Major Robert Shirley Croot served with 1st Wing, Glider Pilot Regiment.
He began his military career after gaining a commission as Second Lieutenant to the Devonshire Regiment (TA) in 1928. As the Second World War approached, he transferred first to the 6th Battalion, then 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment before transferring to General Staff Officer Grade 3 in early September 1939.
He began his career in the Glider Pilot Regiment in October 1942 and had risen to become Officer Commanding G Squadron of 1st Wing, Glider Pilot Regiment during the Arnhem lifts of Op Market Garden. For his distinguished actions at Arnhem he was later post-humously awarded the Dutch Bronze Lion in 1947.
After successful extraction back to the UK, he was amongst a party of twenty Glider Pilots en-route to India in December 1944. Major Croot was killed on 5 December 1944 when Dakota FL588 from 24 Squadron RAF Transport Command, based at RAF Hendon, crashed on a snowy ridge in Ariege, near Mijanes in the Pyrenees, Southern France. 23 Airmen were onboard, 20 of which belonged to the GPR. Fifteen other men onboard died as a result of the crash. He is now buried in the Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles.
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