Abbreviations

AC

Armd

Div

DZ

E/A

IO

LAA

LZ

Nav

OTU

Regt

R/T

Sqdn

U/S

Wef

W/Op

Aircraft

Armoured

Division

Drop Zone

Enemy Aircraft

Intelligence Officer

Light Anti-Aircraft

Landing Zone

Navigator

Officer Training Unit

Regiment

Radio / Telephony

Squadron

Unserviceable

With Effect

Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

 

17th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather:- overcast early morning, improving later in the day.

OPERATION "MARKET" (GLIDER TUG 1st LIFT)  L.Z. "S" ARNHEM AREA.

48 Squadron contributed 23 crews out of the 49 detailed for the first glider tug of this big operation.  The airborne troops arrived at their respective glider approximately 23 minutes fore the time of take off.  The first of 48 Squadron's aircraft took off at 0955 hours, followed by the other 22 aircraft plus Horsas with perfect regularity, the last one left the airfield at 1013 hours.  As crews had instructions to keep below cloud, they were forced down very low due to low cloud when nearing Oxford.  Two gliders were released over the sea when the tug engines cut, Airsea Rescue craft picking the glider crews up almost immediately.  A third cast off when in difficulties landed safely 5 miles west of Abingdon Aerodrome.  A fourth cast off when the tug engines cut - landing safely on the Dutch Island of SCHOUWEN.  19 crews reported successful release over the L.Z. and all aircraft returned to base safely.  Names of the crews taking part appear in Form 541, A.

 

Movement : Flight Lieutenant J.M. Woodcock (J.11505) Nav.B. posted to 147 Squadron.

Promotion : Flying Officer A.J. Williams (J.13313) G.D. promoted to the rank of Temporary Flight Lieutenant w.e.f. 14.8.44.

 

23 Dakotas Mk.III towed 23 Horsas carrying part of the 1st. Airborne Division to L.Z. "S", - west of ARNHEM in HOLLAND.  Clouds were low but appeared to be breaking up for take-off, which took 18 minutes.  3 Dakotas experienced cutting repeatedly, losing considerable height.  One of these had to release his glider at 800 feet over the Channel.  Another was still trying to re-start his engines when the glider cast off, both these glider crews were picked up very quickly by Air Sea Rescue craft.  The third got as far as the Dutch coast when his engines and R/T failed, so he released his glider, which landed safely on the Island of SCHOUWEN.  A fourth lost his glider in thick cloud over England, which landed safely five miles west of ABINGDON Aerodrome.  The remaining Dakotas arrived safely over the L.Z. on time, the Horsas casting off in rapid succession.  All aircraft returned safely to Base, having encountered no enemy air opposition and very little flak.  On the whole a successful operation.  The total load carried to the L.Z. was 292 troops; 2 cars (5 cwts); 17 Jeeps; 22 trailers (10 cwts); 2 hand carts; 18 heavy and 2 folding motor bicycles; 22 bicycles; 1 6 pounder gun.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.452

F/O H.J. JONES

F/O W.J. CHEEK

F/SGT. BROWN, J.K.

F/SGT. MUMFORD, S.

0957

1530

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.671

F/LT/ A.C. BLYTHE

F/O C.G. DAWSON

P/O B.S. EDMONSON

P/O P.C. BARRATT

0957

1525

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.620

W/O PAGE, S.

SGT POTTS, J.

W/O LEE, P.H.

W/O McMICHAEL, R.J.

0958

1535

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.401

F/LT. G. WHITFIELD, DFM

W/O MILLAR, W.R.

F/LT. K.D. GAY

P/O R.W. BUTTON

0958

1536

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.350

P/O W.R. PRING

SGT COLEMAN, H.E.

F/SGT GLEAVE, G.D.

W/O SPRINGSTEELE, J.L.

0957

1527

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.436

F/SGT WEBSTER, S.H.

F/SGT MURRAY, R.

SGT FELL, W.

SGT RUSHTON, J.C.

1000

1530

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.393

S/LDR. P. DRUMMOND AFC

F/SGT JOHNSON, A.G.

P/O H.N. NIVEN

F/SGT SAXTON, S.

1000

1525

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.428

P/O S.J.H. CARTER

SGT McCULLUM, J.

P/O R.F. CARTER

W/O NICHOLSON, R.W.

1001

1541

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.423

CAPT V.B. JURY

F/O D.G. DUMPER

W/O SANDERS

SGT HOBBS, H.G.

1000

1530

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.409

F/O H.M. TIDBURY

F/SGT THOMSON, A.S.

F/O H. LOVELL

SGT HELIWELL, D.S.

1004

1532

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.439

F/O M.R.S. MACKAY

P/O W.C. BAYNES

W/O LEWIS, W.A.

F/SGT OWEN, R.

1004

1526

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.331

W/O D.A. WEBB
F/SGT PLEAR, D.H.R.

P/O R.C. CLARKE

W/O BIRLISON, G.

1005

1537

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.395

F/LT. R.R. KEILLER

F/SGT BIRCH, W.C.

W/O BARRY, R.T.

W/O PARRY, J.I. AFM

1005

1525

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.406

F/LT. P.W. SMITH

F/SGT POWELL, I.

P/O J.L. ROBINSON

W/O GOLTON, J.H.

1005

1535

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.346

CAPT. C.H. CAMPBELL

F/O J.C. GARVEY

F/O J.P. MUDGE

F/SGT WILLIAMS, S.

1012

1532

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.391

F/O A.J. WILLIAMS

F/SGT SMITH, R.F.

P/O J.P. THOMPSON

F/LT. W.B. GORDON

1008

1530

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.317

F/O G. LOADES

F/SGT MAXWELL, W.W.

F/LT. E. PALIN

P/O C.E. DIXON

1011

1528

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.411

W/O FELTON, F.F.

F/SGT MEECHAM, A.W.

F/SGT TOYNE, K.

W/O CHENERY, J.A.

1012

1529

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.414

F/O R.G.J. HULL

W/O O'BRIEN, T.

F/O D. NORTH

W/O PETERSON, L.L.

1012

1529

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.416

S/LDR T.R.N. WHEATLEY-SMITH

P/O J.J. HOLMES

P/O J.R. HEMSWORTH

F/SGT ANDERSON, J.L.

1009

1330

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.610

F/O J. LE HURAY

F/SGT ANDERSON, D.

F/LT. J.M. WOODCOCK

F/SGT SANSUM, J.J.

1003

1055

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.671

F/O A.M. SMITH

SGT AMBLER, J.

F/O J.A. SMITH

F/SGT ROBERTSON, A.D.C.

1005

1337

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.364

F/O G.S. TAYLOR

W/O PERRY, H.A.

F/O C. MOORE

W/O McQUILTON, W.A.

1005

1431

 

18th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather :-Slight fog early, clearing later.

OPERATION "MARKET" Glider Tug 2nd Lift D + 1 L.Z. "S".

LZ "S" was the objective on this 2nd lift.  The same marshalling procedure was used as on the 1st lift of the day previous, but the route was changed slightly:

Position B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

T.R.V.

L.Z

ATTU

BORNEO

CATALINA

GHENT AIRFIELD

DELOS

51 44 00 N   00 54 25 E

51 22 25 N   01 26 55 E

51 16 20 N   03 00 20 E

51 01 25 N   03 41 25 E

51 06 50 N   04 58 37 E

51 38 15 N   05 18 15 E

ARNHEM AREA.

26 Horsa Gliders were towed successfully to the L.Z., one glider had its tow rope severed (probably by flak) and landed safely 5 miles E.N.E. of HERTOGENBOSCH - about 10 miles from the L.Z.  Once again all the aircraft returned safely, not having sighted any enemy aircraft.

