Derek H Altass enlisted into The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in January 1941.
He volunteered for the Special Services Brigade and was eventually posted to No. 6 Commando and took part in was Operation Torch. Initially posted as Missing in Action, he was taken a Prisoner of War in February 1943.
In March 1945 he escaped while working at a Paper Mill in Pitten.
Derek Altass re-enlisted into the army in 1951 and served with the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA).
Company Sergeant Major Altass retired in March 1968 having served with 3 PARA in Cyprus, the Canal Zone (Egypt), Radfan, Suez, Borneo, Malaya and Bahrain.
CSM Altass was Mentioned in Despatches for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Radfan Area (published in the London Gazette in May 1965.)
He emigrated to Australia soon after leaving the armed forces.