Richard O'ConnorGeneral '''Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor''', (21 August 1889 – 17 June 1981) was a senior British Army officer who fought in both the First and Second World Wars, and commanded the Western Desert Force in the early years of the Second World War. He was the field commander for Operation Compass, in which his forces destroyed a much larger Italian army – a victory which nearly drove the Axis from Africa, and in turn, led Adolf Hitler to send the German Africa Corps under Erwin Rommel to try to reverse the situation. O'Connor was captured by a German reconnaissance patrol during the night of 7 April 1941 and spent over two years in an Italian prisoner of war camp. He eventually escaped after the fall of Mussolini in the autumn of 1943. In 1944 he commanded VIII Corps in the Battle of Normandy and later during Operation Market Garden. In 1945 he was General Officer in Command of the Eastern Command in India and then, in the closing days of British rule in the subcontinent, he headed Northern Command. His final job in the army was Adjutant-General to the Forces in London, in charge of the British Army's administration, personnel and organisation.
In honour of his war service, O'Connor was recognised with the highest level of knighthood in two different orders of chivalry. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Order (twice), the Military Cross, the French Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour, and served as aide-de-camp to King George VI. He was also mentioned in despatches nine times for actions in the First World War, once in Palestine in 1939 and three times in the Second World War. Provided by Wikipedia