 

26 Dakotas and Horsas took off from Base in fairly good weather to transport part of the 1st Airborne Division to L.Z. "S", N.E. of ARNHEM, HOLLAND.  The aircraft made good time to the L.Z., releasing all gliders as briefed, except one, which sustained a severed tow rope at 1441A, position 5143N 0527E, landing safely 5 miles E.N.E. of HERTOGENBOSCH, approximately 10 miles from the L.Z.  A certain amount of light flak was experienced East of HERTOGENBOSCH and round the T.R.V.  The weather was fairly hazy over the Continent with 7/10ths Stratus over Eastern England and the sea.  No enemy aircraft were sighted and all our aircraft returned safely to Base.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.416

S/LDR P.O.M. DUFF-MITCHELL, AFC

W/CDR M. HALLAM, DFC

F/O E.J.B. HOBSBAWN

F/O T. CROWLEY

1100

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.436

F/SGT WEBSTER, S.H.

F/SGT MURRAY, R.

SGT FELL, W.

SGT RUSHTON, J.C.

1100

1703

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.624

F/O L.R. PATTEE

P/O A.C. KENT

W/O FENWICK, T.

F/O F.J. MACINTYRE

1101

1659

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.386

F/O J.P. WARWICK

F/SGT TENNISON, C.

P/O A.W. CARFRAE

P/O R.K. MARTIN

1102

1702

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.408

F/O S.S. FINLAY

P/O W.J. WALSH

F/SGT GRAY, B.L.T.

P/O C.W. PRICE

1103

1654

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.350

P/O W.R. PRING

SGT COLEMAN, H.E.

F/SGT GLEAVE, G.D.

W/O SPRINGSTEELE, J.L.

1102

1702

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.452

F/O E.W. McCREANOR

F/O D.S. HODGE

F/SGT ROBERTS, R.

F/SGT DANIELS, J.

1104

1715

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.397

S/LDR. L.J. HARRIES

P/O J.J. HOLMES
P/O J.R. HEMSWORTH

F/SGT ANDERSON, J.L.

1104

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.414

F/O R.G.J. HULL

W/O O'BRIEN, T.

F/O D. NORTH

W/O PETERSON, L.L.

1106

1649

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.406

F/LT. R.R. KEILLER

F/SGT BIRCH, W.C.

W/O BARRY, R.T.

W/O PARRY, J.I. AFM

1106

1650

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.337

W/O McLAUGHLIN, S.

P/O L.T. BENTLEY

F/O E.S. CLARK

P/O S. MELIDONES

1107

1656

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.317

CAPT. C.H. CAMPBELL

F/O J.C. GARVEY

F/O J.P. MUDGE

F/SGT WILLIAMS, S.

1107

1651

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.364

F/O G.S. TAYLOR

W/O PERRY, H.A.

F/O C. MOORE

W/O McQUILTON, W.A.

1108

1655

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.587

F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD
SGT LESLIE, E.L.

F/SGT MEWIS, J.H.

P/O A.F. SPENCER

1108

1645

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.409

F/O H.M. TIDBURY

F/SGT A.S. THOMSON

F/O H. LOVELL

SGT HELIWELL, D.S.

1109

1658

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.423

F/LT. W.F. STONE

F/SGT CLARKE, J.P.

P/O J.D. HARRISON

P/O R.F.J. HINDE

1100

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.610

F/O J. LE HURAY

F/SGT ANDERSON, D.

F/LT. WOODCOCK, J.M.

F/SGT SANSUM, J.J.

1110

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.417

F/O J.G. WILLS

P/O J.E. ERICKSON

W/O HARDY, D.G.

F/SGT BLACK, D.S.

1110

1715

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.439

P/O V.B. CHRISTIE

F/SGT FULLER, F.E.

P/O F.C.S. DODSON

W/O FULMORE, P.A.

1110

1643

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.331

W/O WEBB. D.A.
F/SGT PLEAR, D.H.R.

P/O R.C. CLARKE

W/O BIRLISON, G.

1112

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.391

F/O A.J. WILLIAMS

F/SGT SMITH, R.F.

P/O J.P. THOMPSON

F/LT. W.B. GORDON

1112

1706

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.395

F/LT. P.W. SMITH

F/SGT POWELL, I.

P/O J.L. ROBINSON

W/O GOLTON, J.H.

1130

1708

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.404

F/O H.J. JONES

F/O W.J. CHEEK

F/SGT. BROWN, J.K.

F/SGT. MUMFORD, S.

1131

1724

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.428

P/O S.J.H. CARTER

SGT McCULLUM, J.

P/O R.F. CARTER

W/O NICHOLSON, R.W.

1134

1700

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.620

F/LT. G. WHITFIELD, DFM

W/O MILLAR, W.R.

F/LT. K.D. GAY

P/O R.W. BUTTON

1136

1654

 

19th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather :- Cloudy, becoming fine.

OPERATION "MARKET" (Re-supply D + 2)

One of the prematurely released gliders on D-day was successfully towed to LZ. "S", the aircraft piloted by F/Lt. G. Whitfield, D.F.M., returned safely to base after experiencing a little flak N. of the L.Z.  16 aircraft were detailed to take part in a re-supply drop on D.Z. "V" at Arnhem.  By the time our aircraft arrived at the D.Z. the enemy were partly in control there, so the mission was not the success it was hoped to be.  Apparently the airborne forces tried to get a message through to postpone this re-supply mission, but the attempt failed.  Fighter escort was lacking due to bad weather, and flak was intense, several aircraft being damaged.  Two aircraft did not return, P/O V.B. Christies' and F/O. L.R. Pattee, the latter crash-landed N.W. of Kassel after being hit by flak repeatedly, the crew and 3 despatchers were safe, but one despatcher died of his injuries.  The crew and despatchers were brought back to base in a Blakehill Farm aircraft.  12 crews were detailed to convey petrol to B.58.  On arrival these crews found 10/10 cloud with base at 100 feet.  F/O Macreanor managed to land safely, but the remaining 11 aircraft had to return to base with their loads.

 

Movement : F/O G.L. Connelly (J.23598) posted to this Unit from No.107 O.T.U.

 

16 aircraft were detailed to take part in a daylight re-supply mission to D.Z. "V" at ARNHEM in HOLLAND.  Panniers were dropped on the D.Z. to the 1st. Airborne Division.  The aircraft were routed to arrive over the D.Z. from the south - over our lines - fighter escort was almost nil, due to bad weather, and flak was intense, many of the aircraft being damaged.  2 crews did not return, (P/O V.B. CHRISTIE's and F/O L.R. PATTEE's), the latter was brought back to base, together with crew and 3 despatchers on the 20th. September by a BLAKEHILL FARM aircraft, after having to crash-land the day previously N.W. of KESSEL after being hit repeatedly by flak on leaving the D.Z.  One of the 4 despatchers was killed.  This was not a very pleasant trip for the crews, who obviously preferred the Northern route.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.401

F/O L.R. PATTEE

P/O A.C. KENT

W/O FENWICK, T.

F/O F.J. MACINTYRE

1235

1610 Crashed.

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.331

W/O WEBB. D.A.
F/SGT PLEAR, D.H.R.

P/O R.C. CLARKE

W/O BIRLISON, G.

1237

1755

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.395

S/LDR T.R.N. WHEATLEY-SMITH

P/O J.J. HOLMES

P/O J.R. HEMSWORTH

F/SGT ANDERSON, J.L.

1235

1745

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.391

F/O A.J. WILLIAMS

F/SGT SMITH, R.F.

