Abbreviations

174759

AA

Battn

Bde

CT
Det

DZ

GP

LZ

Nav

Regt

Sqdn

wef

W/Op

Map Reference

Anti-Aircraft

Battalion

Brigade

Civil Twilight
Detachment

Drop Zone

General Purpose

Landing Zone

Navigator

Regiment

Squadron

With Effect

Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: June 1944

 

2nd June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

The camp was sealed at 14.00 hours.  This, of course, indicated to everyone that zero hour must be very near but just how near remained to be seen.  The censorship arrangements were revised; all mail from the Station is now forwarded to base censor for 100% check.  No telegram or registered letters are permitted and telephoning is forbidden.  Harrow (Ambulance) Flight located at Watchfield w.e.f., this day.  F/O P.A.D. Holmes, F/O D.S. Lord, and F/O F.R. Riley promoted to war substantive rank of Flight Lieutenant.

 

3rd June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

At 09.00 hours all aircrew attended a general briefing for operation TONGA which covered the job detailed to 46 Group as part of the general operation NEPTUNE.  The Commanding Officer gave a general outline of the invasion plans so that the squadrons at Down Ampney would know just where their link fitted into the chain.  A coloured film of a model of the DZs were paratroops would be dropped was shown three times and crews were asked to take particular notice of DZ "V" as this covered the whole area where 271 and 48 squadrons would operate.  Following the general briefing, crews were invited into the Intelligence Library to study a model of the DZ and the surrounding land.  The model was shown by daylight and an electrical arrangement enabled the model to be seen by moonlight when the room was blacked out.  All aircraft were painted with three thick white stripes on the fuselage and wings.  This is the standard marking for all British aircraft operating over enemy territory.  The camp was placed on State "C" basis for defence purposes.

 

4th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather, dull and windy.  This should have been the day for Down Ampney to go into action but the weather was unfit for a night operation.  During the morning all aircrew detailed for the first operational trip were taken to a nearby paratroop transit camp to meet the boys they would be carrying.  Air Commodore Fiddamint (A.O.C. 46 Group) visited the station and gave a general talk to all crews.  He congratulated them on the speedy way in which training had been carried out and said he had great faith in them for the important operations ahead.

 

5th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

"THE DAY OF DAYS".  The briefing of crews for operation TONGA which is part of the main operation OVERLORD was divided into two parts.

 

15.00 hours:- 7 Tug crews and Glider crews assembled in the briefing room.  The crews had been given a general outline of the operation as a whole on 3rd June and this was the final briefing.  The mission of these crews was to release at C.T. (Civil Twilight) - 4.35 hours D Day 7 gliders on DZ "V" (see photograph and map appendices A B and C).  At the time of briefing the weather at base did not appear to be too promising but the Meteorological Officer gave an encouraging report and said that there would be a general improvement and the weather would be quite good at the time of the operation.  Fortunately this forecast was entirely correct.  Briefing was carried out very carefully and finally the Commanding Officer read out a message from Air Chief Marshal Leigh Mallory wishing everyone the best of luck.

 

17.00 hours:- Briefing commenced for the paratrooping part of operation TONGA.  39 crews, (9 271 and 30 48 Squadron) were detailed to drop the main body of 3rd Para. Bde., at C.T., 4.30 hours on the same DZ.

 

At 21.50 hours a great convoy of lorries full of cheerful paratroopers was seen streaming round the perimeter track enroute for the various aircraft neatly marshalled on the aerodrome.  All the para-dropping planes were fitted with 12 twenty pounds G.P. bombs which were being used as a little surprise for the troops operating the coastal defences in France.  Approximately 20 paratroops had been allotted to each paradropping plane.  The morale of the boys were just perfect, a more cheerful and determined body of men could not have been selected for the job.  Very few men were being carried in the gliders as these had been packed with a variety of equipment which included jeeps, trailers, guns, motor cycles etc.  Just previous to take-off the Commanding Officer dashed round to every plane to deliver personally a message to all crews from General Eisenhower (See appendix D).  The first glider tugging aircraft, captained by W/Cdr Booth DFC, took off at 22.48 hours, and the No.1 paradropping plane started at 23.20 hours.  The result of the Squadron's first operational trip will unquestionably play a most important part in the successful kick-off of the invasion of Europe.

