Major Edward James O'Brien Crocker
Unit : "B" Company, 12th Parachute Battalion.
Army No. : 44846
Awards : Military Cross
On 19th July 1944, Major Crocker's Company led in a Battalion attack on the village of Putot-en-Auge. The village was occupied by about 100 Germans and the position had a large number of automatic weapons in it. Mortar and Machine Gun fire was intense. The two leading platoons became completely pinned by fire by the time half the village was cleared and the situation looked desperate. Major Crocker then led the third platoon personally against one of the strong points consisting of three houses. He personally killed 3 Germans with his rifle and when a sergeant was wounded he immediately attacked his assailant and killed him with a fighting knife. As soon as this strong point fell the enemy lost heart and the remainder of the village was rapidly captured. It was mainly due to the courage, ferocity and personal leadership and complete disregard of danger of Major Crocker that the whole of its Garrison was either killed or captured. His example was an inspiration to the whole Battalion.
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