Collar badge Princess Louise's Dragoon Guards, 1st Canadian Infantry Division

both lugs intact

€ 10,00

The 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards was a Militia Regiment activated for Wartime Service with the Canadian Army (Active) in 1941. A former cavalry regiment with roots in the Ottawa area that dated back to the late 1800s it was assigned to the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps which itself had been activated in 1940. In 1942 it was redesignated the 4th Reconnaissance Regiment (4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards), the same year the first of its soldiers sailed for the United Kingdom where 4th PLDG joined 1st Canadian Infantry Division at Camp Aldershot.

4th Recce immediately began expanding its ranks, taking volunteers from infantry regiments serving in the United Kingdom and a steady flow of reinforcements from Canada. Four squadrons were eventually raised in addition to the Regimental HQ Squadron. A reserve squadron, based in Ottawa continued to provide reinforcements throughout the war as well.

"A" Squadron of 4th PLDG landed in Sicily on July 13, 1943, as part of the Follow Up Forces. Only "A" Squadron, commanded by Major Arthur Duck actually took part in the Sicily fighting. B and C Squadrons were not fully equipped with the requisite number of "Otter" Light, and "Fox" Heavy Reconnaissance Cars and Universal Carriers until October, when the regiment was serving on the Italian mainland. D Squadron was raised that winter when heavy rains and freezing temperatures rendered the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards' vehicles all but useless and the personnel from the latter squadron patrolled their sector on horseback instead.

4th PLDG took part in virtually all of the major actions in the campaign, which lasted just 38 days. The regiment landed at Reggio di Calabria, on the Italian mainland on September 3, 1943, on the heels of 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade and immediately began providing 1st Canadian Infantry Division Headquarters with information with regard to the ground to the north including the condition of roads and bridges and the location and strength of enemy forces. Each of the squadrons was composed of three scout troops and assault troop, equipped with a combination of Otter Light Reconnaissance Cars and Fox Heavy Reconnaissance Cars. The Fox had a revolving turret fitted with a .50 calibre Browning machine gun as well as a Bren. 303 calibre light machine gun. The Otter mounted a single Bren as did the Universal Carriers used to transport the Scout and Assault Troops.

When a reporter asked squadron commander Major Harold Parker as to what he and his men did in Italy he replied: "We keep driving until the enemy shoots at us. Then we know he is there". Parker was doing just that when his armoured car was struck by a 75mm shell on the Torella-Duronia road. The major was killed and his crew badly wounded. The scouts, frequently operated well behind enemy lines: During the Hitler Line battles in May 1944 Sergeant Hubert Ditner, a farmer from Petersburg, Ontario, and his men took the opportunity to catch a few hours sleep in a roadside ditch. He awoke to find that his section was sharing it with grenadiers from 44th Hoch und Deutschmeister Division. Ditner, who spoke fluent German managed to get all ten to surrender without firing a shot.In a letter to his younger brother Ditner confessed that he "didn't know who was shaking more, Jerry or me

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