Abbreviations

DZ

Drop Zone

 

 

Month and year: March 1945

 

21st March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

No operational sorties carried out.  During the afternoon 26 aircraft proceeded to BIRCH in preparation for an Airborne operation.

 

22nd March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

No operations were carried out, but further preparations were effected for the airborne operation.

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

Briefing for the operation "VARSITY" occupied the whole day.

 

24th March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

Operation "VARSITY" - Assault on the Rhine in support of the 2nd British Army.  Twenty-four aircraft led by W/C K.G. Mellor DFC., towed twenty-four gliders from BIRCH to the release point as briefed.  The combinations were airborne between 0618 hrs and 0649 hrs and the gliders were released just north of WESEL between 1017 and 1021.  Very little 'Flak' was seen and the greatest danger was that of collision with other aircraft.  One aircraft KG.410 (F/L Burden DFC) ran short of petrol and landed at B.64 where it was found that the port tyre had been hit by 'flak'.  The other twenty-three aircraft landed at B.75 between 1055 and 1141 hours.  357 Airborne troops of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire regiments were carried in the gliders, together with 10 jeep trailers, 7 handcarts, 7 light motor cycles and 19 folding cycles, while mortar bombs and ammunition were also carried.  Twenty aircraft returned to BASE after refuelling at B.75 and four aircraft stood by at B.56 for a re-supply mission which was not required.  These four returned to BASE on the 26th.  In addition to the damage to KG.410, FZ.635 (F/O White) was hit by 'flak' and the fuselage and electrical circuits were damaged.  KG.561 (F/O Clarkson) had one hole in the port main plane caused by 'flak'.

 

Twenty-four aircraft (as Listed) took part in the operation, each aircraft successfully towing a glider from R.A.F. Birch to the release point as briefed on March, 24th.  All the aircraft were airborne at BIRCH between 0618 hrs and 0649 hrs: the gliders were released at the DZ in the area around WESSEL between 1017 hrs and 1021 hrs; and all the aircraft except one landed at B.75 between 1055 and 1141.  One aircraft KG.410 (F/L P.L. Burden) ran short of fuel and landed at B.64 at 1055.  Twenty aircraft returned to BASE on March 25th and four aircraft, after standing by for a re-supply mission which did not take place, at B.56 returned on March 26th.  357 Airborne troops of the 2nd. Ox. and Bucks were carried in the gliders, and 10 jeep trailers, 7 handcarts, 7 light motor cycles, and 19 folding cycles.  Damage:- Three aircraft suffered slight damage as follows:- KG.410 F/L Burden: Port tyre found to have been hit by flak on landing at B.64.  Hit was not felt.  FZ.635 F/O White: several small holes in fuselage and electrical circuits damaged.  KG.561 F/O Clarkson one hole in port main plane.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.313.  Crew:  W/C K.G. Mellor DFC, S/L G.R. Frew A.403185, F/L A. Johnstone, F/L E.J. Sharpe.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.559.  Crew:  S/L R.D. Daniell AFC, F/S Walker P.O., F/O P.J. Nixon, W/O Bennett E.E.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.455.  Crew:  S/L Blythe A.C. DFC, W/O Vitte V. A.425559, F/O Edmondson B.S., Sgt Makin A.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.635.  Crew:  F/O A.L. White A407265, F/S Crossman J., F/O A. Edwards, F/O O.E.K. Tink A.401289.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.410.  Crew:  F/L P.I. Burden DFC, W/O Caie G.R.N. A.427532, F/L L.N. Williams, P/O O'Connell A.417973.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.561.  Crew:  F/O G.T. Clarkson, F/L F.T. Thorp, F/S Rains N.R.H., F/O C.L. Williams.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.441.  Crew:  P/O G.S. Wright, F/S Lane S.S., F/O P.F. White, F/S Lewis F.B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.341.  Crew:  F/L G.F. Reid DFC, F/O W. Heigh, W/O Jeffery G.C. A.427477, P/O A.A.R. Tyrell A.421107.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.686.  Crew:  P/O A.J. Green, F/L D.R. Goodwin, F/S Hayes J.W., F/O E.G. Sharpe DFM.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.403.  Crew:  F/L R.R.C. Hyne A.420201, F/S Ellis J.H., P/O G.B. Fotheringham A.410047, F/L J.L. Kapp A.420962.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KN.252.  Crew:  F/L M.S. Maas DFM, F/S Summerfield N. A.436350, P/O B.M. Wallington, F/O H.P.C. Wech.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.448.  Crew:  F/L A. Cody DFC DFM, W/O Wright D.M., W/O Bartlett T.V. A.421150, P/O Goodfellow O.R.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.415.  Crew:  P/O N.A.E. Mills, F/O T.A. Clarke, F/S Anderson R., F/S Sparkes G.C.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.585.  Crew:  F/O E.S. Smith, W/O Stephens W.P., F/S Allen E.W., F/O Payne A.F.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.678.  Crew:  F/L H.J. Parley DFC, F/L N.R. Creal, F/L G. Taylor, F/L C. Ingeby DFC.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.433.  Crew:  P/O D.N. Dismond, W/O Kenny F.J., F/O F.S. Hewson, F/S Arnold C.M. A.432731.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.681.  Crew:  F/L F.R. Priestley, F/S Bright J.E., F/L R.S. Taylor, F/S Morris D.G.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.447.  Crew:  P/O W. Morrison, F/S Webb A.F. A.426801, F/O H.R. Diggins, W/O Cordes F.W.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.400.  Crew:  F/L J.H. Cheaney, F/O D.R. Greenslade, F/L H. Eagles NZ.427041, F/S Simmonds R.E.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.440.  Crew:  F/O W.C. Hunter, F/S Cailes S.A.R. A.29526, P/O A.J. Phillips, F/L G. Smee.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.688.  Crew:  W/O Lee M.W., F/S Pitt A.R., P/O G.S. Daniell, F/S Ayres E.A.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III KG.420.  Crew:  W/O Ridley J.C. R.225084, F/S Spence A., F/S Russ M.J., F/S Pegg P.D.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.680.  Crew:  S/L A.C.L. Mackie DFC, F/L K.E. Young, F/O J.N. Proctor, F/L D.L. Goodwin.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III FZ.665.  Crew:  F/O R.R. McGowan, W/O Hopkins R.W.C. A.427905, F/S Harmer G., P/O C.E.P. Swann NZ.42733.