 

At 02.30 hours (6th June) the first aircraft touched down at base followed by a stream of other planes.  The glider tugging crews reported that all gliders were released in the vicinity of the L.Z., at heights ranging from 1,000 to 1,700 feet.  The majority of paratroops were dropped in the DZ and none were estimated to have dropped more than 300 yards away.  Of the 725 paratroopers carried 722 were dropped.  The remaining three were brought back due to sickness or injury.  271 Squadron carried and dropped 165 paratroops in carrying aircraft, and 20 paratroops in the gliders.  The operation was a wonderful success, and completed without the loss of a single aircraft.  (Appendix E) gives additional details before take-off.  Route:- Base, Chedworth, Eustone, Fairoakes, Worthing, Position A (1) (49 59 00 N) (00 00 00) Long.  T.R.V. (B) (49 17 30 N) (00 08 30 W) - LZ.  Homeward route:- LZ - (49 14 00 N) (00 00 00) Long.  Position D (49 29 30 N) (00 30 00) E.  Ypreville - Biville - Worthing - Base.  Captains; Tugging:- W/Cdr Booth, Maj Joubert, F/Lt Beddows, F/Lt Edwards, F/O Wilson, P/O Williams, W/O Wood.  Paratrooping:- (271 Sqdn only) S/Ldr Squires, W/O Wilson, W/O Cuar, F/Lt Cooke, F/O Grace, W/O Parfitt, F/O Reveller, F/O Hirst, W/O Quin.

 

"A" Flight (Detached at Blakehill Farm).  10 crews were detailed to drop paratroops on Touffreville to protect the left flank of the British 2nd Army landing on the beaches.  In addition to dropping paratroops, 20 lb bombs were dropped on the coast to interfere with coastal defences.  According to the crews reports all paratroops were dropped successfully on the DZ.  All aircraft returned safely to base, but three received slight damage by flak.  Route:- Blake Hill Farm - Chedworth - Littlehampton - 49 59' 45"N 00 03' 00"W - Le Home - Touffreville (DZ) - 49 14' N 00 00' Long - 49 29' 30" N 00 30' E - Ypreville - Bisville - Elstot - Littlehampton - Base.  Captains:- S/Ldr Pearson, F/Lt Lord, F/O Flather, F/O Hollom, F/O Hantley, W/O Twiston-Davies, P/O Fletcher, P/O Pritchard, F/O Falconer, F/O Nicoll.

 

Seven glider tugging crews were detailed to release 7 Horsa gliders over LZ "V" in France.  (Sheet 7/F2 174759 - 169751).  All gliders were successfully released over the LZ from heights 1,000 - 1,700 feet.  There was no enemy opposition from the air and only inaccurate flak.  The visibility at the LZ was fairly good.  20 paratroops (3rd Para Bde) were carried in the gliders, and the equipment consisted of: 7 jeeps, 4 trailers, 2 Six-pounder guns and 4 motor cycles.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.545.  Crew:  W/Cdr Booth, F/O Wells, F/Lt Johnson, P/O I'Anson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.49.  Time Down:  02.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.500.  Crew:  Maj Joubert, F/Lt Fellows, F/Lt Grant, Sgt Butterworth.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.50.  Time Down:  02.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.564.  Crew:  F/Lt Beddow, F/Sgt Nott, F/O Dolan, Sgt Holt.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.50.  Time Down:  02.42.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.444.  Crew:  F/Lt Edwards, F/Lt Hunter, Sgt Sorenson, F/Sgt Randall.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.51.  Time Down:  02.45.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.512.  Crew:  F/O Wilson, F/Lt Crocker, P/O Foster, P/O Anderson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.50.  Time Down:  03.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.516.  Crew:  P/O Williams W/O Farrar, F/Sgt Rainsford, Sgt Wensley.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.53.  Time Down:  02.48.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.387.  Crew:  W/O Wood, F/Sgt Tyler, W/O Carter, Sgt Laking.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  22.54.  Time Down:  02.40.

