National Archives catalogue reference WO 171/398.




2 i/c





















































O Gp



Oxon & Bucks









R Lk











Map Reference



Army Air Corps


Advanced Dressing Station


Air Landing


Air Support Signal Unit




British / Bridge








Command Post

Commander Royal Artillery





Despatch Rider

Drop Zone



1st Allied Airborne Army


Forward Observation Officer

Forward Observation Unit


General Officer Commanding


General Staff Officer

Gun Shot Wound


Instrument Mechanic






Liaison Officer


Landing Zone

Main Dressing Station

Machine Gun

Map Reference

Officer Commanding


Orders Group

Operation Instruction

Operation / Observation Post (if upper case)

Other Ranks

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry


Public Relations


Prisoner of War

Royal Artillery




Rear Link

Radio Telephony










War Establishment

Wireless Telegraphy



Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. T.G.V. Stephenson


6th September 1944

Place: Transit Camp


1000 - Div 'O' Group held at Moor Park for operation 'fifteen'; operation subsequently given name 'COMET'.


7th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


1000 - All ranks briefed for operation COMET.


1800 - All ranks briefed for operation COMET.


2300 - Op COMET postponed 24 hours.


8th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


2030 - Op COMET postponed 24 hours or more.


9th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Op COMET cancelled.


10th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Nothing to report.


11th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Rumour of further operation called op 'MARKET'.


12th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


1 A/B Div Sigs O.O. No.1 (op. MARKET) issued.


13th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Nothing to report.


14th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Nothing to report.


15th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


Nothing to report.


16th September 1944

Place: Down Ampney (Gloucs)


1800 - All ranks briefed for op 'MARKET'


17th September 1944

Place: Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. Square 6579


1030 - Glider element of 1st lift took off.


1130 - Parachute element of 1st lift took off.


1330 - (approx) Glider & Parachute elements landed.  Flight uneventable - very little 'flak'.  No opposition on landing and Dropping Zones.  Comm. established on Div 'A' Wave to Parachute report centre and HQ 1 Para Bde and later to 21st Independent Parachute Company.


1602 - Skeleton Signal Office opened at Div HQ in wood on east side of landing zone.


1607 - G.O.C. OC Signals & Adjutant arrived at Div HQ.  Codesigns from destruction tubes handed in to Signal Office for distribution to 'G'.


1645 - 1 Para Bde commenced advance: communication by wireless established between 1st Para Bde and 82 (US) Airborne Division.


1700 - Heavy interference on Div 'A' Wave: frequencies of Div 'A' and Div 'B' waves interchanged to provide better comm. on div 'A' wave.  Spasmodic mortaring of Div HQ area - no casualties.


1720 - 1st Para Bde out of comm. on Div 'A' & Div 'B' waves.  SDR despatched to 1st Para Bde with OP message - returned at 2050 unable to locate HQ.  Thereafter no DR's allowed out without permission from Bde staff.


1727 - Div HQ moved from wood to glider landing zone.


2105 - 'A' & 'B' waves out of comm. owing to extremely heavy interference.


2145 - Momentary wireless contact with Airborne Corps on base net: corps working to base R5/5.  No other comm. to higher formation yet established.


2300 - Div 'A' wave through to 1st Airlanding Brigade and 21 Indep.Para Coy.


18th September 1944

Place: Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. Square 6579


0016 - Comm. to base established: traffic passed by DC procedure.  No contact with 1st Para Bde on any net (Div A wave, RA net, Recce Sqn net).


0630 - Div HQ re-established in woods on east of LZ.  Communication state:-

Div A wave:

Div B wave:

Base wave:

1st A/L Bde R5/5; 21st Indep Para Coy R3/5

1st A/L Bde R5/5

no comm. with Base or A/B Corps

Base and A/B Corps in touch.


0730 - 2 i/c (Major A.J. Deane Drummond M.C. R Signals) sent to 1st Para Bde to try to establish communications.


Place: Hill Oek. MR6778 Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W.


0800 - Div HQ moved to HILL OEK.


1010 - 2 S.Staffs ordered to reinforce 1 Para Bde; 68P set working on Div A wave despatched to them.


1015 - 22 Set complete station despatched to try to get through to 1 Para Bde.  Air support: Still no contact established.


1415 - Second lift Gliders and Parachute aircraft started to arrive.  Resupply drop by Douglas and Stirling aircraft.  'Flak' light.


1510 - 'Phantom' set contacted HQ 30 Corps.


1530 - 4 Para Bde joined Div 'A' wave (Bde arrived on second lift)


1655 - Div HQ moved to Park Hotel, HARTESTEIN.  HQ RA est. in grounds of Hotel.


Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


2040 - Both base wave day crystals useless.  Comn established on night crystals: control asked to remain on night frequency 24 hours a day.


2120 - Decision given by OC Signals that all air support demands to be cleared to any higher formation (A/B Corps, 30 Corps, or 2nd Army) by whichever means available: ASSU set not through.


2300 - 22 set station sent to 11 Para Btn who are to try and reach 1st Para Bde on bridge: set will be included on Div Comd net.


19th September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0200 - Jeep SDR sent to 1st Para Bde: returned having failed to get through because of enemy opposition.


0503 - HQ RA in contact with 3 Bty, 1st A/L Light Regt. RA who are with 1 Para Bde on bridge: out of comm. a few minutes later.


0820 - Report from wireless crew returned from bridge that 2 i/c was seen with 2nd Para Btn at 1800 hrs 18 Sept 44.


0947 - 2 S. Staffs now on Div 'A' Wave. Comn State:-

Div A wave:

R5/5 to 4 Para Bde, 1 A/L Bde, 11 Para Btn, 2nd S Staffs, 21 Ind. Para Coy.

Div B wave:

R5/5 to 4 Para Bde, 1 A/L Bde



Phantom to 30 Corps:


Public Relations to W.Office (London)



Nothing heard on ASSU, Corps 'A' wave or Corps 'B' wave.


1000 - Light mortaring & shelling of Div HQ: some casualties.  Div HQ being continually sniped.  Message from Rear HQ Airborne troops (base) shows that base wave day crystals being despatched to us by re-supply today - containers carrying 76 sets with crystals to be distinguished by black parachutes.


1630 - Resupply drop - heavy flak and many aircraft shot down - Most of drop fell into enemy territory.


1802 - 22 set opened on Polish Brigade command net.  Nothing heard.  Informed that Polish Para Bde had not dropped.


2055 - Comn state:-

Div A wave:

Div B wave:


Public Relations:

Phantom, ASSU, Corps A, Corps B:

R5/5 to 4th Para Bde, 1 A/L Bde, 21 Ind. Para Coy.

R5/5 to 4 Para Bde, 1 A/L Bde

crystal dis.

Set temporarily dis.



2100 - Local lines laid to all wireless sets in HQ.


2316 - Public relations set R5/3


20th September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0200 - Public relations set R5/5.  Div A wave: unworkable owing to heavy interference.  Div B wave: through to 1 A/L Bde only.


0440 - Div B wave: R5/5 to 1 A/L Bde and 4 Para Bde.


0500 - Phantom set through to 2nd Army and 30 Corps.


0720 - Base link through to Airborne Corps & Base.


0840 - Contact established with 1st Para Bde for a few minutes.


1017 - Line through to 1st A/L Bde.


1127 - Lines through to 4th Para Bde.


1130 - Both air support tentacles put permanently out of action by Shell fire.


1200 - GOCs Jeep hit by a mortar bomb during a recce.  Wireless set salvaged and repaired.


1400 - Base set unable to pass traffic owing to jamming.  Report received that Capt. S. Blatch, R Signals, OC L Section, had died of wounds received during the morning.


1406 - Further resupply drop; heavy 'flak'; little of supplies recovered.


1440 - Line to 1 A/L Brigade out by mortar fire; repaired within 15 minutes.


1700 - Further re-supply; heavy 'flak'; much of dropped supplies recovered.


1800 - 4th Para Bde and 1st Airlanding Bde off Div A wave.


1833 - New rover station ready for use by GOC.


1900 - 1 A/L Bde now on A wave; contact est. on A wave with 22 set situated at ferry on river due South of HQ.


1935 - Contact with ferry set lost.


2300 - Combined Signals / 21st Indep Para Coy patrol despatched to attempt recovery of 'eureka wireless sets'.  Patrol ambushed and no recovery made.


2348 - No contact between A/B Corps and base on base net.  Div A wave now through to 1 A/L Bde, Ferry, 21st I P.Coy.


21st September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0145 - Base set experiencing jamming; not possible to pass traffic.


0345 - Contact with ferry set lost.


0347 - Public Relations set dis; set repaired by I.M. and working by 0417.


0715 - Div A wave: 1st A/L Bde off.


0859 - 4 Para Bde R3/3 on Div B Wave.


0900 - Contact established by No.19 HP set with 64th Medium Regt RA (43 Inf. Div) ranging commenced at once.


1000 - Lt. Bosworth. R Signals sent to 4 Para Bde to act as Bde Signal Officer: OC Signal Section Capt Kennett reported wounded and missing.


1020 - Ferry set returned to Div HQ.


1100 - Heavy mortaring and shelling constantly cutting lines; all locals and 4th Para Bde line now OK.


1245 - Resupply drop. Flak intense.


1330 - Line to 1 A/L Bde repaired.


1520 - Owing to increased mortaring and shelling of Div HQ, following alterations made: Div command post, including Signal office, moved into basement of Hotel.  Departments of HQ staff not essential in C.P. (e.g. ADOS, CRASC) moved into defence lines in grounds of Hotel.  All Div Signals personnel off duty allotted a defence area commanded by Adjutant with RSM and CSM 1 Coy.


1521 - Request from K Section for Wireless batteries & cable; sent on authy from OC Signals.


1650 - Div A wave: R5/5 to 1 A/L Bde. 4 Para Bde. 21 Ind. Para Coy.


1715 - Polish Parachute Brigade dropped on South bank of river: no contact made by wireless on either link (i.e. Poles Cmd Net or Rear Link).


2122 - Line State: all OK excepting A/L Bde line, dis. by mortar fire.


22nd September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0320 - Message arrived stating 43 Div would come up on Airborne Corps Command frequency and giving call signs to be used.


0545 - 21st Ind. Para Coy placed under cmd of 4 Para Bde and therefore transferred from Div A wave to bde cmd net.


0810 - All lines out through mortar fire.


0905 - One to one link established with Polish parachute brigade.


1000 - Four 300 watt charging engines destroyed by mortar fire; battery charging position critical.


1100 - 1st A/L Bde HQ moved few hundred yards; line through by 1215 hours.


1445 - Base wave out of touch.


1757 - All lines dis - heavy mortaring.


1927 - 1 A/L Bde line through.


2049 - 4 Para Bde line through.


2147 - A wave through to 4 Para Bde, out to 1 A/L Bde.


2245 - Base set through; intermittent jamming.


23rd September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0415 - Line to 1 A/L Bde out.


0555 - A/L Bde line through.  Link to Polish Bde R5/5.


0750 - All lines out again through heavy mortaring.


1300 - No.22 sets listening for Airborne Corps and Div Guard closed by OC Signals; battery charging position critical owing to casualties in charging engines and Instrument Mechanics.


1545 - Lines through to 1 A/L Bde, 4 Para Bde.


1555 - Base set interfering strongly with Polish link: base set closed for one hour to enable Poles to clear traffic.


1605 - Resupply drop.


1800 - All lines out: Snake hit by mortar bomb.


1830 - Wire arial of base set hit by mortar fire.


1952 - Base set comm. re-established; jamming by German station, codesign P6Z experiencing.


2006 - Lines through to HQ RA.


2100 - Line to 4 Para Bde through.


