-A in Moosburg, Germany, he made friends with a senior US air force officer who occupied an adjoining bunk. From the time of their release as POWs, they became “Lifetime friends across the Pond” maintaining correspondence between each other up until David’s passing in August 2009.


Check out a web site called Time Capsule Watches which is a USA based site run by Robert (Bob) Stokes. Included in Bob's collection of watches is one previously owned by David Breese.



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