Abbreviations

AEF

LZ

RA

Alllied Expeditionary Force

Landing Zone

Royal Artillery

 

 

Month and year: March 1945

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Earls Colne

 

The marshalling of sixty aircraft and gliders was completed to-day.  Fifty per cent of combinations were pre-hitched and marshalled along the runway in use, on either side, for about one third of its length.  The remaining aircraft and gliders were marshalled on the perimeter on either side of the runway.  The weather appeared propitious.  Thirty tugs and spares had been provided by the unit.  FLYING TIME.  DAY. Nil.  NIGHT. Nil.

 

24th March 1945

Place: Earls Colne

 

At 07.00, the Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald SINCLAIR) and the Deputy Supreme Commander, A.E.F. (Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur TEDDER) witnessed the first of sixty Halifaxes take off with its loaded glider from the airfield.  The first thirty combinations were airborne in approximately half an hour.  The tugs in the first part of the lift were those of this unit.  Thus began the long awaited airborne crossing of the Rhine.  The gliders carried troops and equipment of the Sixth Airborne Division and the units in the gliders towed this unit were: H.Q. 6th Air Landing Brigade, 3 Air Landing Anti-Tank Battery R.A., 53rd Air Landing Light Regiment R.A., 195th Air Landing Field Ambulance.  Shortly after midday all the aircraft of the unit taking part in the operation had returned to this country save two.  The crew of one of the missing aircraft, which made an emergency landing N.W. of the L.Z., were safely back at base the same evening.  The other aircraft and its crew were less fortunate, hit by flak this aircraft crashed in flames and it is thought that only two of the crew, now in hospital, could possibly have survived.

 

The same evening a signal was received from the A.O.C. to the effect that "by this afternoon the 6th Division had captured all their objectives and had made contact with the assaulting division."  The air landing had been a complete success, liaison having been established almost immediately with the advancing ground forces.  Twenty five aircraft stood by for twenty four hours loaded with containers awaiting the order to take supplies to the Airborne Forces, but so satisfactory was the linking that these aircraft were stood down at 16.40 on the 25th.

 