2130 - All lines through.


2310 - Line to 1 A/L Bde out - shelling at HQ 1 A/L Bde.


2330 - All lines out through shelling.


2350 - Base and PR Sets: fading and heavy interference.


24th September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0001 - Comm State:-

Div A wave:

Public Relations:



R5/5 1st A/L Bde.

R3/3 : X5/5.

R3/3 : X5/5


RA Communications satisfactory.


0220 - A/L Bde off A wave.


0330 - 22 set despatched to Poles, working on Div A wave: Poles expected to cross river during night.


0530 - Line state:- Locals OK.  Bde Lines dis.


0600 - Phantom set through to 30 Corps and 2nd Army.


0630 - 4 Bde line through.


0707 - Base set arial blown down: heavy mortaring which continued for three hrs.


0800 - All lines blown.  OC 2 Coy Div Signals joined Polish link.  He was then ordered to report to 130 Inf Bde (forward Bde of 43 Inf Div).  Wireless comm with 130 Inf Bde thus maintained until close of op.


0805 - 18 set comm. between G Office and HQ RA tried - no success.


0955 - Phantom and PR ariels blown.


1145 - Corps Cmdrs' rover of Br. Airborne Corps head on Div A wave.  Satisfactory comm. not established.


1230 - Phantom set through again.


1330 - Lines to 4 Para Bde and HQ RA.


1340 - PR set through.


1410 - Div A wave set 'dis'.


1536 - Div A wave working and through to 1 A/L Bde and 4 Para Bde.


25th September 1944

Place: Hartestein, Arnhem 1/25,000 Sh 6 N.W. MR 6978


0215 - Phantom set closed down; PR set out of communication.


0310 - Line to 1 A/L Bde through.


0530 - Phantom and Public Relations sets through.


0637 - Base set closed until 0912 hours to enable Poles to pass traffic.


0957 - 22 Set standing by to be sent to Btn of Dorsets (130 Inf Bde); Btn crossed river to our area during night.


1031 - Phantom link R1/1.


1136 - Base link R/1.


1200 - Base set closed for one hour.


1500 - Conference of signals officers.  OC Signals issued orders for withdrawal: Parties to leave HQ consisting of a dozen men commanded by an officer.  First pty, commanded by Adj. Signals, to leave at 2200 hours.  Remainder to follow at fifty yards interval.  O.C. Signals to leave with last pty.  Route to river bank given: cross-roads 691783 - Fork roads 690777 - road junction 693775 - due South to River Bank.  There to be ferried across River by 43 Div engineers or swim if necessary.  RV to be at DRIEL MR 6875 (Sheet 6 S.W.)


1900 - Signal office prepared for move.  Diary and registers retained, all other docs destroyed.  All equipment rendered unserviceable excepting Base and 130 Bde link sets.  These were kept in operation for some hours after the withdrawal by wounded signallers who could not be evacuated to cover withdrawal.


2000 - Withdrawal commenced.  Heavy MG and artillery covering barrage provided by 43 Inf Div.  Most Ptys reached River Bank without incident.  Transporting of troops across river slow process.  Frequent mortaring of ferry area by enemy.


26th September 1944

Place: 1/25,000 Sh 6 S.W. NIJMEGEN


0500 - Majority of tps evacuated.  Div area established in NIJMEGEN.  Men fed and rested.


27th September 1944

Place: 1/25,000 Sh 6 S.W. NIJMEGEN


0900 - Advance ptys from England from all units left by air.  Adjutant sent as Div Sigs representative.


28th September 1944


Div moved to BRUSSELS area.


29th September 1944


Div flew back to Base.


2000 - Div Sigs deplaned Barkston Heath airfield ( to mile Sh 6 N.Midlands & Lincolnshire MR 4062).


30th September 1944

Place: -1 mile Sh 6 MR 4062 CAYTHORPE.


Unit Board of OC 2 Coy, OC A Sec and RSM assembled to collect and investigate casualty returns.



Appex A




53662 Lt Col Stephenson, T.G.V.

145444 Major Holbrook, G.W.

229206 Capt Golden, L.L.

204942 Capt Smith, J.R.

312565 Lieut. Bosworth, R.W.

251808 Lieut. Drake, F.E.

307980 Lieut. Hodges, R.

249784 Lieut. Polley, D.A.

314674 2/Lt. Marshall, G.C.



2318836 R.S.M. (W.O.1) Potesta, W.

2575114 C.S.M. (W.O.2) Clift, F.H.

7356331 Sgt. Armour, A.

2323716 Sgt. Corbett, E.D.

2331699 Sgt. Currie, G.

2573251 Sgt. Davies, A.S.

3522570 Sgt. Fairclough, T.

2590202 Sgt. Goodman, A.

2319910 Sgt. Guy, G.

7897771 Sgt. Hands, L.

1444434 Sgt. Jones, R.

2341501 Sgt. Patterson, J.

3317832 Sgt. Spivey, H.

82035 Sgt. Turnbull, T.M.

6029411 L/Sgt. Cole, R.

2353212 L/Sgt. Davidson, J.D.

2328498 L/Sgt. Phillips, P.D.

2329748 L/Sgt. Rate, J.W.

2333546 Cpl. Butcher, F.K.

2328437 Cpl. Camsell, D.R.

2571184 Cpl. Collins, D.

2333164 Cpl. Forrest, W.S.

2597675 Cpl. Haywood, B.

3386612 Cpl. Hoyle, J.H.F.

2575327 Cpl. Hollott, S.P.R.

2581206 Cpl. Howden, W.W.

14396128 Cpl. Langdale, R.N.

2584756 Cpl. Mumford, H.

6921606 Cpl. Price, R.E.

2330578 Cpl. Pratt, M.

2578142 Cpl. Stopforth, R.A.

2059800 Cpl. Smith, R.

2585060 Cpl. Waterer, W.H.E.

2334373 L/Cpl. Boaler, B.J.

5510810 L/Cpl. Brittain, W.B.

2341151 L/Cpl. Cowley, L.A.F.

5960903 L/Cpl. Cols, A.W.

2352351 L/Cpl. Cooper, H.

2353160 L/Cpl. Dunbar, A.S.

2577280 L/Cpl. Duguid, R.M.

14402397 L/Cpl. Dickson, I.

2331068 L/Cpl. Harmer, E.T.

6850063 L/Cpl. Howlett, H.

2578732 L/Cpl. Johnson, R.

2353297 L/Cpl. Laidlaw, P.A.

2364796 L/Cpl. Leary, J.

2586229 L/Cpl. MacFarlane, N.R.J.

2331041 L/Cpl. Marshall, R.G.

2346507 L/Cpl. McIver, D.N.

2353134 L/Cpl. Pitkethly, T.

3606239 L/Cpl. Potts, L.F.

14278749 L/Cpl. Riley, B.G.

2382857 L/Cpl. Rimmer, J.P.

RH/2339675 L/Cpl. Rademeyer, W.

2389230 L/Cpl. Wilkes, K.J.

2363212 L/Cpl. Young, D.

5108258 Sigmn. Askey, A.G.

2338318 Sigmn. Ayears, A.E.

2589645 Sigmn. Bender, B.

2333544 Sigmn. Berry, C.F.

14423014 Sigmn. Booth, C.

1448400 Sigmn. Breach, P.H.

2578753 Sigmn. Bridge, F.N.

2377998 Sigmn. Brown, C.G.

2353199 Sigmn. Cassie, J.

4279044 Sigmn. Carr, W.

2387800 Sigmn. Clamp, A.H.

14425114 Sigmn. Cooper, A.

2378626 Sigmn. Crofts, W.

2577812 Sigmn. Cockrill, J.D.

2593100 Sigmn. Douglas, J.R.

6297254 Sigmn. Dwyer, A.

6012378 Sigmn. Douce, W.J.

14214960 Sigmn. Easter, H.J.

2343858 Sigmn. Elborn, E.

2325279 Sigmn. Flint, D.C.

2597058 Sigmn. Frize, G.

2573236 Sigmn. Gilbert, G.

5388066 Sigmn. Gordon, D.J.

2593737 Sigmn. Grieve, D.G.

2343864 Sigmn. Guthrie, I.L.S.

2382790 Sigmn. Hadfield, J.

6351419 Sigmn. Hales, G.J.

2328591 Sigmn. Heaps, T.

2391285 Sigmn. Henretty, J.

14278791 Sigmn. Hewitt, J.

14278360 Sigmn. Hemmington, D.

7021194 Sigmn. Heaton, P.A.

2328848 Sigmn. Higley, D.D.

2379905 Sigmn. Hill, H.T.

2319140 Sigmn. Johnson, W.

14359703 Sigmn. Kelly, H.H.M.

6026252 Sigmn. Kenifeck, T.W.

5892045 Sigmn. Larman, W.R.

883605 Sigmn. Little, K.E.

14285353 Sigmn. Maxwell, W.L.

2380855 Sigmn. McCulley, J.

14305220 Sigmn. Mitchell, A.J.

2581088 Sigmn. Morgan-Lewis, A.R.

14251971 Sigmn. Marples, G.

2362773 Sigmn. Molyneaux, T.

2387123 Sigmn. Moncrief, J.E.

2576475 Sigmn. Nippers, F.C.

2585565 Sigmn. Pearce, K.J.

6459804 Sigmn. Payne, J.R.

5730524 Sigmn, Peek, W.

14658725 Sigmn. Richardson, W.

3915674 Sigmn. Rennels, J.W.

2582165 Sigmn. Reilly, J.

4919425 Sigmn. Rosson, L.

14660431 Sigmn. Robins, W.

327466 Sigmn. Rehill, J.

2328534 Sigmn. Shepherd, G.T.

2575297 Sigmn. Spiers, F.G.

2378731 Sigmn. Spalding, T.G.

2597136 Sigmn. Sonulberg, E.

14269321 Sigmn. Sherlock, J.

6399313 Sigmn. Smith, D.

2381142 Sigmn. Sennett, A.J.

2374089 Sigmn. Thorley, J.

14612961 Sigmn. Thorley, D.

2325487 Sigmn. Tolhurst, E.G.

2357873 Sigmn. Thomson, N.D.

2578157 Sigmn. Thompson, R.

2580440 Sigmn. Whiston, T.

14412834 Sigmn. Walmsley, G.J.

14575542 Sigmn. Wallace, G.

2601934 Sigmn. Wiggins, D.A.

318787 Sigmn. Warburton, R.

6215654 Sigmn. Young, F.

2572154 Dvr. Airey, G.

14547501 Dvr. Martin, L.

5049527 Dvr. Martin, H.

4467539 Dvr. Patterson, V.

2598282 Dvr. Timbrell, P.G.

14326568 Pte. O'Hara, C. (A.A.C. 3rd Bn Para Regt.)

2047358 Gnr. Spencer, J. (1 A/L Lt. Regt.)

6853866 Pte. Winkworth, J.W. (OXON & BUCKS)



Evacuated from Arnheim Bridgehead but not returned to U.K.


