Staff-Sergeant Oliver Frederick Boland

 

Unit : "E" Squadron, No.2 Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment

Army No. : 1449953

Awards : Croix de Guerre

 

Oliver Boland was first pilot of Glider No.92, carrying No.2 Platoon of the Coup-de-Main force to Bénouville Bridge over the Caen Canal. His was the second glider to land on LZ-X, landing safely despite a smashed cockpit which had cut his co-pilot, Staff-Sergeant Hobbs, around his legs, although it was some hours before he noticed his injuries. Together they had made a perfect landing, coming to rest immediately behind the glider carrying No.1 Platoon, whose occupants were already attacking the Bridge defences; No.2 Platoon immediately moved up to join them. For his actions in landing the glider, Boland was awarded the Croix de Guerre:

 

At midnight 5/6th June 1944, (D-1), Staff-Sergeant Boland took off on tow as first pilot of one of three gliders ordered to land by the bridge over the River Orne in Normandy, carrying a platoon of 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. The landing zone was extremely small and the weather conditions adverse. In spite of this Staff-Sergeant Boland landed his glider accurately without any ground aids and came to a stop within a few yards of the bridge.

 

Thanks to his calmness, efficiency and courage in making a successful landing in extremely difficult circumstances, the bridge over the River Orne was captured intact, thus contributing in no small measure to the success of future operations.

 

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