P/O J.P. THOMPSON

F/LT. W.B. GORDON

1239

1756

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.393

F/O M.R.S. MACKAY

P/O W.C. BAYNES

W/O LEWIS, W.A.

F/SGT OWEN, R.

1235

1810

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.338

F/LT. N. IOSSON

SGT PRITCHARD, W.

SGT ROSE, H.W.

F/O G.J. CONNELLY

1236

1803

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.579

CAPT V.B. JURY

F/O D.G. DUMPER

W/O SANDERS, D.W.

SGT HOBBS, H.G.

1235

1750

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.321

F/O R.A. KENNY

F/SGT EVANS, L.

W/O ENGLISH, R.E.

P/O A.H. MACALONEY

1235

1747

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.364

P/O P.D. WARING

SGT HESSEY, B.

SGT FRANKS, R.E.

W/O OLIVER, R.

1234

1805

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.370

F/LT/ A.C. BLYTHE

F/O C.G. DAWSON

P/O B.S. EDMONSON

P/O P.C. BARRATT

1235

1746

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.393

S/LDR. P. DRUMMOND

F/SGT JOHNSON, A.G.

P/O H.N. NIVEN

F/SGT SAXTON, S.

1235

1755

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.397

S/LDR. L.J. HARRIES

F/SGT ANDERSON, D.

F/LT. B. COBCROFT

F/O G.E. McKEILL

1238

1800

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.408

F/O S.S. FINLAY

P/O W.J. WALSH

F/SGT GRAY, B.L.T.

P/O C.W. PRICE

1238

1745

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.671

F/O A.M. SMITH

SGT AMBLER, J.

F/O J.A. SMITH

F/SGT ROBERTSON, A.D.C.

1235

1747

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.397

W/O McLAUGHLIN, S.

P/O L.T. BENTLEY

F/O E.S. CLARK

P/O S. MELIDONES

1239

1800

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.428

P/O V.B. CHRISTIE

F/SGT FULLER, F.E.

P/O F.C.S. DODSON

W/O FULMORE, P.A.

1237

Missing.  This aircraft failed to return from operations.

 

One crew detailed to take Horsa to D.Z. "S", this Horsa was left over from the previous day as load was not available.  The glider landed safely while under control, and aircraft returned after sustaining very minor damage from small arms fire and light flak.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.416

F/LT. G. WHITFIELD, DFM

W/O MILLAR, W.R.

F/LT. K.D. GAY

P/O R.W. BUTTON

1142

1759

 

12 crews proceeded to B.58 with petrol but found very poor weather conditions over the airfield (10/10 cloud with base 100 feet).  F/O MCCREANOR managed to land his aircraft but the remaining 11 crews returned with the load to base.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.346

CAPT. C.H. CAMPBELL

F/O J.C. GARVEY

F/O J.P. MUDGE

F/S ANDERSON, J.L.

1004

1400

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.411

W/O FELTON, F.F.

F/S MEECHAM, A.W.

F/S TOYNE, K.

W/O CHENERY, J.A.

1001

1336

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.563

F/O McCREANOR, E.W.

F/O D.S. HODGE

F/S ROBERTS, R.

F/S DANIELS, J.

1003

1740

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.620

F/S WEBSTER, S.H.

F/S MURRAY, R.

SGT FELL, W.

SGT RUSTON, J.C.

0959

1403

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.452

F/O H.J. JONES

F/O W.J. CHEEK

F/S. BROWN, J.K.

F/S. MUMFORD, S.

1001

1408

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.417

F/O J.G. WILLS

P/O J.W. ERICKSON

W/O HARDY, D.G.

F/S BLACK, D.S.

0955

1359

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.623

F/LT. W.F. STONE

F/S CLARKE, J.P.

P/O J.D. HARRISON

P/O R.F.J. HINDE

0958

1400

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.587

F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD, AFC
SGT LESLIE, E.L.

F/S MEWIS, J.H.

P/O A.F. SPENCER

0948

1403

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.610

F/O J. LE HURAY

F/S ANDERSON, D.

F/LT. J.M. WOODCOCK

F/SGT SANSUM, J.J.

1000

1410

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.317

F/O G. LOADES

F/S MAXWELL, W.W.

F/LT. E. PALIN

P/O C.E. DIXON

1008

1414

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.350

P/O W.R. PRING

SGT COLMAN, H.E.

F/S GLEAVE, G.D.

W/O SPRINGSTEELE, J.L.

1005

1440

 

20th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather : Cloudy and hazy.

OPERATION "MARKET" (RE-SUPPLY D + 3)

16 crews were detailed to take 256 panniers to DZ. "V" at ARNHEM.  A considerable amount of accurate machine gun fire and light and heavy flak were experienced but in spite of the enemy opposition the operation was considered to be successful.  One aircraft piloted by F/O Makay sustained flak hits on the starboard engine which cut.  However, the pilot regained control and safely made base on one engine, the remaining 15 aircraft also returned safely.  As the weather had improved, fighter escort was greatly improved.

 

Commissioning : W/O R.M. Martin G(S) appointed to commissioned rank in the G.D. branch w.e.f. 25.4.44.

Promotion : P/O V.C. Smith (J.85112) G(S) promoted to the rank of Temporary Flying Officer w.e.f. 6.7.44.

 

16 aircraft transported 256 panniers to DZ "V" for the 1st Airborne Division at ARNHEM, HOLLAND.  Considerable accurate machine gun fire and light medium and heavy flak was encountered but the mission was considered successful.  One aircraft piloted by F/O. MACKAY had its starboard engine cut due to flak but pilot maintained control and returned safely to base on one engine - the remaining 15 aircraft also returned safely.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.423

F/O M.R.S. MACKAY

P/O W.C. BAYNES

W/O LEWIS, W.A.

F/SGT OWEN, R.

1415

2016

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.587

F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD, AFC
SGT LESLIE, E.L.

F/S MEWIS, J.H.

P/O A.F. SPENCER

1416

1940

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.324

W/O PAGE, S.

SGT POTTS, J.

W/O LEE, P.H.

W/O McMICHAEL, R.J.

1415

1930

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.406

F/LT. P.W. SMITH

F/SGT POWELL, I.

P/O J.L. ROBINSON

W/O GOLTON, J.H.

1412

1952

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.620

F/O H.J. JONES

F/O J. CHEEK

F/S. BROWN, J.K.

F/S. MUMFORD, S.

1414

1938

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.386

F/O J.P. WARWICK

F/S TENNISON, C.

P/O A.W. CARFRAE

P/O R.K. MARTIN

1414

1939

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.350

P/O W.R. PRING

SGT COLMAN, H.E.

F/S GLEAVE, G.D.

W/O SPRINGSTEELE, J.L.

1414

1927

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.411

F/O R.G.J. HULL

W/O O'BRIEN, T.

F/O D. NORTH

W/O PETERSON, L.L.

1412

1918

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.317

F/O G. LOADES

F/S MAXWELL, W.W.

F/LT. E. PALIN

P/O C.E. DIXON

1413

1925

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.391

W/O FELTON, F.F.

F/S MEECHAM, A.W.

F/S TOYNE, K.

W/O CHENERY, J.A.

1413

1923

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.417

F/O J.G. WILLS

P/O J.W. ERICKSON

W/O HARDY, D.G.

F/S BLACK, D.S.

1416

1915

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.346

CAPT. C.H. CAMPBELL

F/O J.C. GARVEY

F/O J.P. MUDGE

F/S ANDERSON, J.L.

1413

1918

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.579

CAPT V.B. JURY

F/O D.G. DUMPER

W/O SANDERS, D.W.

SGT HOBBS, H.G.

1416

1930

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.337

F/LT. N. IOSSON

SGT PRITCHARD, W.