2585603 Sjt. Grant W.  Wounded - admitted hospital Nijmegen.  23 Sep 44.

2599913 Sigmn. Reynolds A.E.  Wounded - shoulder.  Admitted 43 Div ADS.  24 Sep 44.






217301 Captain Blatch, S.L.  Killed in action 20 Sept 44.



2329521 Sigmn. WOLFE. D.  Killed in action 21 Sept 44

832024 L/Cpl. THOMPSON, J.  Killed in action 21 Sept 44

4914072 Sigmn. MIDDLING, H.  Killed in action 24 Sept 44

6025798 Sigmn. SHAW, W.  Killed in action 24 Sept 44

14298695 Sigmn. DEAN, J.  Killed in action 22 Sept 44

14200356 Sigmn. BLOOMFIELD, J.E.  Died of wounds 24 Sept 44

14579066 Dvr. HIBBITT, R.H.  Drowned during evacuation 25 Sept 44






234822 Capt. Hemelryk G.E.  Wounded GSW right leg.  25 Sep 44

136030 Capt. Hewitt M.R.  Wounded, mortar, both legs and back.  23 Sep 44

292155 Lieut. Robson P.T.  Wounded in head.  Evac to MDS Now PW.  25 Sep 44



2323560 CQMS Leah W.  Wounded Flak Chest.  18 Sep 44

5723824 Sjt. Carter G.  Wounded GSW.  23 Sep 44

3207210 L/Sgt. Major S.F.  Wounded right forearms.  22 Sep 44

2580812 Cpl. Kelly D.  Wounded Mortar, Arms.  24 Sep 44

2580884 Cpl. Warford H.  Wounded Mortar, leg.  18 Sep 44

2981146 L/Cpl. Elder P.  Wounded.  22 Sep 44

2325597 L/Cpl. Muir A.  Wounded.  20 Sep 44

2585600 L/Cpl. Wood A.  Wounded.  18 Sep 44

3317475 Sigmn. Brown G.H.  Wounded, mortar, legs.  24 Sep 44

5349533 Sigmn. Bennett A.  Wounded GSW leg.  25 Sep 44

4279044 Sigmn. Carr W.  Wounded, mortar.  19 Sep 44

2573060 Sigmn. Allison J.  Wounded, mortar.  24 Sep 44

2387120 Sigmn. Fulton J.  Wounded.  20 Sep 44

2601106 Sigmn. Groves B.C.  Wounded, mortar.  23 Sep 44

2579704 Sigmn. Hooper R.A.  Wounded, right elbow.  22 Sep 44

14281798 Sigmn. Harris J.M.  Wounded GSW.  24 Sep 44

3606973 Sigmn. Jones E.  Wounded, Mortar, stomach.  20 Sep 44

2379610 Sigmn. Jefferies J.  Injured, broken leg on parachute landing.  18 Sep 44

4914405 Sigmn. Knight E.V.  Wounded, shrapnel, left thigh.  20 Sep 44

6349280 Sigmn. Moody L.  Wounded, cheek.  24 Sep 44

5619208 Sigmn. Osborne E.  Wounded, GSW.  20 Sep 44

14204466 Sigmn. R.A.T.  Wounded, Mortar, body.  23 Sep 44

2586247 Sigmn. Read V.H.W.  Wounded GSW.  18 Sep 44

6216249 Sigmn. Stewart D.  Wounded GSW head.  24 Sep 44

10579286 Sigmn. Underwood F.E.  Wounded right leg.  22 Sep 44

3975331 Sigmn. Taylor S.G.  Wounded.  20 Sep 44



2006151 Cpl. Sorsby J.  Wounded.  20 Sep 44



2993424 Pte. Benson G.  10 Para Bn.  Wounded.  24 Sep 44

14314297 Pte. Sweeney J.  2 Para Bn.  Wounded in body.  22 Sep 44



2355007 L/Cpl. Elliott G.  Prisoner of War.  25 Sep 44



















A.J. Deane-Drummond

A.B. Kennett

W.J. Marquand

J.B. Cairns

R.A. Gregg

Proforma attached.










































































































































































































































































































Crowe R.H.

Channing A.

Forrest G.

Clayton E.

Chesterton E.

Jones D.L.

Partridge F.H.

Sinclair G.

Westall L.

Ball J.

Boyd P.S.

Bicker G.

Curling E.J.G.

Day F.E.

Fisher W.R.

Grewcock W.K.

MacGregor A.F.

Morrison J.A.

Solomon W.E.G.

Wilson T.F.

Watson W.

Anson J.E.

Algie D.F.

Brook H.

Butterly W.

Baxter J.F.

Bennett D.
Cooper R.V.

Elletson J.E.

Huggett W.A.

Hewish R.H.

Kean A.B.

Lowrie J.

Perry G.

Peck J.

Reece A.E.

Smith T.

Smith J.S.

Shelton A.

Turner A.J.B.

Uphill D.R.

Upchurch K.

Wilder L.M.

Watkins J.

Avery D.L.

Abbott T.S.

Amos R.S.

Allen T.W.

Ball G.

Bastow J.A.

Bowden T.

Coplay S.G.

Canefield P.K.

Collis M.

Cahill A.

Devine J.

Dunning G.C.

Duck J.

Ellam T.

Ellmer H.

Evans B.

Elson T.

Evans A.

Evans E.

Foxon J.A.

Ferrari H.

Gordon MacIntosh R.A.

Gibney J.

Gault J.D.

Greensill J.

Gibson T.

Greenhorn J.

Grieveson J.

Holloway J.J.

Hole A.F.S.

Harris R.L.W.

Hayes S.

Hales C.

Hayson J.

Horne J.N.

Inseal F.

Jones T.V.

Jestin H.O.

Johnstone W.T.

Johnston J.

Jukes G.W.

Jones G.C.

Knight L.V.

Kidney C.

King L.W.

Logan T.

Lawson G.S.

Lloyd P.

Littley T.

Miller J.B.

Maloney R.

Moran J.

McGhie W.

Nicoll J.D.

Norbury D.J.

Oxenham L.J.

Owen R.

O'Donnell J.

Potter W.J.D.

Paterson W.

Peters J.L.

Parker W.

Roderick E.

Rea H.W.

Robinson C.B.

Riley H.G.

Robinson F.W.

Rose S.

Smith C.E.

Stevens C.E.

Southward E.

Stevens A.S.

Smith A.A.

Simpson R.

Stephen J.T.

Smith R.W.

Spencer T.

Snow M.

Taylor C.G.

Trotman E.J.

Thompson A.W.

Thompson A.

Vaughn T.

Whaites H.G.

Wilding A.

Wiles R.C.

Wray G.H.

Wareham J.A.

Weeks E.

Winstanley A.

Yates F.

Cockroft F.

Hotine R.E.

Martin G.

Merrick A.J.

Spires C.E.

Thornton F.G.

Woolrich H.

Proforma attached.




















































































































































Bent W.S.  1 Border

Exley H.  RA (Field)

Jeffery W.I.  AAC

Jeggo F.  AAC

Rainford A.  RA (Field)

Stewart E.  AAC

Thickens T.  RA (Field)

Toes J.A.  2 Oxf Bucks.

Waterston G.  AAC

Whittle H.  AAC

Proforma attached.












from 1 Airlanding Lt Regt.

from 1 Para Bde Defence Pln.

from 1 Para Bde Defence Pln.

from 1 Airlanding Lt Regt.

from 10 Para Bn.

from 1 Airlanding Lt Regt.


from 1 Para Bde Def Pln.

from 10 Para Bn.



Appex C


1 Airborne Div Sigs Op Instr No.1


Date 11 Sep 44


        1.  General  Sig arrangements are almost exactly as for Op 'LINNET'.  The Sigs OO No.1 issued for that op will therefore hold except where amended herein.  Sigs Op Instr No.1 for 'COMET' is cancelled.

        2.  Lifts

First lift.



Second lift.




Third lift.

Para Report Centre

Div Sigs (para)

Gliders A B C and G

Para Report Centre

Div Sigs

Gliders D E F H and S

4 Wacos Air Sp Parties

Polish Para Bde














        3.  Wireless

                (a) Phase I, first lift.  add (i) No.76 set working to base, frequencies as for 'COMET'.  (ii) SCR 300 at 1 Para Bde working on channel 33 to RCT 82 US Airborne Div.  Airborne Tps Slidex and Maplay keys will be used on this link.

                (b) Phase II, second lift.  add link to Base from Div and RCT 82 US Airborne Div from 1 Para Bde.  delete Div lateral link (f9) to 82 and 101 US Airborne Divs.

                (c) Frequency for Guard Wave (f8) will be notified later.

        4.  Pigeons  All messages will be addressed to "HQ Br Airborne Troops (Rear)."

        5.  RA Comns  As ordered by CRA.  5055 Kc/s (f34) it allotted to CRA as an additional frequency.

        6.  Codes and ciphers.  Normal.

        7.  Timings  'Y' day is evening 15 Sep.

        8.  Div HQ  Will be at ARTILLERIE PARK 736786.



[Signed T.G.V. Stephenson]

Lt. Col., R. Signals,

Comd, 1 Airborne Div Signals.



Appex D

1 Airborne Div Signals Report on comns to Higher Fmns and Base - Op MARKET


        1.  General  During the op comn with the fomns outside the Div was difficult.  The object of this report is to try and find the reasons and to make recommendations as to how they might be improved in any future op.  RA comns are NOT discussed here.

        2.  Wireless Layout  Appx A shows the various links which were opened at Div HQ.  They are as follows:-

                (a) Div - Corps RT link (A Wave) using No 22 set.

                (b) Div - Corps CW link (B Wave) using No.22 set.

                (c) Div - Airborne Corps - 30 Corps - Base, using No 76 set.

                (d) Div - BBC.  Public Relations link using No 76 set.

                (e) Div - 2nd Army.  Phantom link using No 22 set.

                (f) Div - 2nd Army.  Air Sp link using SCR-193 set.

                (g) Div - Polish Bde - 130 Bde using No 22 set.

                (h) Div Guard wave set using No 22 set.

                        The working of each of these seven links is discussed in detail below.

        3.  Div - Corps (A Wave)  This link was never through once, although we listened and searched on the allotted frequency until D+6.  By then so many sets were out of action that a set could no longer be spared for this link.  All types of sites were tried, and both red and open wire aerials.  The reason for the failure of this link is undoubtedly that the range was too great for the ground wave and not great enough for the sky.  This is borne out by the fact that a No 22 set on this net was established at HQ 130 Bde well on the SOUTH bank of the R RHINE and had great difficulty in keeping through.  Both Div and Corps were in fairly heavily wooded country, the distance between the two in Corps' final location being about 11 miles.

        4.  Div - Corps (B Wave)  This was a one-to-one link for CW or RT and would have provided a most valuable outlet to the outside world.  Comn was never established for the same reasons as given above.  We ceased to try on this line after D+5.

        5.  Div - Airborne Corps - 30 Corps - Base.  Op previous to MARKET which involved the flying-in of the Airborne Corps did not provide any link from Div to Airborne Base.  Strong recommendations were made to CSO Airborne Corps and for MARKET, two links were provided between Airborne Corps and Airborne Base; on one of these ourselves and 30 Corps were allowed to work.  This link had a day and night frequency.  Such a net is obviously not the ideal, since the frequencies are designed for working from Base to Div or Base to Corps etc., and not from Div to Corps, either of which might be able to work Base without being able to hear each other.  Of the two Base links at Corps, however, this one was recommended by 21 A Gp as being likely to be the most satisfactory all round.  In actual fact this link was not very satisfactory since

                (a) There was a strong CW station almost on the frequency (Station P6).

                (b) Corps and Base frequency kept us from getting on the air.

                (c) Comn between Div and Corps was occasionally established.  Times however were unpredictable.

                (d) Since our direct Corps links were not working and we had other outlets to Base, much time was spent in trying to pass traffic to Corps.

                        The position was further aggravated after D+2 by the failure of both the day crystals.  These sets cannot work without crystals, and replacements, though sent in the resup, did not arrive.  As a result the link had to remain on the night frequency throughout the 24 hrs.  It is worthy of record that the operators on the Base set fully realised the difficult situation and in many little ways did their best to help ease things.

