THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
ALDRIDGE Francis Albert
35023, Major, 5 Field Regiment, NZ Artillery

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Major Aldridge has given long and valuable services under fire in the field.  He joined 2 NZEF 29 August 1940 with the 14th LAA Regiment and sailed as officer in charge 5th Artillery Reinforcements. He first saw action as Battery Captain 43 Battery and served throughout the 2nd Libya campaign in the gallant actions of Sidi Rezegh and Balhamed, his battery being under command 6th Brigade.  43 Battery in common with the rest of the brigade suffered heavy casualties and Major Aldridge was appointed Battery Commander 42 Battery in the re-organisation.  This position he filled without a break and with great distinction until the end of the Tunisian campaign April 1943.  He saw action from Minqar Qaim through the defensive Alamein phase when his battery was credited with over a dozen planes shot down. Alamein offensive, Tripolitania and Tunisia brought additional “certainties” to his battery and the fighting efficiency and high morale of his unit were only a mirror of the officer’s own unassuming efficiency.  He was appointed 2i/c 6 Field Regiment in June 1943 and transferred to 5 NZ Field Regiment in the same capacity in July 1944 which position he now holds.  He has been in every action the NZ Division has seen in Italy.  Through no choice of his own, this officer’s service has been largely administrative but all of it served in the field has been served under conditions of personal danger and in the face of enemy fire.  In action he is calm, cool, assiduous to duty and his long, valuable services under fire make him an ideal candidate for the honour recommended

Mention in Despatches

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
8th Army
Italy Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Mention in Despatches
New Zealand War Service Medal

NOTES
Born September 1907, Christchurch, New Zealand