SGT ROSE, H.W.

F/O G.J. CONNELLY

1415

1932

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.563

P/O P.D. WARING

SGT B. HESSEY

SGT FRANKS, R.E.

W/O OLIVER, R.

1413

1934

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.416

F/O A.M. SMITH

SGT AMBLER, J.

F/O J.A. SMITH

F/S ROBERTSON, A.D.C.

1417

1921

 

21st September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather :

OPERATION "MARKET" (RE-SUPPLY D + 4)

13 aircraft were detailed to carry 208 panniers to DZ. "V" at ARNHEM for the 1st Airborne Division.  This was a successful drop, but several crews and aircraft were lost due to the presence of enemy F.W. 190's and heavy flak and tracer at HERTOGENBOSCH, BOXTEL, KEELSAN, and from near to the D.Z.  1 Dakota was reported to have had the port wing torn off by a pannier dropped from an aircraft overhead.  One aircraft piloted by S/Ldr. Duff-Mitchell crash landed safely at B.56 after flak had severed the oil and fuel pipes.  5 aircraft were lost, F/O Finlay, W/O Webb, F/S. Webster, Capt. Campbell and F/O Wills; some of these crews have since returned to base and reports were made by the following captains - F/Sgt. Webster (also reported by Sgt. Rushton W/Op.), F/O Finlay, F/O Pattee, P/O Clarke - Navigator of W/O Webb's crew, F/O Warwick.  Photographs of crashed Dakota KG.401 (F/O Pattee and crew) - see Appendix 19, 20, 21, 22, 25 and 26.  2 aircraft carried out schedule trips R.F.4. and 5 carrying R.A.F. Freight to B.56.  One aircraft returned empty to base, the other stayed at NORTHOLT overnight.

 

13 aircraft were detailed to transport 208 panniers to DZ "V" at ARNHEM, HOLLAND, for the 1st Airborne Division.  Very heavy flak and tracer was met over and near to the DZ, also at HERTOGENBOSCH, BOXTEL and KEELSAN, and FW190s attacked several aircraft after the panniers had been safely released.  One aircraft crashed landed (S/L. Duff-Mitchell) at B56, after flak had severed the oil and fuel pipes, - crew and despatchers have since arrived safely at Base.  Three crew were shot down (F/O. Finlay, W/O. Webb and F/S. Webster) after dropping their panniers, fighter cover was very scarce and very late, there were some casualties and wounded.  Two aircraft are missing.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.404

F/O S.S. FINLAY

P/O W.J. WALSH

F/S GRAY, R.L.T.

P/O C.W. RICE

1315

Crashed 1630

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.579

W/O D.A. WEBB
F/S PLEAR, D.H.R.

P/O CLARKE, R.C.

W/O BIRLISON, G.

1315

Crashed 1525

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.624

F/O McCREANOR, E.W.

F/O D.S. HODGE

F/S ROBERTS, R.

F/S DANIELS, J.

1315

1835

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.587

F/L W.F. STONE

F/S CLARKE, J.P.

P/O J.D. HARRISON

P/O R.F.J. HINDE

1314

1843

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.411

S/L. L.J. HARRIES

P/O J.J. HOLMES

P/O J.R. HEMSWORTH

P/O S. MELIDONES

1315

1840

Dakota.Mk.III

?

F/O J.P. WARWICK

F/S TENNISON, C.

P/O A.W. CARFRAE

P/O R.K. MARTIN

1313

1936

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.350

S/LDR P.O.M. DUFF-MITCHELL, AFC

W/C M. HALLAM, DFC

P/O B.S. EDMONSON

F/O T. CROWLEY

1310

Crashed 1715

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.406

F/LT. R.R. KEILLER

F/S BIRCH, W.C.

W/O BARRY, R.T.

W/O PARRY, J.I.

1315

1830

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.393

S/LDR. P. DRUMMOND

F/S JOHNSON, A.G.

P/O H.N. NIVEN

F/S SAXTON, S.

1315

1840

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.620

F/S WEBSTER, S.H.

F/S MURRAY, R.

SGT FELL, W.

SGT RUSTON, J.C.

1315

Crashed

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.346

CAPT. C.H. CAMPBELL

F/O J.C. GARVEY

F/O J.P. MUDGE

F/S ANDERSON, J.L.

1316

Missing

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.417

F/O J.G. WILLS

P/O J.W. ERICKSON

W/O HARDY, D.G.

F/S BLACK, D.S.

1314

Missing

 

22nd September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather : Cloudy with haze.

There was a stand down for the Squadron from Operation "MARKET".  4 aircraft on schedule trips AF1, 2, 3, and 4 carried medical and tank spares to B.56.  2 aircraft returned with casualties and one R.A.F. passenger at Blakehill Farm.  1 aircraft returned with casualties and 8 R.A.F. passengers to Broadwell.  The remaining aircraft brought back F/O Finlay and crew to base.

 

23rd September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather : Cloudy.

OPERATION "MARKET" (Re-Supply D + 6)

13 crews were detailed to carry 91 panniers and 69 medical bundles to DZ. "V".  There was 5/10 cloud over the continent and aircraft captains reported a successful drop on the D.Z. except for one which was dropped 5 to 6 miles short of the D.Z. due to a misunderstanding on the part of the despatchers.  All the crews were extremely glad to see a good fighter escort.  One aircraft, P/O Pring & crew, was lost, and another, piloted by W/O McLaughlin, was badly damaged, but a successful forced landing was made at Eindhoven and the crew has since returned.  The remaining aircraft returned safely to base.  For reports by W/O McLaughlin and W/O Felton see Appendicies 23 and 24.

 

13 aircraft were detailed to transport panniers and Medical bundles to DZ "V" on a daylight mission.  The weather was fairly good and all Captains of aircraft report that panniers and bundles were dropped on the DZ, except one, which was due to a misunderstanding on the part of the despatchers.  Light and medium flak was encountered N of the DZ, N.E. of EDEN, N of EINDHOVEN, and in the vicinity of VEGHEL.  All crews were very glad and cheered to see good fighter cover.  One aircraft (W/O. McLAUGHLIN - Pilot) was hit by flak but managed to land safely at EINDHOVEN, another aircraft (P/O. PRING - Pilot) is still missing.  One Wireless Operator reported seeing a FW.190 chasing a Dakota at tree-top level near to the DZ; but did not see Dakota crash.

Aircraft Type & Number

Crew

Time Up

Time Down

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.391

W/O FELTON, F.F.

F/S MEECHAM, A.W.

F/S TOYNE, K.

W/O CHENERY, J.A.

1344

1720

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.321

W/O McLAUGHLIN, S.

P/O L.T. BENTLEY

F/O E.S. CLARK

P/O S. MELIDONES

1358

Eindhoven 1632

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.317

F/L R.R. KEILLER

F/S BIRCH, W.C.

W/O BARRY, R.T.

W/O PARRY, J.I.

1357

1843

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.406

F/O R.G.J. HULL

W/O O'BRIEN, T.

F/O D. NORTH

W/O PETERSON, L.L.

1339

1858

Dakota.Mk.III

FZ.624

F/L G. WHITFIELD

W/O MILLAR, W.R.

F/L K.D. GAY

P/O R.W. BUTTON

1359

1844

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.563

F/L N.J. STEER

F/O J. BENNETT

P/O D.W. McGREAGOR

F/L R.H. BARKER

1403

1900

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.416

W/O PAGE, S.

SGT POTTS, J.

W/O LEE, P.H.

W/O McMICHAEL, R.J.

1420

1905

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.414

F/O A.J. WILLIAMS

F/S SMITH, R.F.

