10 Facts About Movie Star Richard Todd Serving In WWII
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- Todd joined the military soon after the outbreak of World War II and enrolled at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1939.
- In January 1941, Todd was injured along with 25 other cadets when a German bomb hit ‘D’ Block of New College during an attack by the Luftwaffe.
- In his memoirs, Todd describes being blown out of the building by the blast and landing on a grass bank with lacerations, while five cadets were killed in the incident.
- Despite the incident, Todd completed his course at Sandhurst in the spring of 1941 and was commissioned into the 2nd/4th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI).
- After arctic warfare training in Iceland, Todd returned to the UK as a lieutenant, and for a short time, served as a liaison officer to the 42nd Armoured Division before joining the Parachute Regiment.
- Todd participated in Operation Tonga during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, and was among the first British soldiers to land in Normandy and the first Irishman.
- He was involved in helping to repulse counter-attacks by the Heer forces and met Major John Howard on the Pegasus Bridge.
- Five days after D-Day, Todd was promoted to captain while still in the bridge defence area.
- After fighting in Normandy for three months, the 6th Airborne Division returned to the UK and later served in Germany to stop the Battle of the Bulge.
- Todd served as the motor transport officer, responsible for gathering commandeered vehicles to ferry troops forward, and was later injured in a Jeep accident during counter-insurgency operations in Palestine before being demobilised in 1946.