The Station Commander's comments on the success of this station's part in the invasion are reproduced in Appendix 'A'.  FLYING TIME.  DAY. 152.10.  NIGHT. Nil.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 304.  Crew:  W/CDR T.C. MUSGRAVE, F/LT G.A.C.H. FOSTER, P/O K. BLACKHURST, F/O G. McGREGOR, F/O J.G. HAYDEN, F/LT A. GORDON.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.00.  Airborne landing across the Rhine L.Z. Hamminkeln, N. of Wesel, Central Europe 100,000 Essen. Sheet Q1 208487.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III.  Crew:  F/LT M. JACKSON, F/O A.E. BLADON, F/SGT BATES C.D.S., F/S CRICKMORE A.D., P/O D.P. JEFFERY, SGT VORLEY J.J.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.01.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III M2506.  Crew:  F/O A.A.M. FRASER, F/O F.G. MILLS, F/SGT UPWARD D.O., F/SGT BURGON J.K., F/SGT GATES A., SGT TAIT J.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.02.  Time Down:  12.14.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 291.  Crew:  S/LDR R.W. JAMIESON, F/O C.H. HAYMAN, F/SGT DEATHRIDGE L., F/LT R. SHIPLEY, F/LT R. McKEE, SGT BURNS A.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.03.  Time Down:  11.57.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 287.  Crew:  W/O HINTON R., W/O PARSLOW F.J., W/O NEWTON P.L., W/O GREEN F.W., P/O W.E. HARRISON, SGT TINKLER K.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.04.  Time Down:  12.07.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 686.  Crew:  F/O J.E. STEWART, P/O R.H. BORROWS, F/SGT COLLINS A.C., F/SGT BRYANT E.G., W/O JACKSON F., SGT AGGERSBERG E.J.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  12.17.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 697.  Crew:  F/SGT LEE C.D., F/SGT MATTHEWS A., F/SGT SMART E.R., F/SGT HALE F.E., F/O H. NICHOLSON, SGT GUTHRIE M.G.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  12.10.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 281.  Crew:  W/O LEECH D.S., F/O W.E. BARFOOT, F/SGT MATES J.R., F/SGT ROSS J., W/O COFFEN R., SGT FILLINGHAM A.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.06.  Time Down:  12.08.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 697.  Crew:  W/O BARLOW C., W/O MARSHALL T.W., F/SGT LILLYWHITE F., F/SGT WATSON J.N., W/O GRENVILLE J.M., SGT STANIFORTH T.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.07.  Time Down:  12.17.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 308.  Crew:  F/LT D.A. LEE, W/O THOMPSON A.G., W/O RUSSELL S., W/O JOHNSON J.R., F/SGT OXBOROUGH A.T., SGT McCALLUM S.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.08.  Time Down:  12.12.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 145.  Crew:  F/O A.B. SAWARD, F/SGT IRVINE C.P., SGT GURNEY G.V., F/SGT DONOGHUE D.P., F/SGT GROSCH E.W., SGT TRIPPIER T.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.09.  Time Down:  12.05.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 295.  Crew:  F/O A.B. GOLDSTEIN, F/SGT VALENTINE J.V., F/SGT McMILLAN G.K., SGT GALLAGHER R.H., F/O A.N. KNIGHT, SGT ATKIN P.A.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.09.  Time Down:  12.05.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III LW 446.  Crew:  F/LT C.V.R. BARRY, F/SGT WEALLANS R.A., W/O SIMPSON L., F/O J.E.E. BAMBER, F/O P. SIDEBOTHAM, SGT LANGSHAW B.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.11.  Time Down:  12.19.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 700.  Crew:  F/O A.G. TATTERSALL, F/SGT RICHARDSON K., F/SGT ROBERTS D.V., F/SGT EVANS T., F/SGT WARREN C.L., SGT ING H.C.D.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.11.  Time Down:  12.09.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 298.  Crew:  F/LT D. BOYER, F/O R.A. LEAVERS, W/O TURNER C.C., W/O LAWSON H., F/SGT STUART R.A., W.O GOODWIN J.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.12.  Time Down:  12.16.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 698.  Crew:  F/O R.C. LAMSHED, F/O G.H. ROSTRON, W/O STEWART J., P/O G.W. WRIGHT, P/O T. McGHAN, SGT HAMBLY F.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.13.  Time Down:  .  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.  Forced landed on emergency strip B.53 Merville.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 290.  Crew:  F/LT H. BULL, F/SGT BARRATT W., F/SGT HOWARD F.J., W/O TESTER C.N., F/SGT HIBBERT J., SGT BURBRIDGE F.B.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.14.  Time Down:  12.22.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 638.  Crew:  F/LT J.N. WATSON, F/SGT AMBRIDGE J., W/O STEWART C.R., W/O HARDING J.E., F/SGT McINTYRE A.A., SGT SMITH C.F.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.24.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 129.  Crew:  F/O N.E. DURACK, W/O IVELL K., F/O R.D. ROACH, F/SGT WHATLEY W.D., F/SGT JACKSON F., SGT McLAUGHLIN P.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.36.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 309.  Crew:  W/O BEETHAM J., P/O C. BRANTINGHAM, P/O W.G. ELLIS, F/SGT ROSS B., F/SGT GOLD P., SGT NUTTALL J.W.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.16.  Time Down:  12.13.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 641.  Crew:  F/O W.H.D. LACEY, W/O CLARKE J.J., F/SGT STREET L., F/SGT DUNFORD A.J., F/LT A. SANDALL, SGT WILKES R.A.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.17.  Time Down:  12.07.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 614.  Crew:  F/O R.G. DANCE, F/O G.D. ASKEW, F/O G.F. BLACKEBY, SGT CHURTON J., SGT McDONNELL J., W/O COOPER C.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.18.  Time Down:  12.20.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 131.  Crew:  F/LT H.S. PRIEST, W/O ALLEN M.E.N., W/O ROGERS K.F., F/SGT BROTHWOOD R., F/SGT HOLMES G.E.J., SGT ARMSTRONG R.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.18.  Time Down:  .  Missing.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 132.  Crew:  F/O G.S. VARNAM, F/O E. PAPP, F/SGT COX L.G., P/O E.E. DREVER, P/O W.H. HORNELL, SGT STEVENS R.E.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.19.  Time Down:  12.40.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 306.  Crew:  F/O R.J. WOOD, F/LT H. ARMSTRONG, F/SGT GODLEY R., F/SGT VICKERS L.G., F/O F. ELIASON, SGT KERFOOT E.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.20.  Time Down:  12.52.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 699.  Crew:  F/O F.S. KENYON, F/SGT WILSON J.D., F/SGT ANDREWS F.K., SGT CASSERLEY J., F/O K.A.E. WESTBROOK, SGT WATSON A.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.21.  Time Down:  12.15.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III LW 691.  W/O SMITH R.A., F/SGT O'SHEA A.J., F/SGT McMANUS J., F/SGT McKAY C., F/SGT HOWES C.C., SGT WILSON-LAW C.D.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.22.  Time Down:  12.33.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III NA 677.  Crew:  F/O A.S. BAGLOLE, F/LT E.M. BOWEN, F/SGT CROOKES H., F/SGT WILDMAN G.W., F/SGT THEODORE A.L., SGT ROME P.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.22.  Time Down:  12.33.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III LL 543.  Crew:  F/SGT REYNOLDS T., SGT BALL F.A., SGT THOMAS E.J.S., SGT ADAMSON W., F/O E.L. JENKINS, SGT IRELAND P.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.24.  Time Down:  12.25.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III LW 520.  Crew:  F/O K.H.B. FRERE, F/O D.L. PORTER, F/SGT BLUNDELL R.W., F/SGT ELIAS G., F/SGT BUCKLEY K., SGT WILLIAMSON A.F.  Duty:  Glider tow.  Time Up:  07.26.  Time Down:  12.00.  Airborne landing L.Z. Hamminkeln.

 

25th March 1945

Place: Earls Colne

 

F/O BAGLOLE returned from GOSFIELD to base where he landed on return from Germany.  Twenty five aircraft stood by until late afternoon for resupply to the 6th Airborne Division.  FLYING TIME.  DAY. 0.30.  NIGHT. NIL.  The camp which had been sealed at 12.00 hours on the 23rd March, was unsealed at 10.00 hours on the 24th March.