P/O J.P. THOMPSON

F/LT. W.B. GORDON

1346

1855

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.337

S/L. L.J. HARRIES

P/O J.J. HOLMES

P/O J.R. HEMSWORTH

P/O P.C. BARRATT

1336

1855

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.364

F/L W.F. STONE

F/S J.P. CLARKE

P/O J.D. HARRISON

P/O R.F.J. HINDE

1345

1850

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.393

F/O M.R.S. MACKAY

P/O W.C. BAYNES

W/O LEWIS, W.A.

F/SGT OWEN, R.

1343

1850

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.587

F/LT. H.J.G. ALFORD, AFC
SGT LESLIE, E.L.

F/S MEWIS, J.H.

P/O A.F. SPENCER

1419

1855

Dakota.Mk.III

KG.370

P/O W.R. PRING

SGT COLMAN, H.E.

F/S GLEAVE, G.D.

W/O SPRINGSTEELE, J.L.

1341

Missing

 

24th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather : Fair but cloudy.

8 aircraft were detailed for a further re-supply mission to Arnhem but the operation was cancelled.

 

25th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather : Dull.

10 crews were detailed on schedule trips to convey Panniers, medical supplies and tyres to B.56.  7 aircraft returned empty, the remaining 3 aircraft returned with casualties and enemy ammunition.

 

 

Appendix

STATEMENT REGARDING THE ABANDONING OF A/C FZ620 AND SUBSEQUENT RETURN TO BASE BY F/SGT. WEBSTER. 1434271.

 

25.9.44

        At approx. 1.15 hrs on the 21st September we were approaching the D.Z. and were preparing to drop our load of panniers from 1000'.  The flak at this time was pretty heavy and I saw two Dakotas in front hit and crash.  After half our panniers had been despatched we were hit by flak aft of the cabin.  We carried on and after dropping all of the panniers I did a sharp turn left, opened my throttles and started to climb.  Very soon afterwards our port wing was hit and a huge hole torn near the trailing edge and several small holes appeared in both wings.  The aircraft banked sharply to the right to an angle of 45 and I found it impossible to straighten out.  Almost at the same time the cabin began to fill with smoke and flames began to appear aft of the cabin.  Seeing that the situation was hopeless I gave the order to bale out and opened up the engines to their maximum boost and trimmed back.  By this time the aircraft was at 1200' - 1500' and was still in the down wing position.  I left my seat, unclipped my flak suit grabbed my pack and made my way to the rear.  By this time the flames were licking up the sides of the fuselage and the aircraft was full of smoke.  When I reached the rear door four had already gone, and the others, including myself, followed in quick succession.  After jumping the slipstream caught me and I commenced to turn somersaults, I pulled what I thought was the ripcord but after falling for some considerable distance with no results I realised that I was pulling the cloth handle instead.  When I did pull the ripcord the 'chute opened instantly and I experienced a terrific jerk.  This was at a very low height and although I was last to leave the aircraft I was first to land.  I descended into the Rhine near the Northern bank and after discarding my parachute and inflating my Mae West struck out for the Southern Bank where I could see several civilians waving and shouting.  The current was very strong and I had difficulty in reaching the bank.  However, after several rests I managed it and was pulled out by a youth whom I found later belonged to the Underground Movement.  I then saw Cpl. Conquest and we were both taken to a house and I was given a change of underclothing and a shirt, shoes and socks, and we were both given hot drinks and sandwiches.  About half an hour later I was warned that the Germans were in the vicinity searching, and peering out of the window I saw seven of them go by on bicycles.  These, I was told, were S.S. troops and were looking for our party.  Luckily they did not carry out a house to house search.  After dusk, Cpl Conquest and myself were taken to a nearby barn where we met the W/Op, Navigator, and the other three members of the despatching crew.

 

The rest of the Statement is of the experience of myself and the W/Op. from the time of meeting in the barn to our safe arrival in U.K.

        We spent the night in the barn and owing to incessant fire from big guns and machine guns had very little sleep.  These big guns seemed to be firing over our heads to somewhere North of the Rhine.

        At 0400 hrs. the following morning a Dutch youth brought us breakfast consisting of hot milk and pancakes and later this was followed by baskets of apples, pears and plums.

        Later, at about 0800 hrs. we were informed that an English armed car had arrived and we were guided to it.  The Lieutenant in charge told us to go to a farmhouse on the road to Valborg where we would meet 10 other aircrew, and all of us were to wait there for the arrival of the tanks, which the Lieutenant said would be along shortly.  We met the ten others who turned out to be seven aircrew, two despatchers and one War Correspondent, and after a wash, shave, and a meal, we decided to walk along the road to Valborg which was reported to be in British hands.  After walking for a mile along the road we were overtaken and passed by a civilian riding a bicycle.  This bloke seemed queer for he passed us in silence while all other Dutch people met waved, cheered, and clamoured for souvenirs.  We were stopped from going further by other Dutch people who said that this 'Quisling' had gone to warn the Germans.  The same people said that 2,400 Tommies were in Driel and so we set off for Driel, but when within sight of the town a sniper opened up at us and a bullet whistled by unpleasantly close.  We all took cover in an undulation in the centre of the field while a Dutchman went to find out the situation at the town.  After waiting for an hour in vain for his return we decided to retrace our steps and went into hiding in some woods near the road to Valborg.  Here we were served tea by a farmer's wife, the meal consisting of eggs, sandwiches, pears, apples, plums, grapes, and tea, and later on, when it was dark we walked in single file to the farmers house where we were served with a hot meal.  We spent the night in the pouring rain in the woods.  Once again there was heavy gunfire from all directions, some of it unpleasantly close and the rumble of tanks could plainly be heard.

        On the following day a Stirling pilot put on overalls over his uniform and wearing a trilby hat he went scouting along the road to Valborg, returning later to tell us that the Second British Army was in possession of the town.  And so at approx. 1200 hrs we set off, still with our Dutch guides, for Valborg and half way along we met the British moving to take Elst.  When we had arrived at the town we were served with tea and sandwiches by some Army blokes and were feeling pretty safe when the camp came under shell fire.  One shell landed very close and some nearby Tommies were killed and wounded.  We decided to leave Valborg at once and caught an Army truck to Nijmegen.  On the way we were sniped at but no one in our party was hit.  We were taken to 30 Army Corps where we spent the night.  These people made us very welcome and we were given ample champagne and rum to make up for the shortage of blankets.

        At 0945 the next morning our party was taken by truck to Driest, this trip proved uneventful and from Driest we caught another truck to Brussels, arriving at 1900 hours.  We reported to the R.A.F. police who told us to call again on the next morning.  This we did and were instructed to go to B56.  After seeing the I.O. there we were flown back to Down Ampney by F/O Smith and crew, arriving at 1435 hours.

        We would like to add that all Dutch people met, barring the lone 'Quisling' were really marvellous to us, and but for the youths and men of the surrounding countryside our task of reaching the British lines would have been very difficult, if not impossible.

        Also, we would like to add that our R.A.F. uniforms were often confused with German ones and this caused considerable embarrassment to us all.

 

 

Appendix

STATEMENT OF ABANDONING AIRCRAFT FZ620 OVER D.Z. ON 21.9.44. AND ESCAPE TO BRITISH FORCES BY 1337246 SGT. RUSHTON.

