- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Flight Sergeant
- No. 103 Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- January 2nd, 1945
"One night in October 1944, this airman was captain and pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Cologne. Whilst over the target considerable anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Just as the bombs were released the aircraft was struck by high explosive shells. Much damage was sustained. The starboard rudder controls were severed. The petrol tanks were badly pierced and the contents streamed out. Within ten minutes the petrol supply became practically exhausted. By now Flight Sergeant Cooke had reached friendly territory. He thereupon instructed the crew to leave the aircraft by parachute. As he prepared to leave himself, Flight Sergeant Cooke saw that one of his comrades still remained in the aircraft, having accidentally released his parachute inside the fuselage. Height was being rapidly lost. Nevertheless, Flight Sergeant Cooke was determined not to leave his crew member and promptly returned to the controls and attempted to effect a crash landing in a field. During his approach, with undercarriage and flaps retracted, two engines failed. Coolly and skilfully, however, this intrepid pilot achieved his purpose and effected a landing, incurring little further damage to the aircraft in his effort. This airman set a magnificent example of skill, courage and captaincy in most difficult and dangerous circumstances."
Medal presented to next-of-kin, 10 December 1947.