        6.  Div - BBC (Public Relations)  This was a one-to-one link, a No 76 set at our end working to a powerful BBC transmitter installed in London.  Only one frequency was provided, chosen so as to give the maximum comn during the 24 hrs.  It was a very good frequency, and the link was through for far longer periods than might have been expected.  Since the amount of Press traffic was comparatively small and many other outside links were not working, a large proportion of operational traffic to Base was cleared on this line.

        7.  Div - 2nd Army (Phantom)  This link was working over a distance of 30 miles.  The frequencies used were 2163 and 4225 Kc/s which are very convenient for sky wave working over that distance.  It worked very well but seldom to full capacity.

        8.  Div - 2nd Army (Air Sp)  This consisted of two American Air Sp parties provided by FAAA.  Each was made up of one "Veep", a Jeep fitted with a SCR-193 for ground-to-ground comn and a VHF set for ground to air, and a second Jeep to carry the personnel.  In both cases the second vehs did not turn up for loading and were provided by us.  The personnel themselves, although first class, had never seen the actual equipment before and neither set could be tuned to the lower of the two frequencies given.  In fact comn was never established and the sets in the vehs, by reason of their bulk, were quickly destroyed by enemy action.  The two offrs were not sig offrs and knew nothing of the sets.  On the two dets, each of one offr and four ORs, only one offr, Lieut Johnson, returned safely.  The "Veeps" are too bulky to be dug in safely, and such an ad hoc arrangement as this is most unlikely to work satisfactorily.  In future Br ASSU is strongly recommended.

        9.  Div - Polish Bde - 130 Bde.  The Polish Para Bde eventually dropped on D+4.  The Div A and B Wave frequencies had been changed over on D day and a message had been sent to the Poles to that effect.  Comn on the new A wave was however never established.  A separate one-to-one frequency had been allotted in the Div sig plan and this worked most satisfactorily.  A No 22 set with Maj HOLBROOK of this unit who was with the relieving fmn eventually came up on this net and he was ordered to report to 130 Bde.  Thereafter satisfactory comn was maintained with 130 Bde.  A number of other stations also came up on the net, all of which could be heard by us but they could not receive us.  As they were in danger of jamming the net, Maj HOLBROOK ordered them to close down.

        10.  Div Guard Wave  Using a No 22, this set never established contact with anyone.  By the time the ground forces were in range, a set could no longer be spared.

        11.  Aerials  The provision of good aerials presented a considerable problem.  After D+5 Div HQ was concentrated in a basement and sets had to be made safe in holes and under verandahs.  Aerials were being constantly knocked down owing to enemy action and it was impossible to reerect some really properly in daylight since they were covered by snipers.  Furthermore it was unsound to put sets at the top of the house owing to enemy mortar fire, which was almost continuous.  As a result the most efficient aerials were not always available.  A certain amount of interference between nets was unavoidable.

        12.  Sig infm.  We were not allowed to take into the air a list of the call signs of or frequencies used by other fmns.  As a result we had no real opportunity of establishing contact with them when it was found that the regular links were not through.  This must be put right in future ops.

        13.  Conclusion.  The main lessons to be learnt are:-

                (a) An Airborne Div must have a one-to-one link with Airborne Base.

                (b) A larger proportion of spare crystals are required for No 76 sets.

                (c) A set similar to, but more powerful than, No 22 set is required.

                (d) Air sp parties must be fully conversant with the actual sets they are using and must have trained with the other crews working on the net.

                (e) Airborne Div air op parties require a set which can be readily dug in.

                (f) Full sig infm of other fmns must be taken in suitable self-destroying containers.

                (g) There cannot be too many links to the outside world.




Index A



        1.  Although it really has no place in a report of this nature, the outline plan of the operation is given here for the convenience of those who may not be familiar with it.

        2.  By the middle of Sep 44, 21 Army Group had reached the line of the ESCAUT CANAL.  On front of 2nd Army there were some German Parachute formations who were comparatively lightly armed and without a full proportion of arty etc.  Commander 2nd Army was confident that when he was ready he could easily break through this screen.

        3.  Commander 21 Army Group decided that in conjunction with 2nd Army a large Airborne Force would be dropped in the area of the enemy with the object of seizing the crossings over the LOWER RHINE and MAAS.  These consisted of three bridges at GRAVE over the R MAAS, at NIJMEGEN over the R WAAL, and at ARNHEM over the R LEK.  The destruction of any of these crossings, it was calculated would delay the advance of 2nd Army by at least one week.

        4.  The Airborne plan was to use three Airborne Divisions, 101 and 82 US Airborne Divisions and 1st Br Airborne Division.  101 Airborne Div were given the task of seizing the bridge at GRAVE and a number of smaller bridges on the road further SOUTH.  82 Airborne Div would seize the bridge at NIJMEGEN, and 1 British Airborne Div the bridge at ARNHEM.  British Airborne Corps, who would command the three divisions, would land in the area of NIJMEGEN.  Priority of aircraft was from SOUTH to NORTH.  Owing to the enormous air effort required it was not possible for 1 Airborne Div to fly in complete on D day.  Commander 1 Airborne Div therefore decided that on D day 1 Para Brigade and 1 Air Landing Brigade with a proportion of divisional troops should go, 4 Para Brigade and the remainder of Div troops should go on D+1 and the Polish Para Brigade, who had been placed under command for the operation, should arrive on D+2.

        5.  ARNHEM is a town of about 86,000 inhabitants with a large residential area surrounding it.  The country outside is undulating and heavily wooded, with a large proportion of coniferous trees and some heather.  DZ and LZs were approximately 8 miles from the main bridge.  ARNHEM is normally the administrative capital of Holland; it has well equipped barracks and a German garrison.

        6.  Before the operation, orders were given that no destruction to communications was permissible except the cutting of what was obviously German field cable.  All trunk cables and locals in the area are buried; switchboards, except for trunk switchboards, are automatic.  The high tension electric supply network, which is extensive throughout the country, has its own trunk telephone system, whose switchboards are kept separate from the Post Office switchboards.

        7.  The only switchboard which was captured by 1 Airborne Div was at OOSTERBEEK; this was an automatic switchboard and had been completely destroyed by the Germans.  The Dutch resistance movement appeared to be well organised in the Post Office and Dutch Liaison Officers assured OC Signals that the main trunk switchboard at ARNHEM had been rendered unusable to the Germans.  The main ARNHEM auto switchboard was working however, and by its means some information of enemy movements the far side of the town was obtained from members of the Dutch resistance movement.


Index B

1 Airborne Div Signal Instruction No.1


        1.  Security of Signal Documents

                (a) Documents carried by offs  The amount of signal infm carried by offrs at all fmn and unit HQs will be cut down to an absolute minimum.  The signal documents to be carried at all levels are shown in Appx A.  All code sign extracts and sub-extracts, Slidex and Maplay Keys, wireless diagrams and frequency allotments will be written on incendiary paper and carried in destruction tubes.

                (b) Wireless Detachments  The detachment comd of every wireless detachment will carry a signal diagram of every station at his HQ.  This diagram will show frequencies and one day's code signs only; it will not name units.  It will be written on a pigeon message form and concealed in a hollowed out .303 bullet.  Special signal diagrams and details of preparing the bullet are shown in Appx C.

        2.  Code Signs  The minimum number of code signs will be carried at each HQ.  Units and fmns will prepare sub-extracts of code signs as shown in Appx B, which gives a simple key for memorising the order of battle.

        3.  Slidex and Map Ref Codes  Slidex and Map Ref Code keys will be used on wireless links as under:-

                All wireless links to higher fmn, flanking fmn, base and ASSU                             )

                All wireless groups within 1 Airborne Div, down to and including unit rear links   )  Airborne Slidex and Maplay Keys.

                All wireless groups within units  )  Individual unit Slidex and Unicode Keys.

                        Army Keys will not be taken into use until issued by OC Div Sigs.

        4.  Change of Code Signs and Keys  All code signs, Slidex and map reference keys will change at midnight GMT and NOT midnight zone time.

        5.  Authentification  Slidex Authentification System will be used for synchronisation on all wireless links.

        6.  Cipher

                (a) The ciphers used will be one time pads giving 100% security with no fear of compromise and Airborne D.T. cipher giving 48 hrs security.  Detailed cipher layout is shown at Appendix D.

                (b) The Airborne D.T. sentence must not be written down but must be memorised.

                (c) All medium grade cipher documents will be called in prior to any move to airfields.  They will be returned in security boxes to OC Div Sigs.  Bde cipher sections will carry their equipment for the Airborne op in satchels signals.  Cipher operators will carry their satchels on their person at all times after security boxes have been withdrawn.

        7.  Compromise  In the event of compromise of code signs, slidex keys or map ref keys due to capture or insecurity on the air, OC Div Sigs will be informed by IMMEDIATE message of the time and details of the compromise.  OC Div Sigs will issue fresh code signs or keys as soon as possible after the compromise.  During the early stages very little action can be taken immediately, but it is vital that a compromise is reported immediately it occurs.

        8.  Distribution of Code Signs and Keys  1 Airborne Div Code Signs will be issued to fmns and units in the form of sub-extracts as shown in Appx B.  OsC units are responsible for re-producing these sub-extracts for the necessary number of days, as shown in Appx A, on incendiary paper.  Airborne Slidex and Maplay Keys (which have been distributed by 21 Army Group to all other fmns concerned) for period D-1 to D+10, will be issued in a similar manner and OsC units are again responsible for reproducing these for the correct number of days on incendiary paper.  Where units are restricted to three days code signs and keys, OC Div Sigs will arrange for further code signs and keys to be issued after landing.



Lt Col, R Signals.

Comd, 1 Airborne Divisional Signals.

APO England

30 May 44


Index B




Documents Carried

By Whom Carried



Complete Code Signs of Airborne Div.



Airborne Slidex Keys



Airborne Maplay Keys

) OC Div Sigs

) In destructive tubes.

Airborne Div Wireless diagrams

) OC A Sec

) All infm for period of seven days.

Airborne Div frequency allotment

) OC O Sec


Code sign sub-extract of higher fmn and flanking fmns.




Complete code signs of Airborne Div.



Code sign sub-extract of higher fmn RA.



Sub-extract of higher fmn and flanking fmn code signs.

   ) CRA Sig Offr

   ) In destructive tubes.

Airborne Slidex Keys

   ) HQRA

   ) All infm for period of seven days.

Airborne Maplay Keys



Div RA and HQRA Wireless Diagrams



Ind Para Coy

Code signs of units on D.Zs.

P Sec Offr

For two days only, in destruction

OC Ind Para Coy

tubes.  Depending upon op.

Bde HQ

As for Div HQ

2 Bde Sig Offrs

In destructions tubes.  If one sig offr goes in glider

party then one more copy must go in para party.


Sub extract of higher fmn


In destruction tubes for three days only.

RA Code Signs

Slidex Keys

Maplay Keys


Sub Extract of Div Code Signs (Bde Group only)

Adjt Bn RSO

For three days only.  In destruction tubes.

Recce Sqn

Div extract of code signs

OC Recce Sqn

For three days only.  In destruction tubes.

Limited sub extract of higher fmn and flanking divs code signs

and one other offr

Slidex and Maplay

Light Regt

Extracts of Div Code Signs

R Signals offr

For three days only.

Slidex and Maplay


RE Sqns

Bde Group code sign extract plus code signs for RE report wave.

2 offrs

For three days only.

   and Coys

Slidex and Maplay

Fd Amb and

Bde Group code sign extract.

2 offrs

For three days only.

   A/Tk Btys

Slidex and Maplay


Index B



        OsC units will ensure that code signs for the correct number of days are written on incendiary paper and carried as laid down in Appendix A.  A simple method of concealing the order of battle is as follows:- The examples taken are the code signs carried by a bn for three days.

