Service No. : IC-5034
Date of Birth : 21 Oct 1927
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Unit : 2 Maratha LI
Arm/Regt : Maratha Light Infantry
Award : Ashok Chakra
Date Of Martyrdom : 2 Aug 1957
Capt Eric James Tucker was born on 21 Oct 1927 and was commissioned in the Maratha Light Infantry on 13 July 1947. Son of Mr. Veera Vijaya Suckev. Cap Tucker was one of the most determined soldiers of the Indian Army. He always took actions with clear and organized thoughts.
The Naga Insurgency :
Naga Insurgency was India’s first and oldest rebellion since independence. The guerrilla gangs were ferocious and battle trained. In 1956 Captain Eric James Tucker was commanding ‘B’ Company of the 2nd battalion of Maratha Light Infantry operating in the Naga Hills. He was given the task of opening the lines of communication from Chakabama to Phek, a distance of 42 miles and further to Meluri, a distance of 20 miles. He successfully achieved his objective and reached to Meluri on 15th October 1956 after a successful encounter with a large number of hostile, armed with automatics and rifles, guerillas. Undeterred by the injuries sustained by him, he had kept fighting his way with great courage, inflicting many casualties on the enemies. Subsequently, Captain Tucker carried many dangerous and arduous tasks way beyond his duty relentless against several warnings from the rebels that they would kill him.
On 1 Apr 1957, while operating in Naga Hills, he received information about rebel concentration at Chipokatami. He immediately rushed to the location, moving through dark jungles, took them by surprise and captured four rebels along with weapons. On 18th July 1957, he exercised a large maneuver, inflicted intense casualties and captured a number of prisoners. Similar to these tasks again on 2nd August 1957, while proceeding from Khuzami to Kivikhu with a platoon, he was trapped in the thick undergrowth of the jungle by militants who had collected advance information about his movement. Captain Eric James Tucker got hit by the militants on the face and legs but he stood his ground, fought and engaged the militants till the last round. Finally, he charged at the militants just before being hit by an automatic burst of fire that killed him on the spot.
Captain Eric James led his men with an extremely high order of personal courage and determination amidst hostile concentration. He was a great inspiration for his fellow comrades and his devotion to duty and leadership are exemplary.
The Citation for Ashok Chakra Award reads him to:
On 18 July 1957, Captain Eric James Tucker was in command of ‘B’ Company of the 2nd battalion of Maratha Light Infantry operating in the Naga Hills. He was assigned the task of opening the lines of communication. Captain Eric James Tucker outmaneuvered a large hostile body of militants and inflicted heavy casualties on them. Again on 2nd August 1957, while proceeding from Khuzami to Kivikhu with a platoon, he was ambushed in the thick undergrowth of the jungle near Milestone 70 by militants which had collected advance information about his movement.
Captain Eric James Tucker was hit on the face and legs but he stood his ground and engaged the militants till the last round. Finally he charged at the militants before being hit by a burst of automatic fire killing him on the spot.
Captain James Tucker was awarded posthumously the Ashok Chakra for displaying exemplary valour, great devotion to duty and exceptional leadership.