 

Nine Dakotas were detailed to drop 165 paratroops of 3rd Para. Bgd. on DZ "V" in France (Sheet 7/F2 174759 - 169751).  All troops were successfully dropped from heights ranging between 600 - 1200 feet.  Each aircraft carried 12/20lb G.P. bombs and these were all dropped on the Coastal Defences with the exception of one aircraft which brought the bombs back to base.  There was no enemy opposition from the air and only inaccurate light flak.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.515.  Crew:  S/Ldr Squires, F/Lt Dyke, F/Lt Plummer, F/O Brown.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.29.  Time Down:  03.25.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.639.  Crew:  F/Lt Cooke, F/Sgt Cloutt, P/O Sargent, P/O Robertson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.30.  Time Down:  03.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.362.  Crew:  F/O Grace, F/O Southey, F/O Blakeney, W/O Adams.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.31.  Time Down:  03.18.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.613.  Crew:  W/O Parfitt, W/O Reynolds, W/O Walker, W/O Richardson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.30.  Time Down:  03.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.376.  Crew:  F/O Reveller, F/O Franchum, F/Sgt Howes, F/O Daley.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.32.  Time Down:  03.04.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.345.  Crew:  F/O Hirst, F/O Carmody, F/L Bearne, Sgt Thompson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.32.  Time Down:  03.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.367.  Crew:  W/O Cuer, F/Sgt Sylvester, W/O Anderson, Sgt Butler.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.30.  Time Down:  03.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.357.  Crew:  W/O Wilson, F/S Osborne, F/S Gayden, Sgt French.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.30.  Time Down:  03.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.628.  Crew:  W/O Quin, F/O Browne, F/S Sidebottom, W/O McDougall.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  .  Time Down:  .

 

"A" Flight (Det. Blakehill Farm)

Ten aircraft of "A" Flight were ordered to take off from Blake Hill Farm in Operation TONGA.  This operation was to drop paratroops to protect the left flank of the British 2nd Army landing on the beaches.  Load carried: 191 Paratroops, 40 Containers, 35 Kitbags and one bicycle.  Containers of 20 lb bombs.  Route: Base - Chedworth - Littlehampton - 49 59' 45" N 00 05' 00" W - Le Home - Touffreville (Dropping Zone) - 49 14' N 00 00' Long - 49 29' 30" E - Ypreville - Biville - Eletot - Littlehampton - Base.  According to pilots reports paratroops and containers were dropped in correct zone.  One paratrooper was killed in an aircraft by a stray bullet.  Bombs (20 lb GP) were dropped on French Coast.  Much light flak was encountered crossing the French coast and inland in the Caen area.  Three aircraft received slight damage.  All aircraft returned to base.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.374.  Crew:  S/Ldr Pearson, W/O Harrington, W/O Wenyan, W/O Gibbons.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.19.  Time Down:  02.55.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.562.  Crew:  F/Lt Lord, F/O Ager, F/O McDonnell, P/O Ballentyne.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.20.  Time Down:  03.02.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.378.  Crew:  F/O Flather, W/O Oakley, F/S Hope, F/O Miller.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.21.  Time Down:  03.05.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.365.  Crew:  F/O Hollom, F/S Hall, F/S Elliott, P/O Harvey.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.19.  Time Down:  03.27.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.372.  Crew:  F/O Hartley, W/O Allen, F/O Smith, Sgt Anfield.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.21.  Time Down:  03.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.340.  Crew:  W/O T. Davies, F/S Kim, P/O King, F/S Brewer.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.20.  Time Down:  03.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.601.  Crew:  P/O Fletcher, W/O Owen, P/O Chalk, Sgt Buckley.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.20.  Time Down:  02.50.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.358.  Crew:  P/O Pritchard, Sgt Holt, P/O Sherval, Sgt Wilson.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.21.  Time Down:  02.53.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.514.  Crew:  F/O Falconer, F/O Riley, F/O Suter, F/O Topham.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.20.  Time Down:  02.50.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.668.  Crew:  F/O Nicholl, F/S Dale, F/S Marsden, Sgt Caves.  Duty:  Operation "TONGA" Paradropping.  Time Up:  23.20.  Time Down:  03.10.

