Major Francis Moore Bucher


Unit : Battalion Headquarters, 12th Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 36301

Awards : Distinguished Service Order


On 3rd April 1945, during the advance to Osnabruck, Major Bucher, the Second in Command of 12th Parachute Battalion, was placed in command of a small composite force. The task of this force was to advance up the axis driving the enemy on to the rest of the Battalion, which had moved cross country by night behind the enemy.


Major Bucher's force advanced at first light, but the leading troops were held up by strong enemy fire. Major Bucher went forward to investigate, but soon came under heavy fire himself. He at once organised retaliation. To do so he had to move freely in a very exposed position. He then returned to bring up a troop of tanks. The leading tank was hit by an anti-tank gun at point blank range, but Major Bucher, who was within a few feet, was entirely unmoved. He issued quick orders for the deployment of his force. This manoeuvre was carried out with the greatest vigour and success, 27 Germans being killed, and five 75mm guns being captured, as well as a number of prisoners.


Major Bucher's task was not rendered easier by the men being very tired and soaked to the skin. He infused them with such fire and dash however that their advance was irresistible. The magnificent courage and leadership of this officer played a large part in the capture of Osnabruck.


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