Lieutenant Charles Anthony Hooper

 

Unit : No.22 Platoon, "D" Company, 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Service No. : 271237

Awards : Military Cross

 

Lieutenant Tony Hooper commanded No.22 Platoon, labelled No.4 Platoon of the coup de main force. His glider, also carrying the Company Second-in-Command, Captain Priday, was to have landed alongside Ranville Bridge, however their tug aircraft became lost and the glider was cast-off near Varaville, eight miles from where they should have been. They landed alongside the bridge here, which was to be destroyed by the 3rd Parachute Squadron in the coming hours, and captured it intact before they realised that they were in the wrong place. The Platoon set off in the direction of Ranville and had several brushes with the enemy on the way. Hooper was temporarily captured by a group of Germans at one point, several of whom were then killed by Captain Priday with his Sten gun. Moving across disputed territory in broad daylight was problematic, and the Platoon engaged numerous enemy patrols and hid from others in barns. Eventually, Hooper and Priday rejoined the Battalion in Ranville, having brought twenty of their men with them. "D" Company had left the Bridges and were reunited with their lost Platoon at 03:00 on the 7th June. Major Howard was delighted to see them and subsequently reorganised his Company into three platoons, each under the three surviving officers, for the advance on Escoville several hours later. Hooper was wounded in Escoville and was evacuated from Normandy. For his actions there he was awarded the Military Cross:

 

During the morning of 7th June 1944 "D" Company seized and held a sector of Escoville. We were actively sniped from the start and subjected to a continuous bombardment by a large close support gun fired from an enemy Self-Propelled mounting. This Self-Propelled Gun set fire to a building behind Hooper's Bren position. The fire isolated Hooper's force. He expertly controlled the evacuation of his position to one nearer Headquarters, leaving himself to the last, together with a few other men, he was cut off by MG 42's and was wounded in both feet. His cool manner was admired by his men who have since reported the above details to me.

 

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