 

        After all the panniers had been dropped I received the order to bale out from the aircraft Captain, F/Sgt. Webster.  I jettisoned my flak suit and put my para-pack in position, noting which side the ripcord was and proceeded to the door where the despatchers stood adjusting their 'chutes.  We went out in good order and there was no panic, I remember turning over once, before the canopy filled and there was no unpleasant jerk.  At first I thought I would never get down and could feel myself being blown to the North of the river so I dragged on the harness to quicken the fall and out down the drift.  The last 100 feet were soon over and I touched down beside a hedge surrounding a farm.  I released myself and pulled the chute in and hid it, with my Mae West, under the hedge.  On looking round I saw a lady waving to me and ran towards her, she greeted my very warmly and showed me where two of the despatchers were.  I ran over to them and found them unhurt.  Our party soon grew owing to the farm people running over.  They collected all our 'chutes etc., and hid them.  Then two fellows came along on cycles who spoke English; they told us that the German S.S. troops were around and took us to the farm explaining the military situation en route.  At the farm we had a quick drink of milk and were then taken to a barn in an orchard to hide.  In the barn we discussed our chances of escaped aided by the map in my purse.  The Dutch people said they would try to get us away that night but were not sure owing to there being so many Germans about, so we decided to hide and await darkness.  About this time a farm worker ran over saying that the Germans were searching for us about 120 metres away so we hid in the barn.  After an hour (approx) we got the 'all clear' from the farmer who said that the 'Underground' people were bringing some of our crew over to the barn, and that we would have to stay in the barn until the British troops arrived.  Then a girl brought some excellent sandwiches and plenty of hot milk for us; she also spoke good English.  After they'd gone we kept very quiet and kept a careful watch for enemy troops.  A few minutes after darkness had fallen the chief man of the Dutch patriots came along bringing F/Sgt. Fell, our navigator, and another of the despatchers plus a big bottle of milk.  We talked very quietly over getting away and decided to leave ourselves in the hands of our Dutch friends who obviously knew what they were doing, and had the 'guts' to do it.  After a short wait the patriots brought F/Sgt. Webster and the remaining despatcher.

        From here my story is the same as F/Sgt. Webster's who is also making a statement.

 

 

Appendix

REPORT ON RE-SUPPLY MISSION (D+4) OPERATION 'MARKET'.  21st SEPTEMBER, 1944.

F/O FINLAY - A/CKG.404.

 

        The panniers were dropped at 16.10 on 21st September, from a height of 800 ft.  Over the DZ a certain amount of flak was seen bursting at 4000 ft. but the aircraft was untouched.  Aircraft had turned and was on homeward track at 4000 ft when the first enemy fighters were seen North of Eindhoven.  This was at approx. 1615 and despatchers had already warned pilot that 2 Dakotas had been shot down by fighters.  F/Sgt. Gray, Navigator, went into the Astro-dome and saw up to 6 fighters following about 5000 yds. behind the Dakota.  This information was passed to the pilot who immediately dived for cloud cover.  P/O Rice, W/Op. then took over in the Astro-dome and saw three Dakotas, each with an engine on fire, with about 8 fighters milling round them.  One Dakota was losing height but all seemed to be under control.  Two fighters broke away obviously to attack the Dakota KG.404 which was then 4-5000 yds ahead and two thousand feet below fighters.  One fighter dived away and disappeared from view, whilst the second turned to make an attack from the fine port quarter and began to close in.  Meanwhile the pilot of the Dakota was taking evasive action according to directions passed from Astro-dome when hits were registered on the lower starboard side of the fuselage, presumably by another enemy aircraft which remained unseen.  The starboard auxiliary tank caught fire as a result, and starboard wing and whole fuselage aft of cockpit were alight.  The starboard motor was put out of action and the aircraft dived further down through cloud and at 2000 ft the port motor showed signs of failing also.  Pilot sent back instructions that despatchers should jump, but they had already gone (it subsequently transpired that the heat of the fire had become too much for them).  All attempts to quell the fire were abortive.  Pilot then notified crew of impending crash landing and crew went to crash stations.  Navigator, F/Sgt. Gray went behind the bulkhead at rear of Navigators compartment and W/Op. P/O Rice braced himself against armour plating to rear of Pilots seat.  First and second Pilots remained on their seats.  A/C was set to land in a field but within 500 yds. just as vision cleared in cabin, a fair sized tree was seen to be right on track of aircraft.  Lateral and horizontal control by this time was almost nil and evasive action could not be taken and aircraft hit tree about 20 ft from ground in the foliage and top branches.  Nose of aircraft caved in, windscreen shattered and one large branch pierced cockpit forcing 1st pilots rudder pedals back to seat, spraining both ankles of pilot very severely.  Aircraft hit ground on more or less level keel - came to rest in turnip field in 200 yds from tree at right angles to track starboard wing, port elevator all the fuselage and rudder were alight.  Pilot and W/Op escaped through upper emergency hatch, 2nd pilot and Navigator dashed through flames to rear door as they didn't know then that all the despatchers had already jumped out.  2nd pilot P/O Walsh entered kite again and shouted for despatchers but intense heat drove him out immediately.

        Crew were picked up by 58 L.A.A. Regt. of 11th Armoured Division (Capt. L.S. Smith) and were treated for injuries sustained, and given good hospitality.  They were then handed to 7th British Field Dressing Station who had also picked up the four despatchers one of whom (Cpl. Matthews) had been wounded and was treated as an air evacuation casualty.  Rear Brigade HQ. of 11th Armd. Div. transport survivors 22nd September, to B56 whence they were flown to Down Ampney by S/L. Wheatly-Smith of 48 Squadron.

 

 

Appendix

REPORT FROM F/O PATTEE, 48 SQUADRON, ON EXPERIENCE ON 19TH SEPTEMBER, WHILST ON OPERATION 'MARKET' - D+2.

 

        On September 19th, 1944, at 12.35 we took off in Dakota aircraft "AP" KG.401, in formation from Down Ampney.

        Bad visibility and deteriorating weather reached its worst in thick cloud over the English Channel and Belgian Coast.  We lost sight of our formation about 25 miles before reaching the Belgian Coast and shortly afterwards were forced off course to make way for two Stirlings with gliders.  We went underneath the cloud and then climbed through it to 4000 ft. north of Ghent.

        There were many aircraft above cloud but all formations seemed to have broken up.  We investigated three possible pairs but they were not part of our formation.

        After crossing the enemy lines all aircraft were forced to weave and deviate from course by enemy flak.  Nearly all aircraft were now at 5000 ft.

        In the final approach to DZ. "V" - on course of 056 nearly all aircraft turned off to starboard to avoid flak and then completed an "S" turn back to 056 about 5 miles before the DZ.

        Visibility was poor and as the DZ was extremely small and surrounded by woods it was not seen until we were on top of it.  As our height 2000 ft. we could not drop.  Two aircraft on my starboard did drop.  While turning about some ineffective small arms fire was encountered.

        We rejoined the stream of aircraft and approached the DZ at 1200 ft ASL and dropped at 15.35.

        As we pulled away quickly to the left we came under intensive enemy fire.  The tail unit was hit and the rudder seemed to be jammed.  The port aileron was crumpled in about 6 feet from the end.  The port engine was hit and the starboard auxiliary tank pierced and drained away except for about 35 gallons.  All gyro instruments were unserviceable.  Pitch controls, rudder and aileron trim and port engine boost gauge were broken.  The fuselage was raked by machine gun fire, and it was at this time that our despatcher Driver Davis was mortally wounded.

        To get out of this fire I dived the aircraft down and to the left levelling out with the help of the second pilot P/O A.C. Kent, at 800 ft.  We then found it very difficult to pilot the aircraft for it required both our pressures on the starboard rudder and the aileron control was held in a vertical instead of horizontal position.  Our speed was between 95 and 100 mph. and we tried to climb on the elevator trim.  It took a long while before we could turn starboard on to a course of 225, and we were hit again before we got on to it.

