- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Acting Wing Commander
- No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- February 16th, 1945
"Total Hours flown 392, total number of sorties 60.
Wing Commander Cracknell was Captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf on the night of 2nd November 1944. His task was a vital one involving the dropping of target indicators. Long before the target, his aircraft was engaged by most accurate anti-aircraft fire and hit several times, but displaying great coolness and complete disregard of personal safety, this officer made a long and steady bombing run and thus enabled his bomb aimer to achieve the most precise results. The target was well hit as proved by the photograph he obtained.
Even after the bombs had gone and the photograph taken Wing Commander Cracknell's aircraft was still selected as the primary target for the defences and only his great coolness and fine airmanship can have prevented the aircraft from being lost; as it was he returned his damaged aircraft safely to base without further incident.
Wing Commander Cracknell is now carrying out his third tour of operations and has completed a total of sixty bombing attacks regardless of defences and by his fine record of many attacks successfully carried out, together with the thoroughness of his preparation for these attacks, he sets a fine example to the Squadron. In recognition of this Officer's fine record of service I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distighuished Service Order."