 

6th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather fine.  Following the success of the first operation terrific interest was taken in the second operation called MALLARD.  This was designed to land part of the 6th Air Landing Brigade in Horsa Gliders in daylight on LZ called N, see (Appendix F).  37 crews were detailed for this job made up from 15 of 271 Squadron and 22 from 48 Sqdn.  Separate briefings were arranged for each Squadron.  The Station Commander in his opening comments congratulated the crews on their very excellent work on the previous night and said he considered operation MALLARD should be a comparatively easy trip.  Marshalling and loading was completed by 17.00 hours and at 17.30 hours the convoy of lorries carrying the troops arrived.  After all final preparations had been made the boys emplaned between 18.15 hours and 18.30 hours.  The first aircraft, captained by S/Ldr Altmann, took off at 18.40 hours, and the complete take-off of 37 planes was carried out in 25 minutes.  Crews reported the take-off to be a dicey affair due to a very strong cross wind.  The first aircraft to return touched down at 22.28 hours.  All crews at interrogation were in the highest spirits.  The operation was carried out successfully all the gliders being released over the LZ.  All crews reached base safely with the exception of one from 48 Squadron, but three members of this crew are safe and back in England.  There was no enemy opposition from the air but moderate accurate light flak and small arms fire was encountered in the vicinity of the LZ resulting in a few aircraft receiving some bullet holes.  347 troops were carried and the equipment consisted of jeeps, trailers, bicycles, motor cycles and anti-tank guns.

 

Operation ROB ROY was a follow-up to MALLARD.  10 aircraft (4 - 271 Sqdn. 6 - 48 Sqdn) were detailed to drop supplies into DZ "N" for the troops who had previously landed there.  The planes took off at 22.25 hours - 22.30 hours, and the load was successfully dropped at approximately midnight - the first aircraft reached base at 01.40 hours (7th June).  154 Panniers and 6 containers were dropped, the total weight amounting to 23 tons.  271 Squadron crews dropped 64 panniers (10 tons).  The items carried included, food, ammunition, radio sets, explosives, bedding, stretchers, medical supplies and petrol.  There was no opposition from the air and only inaccurate light flak.  All aircraft, however, experienced considerable light A.A. fire from our Naval forces off-shore near the mouth of the River Orne.  Slight damage was done to some aircraft.  Sir Frederick Bowhill (C.in.C. Transport Command) was present at the de-briefing for operation MALLARD.  He congratulated the boys on their excellent work.

 

Route for MALLARD AND ROB ROY:- Base - Pershore - Windrush - Oakley - Little Hampton - Position A. (49 59 45N) (00 00 00) Long.  T.R.V. (49 17 30N) (00 14 30W) - DZ.  Homeward:- DZ - Position A2 (49 59 45N) (00 03 00W) - Bognor Regis - Base.  Captains: Mallard:- S/Ldr Altmann, Maj Joubert, F/Lt Beddows, F/Lt Edwards, F/O Wilson, F/O Williams, W/O Wood, F/Lt Crawford, S/Ldr Squires, W/O Cuer, F/L Robertson, F/O Grace, F/Lt Mott, W/O Quin, W/O Greenwell.  Rob Roy:- F/O Delaney, F/Lt McLeod, F/Sgt Carnell, W/O Gibson.

