22nd Independent Parachute Company

 

Abbreviations

A/C

AOC

Bn

Conc

Coy

DFC
Div

DZ

I/C

I.P.

Nr

OR

RV

WO

X-roads

Aircraft

Air Officer Commanding

Battalion

Concentration

Company

Distinguished Flying Cross

Divisional

Drop Zone

In-Command

Independent Parachute

Near

Other Ranks

Rendezvous

War Office

Crossroads

 

 

(WO 171/1249)

 

5.6.44

Four stick emplaned and took off from HARWELL airfield in Albemarle a/c - for 'V' and 'K'

Commanded by: Lt. de Latour  }

                                       Lt. Wells        } for 'V'

                                       Lt. Midwood }

                                       Lt. Vischer     } for 'K'

 

AIR 28/343: R.A.F. HARWELL.

 

5.6.44

At 2310 hrs the first Pathfinder a/c took off from HARWELL.  Albemarle 'A', piloted by S/Ldr. Merrick of 295 Squadron, and carrying the A.O.C. Air Vice Marshal Hollinghurst as passenger.  This a/c, together with that of F/Sgt. Kirkham of 570 Squadron dropped 20 troops of I.P. Coy. with 20 kitbags at DZ 'K' at 00.17 and 00.20 hrs, returning and 01.47 and 01.59 hrs.

 

This task was Serial No.6.

 

The route followed was: Base - Mount Farm - Littlehampton - 49.59.45N  00.03.00N - 49.17.15N  00.09.30W - DZ - 49.30.30H  00.30.00E - Y-REVILLE BIVILLE - Littlehampton - Base.

 

A/c crossed the enemy coast at 1,200 feet going in and at 6,000 feet coming out.

 

Dropping was from 500 ft. A.G.L.

 

For their part in this operation the following were awarded the D.F.C.: S/Ldr. Merrick and his navigator W/O Farrow (295).

 

5.6.44

Two sticks emplaned at 23.00 hrs.

 

6.6.44: DZ 'K', ref.map 1269.

00.20 - One stick commanded by Lt. Midwood dropped on DZ.

 

00.35 - One 'Eureka' set up coding channels D/C.  One holophane lamp coding letter 'K'.  Five of the stick failed to report to stick RV.  Four of these have not been seen since and are reported missing: Lsgt Boardman, Lcpl Stoodley, Pte Naughton, Lcpl Hackman.  Lcpl O'Sullivan killed by enemy action on DZ.

 

01.30 - Remainder of stick assembled under Lt. Midwood at 8 Para. Bn. RV. road and track junction ref.map 132690.  A thorough search of DZ was carried out.

 

05.30 - Remainder of stick moved off under Lt. Midwood to company conc. area at LE BAS RANVILLE.

 

12.30 - Lt. Midwood and 4 ORs reported to company conc. area at LE BAS RANVILLE.

 

Comment on Drop:

Slow stick on account of heavy loads.  Stick came under enemy fire almost immediately after landing.  One 'Eureka' carried by Sgt. Boardman is missing and must be considered as probably compromised.  This DZ has been in the hands of the enemy since D-Day.  It has therefore not been possible to establish the exact fate of this 'Eureka'.  Search of the DZ is at present impossible owing to enemy opposition.  One 'Eureka' was abandoned on the DZ after being detonated.

 

 

 

5.6.44

18.00 - All officers attended final briefing of R.A.F. crews.

 

23.00 - 2 sticks emplaned at Brize Norton.  4 sticks emplaned at Harwell.

 

23.30 - 1 stick emplaned at Keevil.

 

Brize Norton

2 sticks emplaned and took off at Brize Norton in Albemarle aircraft, for DZ 'N'.  Time, 23.00 hrs.

 

1. Commanded by Maj. F.G.L. Lennox-Boyd, 2nd i/c Lt. M. More.

2. Commanded by Capt I.A. Tait.

 

DZ 'N', ref.map 1174.

Two sticks commanded by Capt. Tait and Lt. More dropped on SE corner of DZ.

 

00.23 - Maj Lennox-Boyd made premature & accidental exit SE of DZ.  Has not been heard of since and is reported missing.

 

00.20 - Stick commanded by Lt. J. Vischer dropped across corner SE of DZ.  This stick should have been dropped on DZ 'K', map.ref 1269.

 

00.35 - Lt. Vischer's stick assembled on DZ, contacted part of Capt. Tait's stick and set up 'EUREKA' beacon and 'T' of 5 lights.  'EUREKA' switched on to channels D/C, holophane lamp coding letter 'N'.

 

01.30 - All 3 sticks assembled at x-roads (125740) under Capt. Tait, with the exception of Maj. Lennox-Boyd and Pte. Newton (who re-joined the company 2 days later.)

 

Comment on Drop:

All 3 sticks were dropped somewhat off the DZ across the SE corner.  Sticks were slow - heavy loads & cramped spacing in a/c.  A number of kitbags broke loose during the drop & were lost.  No jumping injuries were sustained by any of 3 sticks.  No 'EUREKAS' were compromised, but 3 were damaged by the drop.

 

03.50 - Marking of LZ 'N' for night glider landing (by Div. HQ troops) under Capt. Tait.  3 sticks commanded by Capt. Tait, Lt. Vischer & Lt. More set out lights on 3 separate landing strips.  2 'EUREKAS' were set up.

 

Comment on Landing:

Successful landing was made by most gliders, some overshooting the lights.  It was later reported that the lights were clearly visible.

 

07.00 - The party made its way to company concentration area nr. Div. H.Q. at Le Bas Ranville.

 

R.A.F. Brize Norton

See AIR 28/114

See AIR 27/1645 (No.295 Squadron)

See AIR 27/1648 (No.297 Squadron)