Staff-Sergeant Leonard Guthrie


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

Army No. : 4749793

Awards : Croix de Guerre


Staff-Sergeant Guthrie flew a Horsa glider, chalk number 95, carrying No.5 Platoon of the Coup de Main force to the bridge over the River Orne near Ranville, and together with his co-pilot, Staff-Sergeant Pearson, made a successful landing 700 yards to the north of LZ-Y. The Platoon moved forward to find that No.6 Platoon had already captured the bridge and they promptly consolidated the defences. For his actions in landing the glider, Guthrie was awarded the Croix de Guerre.


At about midnight 5/6th June 1944 (D - 1) Staff-Sergeant Guthrie took off as 1st Pilot of a Horsa Glider with orders to land as near as possible to the bridge over the River Orne, which had to be captured intact at all costs. Carrying a platoon of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, he released, successfully located the landing zone, despite the fact that it was small and narrow and there were no ground aids, and brought his glider to a halt within a few yards of the bridge at about 0250 hours.


Thanks to the calmness, efficiency and courage of Staff-Sergeant Guthrie, the vital bridge was captured intact; which in no small measure contributed to the success of the invasion of Normandy and of future operations.


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