 

"A" Flight.  6 aircraft took part in operation ROB ROY I.  Approximately 90 panniers and Red Cross accessories were dropped to 6th Airborne Division.  Just before crossing the French coast all aircraft encountered light flak from vessels believed to be friendly.  The aircraft captained by F/O Flather failed to return and all the crew are reported as missing.  (Pilot, F/O Flather.  2nd Pilot, W/O Oakley.  Nav, F/Sgt Hope.  W/Op F/O Miller).  The aircraft captained by P/O Pritchard received major hits from light flak around DZ and from Naval vessels - one of the despatchers was wounded in his leg.  In spite of the damage to the aircraft P/O Pritchard just managed to reach the English coast and crash landed at FRISTON.  Capts:- F/O Hollom, F/O Falconer, P/O Fletcher, F/O Flather, P/O Pritchard, F/O Shelley.  Route:- Blake-Hill Farm - Bognor - 49 59' 15" N. 00 03' W - Franceville Plage - DZ - River Bella - 49 59' N 00 00' Long - Littlehampton - Base.

 

15 crews were detailed to tug 15 Horsa gliders to LZ "N" in France (Sheet 7/F2 114739 - 118747).  The operation was carried out successfully, all gliders being released over or near the LZ from heights 800 to 1,000 feet.  There was no enemy opposition from the air but moderate accurate light flak resulting in a few planes being slightly damaged in wings and fuselage.  The weather was favourable with visibility up to 20 miles at the LZ with 4/10ths - 8/10th cloud at 3,000 feet.  Troops carried: 133 Airborne troops, 1st Battn. Royal Ulster Rifles.  Equipment: 11 jeeps, 14 trailers, 12 light motor cycles and 37 bicycles.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.318.  Crew:  S/Ldr Altmann, F/O Wells, F/Lt Johnson, P/O I'Anson.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.40.  Time Down:  22.45.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.500.  Crew:  Maj Joubert, F/Lt Fellows, F/Lt Grant, Sgt Butterworth.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.40.  Time Down:  22.46.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.607.  Crew:  F/Lt Beddow, F/S Nott, F/O Dolan, Sgt Holt.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.41.  Time Down:  22.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.615.  Crew:  F/Lt Edwards, F/Lt Hunter, Sgt Sorenson, F/S Randall.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.42.  Time Down:  22.32.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.512.  Crew:  F/O Wilson, F/Lt Crocker, P/O Foster, P/O Anderson.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.43.  Time Down:  22.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.516.  Crew:  P/O Williams W/O Farrar, F/S Rainsford, Sgt Wensley.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.44.  Time Down:  22.28.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.367.  Crew:  W/O Wood, F/S Tyler, W/O Carter, Sgt Laking.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.44.  Time Down:  22.34.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.660.  Crew:  F/L Crawford, F/O Orr, F/O White, F/O Jarvis.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.45.  Time Down:  22.36.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.515.  Crew:  S/Ldr Squires, F/Lt Dyke, F/Lt Plummer, F/O Brown.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.45.  Time Down:  22.38.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.387.  Crew:  W/O Cuer, F/S Sylvester, W/O Anderson, Sgt Butler.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.46.  Time Down:  22.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.389.  Crew:  F/L Robertson, F/O McCashin, F/O Shakes, F/O Smith R.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.48.  Time Down:  22.35.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.362.  Crew:  F/O Grace, F/O Southey, F/O Blakeney, W/O Adams.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.48.  Time Down:  22.31.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.639.  Crew:  F/L Mott, F/O Packer, F/L Rowen, F/S Kennedy.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.49.  Time Down:  22.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.628.  Crew:  W/O Quin, F/O Browne, F/S Sidebottom, W/O McDougall.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.50.  Time Down:  22.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.345.  Crew:  W/O Greenwell, F/S Lewis, F/S Brown L.R., Sgt Aspden.  Duty:  Operation "MALLARD" Glider Tugging.  Time Up:  18.50.  Time Down:  22.43.

 

4 crews were detailed to drop supplies in DZ "N" this being the same position as for operation MALLARD.  64 Panniers weighing 22,400 lbs were successfully dropped in or near the DZ.  There was no opposition from the air and only meagre inaccurate flak.  All the aircraft experienced considerable light A.A. fire from our own Naval forces off shore near the mouth of the River Orne.  This resulted in very slight damage to some of the aircraft.  The visibility was good over the DZ which was identified by an illuminated "T" and confirmed by "Rebecca".