        At this time the Wireless Operator, F/O F.J. McIntyre, was at the rear rendering first aid to the wounded despatcher, which was very fortunate for three bullets went through his seat.

        We tried to climb as quickly as possible but could not get any more speed out of the aircraft.  I tried throttling back the port engine and discovered that it was still pulling some of its own weight so I opened the throttle again.

        We managed to get to 1500 ft. but very soon afterwards we were again caught in their fire and it was necessary to ease off on the controls and dive down to the left.  They shot a fair hole in the port wing near the roundel and got several hits on the under part of the fuselage.  In this pounding the Observer W/O T. Fenwick was saved by his Flak Suit which stopped several bullets through the seat.

        We levelled off at about 700 ft to be met by another salvo from in front of us.  This time we were able to see the enemy gunners quite plainly.  They hit us in several places on the bottom of the fuselage, hit the cross feed valve and took a good piece out of the starboard leading edge.  I think that it was just by luck that we were able to stagger away from them at such close range.

        The aircraft was shuddering a little but we tried to get some height again.  We were not bothered for several minutes and got to about 1700 ft. when we were caught again in comparatively light flak which hit the aircraft in several places with no noticeable change to control.  This did not last long and very little height was lost, but radio equipment was riddled.  We kept climbing and reached about 3000 ft. where we got a severe pounding.  At this point their flak seemed of a heavier calibre.  From a foot to a foot and a half behind the starboard engine nacelle where it goes into the wing was ripped open about 5 feet in length and left flapping over the trailing edge, and fire started here at about 15.50 hrs.  The leading edge of the fin was hit near the top wiping off the radio aerials and a hole put in the starboard wing.

        When I dived it down to the left again they stopped firing and we pulled out at about 1300 feet and used the additional speed to make distance between us.

        I went back and looked at the fire and decided that we could stay airborne a while longer and possibly get over the lines.  I could not close the starboard engine and stay airborne so I applied the starboard engine fire extinguisher without throttling back.  This seemed to do a little good but the fire did not go out.

        F/O P.J. McIntyre was attending to the wounded despatcher, he and W/O Fenwick kept me informed of the progress of the fire.  W/O Fenwick was also occupied with the navigation on pin pointing.

        It was not long until we were in it again at about 1100 ft.  Then explosive shells hit the bottom of the fuselage in the cockpit area and put smoke in the cockpit.  The fire increased in intensity and was burning hard inboard of the engine.  The intercommunication was gone and electrical circuits broken.  The starboard emergency exit was blown off.  F/O McIntyre tried a fire extinguisher on the fire but it was impossible to direct it on the flames.

        I went back and looked at the fire again for I feared an explosion, but I planned to risk it and get to Allied territory.  W/O Fenwick informed me that we still had 12 miles to go to the Albert Canal, and I knew of two more possible flak areas for we had been fired on the way in.  However we imagined there would be flak all along the Albert Canal so we kept on our course.

        The fires had increased and there were smoke puffs and shoots of flame in the cabin and around the bulkhead door and wireless operators seat.

        Shortly afterwards we were caught in enemy fire again and took several rounds in the bottom of the fuselage and cut out about a square foot of the fuselage floor on the port side.  They stopped firing when we dived left slightly.  I believe the fire fooled them and they thought we were really going down.

        When we were crossing the Albert Canal there were two explosions under us which seemed to lift the aircraft about 50 feet.  This was the last time we were fired upon.

        I did not think it could be long now before we exploded and as we were at about 1200 feet I gave the despatchers and crew a chance to bail out and at the same time assured the wounded Driver Davis that I would stay with him and put him down.  The despatchers considered jumping but changed their minds.

        We picked out an open area straight ahead and cut the throttles.  As soon as the throttles were cut the nose dropped and we were in a dive.  It was necessary to open the throttles again and we now had quite a speed.

        Houses started materializing out of the mist so I turned to port and got down lower, cutting the engine slowly and getting the tail down with trim.

        I managed to get the tail down in a small patch of hedge-like trees before an open field.  This acted like a brake and we touched down comparatively gently with the tail swinging towards the starboard in about a 60 arc.

        The crew were out in a matter of seconds, F/O McIntyre and W/O Fenwick carried the wounded despatcher out.  I threw out a bit of equipment but got out hurriedly through the exit above my head.

        Flames were now above the fuselage and the aircraft continued to burn without exploding.

        We had crash landed on the outskirts of Kessel at about 16.10 and in no time many helpful Belgians were about.  Shortly afterwards the Medical Officer of Rear HQ 83 Group arrived and took the wounded despatcher away, but was unable to save his life.  F/Lt. R.B. Austin, Camp Commandant of Rear HQ. 83 Group was soon on the scene and offered us every assistance, which greatly relieved the situation.

        We learned from the M.O. that F/O McIntyre had done a marvellous job in as much as he had kept the despatcher alive over an hour with a wound which if unattended would have meant death in a matter of minutes.  The first aid was given under most difficult conditions and under fire when no doubt he had reason to worry about his own safety.

        While over the DZ we saw one Dakota going down with flames coming from the starboard side.  When last seen it was at about 700 ft. and under control.  Other aircraft were seen under enemy fire.

        Although 10 to 12 of our fighters were seen at 5000 feet while crossing over the lines on the way in not a fighter was seen again and on the way back not another aircraft was seen that might have shared some of their attention.

        Throughout the ordeal none of the crew panicked and their words of encouragement were most helpful.

 

 

Appendix

REPORT BY P/O CLARK OF W/O WEBB'S CREW. KG.579 ON RE-SUPPLY MISSION D+4 OPERATION 'MARKET', 21st SEPTEMBER, 1944.

 

        After the drop, during which slight damage was incurred by a/c through flak, a/c climbed away to 4000 ft.  There was difficulty in pulling in straps, W/Op and Navigator went aft to assist.  Later when W/Op and Navigator were going forward a/c was hit by cannon fire.  Under the impression it was flak suitable evasive action was taken, but a FW190 was seen to fly past a/c to starboard, and it was realised that Dakota was being attacked by E/A.  P/O Clark got into Astro-dome and saw approx 15 FW. on port quarter at 1000 yds / 200 ft coming in to attack.  10 - FW190 were also on starboard quarter about 1000 ft above in line astern and the first of these was peeling off to come in to attack.  Evasive action was attempting turning into attacks and out of the total attacking force only 4 registered strikes which resulted in fire breaking out underneath centre section of wings.  A/c entered cloud maintaining approx. same height but after 2 mins. cloud cover ceased.  Almost immediately 10 - FW190 caught up 1000 ft above on port quarter.  Evasive action was again carried out, but 1 a/c registered a hit and shot away astro-dome (fortunately at a moment when P/O Clark had ducked down to wave pilot into a steeper turn).  Last a/c of enemy formation registered strikes (approx. 2 sec. burst) in starboard engine causing fire to extend and a/c went into a steep dive apparently out of control.  Despatchers and W/Op baled out on instructions from P/O Clark who yelled at Pilot that a/c was on fire and was waved back by pilot.  P/O Clark who had been wounded in legs made his way to rear door pulling himself along by means of fuselage ribs owing to the steep angle at which a/c was diving great difficulty was experienced in getting through door, and Clark forced himself out head first until he was far enough out for slipstream to do the rest.  During his way back to the door more hits were registered on Dakota by fighters.  On the way down 6 FW190 remained and strafed the parachutists.  P/O Clark realising this hauled on one side of the lift webs and caused himself to swing violently and evaded the fire from the fighters.  Three attempts were made and on the last attempt Clark who had now got the matter sized up waited until he saw the fighter turning into attack before adopting his evasive tactics.  FW.190 actually passed within 2 ft of parachute and Clark could see the pilot quite clearly laughing.  The slipstream from the a/c caused the chute to collapse but this opened again at approx. 500 ft. and Clark landed safely.  Whilst disengaging from harness he saw 4 FW 190 diving down towards him.  He rolled quickly away on to the inside of a/c turn and saw cannon strikes about 5 or 6 yds away on grass.  During latter part of descent allied flak engage the E/A.  Parachute and Mae West were hidden in ditch and Clark made a quick inspection of countryside and saw a girl waving from a farmhouse about a couple of hundred yards away.  She took Clark to another farmhouse where 1 despatcher had arrived (slightly wounded).  First aid was rendered by the Dutch people, who were kindness itself.  After a while some Dutch Red Cross workers arrived and dressed their wounds and then it was heard that 4 other parachutists had landed in the vicinity, and Clark was taken to one spot where two other despatchers were found (one seriously wounded, who subsequently died) and the other wounded in 9 places.  After 15 minutes the 4th despatcher arrived slightly wounded in legs.

