Crookenden, Napier 1915-2002

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CROOKENDEN, Napier 1915-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 31, 1915, in Chester, England; died October 31, 2002. Military officer, educator, and author. A hero of World War II, during which he participated in D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, Crookenden later became a highly respected teacher and commandant at military schools in England. Coming from a long line of military officers, he attended the Royal Military College for a year before being commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment in 1935. During World War II he saw action in France and, as major of the Sixth Airlanding Brigade, on D-Day in 1943 helped to capture strategic bridges using glider planes. He was then put in command of the Ninth Parachute Battalion, leading his men during the Battle of the Bulge, for which service he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order in 1945. After the war, Crookenden began a distinguished career in military training, first as an instructor at the Staff College and then as general staff officer at the School of Land/Air Warfare before being transferred to Malaya in 1952. From 1960 to 1961 he commanded the 16th Parachute Brigade and in 1962 he became qualified to fly helicopters. In 1967 he was made commandant of the Royal Military College of Science for two years. From there, Crookenden became a colonel of his old Cheshire Regiment in 1969 and then colonel commandant of the Prince of Wales Division from 1971 to 1974; and he was lieutenant of the Tower of London from 1975 to 1981. He also served as chairman of the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Families Association from 1974 to 1985, deputy lieutenant of Kent in 1979, trustee of the Imperial War Museum from 1973 to 1983, and vice president of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies. Crookenden wrote about his wartime experiences in three books: Drop Zone Normandy (1976), Airborne at War (1977), and The Battle of the Bulge (1979).



Independent (London, England), November 13, 2002, p. 21.

Times (London, England), November 1, 2002, p. 40.