Desmond Thomas Kavanagh was the son of Peter and Mary Kavanagh, of Aintree, Liverpool. He was commissioned into The Royal Army Service Corps and volunteered for airborne forces.
Captain Kavanagh successfully completed his parachute training on a short course, number 17b, at RAF Ringway from 7 to 12 July 1942 and was appointed to command 2 Platoon, 250 (Airborne) Light Composite Company, RASC, and took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem).
Capt Kavanagh was killed in action on 19 September 1944, aged 25, when his jeeps and a party of about 20 men were ambushed by German troops when they crossed the Dreyensebruge bridge, whilst trying to recover supplies which had fallen wide in a field just beyond the Oosterbeek Hoog railway station. Captain Kavanagh with a few men covered the retreat of the platoon and were subsequently killed or captured. The casualties were given a field burial in a mass grave near Oosterbeek railway station. They were re-interred to Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 13 August 1945.
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