        Clark got Dutchmen to intercept transport and a British ambulance arrived and took survivors to Grave where W/O Birlison's body was seen riddled with bullets from head to foot.

        Survivors all landed in village of Zeeland.  At Grave survivors were all taken to Medical Post and 1 despatcher detained (with 9 wounds).

        P/O Clark and 2 despatchers joined up with survivors of a Stirling crew from Fairford and hitch hiked from Grave to Eindhoven where they spent the night at the St. Francis Hospital just outside the town.  The following morning (22 Sept.) they hitch hiked again to the Escaut Canal where R.A.F. Regiment Officer picked them up in 2 jeep and drove them to 30 Corps Rear HQ. some 10 miles to South where they were hospitably treated.  They were then driven in two staff cars to Brussels whence P/O Clark was brought back to England by F/Lt. Alford of 48 Squadron.

        NOTE.  P/O Clark states he kept crash helmet on when jumping with the result that the buckles on the left webs caught under the edge of the helmet and bruised both sides of his jaw, and helmet straps nearly strangled him.

        It was also reported to P/O Clark that 2 of the FWs were shot down by Spitfires, but this cannot be confirmed by P/O Clark who did not see any friendly aircraft throughout trip.

        CREW SITUATION.

        W/O Webb       Pilot.             )

        F/Sgt. Plear       2nd Pilot.      ) crashed with a/c and presumed killed.

        W/O Birlison     W/Op.          Killed.

        P/O Clark          Navigator.    Alive at Down Ampney.  Slight let wounds.

        1 despatcher killed.

        1 despatcher wounded and retained at Grave hospital.

        2 despatchers slightly wounded.

 

 

Appendix

Report on re-supply Mission D+4 Operation 'Market' 21st September, 1944.

 

        An aircraft of 48 sqdn, Down Ampney, piloted by F/O Warwick, yesterday 21st September, brought back to England from Brussels four American Glider Pilots.  These four officers were 1st.Lieut. A. West, F/O W.W. Avers, F/O T.C. Campbell, Lt. R.R. Neville of 9th A.A.F., 442 Transport Carrier Group.  1st Lieut. West, Lt. Neville, went over on D+1 day and the other two on D+2 day, and three of them landed on the L.Z. and the fourth F/O Avera, forced to cut loose some 12 miles to the North West of the L.Z. owing to circumstances beyond his control, and landed in a clear patch surrounded by trees.  The actual L.Z. was to the North of the Wilhemina some 16 miles East of Tilburg.

        F/O Avera and crew got clear of the glider and rapidly made for cover.  After a wait during which no one of enemy appearance showed up, the pilot decided to return to the glider and salvage some of the contents.  There was a great deal of confusion and noise of guns going on around which seemed to indicate that a certain amount of disputes were in progress by F/O Avera felt quite sure that there was no one in his immediate vicinity entertaining any malicious intentions against him.  Judge his surprise therefore, then on return to the glider, he was confronted by a small Dutch boy who handed him an apple with every expression of good will, but no sooner had he taken the apple than a bullet skimmed past his foot from the rifle of a mean minded Hun.  Avera and boy parted company rapidly and dived into respective ditches, after some further delay he managed to rejoin his comrades who had been held in reserve at the L.Z. in case they were wanted for casual participation in the actual fighting.  Some of the glider pilots had, in fact, gone off on private wars of their own.

        These four were eventually pulled out on D+4 day and taken to Brussels by British Transport.  None could be louder in praise of the hospitality given to them by the British during their journey back, and they expressed themselves delighted with the treatment they received on all sides.

        If the scene in the Mess in England was any criterion then the future of Anglo-American relationship is assured.

 

 

Appendix

REPORT BY W/O FELTON IN A/C AG - KG391.  RE-SUPPLY FOR OPERATION 'MARKET' 23RD SEPTEMBER, 1944.

 

        The aircraft sustained a hit by flak on the tail immediately after dropping the panniers on the D.Z.  There was a blinding flash, the fuselage was filled with dense smoke, and the aircraft was out of control.

        There was no rudder control or elevator trim, only downward elevator control.  The aircraft climbed rapidly, but after the pilot reduced boost to approximately 20" and exerted considerable forward pressure on the stick, the aircraft assumed a more or less level flying altitude at about 110 mph.

        The despatchers were moved forward as far as possible to help to keep the nose of the aircraft down.  The pilot decided to try to reach B56, which he succeeded in doing after meeting some light and heavy flak.

        W/Op contacted Flying Control at B56 when at 500 ft requesting permission to crash land, this was given.

        On impact with ground the port prop. sliced the fuselage and starboard prop cut a hole in starboard wing.

        This crash landing had to be an engine assisted approach almost to the ground as the aircraft was only partially under control, but was successful, no one being injured at all.

        The pilot feels that if despatchers had released panniers sooner, aircraft would not have been hit.  The despatchers were not used to manoeuvring panniers in Dakotas - having been in Stirlings previously.

        Damage to a/c:- 2 engines U/S. (Category B).  Fuselage cut.  Starboard Wing cut.  Tail damaged.

 

 

Appendix

REPORT BY W/O MCLAUGHLIN IN AJ-KJ 321. ON RE-SUPPLY MISSION D+6 23RD SEPTEMBER, 1944.

 

        While dropping panniers on the D.Z. the aircraft was hit by flak on the nacelle of the port engine.

        The Pilot took evasive action and got clear of the D.Z.  The Navigator went aft to examine port engine, which was not up to scratch, and found large quantities of oil gushing out.  The oil pressure gauge and boost registered zero.

        The pilot found that it was impossible to feather the prop, and tried in vain to throw it off by moving quickly, by this time the aircraft had climbed to 2000 ft. but as the engine seized, proceeded to lose height rapidly.  The Pilot increased the boost to 45 inches, and rose to 2500, but the starboard engine overheated, and aircraft still lost height.

        The Pilot decided to make for nearest aerodrome, which happened to be Eindhoven, making a tight circuit there at 500 ft. and receive a 'green'.  He intended to crash land, but at the last moment, when 25 ft from 'touch down' decided to lower undercarriage which was actually not quite fully extended when a/c touched down, and landed safely.

        That night was spent in the Officers mess at Eindhoven, the next morning they joined a convoy going to Brussels at 0630 and were flown back together with the 4 despatchers to base, by P/O Jones in a/c FL614 who is attached to Down Ampney from Doncaster.

        No injuries were sustained by either crew or despatchers.

        The Pilot reports quite a number of Typhoon (RP) on strip at Eindhoven.

        Damage to a/c:- Port tyre punctured.  Port engine completely u/s.  Some bullet holes in wings.