Biography

Drysdale, Douglas Burns [LtCol 41-Commando UK]

 

Colonel Douglas Burns Drysdale was horn in Hampstead, a suburb of London, on 2 October 1916. He spent the majority of his youth in Argentina, where he developed a life-long passion for horsemanship, polo playing, and hunting. Commissioned a subaltern in September 1935 in the Royal Marines, he was given charge of HMS Renown c Marine detachment. lie remained on hoard the Renown during the first three years of World War II. During the occupation of Iceland, Lieutenant Drysdale served as the staff officer of "Force Fork," the combined force consisting of the 2d Battalion, Royal Marines, and a coastal battery. He was promoted to captain in June 1942 and assigned to the staff of the British Admiralty Delegation, Washington, D.C. Here, Captain Drysdale had his first contacts with U.S. Marines when he was attached to Headquarters United States Marine Corps as a liaison officer until 1943 when he became brigade major of 3 Special Service Brigade. He remained with the brigade for the rest of World War II. Tn September 1945, during the Burma campaign, 3 Special Service Brigade was assigned to carry out Operation Zipper, an amphibious operation that was canceled when the war ended. Major Diysdale was to serve as the commanding officer of 44 Commando during that operation. For outstanding service in that theater, the British government appointed Drysdale a Member of the British Empire (MBE). After the war, Major Drysdale served on the staff of the British army staff college at Camberley. He then joined the staff of the Officer's School where he was promoted to acting lieutenant colonel and assigned to cotntnand 41 Independent Royal Marine Commando. His command of 11 Commando in Korea was to he the highlight of a distinguished career. For his actions at the Chosin Reservoir, as well as his leadership of :1 1 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale was awarded two Silver Stars and a Distinguished Service Order. Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale led 41 Commando until INational ArciuVes ?floto (LSN) 8O-O-425j late 1951, when he was relieved by Lieutenant Colonel Ferris N. Grant. He then served as the Royal Marine representative at the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, from 1952 to 1954. After leaving Quantico, Drysdale was appointed Commandant of the Royal Marine's Noncommissioned Officers School. He was then assigned to the staff of the Commandant General of Royal Marines, where he was promoted to colonel in June 1961. He was selected to command 3 Commando Brigade prior to his medical retirement in January 1962. He moved to Norfolk, England, in 1975, where he died