HQ 11 Para Bde

HQ 14 Para Bde

HQ 21 Air Landing Bde

101 Para Bn

102 Para Bn

103 Para Bn

292 Fd Amb

204 Para Sqn, RE

61 A/Tk Bty












        The only information written is four rows of code signs, the order of battle is NOT written down.  The first row of code signs is only a key to the order of battle using the following:-

                A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J

                1   2  3   4   5  6  7   8  9  0

        In writing down the appropriate figures for the letters shown in column one the number of the appropriate fmn is given.  Thus AAZ equals 11, standing for 11 Para Bde.  If the offr is fairly familiar with the order of battle this should be sufficient to establish the identity of the code sign.




        1.  Corps Sub-Extract

                (a) A Army HQ

                      B Corps HQ

                      B Corps R Lk RT

                      B Corps R Lk CW

                      C Recce Regt

                      C Recce Regt (R Lk)

                (b) D Div

                      D Div R Lk RT

                      D Div R Lk CW

                      D Div Lateral

                      E Recce Regt

                      E Recce Regt (R Lk)

                      F Bde

                      F Bde R Lk RT

                      F Bde R Lk CW

                      F Bde Lateral

                      (Similarly others Bdes in Div)

                (c) (Similarly others Div in Corps)


Index B

Appendix C


        The following is a specimen signal diagram carrier by an operator at Bde HQ.  He may have to work on any one of four nets and all these are shown.  Note Slidex and Maplay keys for one day will be written on reverse.

BR      TFD     LQP                                |  FREQ 2320                  LFD        |        TFR                        |           LMQ

   \          |          /                     FXT        CDF     PNH                       \           |         /                             |            /

     \        |        /                           \           |           /                                \     NOC    /                 TMC  QNS     /

        \     |      /                               \         |         /                                   \        |       /                        \      |        /

         \    |    /_____ FND                \       |       /                                       \      |     /                           \     |      /

     COMMAND                             A WAVE                                          ASSU                           B WAVE


Method of Concealing Signal Diagram

        Remove the bullet from a round of .303 and drill out the load from inside the metal case.  The signal diagram is then written on pigeon message pad as shown above and rolled up and inserted in the hollow metal case.  The bullet case is then replaced in the cartridge case and slightly crimped into place.  In case of emergency the operator can then dispose of his signal diagram by firing the cartridge in his rifle.


Index B

Appendix D


        The cipher layout is complicated by (a) the fact that any cipher used must not be liable to compromise other ciphers by its loss or capture, and (b) the fact that, due to our opportunity role, distribution of ciphers must be effected before the commencement of the operation to all fmns with whom we might communicate.  These difficulties have been overcome as follows:-

        1.  No normal ciphers will be carried by air.

        2.  The division's Airborne Double Transposition Cipher which is held down to bn level within the division has been distributed to all fmns down to bde level in Second Army and First Cdn Army for use when this div or any of its fmns comes into action.  Thus we have wide lateral communications.

        3.  One Time Cipher six-way links are being issued to all Corps in Second Army and First Canadian Army of which four legs will be held by the corps and the other two legs sent to HQ Airborne Troops and to this div.  In the event of this div coming into action the corps concerned will issue three of the legs held to their divs (or as necessary) and this div will take with it into action the link appropriate to the corps under whom they are to come.

        4.  Further One Time Cipher links will be (a) the three way link between HQ Airborne Troops, this div and Base Supply Airfield, and (b) the One to One links between bdes and main div, bdes and Airborne tps, and main div and base div, (the last re-transmitted via Airborne Tps).

        5.  In the event of a bde going it alone it would have to be provided with a proportion of the six-way link (see para 3) and a portion of the three-way link (see para 4(b)).

        6.  In order that all One Time Pad holders may know what portion of a pad is safe, as for safety all pads will be carried in triplicate, the first duty of (a) a bde cipher operator will be to send to main div a slidex message priority Immediate stating that he has arrived, and a cipher message to all other corresponding holders of One Time cipher, and (b) at main div similarly a slidex message will be sent to bdes and a cipher message to all other corresponding holders of One Time cipher.  Until these messages are received no cipher messages can be sent to main div or bdes.


Index B




        1.  This instruction deals with the mounting of an airborne op.  Before moves to airfields everything possible must be done, so that subsequently when details of the plan are known, only final adjustments are required.

        2.  With this object in view, therefore, this instruction gives details of wireless nets, frequencies etc, so that an op can be mounted at say, 6 hrs notice if required.  The possible ops here catered for are - (a) A para bde without glider element.  (b) a div with normal aircraft allotment.  Either op to take place in sp of British or U.S. fmns.



        3.  Appx A shows Div nets.  Appx B shows RA nets.

        4.  Appx C shows arrangements for a para bde used alone and without glider element.

        5.  Appx A.  If time does not permit details of rear links to higher fmns being arranged before take off, higher fmns will first est comns with the Airborne Div by opening a LO set on the div A wave.  If circumstances permit a sig rep will also meet OC Sigs as soon after landing as possible.

        6.  Appx B.  Bde FOO No.22 sets will be netted on FOO control frequency and flicks either on regt net of allotted regt OR on a special frequency giving one to one link to the allotted regt.  On first landing FOOs set will open on the FOO control net.  When satisfactory comns are est orders will then be given to Bde FOOs to flick to this net.  Finally CRA will take control of the net.

        7.  Appx C.  In the event of a Para Bde being used alone, it will probably be impossible to prearrange links to any ground fmn.  A sig rep will however meet OC Para Bde Sigs as soon after landing as possible if circumstances permit.  In any event, the ground fmn will open a LO set on the Bde Comd net and also a set on the Bde lateral frequency.  Para Bde will make frequent calls on latter frequency.  Further details can then be arranged.  Crystals will be distributed if possible before move to airfields.

        8.  Frequencies.  Frequency lists A, B, C and D have been circulated.  Crystals will be distributed, by air if necessary, before take off.  As soon as air movement table has been issued, OC Div Sigs must be informed by Bde etc offrs to which airfields crystals must be issued, and where sets are distributed requiring details of frequency list to be used.


CODES. (see Sig Instruction No.1)

        9.  Call Signs.

                (a) Row Registers of this div are held at HQ all Corps and Divs in 21 Army Gp.

                (b) An airborne fmn working on a link to a non-airborne fmn will always be the subordinate station on the link.

        10.  Keys for Slidex and Maplay.

                (a) Keys have been issued from D-1 to D+10, D day being on the day of the Airborne op.  They have been circulated to all British and US Corps and Divs.

                (b) These keys will be used on all nets on which an Airborne Div set is working, (incl arty and air sp) and until liaison is est with the ground fmn.  Thereafter the normal system of keys, as if the airborne fmn was a normal ground fmn, will be brought into use.  This means that the Airborne keys will be used for the fly-in and until such time as they are superseded by other keys on orders from the cooperating ground fmn.

        11.  Compromise.  If keys etc fall into enemy hands, compromise must be accepted as new keys cannot be distributed with certainty before liaison with ground fmn is est.  Any compromise will be reported without delay to OC Sigs.



        12.  See Sig Instruction No.1.  If the op is in the American sector arrangements will be

                (a) Para Bde - Slidex only until US cipher operators can join Bde on ground.

                (b) Airborne Div - Three US cipher operators will accompany Div from UK carrying American ciphers.


(Signed) T.G.V. Stephenson.

Lt Col R Signals

Officer Commanding 1 Airborne Divisional Signals.

30 May 44.


Index B




        1.  GENERAL.  This instruction deals with final details for an airborne op and also with the plan for Pigeons.


                (a) In accordance with the usual practice this will be est by the Bde HQ para party as soon as possible after landing, and will remain open until the glider element arrives.  The Div A wave frequency will be used.  Layout at Appx A.

                (b) On landing, the No.22 sets in the glider element are allotted the following calls signs

                        A Wave set              Tac HQ call sign

                        A Wave spare set     Tac HQ call sign plus suffix 1.

                                When glider element takes over control, the Para Report Centre will, while still open use Tac HQ call sign.

        3.  BASE LINK.  While establishing comns, Airborne Div sets will call at the hr and half hr for 5 mins.  Base set will be expected to call at 15 and 45 mins past the hr.

        4.  PRIORITY OF OPENING OF SETS AT DIV HQ.  In the event of casualties to sets and crews, and there being insufficient to op all links, the following will NOT op in the order of priority given

                No.22 Set  Recce Sqn Rear Link.  Corps CW.  Corps RT.

                No.76 Set  ASSU   )

                                  B Wave ) Equal

        5.  FREQUENCIES.  The order as to which frequency list is to be used will be given at Div and Bde O Gps.  Crystals will be distributed at the same time.  Details of RA comns will, if known, be given when FOO's are briefed.

        6.  TIME SIGNALS.  The BBC is arranging to broadcast time signals.  A list of stations broadcasting time signals is at Appx B.  The signal will be the usual six "pips", the last of which gives the exact hr.

        7.  OFFICE CALL SIGNS.  These will be as follows:-

                Airborne Tp (Main)    HQAB
                Airborne Tp (Base)     HQABR

                Airborne Div               PY

                Para Bde                    PZ

                A L Bde                     GZ

                        The following call signs will continue to be used

                HQ 1 Airborne Div (static)    FK

                HQ 6 Airborne Div (static)    NVN

        8.  ASSU.  In certain cases ASSU net may be used for comn to Base.  Details have been circulated direct to Bde HQ (HQ Air Tps/580S/X/TS 29 May 44 refers).  Frequency and crystals for ASSU net will be given at O Gp.

        9.  21 IND PARA COY.  Crystals are being provided to enable 21 Ind Para Coy to work direct to Base should this become necessary.  This should, however, be in an emergency only.  On landing Ind Para Coy will open a set on frequency used on links Div - Recce Sqn.  This set will be found from their own resources.  In the event of this link not working (see para 4) instructions must be obtained from Div HQ.




        10.  GENERAL.  It is hoped that up to 100 pigeons can be made available.  These will home to lofts situated somewhere in the SOUTH where the messages will be retransmitted to HQ Airborne Troops.  Since messages should only be sent by pigeon in case of emergency, they should be franked with the priority IMMEDIATE or above as the case may be.  The address will be in clear and will be "HQ Airborne Troops (Main)"; no other form of address will be used.

        11.  SCALE OF PIGEONS.  Containers will, if available, be distributed as follows:-

Div HQ

Para Bde HQ

A L Bde HQ

Para Bn HQ


Lt Regt

21 Ind Para Coy


6 (2 bird containers)

8 (1 bird cylinders)

4 (2 bird containers)

4 (1 bird cylinders)

2 (2 bird containers)

2 (2 bird containers)

6 (1 bird cylinders)

82 pigeons.

        12.  USE.  Messages should be in Slidex Code as if being sent by RT.  The div Pigeon Offr has recently given lectures to units etc on care and handling of pigeons.  It is stressed that pigeons are unlikely to home if kept longer than seven days after landing.  Unused pigeons should therefore be released 7 days after landing.


(Sgd) T.G.V. Stephenson

Lt Col R Signals

Officer Commanding 1 Airborne Divisional Signals.


Index C

1 Airborne Div Signals

Operation MARKET

Diary of Events at Div HQ.


        1.  GENERAL.  Copies of Div Signals Insts. 1, 2, and 3 and Div Op Order for Ops LINNET and MARKET are at Index B in order to show the signal comns which it was intended should be provided.

