Major John Francis Lyne

 

Unit : "D" Squadron, No.1 Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment

Army No. : 126104

Awards : Military Cross

 

Major "Daddy" Lyne commanded "D" Squadron and he flew a Horsa glider on the first lift, carrying a Jeep, trailer, two motor boats and men of the 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery. For his actions after the landing he was awarded the Military Cross:

 

On the night June 5th/6th the Glider flown by Major Lyne was hit by anti-aircraft fire and a crash landing east of the River Dives was unavoidable. This officer received many abrasions and a broken bone in his right foot. In spite of his injuries he led his party of 7 men through enemy held territory to our own lines, a distance of nearly 50 miles. Through his courage and tenacity the party was brought safely back having accounted for at least 16 Germans killed or wounded.

 

This had not been Major Lyne's only experience of a crash landing. Several months earlier, on the 4th April 1944, he had participated in Exercise Dreme, a night landing in what turned out to be poor weather conditions. When his glider was cast-off and descended through the cloud layer, it became clear that the area around about was completely unsuitable for a landing, however once a heavily laden glider is released it constantly loses altitude and so a landing had to be made somewhere. Lyne picked a path between a series of oak trees and made a safe, if precarious landing; a branch penetrated the perspex cockpit of his Horsa and left him and his co-pilot, Staff-Sergeant Dow, with bruises.

 

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