|Colonel Rodney Crittendon|
|Enlisted In||Allied Forces, RAF|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
Character History[edit | edit source]
Colonel Rodney Crittendon was born in England on October 12, 1896 (speculation). Not much is known about Colonel Crittendon's pre-war history, other than that he outranks Colonel Robert Hogan by at least twelve years (although another report, probably in error, claims that he outranks Hogan by at least a couple of months.) If this information is correct, this would mean that Crittendon would have been a Colonel in the RAF since about 1930. That, in turn, would mean that he'd probably joined the RAF at some point in the 1920s.
Thus, when Britain enters World War II, Crittendon has been a Colonel (Group Captain) in the RAF for several years; the enthusiastic, yet inept, leader of a bomber group. It has not been recorded how much combat he has actually seen between 1939 and 1942, but at some point in 1942, he is shot down over Nazi Germany and captured by the Germans. While in Germany, Crittendon would constantly attempt to escape from the luft stalags he would be placed in, but he would always be recaptured, thanks in part to his own ineptness. After one such attempt, he would be transferred to Stalag 13, to replace Hogan as the camp's senior officer among the prisoners.
Upon his arrival at Stalag 13, Crittendon is appalled upon hearing that very few escape attempts has been made by the prisoners, never mind that none of those that are made are actually successful. He decides to rectify the situation by trying to lead a successful prisoner escape attempt, while ignoring the fact that the other prisoners are there because of orders from London to sabotage the German war effort from the inside. This is mainly because he has told Hogan that he would inform Klink if he knew that the other prisoners are involved in any clandestine activities. After several mishaps, the other prisoners eventually arranged things so that Crittendon would be sent back to his original camp: Crittendon would be set up to take the fall as a German underground agent escapes the camp via an airplane. The operation is a success and Kommandant Klink would send Crittendon back to Stalag 18.
Crittendon would reappear several weeks later, with orders to assassinate a German scientist whom Hogan instead convinces to defect to the Allies, in spite of interference from Crittendon, who continues to follow his original orders - as usual with Crittendon nothing goes right - his weapon (a medevial crossbow) only succedes in impaling Klink's hat to a door! Crittendon would next appear disrupting for a while Hogan's plans to spring out a recently captured Allied officer. He would then be sent by London to inform Hogan that he is being ordered home as a war hero for his efforts and that Crittendon would be his replacement. The other prisoners are shocked by this decision because of their past experiences with Crittendon's bumblings and eventually help Hogan to overturn the high command's decision and remain their leader.
The prisoners next experience with Crittendon would be when he interfers with Hogan's plan to destroy a German ball bearings plant. The next time Crittendon shows up would be when he is the leader of a group of Commandos who are suppose to capture Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who is at a nearby hospital. But nothing went right: the Commandos who has come with Crittendon are captured before they could rendevous with the heroes, while the attempt to capture Rommel in the hospital is ruined by Crittendon. London later told the heroes to end the operation, while Crittendon ends up being captured when he later tries to leave Germany. The last time Crittendon would appear he is sent to the camp to take the place of British traitor Sir Charles Chitterly, who looks like Crittendon's twin brother, so that he would personally pass along some disinformation to Adolf Hitler. Although things would later be made complicated by both Crittendon's natural ineptness and by the sudden arrival of Sir Chitterly's wife, Lady Leslie Chitterly, the operation ends up a success. There would be no further reports about Crittendon's activity with the heroes after this incident.
Post War[edit | edit source]
Although there is no reports about what happened to Crittendon at the end of the war, it is a very good guess that he survives, probably liberated from a luft stalag by the advancing allied troops.
Awards[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- There is no such rank as Colonel in the RAF, although when the RAF is created as a separate military organization in Great Britain, by combining elements from both the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, officers from the Royal Flying Corps, who are originally ranked as Colonels, are made Group Captains in the new organization, which is using rankings loosely based on the officer rankings system of the Royal Navy. Crittendon's rank thus should actually be that of a Group Captain, which is the actual rank equivalent to an American USAAF Colonel.
- Crittendon's character is supposed to be a satire of the character "Big X" from the 1963 film, The Great Escape, which is thought of as being an inspiration for the series.