        2.  D DAY.  All Gliders arrived except Glider C.  Gliders landed at approx 1300 hrs, unloaded and vehs proceeded immediately to the first position of Div HQ which was on the edge of the wood beside the LZ.  The parachute party landed very shortly after the gliders.  Comns were set up only on those sets which could operate on the move since the Comd wished to keep Div HQ as mobile as possible.  This prevented sets being erected to work to Base, Phantom, etc.  On the Div Comd net the following stations were through by 1607 hrs:- 1 Para Bde, A L Bde, 21 Ind Para Coy, Tac Div HQ (Para party), GOC's Rover.  At 1645 hrs 1 Para Bde started to move from the DZ and they reported at the same time that their lateral set (SCR-300) was in communication with 82 US Airborne Div.  The Div Comd freq was proving unsatisfactory at this time there being a powerful British station almost exactly on it, and it was therefore decided to change over the A and B freqs at 1900 hrs; a message to this effect was sent to all concerned.  1 Para Bde had with them only a No 68P set working on the Div Comd net since they had not waited for their glider element to join them before moving off.  Consequently they were soon out of range and the message about change of freq could not be got to them.  A SDR was sent to 1 Para Bde at 1730 hrs with an OP message among others, but returned at 2050 hrs to report he could not find them.  G Staff thereupon ordered that no further DRs should be allowed out without their permission.  At 1930 hrs Div HQ closed and moved into a lager among the gliders on the LZ.  It was now dark and open wire aerials were erected for the longer links.  Interference however was very bad.  Links worked as follows:-

                A Wave - unable to work until 2300 hrs when A L Bde and 21 Ind Para Coy came on the air.  There was no comn with 1 Para Bde or GOCs Rover, which latter was still absent from Div HQ.

                B Wave - No comn owing to heavy interference.

                Base Set - contact with Airborne Corps at 2145 hrs.  Corps reported they could work Base 5/5.  Contact was lost soon afterwards.

                RA Comns - RA net was through to 1 Bty, 3 Bty, 1 A Tk Bty, and CO Lt Regt.

                Other sets, which did not establish comns on D Day were:- Phantom set, PR set, Air Sp Set.

                        It is clear that 1 Para Bde No 68P set was out of range, and it transpired that the GOC's Rover set had been put out of action by a mortar bomb.  On the B Wave comn was most difficult to the heavy interference and the lack of selectivity in the R 109.  Similarly the same reasons probably were the cause of failure of the Base and PR links.  The LO from the Recce Sqn at Div HQ reported through to his tps with 1 Para Bde and 1 A L Bde but comn to the former was lost shortly after dark.

                3.  D+1.  At 0015 hrs comn 3/3 was established with Base.  Traffic could be passed on DC procedure RA and Recce reported they had lost touch with their sets with 1 Para Bde, otherwise no change in comns.  At 0630 hrs Div HQ moved into some scrub at the edge of the LZ.  Comns were as follows:-

                A Wave - A L Bde and 21 Ind Para Coy.

                B Wave - A L Bde.

                Base - Base and Corps.

                Others - Nil.

                        2 i/c Div Sigs was despatched at 0715 hrs with orders to go to 1 Para Bde, see what the trouble was and inform them of the change of frequency.  The order "prepare to move" came at 0730 hrs by which time no further comns had been established.  At 0800 hrs Div HQ closed and moved on to the main road ARNHEM - UTRECHT and established a new HQ at HILL OEK at 0930 hrs.  Aerials were erected immediately.  The GOCs Rover was still off the air on the A Wave, but AL Bde and 21 Ind Para Coy were still on.  At 0945 hrs 2 S Staffs were ordered to reinforce 1 Para Bde.  A No 68P set working on the Div Comd net was attached to them and they left Div HQ at 1010 hrs.  At 1030 hrs a LO with Jeep and No 22 set were despatched to endeavour to get to the main br at ARNHEM.  This LO however, could only get about half-way where he found 2 i/c Div Sigs with 1 Para Bn.  The latter had informed 1 Para Bde by wireless of the change of Div Comd frequency, using the Bde comd net.  The LO shortly afterwards returned to Div HQ, and 2 i/c Div Sigs continued on with 1 Para Bn.  The latter shortly afterwards was forced to lie up and took no further part in the op.  Throughout the morning Base, PR, Phantom and Air Sp Sets tried hard to establish comns but all failed.  Base set contacted Airborne Corps strength 3/3 and 1335 hrs.  At 1415 hrs 2nd lift aircraft began to appear and 4 Para Bde were on Div Comd net at 1530 hrs.  Phantom set reported contact with 30 Corps at 1510 hrs.  At 1630 hrs Div HQ prepared to move in direction of ARNHEM and opened at PARK HOTEL, HARTESTEIN at 1740 hrs.  There was still no news of the GOC.  The 2nd Glider Lift and one Para stick had now landed safely and had joined Div HQ.  Also Glider C which had failed to arrive on the previous day.  HQ RA also moved to Park Hotel and were established by 1840 hrs and a No 19 HP set took command of the CRAs net.  A No.22 set on another net was working to 2 Lt Bty which had just landed.  A further No 22 set with a Captain from 1 FOU was sent out to act as FOO with 4 Para Bde.  The second No 19 HP was dug in and a 34 ft rod aerial set up in preparation for the link to the ground fmn FOOs.  Lines were laid to Lt Regt and between G and RA offices.  At 1800 hrs the B wave crystal in the No 76 set failed.  This was quickly rectified.  At 2040 hrs the No 76 set on the Base link failed and this was not rectified until 0055 hrs.  At 2120 hrs orders were given by OC Signals that since the Air Sp net was not yet through all demands for Air Sp should be cleared through Airborne Corps, 30 Corps or 2nd Army, whichever set was through at the time of demand.  It had been decided that 11 Para Bn should be detached from 4 Para Bde and given the task of relieving 1 Para Bde, who were now involved in fighting in the town and with whom no comns had yet been re-established.  A No 22 Set with crew and jeep from A Sec was allotted to 11 Para Bn, which set off at 2300 hrs.

        4.  D+2.  At 0055 hrs the Base set now in working order, could hear Airborne Corps and Base working together but was unable to get on net.  At 0200 hrs a Jeep SDR was sent with offr to try and get through to 1 Para Bde, but failed and returned.  At 0503 hrs RA reported that they were through to 3 Bty who were with 1 Para Bde, but comn was lost 7 mins later.  The Comd returned to Div HQ at 0730 hrs, his Rover set having been destroyed.  A new set and jeep was immediately prepared and the crew briefed.  At 0915 hrs the No 68P set with 2 S Staffs was heard on the Div Comd net but it was so weak that comn could not be established.  At 0947 hrs this was re-established.  On the Div Comd net there then were:- 4 Para Bde, A L Bde, 21 Ind Para Coy, 2 S Staffs, 11 Para Bn, GOCs Rover.

                B Wave - 4 Para Bde, A L Bde.

                Base set - Airborne Corps and Base - 2/2.

                PR Set (working to War Office London) - 4/4.

                Phantom and Recce sets, both satisfactory.

                        At 1200 hrs 2 S Staffs set failed; it was heard again at 1455 hrs but faded away and was not heard again.  PR set reported comn had been lost but this was through again at 1250 hrs.  The Air Sp set had still not established comn.  At 1450 hrs the No 22 set which had been with 11 Para Bn reported back at Div HQ having been given orders to return.  At 1700 hrs the 3rd lift aircraft began to arrive and encountered heavy flak.  The Polish Para Bde was called on the Div Comd net and on the 1 to 1 link but nothing was heard and it was later ascertained that they had not arrived.  At 2100 hrs the comn state was as follows:-

                A Wave - 4 Para Bde, A L Bde, 21 Ind Para Coy.

                B Wave - 4 Para Bde, A L Bde.

                Base set - Out of action as night crystal had failed.

                Remainder - No comns.

                        Lines had now been laid locally and to 4 Para Bde.  A L Bde line was about to be started.  At 2300 hrs PR set established comn and traffic was passed.  There was no change in RA comns throughout the day.  The spare No.19 HP set was moved to an attic in Park Hotel and a 34 foot rod aerial erected to try and get early as possible contact with ground FOOs.

        5.  D+3.  At 0200 hrs it was reported that there was heavy interference on all links and the Comd net, although receiving strength 5 signals was unable to pass traffic.  The PR set was unsatisfactory.  At 0440 hrs 4 Para Bde came up on the B wave.  At 0500 hrs Phantom set reported through to 2nd Army and 30 Corps.  At 0720 hrs Base set reported through to Base and Airborne Corps.  The Comd held a conference at 0800 hrs.  In the middle, GSO 3 (Ops) reported that 1 Para Bde had come up on the Comd net.  They were at the North end of the main road bridge at ARNHEM.  1 Para Bde remained through on this net until the evening when it is reported that they were overwhelmed.  Lines were now through to both the other Bdes.  During a recce by the Comd his Jeep was again hit by a mortar bomb but the set was salvaged and repaired.  At 1400 hrs the Base set reported unable to pass traffic owing to heavy interference from RAF Station P6Z.  During the rest of the day A L Bde, 4 Para Bde and 21 Ind Para Coy kept going off the Comd net for short periods, also their lines were similarly out of action.  This was due to enemy action.  At 1830 hrs a new Rover set was ready for the Comd.  At 1900 hrs the GSO 3 (CW) was despatched with Jeep and No.22 set, netted on the Comd net, with the task of endeavouring to get contact with ground forces believed to be nearing the SOUTH BANK of the river.  This set however remained on the NORTH BANK of the river while the offr crossed over.  It remained through during the night and, on the offr not returning, was ordered to report back to Div HQ at first light.  At 1800 hrs contact with 4 Para Bde was lost on both A and B waves and it subsequently transpired that both the bde sets had been destroyed by enemy action.  After dark some interference was experienced on the Base link.  Mortaring and shelling of the Div area was much heavier than on previous days, and valves in some sets were put out of action through near misses.  The No 19 HP set at the top of the house was moved back to the grounds and dug in.  A ground FOO was heard for a few moments but no contact could be obtained.  Other RA comns were working satisfactorily.  A number of vehs in the Div area had now been put out of action, including both Air Sp vehs.  Throughout the day constant search was maintained on both links to Corps without result.  Sets were changed and resited and open wire aerials tried.  The Div Guard set which had maintained a listening watch hitherto still had made no contact with anyone.

        6.  D+4.  There is little to report during the early hours of darkness.  The PR set failed but was repaired shortly after by an IM.  4 Para Bde Sigs had suffered heavy casualties in men and equipment the previous day and 2 No 22 sets and 3 No 68P sets were made available to Comd 4 Para Bde.  Lieut BOSWORTH was ordered to act as Bde Sig Offr.  Owing to heavy mortaring, lines kept being out and linesmen were kept busy throughout the day.  The new 4 Para Bde set was on the Div A wave at 0900 hrs and remained through for the rest of the day.  The Phantom set was having difficulty in passing traffic throughout the morning, but improved later.  At mid day the Comd decided to move all offices into the basement of the PARK HOTEL, there to form a strong-point.  The Signal Office and switchboard were therefore moved and were working by 1530 hrs.  Outside locals were duplicated in all cases, four lines being laid to RA.  Actually in the building the following sets were located:- Comd Set; Recce Set; Base Set; B Wave set; Polish Bde set.  Since the B wave could now only communicate with A L Bde, and there was little or no formal traffic to be passed, this link was closed down and not reopened.  The sets listening on both Corps links and on the Div Guard freq were still searching but had heard nothing.  A large proportion of the Polish Para Bde landed about 1900 hrs SOUTH of the River and both No.22 sets due to contact them now began to call and search for them.  No contact however, was made.  By now both day crystals of the Base set had failed and this link thereafter had to work on the night freq throughout the 24 hrs.  Comn was therefore difficult during day time, and at night interference was experienced.  Contact was established at 0900 hrs with 64 Med Regt, using a No.19 HP set, and ranging was commenced at once.  This link remained through for the rest of the op and the Arty Sp provided proved invaluable.  Other RA comns worked normally throughout the day.

