Major A Macdonald

Major A Macdonald

Major MacDonald, as Officer Commanding, and Lieutenant Amoore, as his Second in Command, were members of SOE Mission CHEROKEE and parachuted into the Biella area of Piedmont, Italy in November 1944 along with explosives expert Captain Jim Bell and radio operator Sergeant Birch.

Major MacDonald was captured by Waffen SS troops who had infiltrated the partisan lines. In early March 1945 Major MacDonald escaped from his POW camp and made his way to Switzerland and freedom. He was later parachuted into France and supported the partisan effort there until the end of the war.

Major Alastair MacDonald MBE MC died in 1995.

The medals were purchased by the Museum in 2016 and are, Left to Right: MBE, Military Cross, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, War Medal and Defence Medal.

On 21st April 1980 an event was held at the Plaza Martiri della Liberta, Biella, Italy to commemorate the actions of local Italian Partisans and their Special Operations Executive (SOE) compatriots during the liberation of Italy from German occupation towards the close of the Second World War.

Two members of the Intelligence Corps were present, Major Alastair MacDonald MBE MC and Captain JP Strode-Amoore MC, both of whom had worked with the Italian partisans as members of SOE. At this event both men were presented with replica medallions of the Gold Medal of Military Valour for the Resistance, which had been awarded to the City of Biella on 31 March 1980 by the President of the Republic.

During a later such event on 24th April 1983 this Citta Di Biella commemorative medallion was presented to Major MacDonald.