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.545.  Crew:  F/Lt McLeod, F/O Bedwin, F/O Shannon, P/O Mundy.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.25.  Time Down:  01.55.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.489.  Crew:  F/O Delaney, F/O Phillips, F/O Baxter, Sgt Jones.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.30.  Time Down:  01.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.655.  Crew:  F/S Carnell, F/S Nutt, F/S Erratt, F/S Moffett.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.27.  Time Down:  01.37.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.613.  Crew:  W/O Gibson, W/O Levy, P/O Holder, F/S Lawrence.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.28.  Time Down:  02.26.

 

"A" Flight.  (Det. Blake Hill Farm)

This operation was to drop supplies to 6th Airborne Division - 6 aircraft took part.  Supplies carried consisted of approximately 90 panniers and Red Cross access'.  Route: Base - Bognor - 49 59' 15" N 00 03' W - Franceville Plage - DZ - Riva Bella - 49 59' N 00 00' Long - Littlehampton - Base.  According to pilots' reports supplies were dropped in correct zone.  Intense light flak was encountered from vessels just off French coast.  These vessels were believed to be friendly.  Three aircraft received slight damage.  One aircraft, captain by P/O Pritchard, received major hits and after carrying out mission force landed at Friston after experiencing great difficulty in controlling aircraft; - crew uninjured, but one Army despatcher wounded in the leg.  The wounded man insisted on helping to discharge cargo on dropping zone.  The aircraft captained by F/O Flather failed to return and all crew are reported as missing.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.365.  Crew:  F/O Hollom, F/S Hall, F/S Elliott, P/O Harvey.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.27.  Time Down:  01.47.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.514.  Crew:  F/O Falconer, F/O Riley, F/O Suter, F/O Topham.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.27.  Time Down:  01.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ.622.  Crew:  P/O Fletcher, W/O Owen, P/O Craik, Sgt Buckley.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.28.  Time Down:  02.07.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.378.  Crew:  F/O Flather, W/O Oakley, F/S Hope, F/O Miller.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.25.  Time Down:  -.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.318.  Crew:  P/O Pritchard, Sgt Holt, P/O Sherval, Sgt Wilson.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.26.  Time Down:  01.12 Friston.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG.488.  Crew:  F/O Shelley, F/L Howard-Blood, W/O Connelly, F/O Porter.  Duty:  Operation "ROB ROY" Supply Dropping.  Time Up:  22.27.  Time Down:  01.37.

 

7th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

All the crews slept during the morning following operations MALLARD and ROB ROY.  Nothing developed in the afternoon although everyone stood by in case of an urgent call.

 

8th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

A rest day for all crews - no action.  48 Squadron gave a rather entertaining concert in the evening.  News received that all the glider crews taking part in MALLARD are safely back in this country.

 

9th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather - dull and showery.  It was anticipated that another operation would take place on this day but it did not materialise, due to poor weather.  The crews had another easy day but they are all disappointed that it was impossible for them "to have another go".  The glider boys arrived back at Down Ampney and every one was anxious to get from them a true report of their experiences.  The camp was unsealed.  F/O S.A. Bond (Medical Officer) detached to 92 F.S.P.  F/O S.W. Baxter promoted to war substantive rank of Flight Lieutenant.

 

10th June 1944

Place: Down Ampney

 

Weather - Fair.  Major Jackson (Glider Regt) who led the gliders in MALLARD gave an account of his experiences to all aircrew.  He commenced by saying that all the glider crews with the exception of one sergeant have returned from operation MALLARD.  From operation TONGA 3 crews are back in England, but no news has been received from the remaining 4 as yet.  Major Jackson said that the gliders all landed at around 21.00 hours on 6th June and the glider boys spent the night in an orchard where they dug themselves in.  The party left early on the morning of 7th June and reached the beach at 11.00 hours.  Very shortly after this they boarded a ship and were brought back to Newhaven.  The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair) paid a visit to the Station and talked with the crews for about fifteen minutes.  Unit censorship started again instead of 100% base censorship.