        7.  D+5.  At 0320 hrs a message arrived saying that 43 Div would come up on Airborne Corps comd frequency and giving the call signs they would use.  Hitherto Gds Armd Div had been expected but had not been heard.  Before first light 21 Ind Para Coy was placed under comd 4 Para Bde.  They were therefore transferred from the Div Comd wave to 4 Para comd wave.  At 0800 hrs Base set reported through to Airborne Corps and Base, and traffic was being passed.  At 0800 hrs hy mortaring cut all lines leading into Div HQ.  At 0900 hrs contact was established with the Polish Para Bde on the 1 to 1 link.  This link subsequently proved invaluable.  Throughout the day mortaring cut lines frequently and caused the two bde sets to close down on occasions.  Breaks, however, were only of short duration and comns were more than adequate to enable the Comd to control the Div.  Some interference was being caused at Div HQ owing to sets being so close together.  Throughout the day listening watch was still maintained on both the Airborne Corps links and on the Div Guard wave.  Aerials were resited and every possible improvement made but still without success.  During the morning a mortar bomb destroyed four 300 watt charging sets.  This made the battery charging situation very difficult, as a number of batteries had also been destroyed.  The utmost economy was ordered and batteries from Jeeps, which had been put out of action, were collected.  Comns on the Phantom and PR sets remained satisfactory throughout the day.  The Base link however was difficult, although some traffic was passed both to Base and Corps.  RA Comns throughout the day were normal.

        8.  D+6.  It now became clear that the remaining charging sets could not hold their own on the battery drain, and early in the day a further charging set was destroyed by enemy action.  Furthermore, owing to the number of near misses, the IMs, two of whom had been wounded, could not keep the necessary number of sets in working order.  OC Sigs therefore decided to close down the two No.22 Sets listening for Airborne Corps and also the Div Guard set.  Comns on the Div Comd net, Polish link, Recce, PR and Phantom were satisfactory.  Aerials, however, were constantly being blown over by blast so that inevitably there were breaks in comns.  Lines also were constantly being cut and linesmen were kept busy.  The Base set comn was very difficult, signals being weak and interference fairly heavy.  Some traffic however was passed to Airborne Corps and Base.  At 1800 hrs very heavy mortaring occurred and three direct hits were scored on Div HQ.  Three working No 22 sets were put out of action and all lines cut.  Sets were not repaired before dark and great difficulty was found in establishing comn again since sets had to be kept more or less in the open and the light necessary for the operator to tune the sets constantly drew snipers fire.  During the night Base and PR sets reported fading and heavy interference.  A det of Polish Para Bde was expected to cross the river during the night.  A No 22 set in Jeep was despatched to make contact with them and establish comns on the Div Comd net.  RA comns worked very satisfactorily throughout the day.  The second No 19 HP set established comn with Maj Whyte Boycott of the Seaborne FOO element.  By the evening 1 Airborne Div could obtain arty support on demand from one med and three fd regts.  A large number of targets were registered and arty sp was almost continuous.  At 1800 hrs a German station came on the FOO net and endeavoured to confuse fire orders, so that supporting arty would shell our own troops.  It appeared however, that the No 19 HP set was sufficiently powerful to prevent confusion and characteristics of the officers working British sets were sufficiently well known to each other to overcome the difficulty.

        9.  D+7.  At 0800 hrs Maj Holbrook, OC 2 Coy, using a No 22 set came up on the one to one link to the Polish Para Bde.  He was at once ordered to report to 130 Bde where he remained for the rest of the op.  This link proved invaluable.  Comns were fair up to first light, then things improved and all sets were through and working by 0600 hrs.  There was then very heavy mortaring for three hrs and aerials kept being blown down.  Great difficulty was experienced in keeping lines through, but it was usually found that either line or wireless was through at any one time.  Other wireless links worked satisfactorily throughout the rest of the day except for the Base set which lost comn about 1800 hrs.  About 1145 hrs two sets using the call sign of the Rover set of Comd Br Airborne Corps, were heard on the Div Comd net.  Calls were exchanged but it was impossible to pass any useful traffic.  It subsequently transpired that these were sets specially sent forward by 43 Div in an effort to contact us direct, and that they were using the incorrect call sign.  As comn with 130 Bde was working very satisfactorily and the two sets were in danger of jamming our comd net, they were asked to close down.  The charging sets still in action were able to keep the remaining sets working.  Things were very difficult at Div HQ throughout the day owing to heavy mortaring and the fact that entrances were covered by enemy snipers.

        10.  D+8.  The Phantom set closed down between 0200 hrs and 0530 hrs.  The PR set was out of comn during the same period.  Base set established comn in the early hours and remained working for the rest of the day although signals were weak.  Other wireless links remained satisfactory throughout the day except for the usual difficulties of aerials being blown down at either end.  Mortaring was heavy and linesmen were kept busy repairing breaks.  The links to 130 Bde and Ground FOOs worked very satisfactorily and arty sp was constantly being demanded.  IMs were working hard in repairing sets.  Only two spare No.22 sets were now available.  At 1900 hrs the plan for the evacuation of 1 Airborne Div was given out to the men, the route memorised, and orders issued for the destruction of equipment and records.  At 2145 hrs the final call for arty sp was put through and answered.  At 2200 hrs the destruction of all equipment was completed, except for the two sets working to Base and 130 Bde.  Wounded signallers who could not be evacuated volunteered to pass traffic on these two links after the departure of Div HQ and one message was received at 130 Bde at 0330 hrs the following morning; that is 5 hours after Div HQ had left.  By 2230 hrs Div HQ had been evacuated, OC Sigs being the last to leave.



        1.  Signal Security in the Airborne Division is difficult, as no establishment exists for a monitoring section.  Much must be left to operators on sets, and close scrutiny on traffic by Signal Officers.

        2.  RT  Generally speaking RT security was fairly good.  Much time and practice had been put in before the operation and officers had reached a reasonably high standard.  At times however, owing to the stress of circumstances some bad breaches of security were committed.  One example was during a report by a Brigade to Division on a recent enemy attack on one of their units, it was stated that the attack had been beaten off but it was doubtful if another such attack could be held.  This was presumably not Intercepted as a similar attack did not occur.

        3.  AUTHENTIFICATION  The usual authentification system was taken into the air and was used, but when units were contacted by our nets and their identity was not known the authentification system did not cover such a circumstance.  There was no choice but to use some unauthorised method such as asking a known Officer at the other end some details of his personal history.  This occurred on at least two occasions and worked satisfactorily, although it is by no means recommended to be adopted as standard.

        4.  SLIDEX CODE  This worked satisfactorily both within the division and to higher formations.  The latter had not however made a sufficient distribution of keys, with the result that some delay ensued until the ground unit spotted the fact that special Airborne keys were being used.

        5.  SIGNAL INFORMATION  As had been previously planned the minimum amount of signal information was taken into the air, this was limited to the frequencies on which Airborne Sets were required to work and the code signs of formations with which they were likely to come into contact with.  When the appropriate links to higher formations failed, efforts were made to make contact by putting sets of the command nets of ground formations.  This method was doomed to failure since a list of the frequencies and the call signs in use was not held by the Airborne Division.  Furthermore, should such a contact have been made the passing of messages by Slidex code would have presented a problem since the keys appropriate to the ground formation were not held in the Airborne Division.  It is vital that in all future operations this information is at the disposal of the Airborne formation and taken by them into the air.  One example of the difficulties which were encountered was when Major Holbrook, OC No 2 Coy, who was with the ground formations, came up on the air from the Polish Parachute Brigade area on the SOUTH Bank of the River, and it was desired to order him to report to 130 Infantry Brigade.  Since however the code sign of the latter was not known, he had to be ordered to go to a formation whose Sunray's name was "-----".

        6.  COMPROMISE.  Owing to the confused fighting in the 1 Para Brigade area, it is not known whether the information contained in the self-destroying tubes was denied to the enemy, it was assumed that it had been.  The Polish Parachute Brigade however, reported that their Slidex and Maplay keys had been lost and compromised.  Reserve one keys were taken into effect at 0100 hours the following day and the change worked smoothly.

        7.  MAPLAY  As far as could be ascertained no instance exists of the employment of Maplay for distinguishing map reference.

        8.  CIPHER

                (a) As far as can be ascertained Double Transposition cipher was never used.

                (b) One time letter cipher was used for messages between Polish Para Brigade and Airborne Division.

                (c) One-time-pad cipher was used on all the links outside the Airborne Division.  It proved a great success and was found quick and simple to operate.  There were only two snags.  The first was that a three leg pad would have proved invaluable to work to 30 Corps and Airborne Corps, since a large number of messages were for these two addresses.  Since such a pad had been withdrawn just before the operation messages for these two had to be en-ciphered and sent twice.  The second snag was that 30 Corps had not passed on one leg of the six way pad to 43 Div, and as a result no one-time link existed between that formation and the Airborne Div.



        1.  GENERAL.  Although the direct air support was provided by the RAF the communications were provided from American re-sources under arrangements made by 1st Allied Airborne Army.  They consisted of two air support parties with 1st Airborne Div working on a net to the two other airborne divs and to Airborne Corps.  Control was at Second Army.  Each of these parties consisted of one Officer and 4 ORs, a "Veep" and a Jeep.  A "Veep" is a Jeep fitted with an SCR-193 for ground-to-ground communication and a VHF transreceiver for ground-to-air communication.  The SCR-193 set is crystal controlled, the required frequency being slightly different from the crystal frequency; two frequencies were provided.

        2.  Owing to last minute changes the air support parties were not briefed until the middle of the night prior to take-off.  They were flown in with the first lift, Waco gliders being used.  On arrival at ARNHEM it was found that neither set could be tuned to the lower of the two frequencies allotted.  Every effort was made to establish contact on the higher of the two frequencies, but unfortunately without success, and as a result these air support parties were quite useless.

        3.  After D+2 when the HQ area began to be more or less heavily mortared and shelled, it became necessary to dig in all working sets.  The equipment in the Veep however could not be dismantled for the following reasons:- (a) It is extremely bulky.  (b) It is wired into the vehicle.  (c) It is necessary to use the vehicle engine when operating.  As a result of this both sets were soon riddled and put out of action.

        4.  This arrangement for air support communications is unsatisfactory since the personnel had never actually worked with the equipment they went with, nor had they worked with the other crews on the same net.  In future it is strongly recommended that air support communications are provided from an existing air support signal unit, or alternatively that the crews are practiced together before the operation.  Smaller equipment is required, capable of being dismantled from vehicles and dug in in slit trenches.

        5.  GROUND TO AIR COMMUNICATIONS.  All arrangements for ground to air communications are made by OC Independent Para Coy direct with the RAF.  These consist of ground to air recognition signals, coloured smoke and frequencies for Eurekas etc.  After the initial phase it was found in practice that Signals were called upon to undertake this task, and it is strongly recommended that they should be made responsible from the planning stage onwards.  In this connection a R Signals officer is already attached to the Independent Parachute Coy.

        6.  RE SUPPLY.  It is thought that the Germans were endeavouring to confuse the signals which were being displayed during re-supply, owing to the very large number of aircraft which continually dropped supplies in the wrong place.  This fact is borne out by conversations overheard by officers evading, and in future operations it is very desirable to change from day to day the ground to air signals and, if possible, frequencies for Eurekas.  It is known that at least one Eureka was captured by the enemy.



        1.  GENERAL.  All the sets at HQ RA could not be flown in on the first lift, with the result that the normal RA layout was not possible until after the arrival of the 2nd lift.

