INDENTG.M. London Gazette 15.7.1944
The recommendation states:
"In Italy, on 4th May, 1944, a bomber, which took off on an operational flight loaded with explosives, failed to gain height and crashed in flames. Private Crease was the first on the scene and, despite the fact that the petrol tanks and the whole aircraft were blazing, he, with the help of an Italian, and entirely regardless of his own safety, plunged into the wreckage to search for certain of the crew who were in the aircraft and probably injured and, in order to do this he and the Italian had to dig into the wreckage with their bare hands, with the fire spreading. Private Crease's action called for a high degree of courage."
Gunner Harold Walker, Royal Artillery, was awarded the George Medal for the same incident. The recommendation states:
"On 4th May, 1944, at 21.15 hrs. Halifax "F" of 148 Squadron took off on an operation loaded with explosives, but failed to gain height and, after hitting a high tension cable, crashed into some trees, where it immediately burst into flames. No. 994731 Gunner Walker, H., Royal Artillery of Military Establishment 54, was amongst the first on the scene. Despite the fact that the aircraft was fully ablaze, and realising the likelihood of the plane being loaded with explosives, this soldier, at great personal risk, plunged into the wreck and extricated the pilot, who was semi-conscious, from the crash. But for the prompt action of this soldier, and the considerable courage he displayed, it is probable that the pilot would have burned to death. The Col. Comd. H.Q., S.O. (M) Adm. Ech. has therefore no hesitation in recommending him for the award of the George Medal."
Military Establishment No. 54 was a highly secret organisation, part of S.O.E. It was manned by E.R.E. and attached personnel whose role was the packing and maintenance of supplies, mostly explosives, which were dropped to underground forces in the Balkans and was located at Brindisi in Italy. On 4 May l944 Halifax 'F' was piloted by Group Captain L. Rankin R.A.F. (334 Wing) and the Squadron Log shows it to have crashed in the circumstances indicated above.