This month marks the 75th anniversary of a German raid on Swanvale in which an American sailor heroically rescued a whole village.

An attack saw two petrol tankers destroyed on May 30 1944.

According to a report in the Packet at the time, the petrol tanks split open and caught light, causing a stream of burning fuel to run down towards the village.

Chief bosun's mate Phillip Bishop commandeered a bulldozer and, “defying the intense heat generated by the blazing tanks" built a dam to prevent the blaze from spreading.

He was honoured for his brave actions with the British Empire Medal, as well as the American Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

The fire raged for days before it was finally extinguished by the efforts of firemen and residents.

According to legend the water at Swanpool would, from time to time, shimmer with oil from the damaged tanks for decades after the war.

John Hagley, a 77-year-old Falmouth man, shared his family's recollection of events.

He was a toddler living in Old Hill at the time, but he remembers his brother-in-law telling him the story of how the windows in their house had become red-hot because of the blaze.

John said: "I think they were very brave. They nearly lost a village, if it hadn't been for those brave men."