        2.  In spite of some non-arrivals on the first day HQ RA was fully complete by the evening of D+1.  Communications worked well on D day and D+1 except that great difficulty was experienced in keeping through to the OP with 1 Parachute Brigade in ARNHEM.  Lines were laid on D+1 from HQ RA to the Light Regiment and G Office.  On arrival of the second lift a No 19 HP set was used for the control set.

        3.  As will be seen from the diary of events no contact with the ground formation was made until D+4, when a No 19 HP set established contact with 64 Medium Regiment at a range of about eleven miles.  Ranging was commenced immediately and a number of targets registered.  A No 22 set was being used at the distant end and it was found that although communications worked well during the day, at night a step-up was necessary; the latter was provided by using an FOO belonging to the regiment.  OC 1 FOU and three FOOs with one No 19 HP set and three No 22 sets had been attached to RA 30 Corps, with the task of making early contact with RA 1 Airborne Div; a special frequency had been provided for this purpose.  Communication to the No 19 HP set was not, however, established until D+6, the range then being about 10 miles.  Communications were then quickly organised and by the evening of that day one medium and three field regiment RA were all on call to 1 Airborne Div.  For the remainder of the operation these communications worked satisfactorily and artillery support was extremely good.

        4.  It is clear from the experience gained in this operation that the No 22 set has not an adequate range nor is its receiver sufficiently selective for communication between the Airborne Division and FOOs coming up with the relieving ground forces.  The No 19 HP set with its greater range and better receiver is more suitable, but even so a more powerful set is desirable.

        5.  Communications for the FOOs with Parachute and Air Landing Battalions is not satisfactory, it being found that the No 68R set is quite inadequate for this task.  Ranges obtained in the very wooded country were far less than the specified ranges, and contact was soon lost between FOOs and FOO Controls at Brigade HQ.  A FOO is quite useless without a means of communication and a more powerful set must be found.  The SCR-694 may prove to be suitable.



        1.  GENERAL.  During the first two days when the battle was still mobile, a fair opinion could be formed as to the behaviour of equipment, and as a result of experience gained the following have come to light.


                (a) Air landing battalions.  Existing scales are adequate except for the following changes:- Add - one Switchboard UC 10 line.  This is required since existing scale only allows one, and in an airborne operation this should be duplicated.  Furthermore during the static phase it was found that a large number of lines were laid and two switchboards are really required.  Delete - Three wireless sets No 22 and one Wavemeter Class C.  These are required for the Recce Platoon which is no longer allowed on WE.

                (b) Parachute Battalion.  There is a definite requirement for line equipment on the same scale as an ordinary inf or air landing battalion.  A para bn is required to undertake much the same tasks, and therefore requires the same scale of signal equipment.  It is recommended however, owing to limitations in weight, that only half the amount of assault cable be added.

                (c) Mortar Platoons.  Telephones Head and Breast Sound Powered No 2 should be replaced by Telephone Sets L, the reason being that the former have really insufficient range, they are bulky and heavy, they are uncomfortable and they have no calling device.  The telephone L has been chosen since it has magneto ringing and no adjustable parts.


                (a) No.18 set.  This worked extremely well, and it was found that its range is perfectly adequate.  There is a demand for the controls to be painted with luminous paint, and Aerial bases No 10 should be mounted on top of the set.  The existing aerial rods were found to be very fragile, but the last modification recommended will obviate this.

                (b) No.38 set.  This set appears to have worked well, the only criticism being the old one of the junction box.  Batteries appear to have required replenishment only every 48 hours.

                (c) SCR-536.  This appeared to have worked well, but its lack of robustness was criticised.  It was noted that when units make reports of losses of major items of equipment and from which demands for resupply are prepared, in the case of this set the frequency required was never stated.

                (d) Assault Cable.  This was generally liked, it appears however to be a little fragile and thicker insulation would improve it.

                (e) Battery Supply.  No 2 batteries for No 18 and No 68 Sets proved a great success and in some cases appeared to have lasted up to 72 hours each.

        4.  WE.  Establishment of signal pls are inadequate.  The same amount of signal equipment as in an ordinary inf bn is held and a similar WE is required.  In the case of para bns who have only three coys a reduction of five signallers is permissible.  More MC orderlies would have been a great advantage in both cases.

        5.  TRAINING.  The trg of personnel to work No 38 and SCR-536 sets appears to have been adequate.

        6.  AERIALS.  No open wire aerials with No 18 sets were used during the operation.  No instances are reported of personnel carrying sets being deliberately sniped for that reason.



        1.  SCALE.  The scale of Pigeons throughout the Airborne Division is laid down in 1 Airborne Div Signals Operation Instruction No 3.  Pigeons were provided from RAF sources, the lofts being situated in the London area.

        2.  The distance which pigeons had to fly was approximately 240 miles.  They were distributed over the glider element to units and formation HQ, except for Para Battalions who dropped with them in the one bird cylinders.  Since everyone was delivered to the correct LZ and DZ there was really very little scope for the use of pigeons.  Some were released immediately on landing when it was evident they would not be required, some were obviously kept in their containers and subsequently released.  A proportion of these were to be seen in the Div area right up to the evacuation, obviously having made no attempt to go home.

        3.  Of the 82 Pigeons taken on the operation 14 returned to their home loft; of these eleven carried no messages, the messages carried by the other three being delivered to Airborne Corps Rear.

        4.  A German Pigeon loft was situated in the grounds of PARK HOTEL HARTESTEIN, that is, at Div HQ.  Although no experienced pigeon personnel had been taken on the operation, birds were distributed to Brigades but they were never used for communication purposes.  By D+3 the shelling and mortaring in the vicinity of the loft was so bad that the pigeons seldom used it.  In the first two days a number of homing pigeons carrying German messages arrived at the loft and the messages were passed to I.  It is really doubtful whether pigeons are worth taking on future airborne operations similar to this.



        1.  COMPANY SET FOR INF.  The alternative sets are the No 38 and the SCR-536.  It is understood that the latter set is no longer in production in America and the set to replace it has not yet appeared.  In the circumstances therefore, there appears to be no alternative.  The No 38 set is satisfactory.  Furthermore a new model is shortly to be introduced with certain advantages over the old model.

        2.  BATTALION SET.  The alternatives are:- Wireless set No 18, Wireless set No 46, Wireless set No 68R, Wireless set, Wireless set SCR-300.  The No 46 set was originally produced for combined operations.  It has a nominal range of 5 to 8 miles, and is crystal controlled, each set having one common and two other crystal frequencies.  In practice however it is found that the range of the set is much less.  It cannot be guaranteed that the spot frequencies on which the set is to operate will in fact be workable and the lack of flexibility and difficulties in resupply consequent on having crystals makes this set unsuitable for airborne.  The No 68R set although already in use in the Airborne Division would present a considerable problem in frequency allotment if used in infantry battalions.  As it works in the lower end of the Army band (3.2 to 5 Mc/s) it is doubtful whether, when all division and enemy nets are working, sufficient channels could be found for the set.  Furthermore the range of the set was found under the conditions of the operation only to be 1 to 2 miles and this is insufficient.  The No 18 set was satisfactory, and it is recommended that unless a better set of proved reliability and range is known to be available, no change is desirable.  The SCR-300 set is an American set similar to the No 18, but it has two distinct advantages.  Firstly, it works in a much higher band (40 to 50 Mc/s) and secondly it is frequency modulated.  The higher frequency, although making the set more liable to shadow effect, is much quieter and less adjustable under most conditions.  The advantages of FM, particularly in a tropical climate, are enormous, the signal noise ratio being much better than with AM.  As a long term policy it is recommended that this set might be adopted.

        3.  BRIGADE SET.  The alternatives are:- Wireless set No 68P, Wireless set No 22, Wireless set SCR-694.  At present the No 68P set is used, except in Air Landing Brigades where the No 22 set is used.  It has been found however that the No 68P set has really insufficient range; in other respects it is perfectly satisfactory.  The No 22 set is really too heavy and bulky for parachute brigades.  The SCR-694 set, with its normal range of 15 miles RT, appears to be the most suitable, it has still however to be given field trials in this formation.

        4.  DIVISIONAL COMMAND SET.  The alternatives are:- Wireless set No 22, Wireless set No 19, Wireless set SCR-694, Wireless set No 62.  The No 22 set has been used hitherto, crystal controlled sets having been provided.  In practice however, it is found that the range of the set is not always sufficient, and the receiver owing to its lack of sensitivity frequently made communications most difficult, even though a fair signal was being received.  This last drawback is considered serious.  The No 19 set is a most attractive proposition.  Although it has a higher current consumption than the No 22 set it has better RT performance and a more selective receiver; it thus ensures communications being established when possibly a No 22 set would not get through.  As a short term policy it is strongly recommended that it be adopted.  The SCR-694 is a possible set for this link, but as stated above it has not had a field trial in this unit.  It is not known at present whether the set can be battery operated, and unless this can be done satisfactorily it is unsuitable.  The wireless set No 62 is a new set replacing the No 22.  It is the same size as the No 22 set less its power unit and a little lighter.  Its frequency band is wider (2 to 10 Mc/s) and it has both AM and FM facilities.  This last makes it a most attractive proposition.  Originally large quantities were promised for delivery this year, but it now transpires that only about 100 will be available.  It is highly probable that a large proportion of these would be made available to Airborne Forces, but there is always a danger of having teething troubles when adopting a set just in production, and although the sets may be available very shortly it is strongly recommended that they are not adopted as the standard set in the division until they have proved themselves over a period of time.

        5.  DIVISIONAL REAR LINK SETS.  No 22 set has proved quite inadequate for this role; other possible sets are:- Wireless C52 or C9, Wireless set No 12 HP, Wireless set SCR-499, Wireless set No 53.  The Wireless set No C9 is a Canadian version of the old No 9 set; its performance is extremely good, giving 25 miles RT and up to 100 miles WT, and it has proved itself most reliable during operations.  It is larger than the No 19 HP, the complete station including charging equipment weighing 1,000 lbs, but it can be fitted conveniently into a trailer 10 cwt.  The wireless set No C52 is a development from the C9; it is exactly the same size and current consumption, but with a better performance.  This set is now in production and would be available for field trials immediately.  Both these sets, although bulky compared with sets already in use in the Airborne Division, are quite capable of being sited in a slit trench.  The wireless set No 12 HP, although it undoubtedly has sufficient range, is not considered suitable since its current consumption is extremely large, it requires a power unit working the whole time, and it cannot be taken out from its vehicle and sited in a slit trench.  The same remarks apply to the Wireless set SCR-499 as to the No 12 HP.  Under this heading should be mentioned the No 76 set; this has always proved itself a fairly good set, but a receiver better than the R109 is definitely required.  Should a suitable one not be found then it is worth while taking some R107s by air.

        6.  AIR SUPPORT.  The set in use in Air Support Signal Units is the wireless set No C9.  This set has proved itself extremely good, and is reported never to have failed on WT.  This set, or the C52 in due course, should be the standard set for air support tenticles with airborne.


                (a) Battalion FOOs.  The No 68R set proved itself quite inadequate and the only alternative appears to be the SCR-694.  Field trials of this set will be carried out as quickly as possible.

                (b) Light Regiment.  Within batteries and for the regimental command net the No 22 set is quite adequate and no change is contemplated.

                (c) FOO Communications.  The No 22 set, for obvious reasons, is unsuitable and it is recommended that these be replaced by No 19 sets.  The No 19 HP sets should be replaced by the C9 or C52.  It is recommended that those sets from 1 FOU who will be accompanying the ground forces should be carried in trucks 15 cwt fitted for wireless.  At least one set should be mounted in an armoured car or other armoured vehicle to enable it to press forward as a step up set with the ground formation when a soft skinned vehicle might not be able to get forward.