Abbreviations

WOP

Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: March 1945

 

22nd March 1945

Place: Woodbridge

 

1400 - Address by Colonel CHATTERTON of the Glider Pilot Regiment followed by preliminary briefing.  The A.O.C. wished us all good luck.

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Woodbridge

 

1000 - All aircraft run up and generally got on the top line.

 

1400 - Escape kits issued.

 

1730 - All aircraft marshalled for take-off East to West, a very impressive sight.

 

24th March 1945

Place: Woodbridge

 

0720 - OPERATION "VARSITY".  The object of the operation was to land elements of the 6th Airborne Division on four landing zones near WESEL to enlarge a bridgehead expected to have been obtained the previous night by General Montgomery's forces.  For this purpose No.298 Squadron and No.644 Squadron combined.  W/C LAW-WRIGHT, D.S.O. D.F.C. led twelve Halifax-Horsa combinations serial B.15.  W/C ARCHER, A.F.C. of No.644 Squadron led 48 Halifax-Hamilcar combinations serial B.16.  Eleven Horsa's and thirty eight Hamilcars reached the release points successfully.  The operation was considered a success.  Crews from this Squadron towing Horsa's were, W/C LAW-WRIGHT, D.S.O. D.F.C., F/O BLAIR, F/O WILLIAMS, F/O WILSON, F/S HAWKINS and F/O POLLARD.  Crews towing Hamilcars were, S/L STARK, D.F.C., F/L ALTY, F/L JOHNSON, D.F.C., F/O ATKINSON, F/O REID, P/O MUTTON, W/O OUSELEY, W/O PARSONS, F/O WATKINS, F/O SCOTT, F/O MCGILLIVRAY, F/O WILLIAMS, S/L IMBER, D.F.C., F/L LEE, F/O GRIFFITHS,P/O CUNLIFFE, W/O MACKRILL, F/O BUCHANAN, F/O BOWMAN, F/O IRELAND, F/L WEATHERLAKE, F/O RODGERS, D.F.M., F/L WEBLEY, F/S ASHTON and F/O CLARK.  Final briefing was at 05.30 hours on the 24th.  The first Hamilcar combination was off at 07.19 hours.  The first Horsa combination was off at 07.58 hours.  W/O MACKRILL had engine trouble just after take off and told his glider to cast off.  It made a forced landing, one member of the crew was seriously injured.  W/O MACKRILL landed back at Woodbridge.  F/O REID had engine trouble enroute and turned back casting off his glider at Manston.  F/O REID then returned to Tarrant Rushton.  F/O CLARK'S Hamilcar pulled off over France.  F/O GRIFFITHS Hamilcar pulled off near Brussels.  F/L WEATHERLAKE'S Hamilcar lost its tail, went out of control, broke the rope and crashed near Goch.  F/O MCGILLIVRAY and crew were shot down after dropping their glider.  Two Halifaxes were seen to crash, four parachutes were seen to open from one.  It has not yet been established to which Halifax these four parachutes belonged.  F/O WILLIAMS was hit by flak coming out, suspected hydraulic trouble and landed safely at Manston, no casualties.  F/O WATKINS was hit by flak on the way out but landed safely at Tarrant Rushton, no casualties.  All other aircraft landed direct at Tarrant Rushton on completion of the operation.  F/S MEADOWS, F/O CLARK and W/O MACKRILL ferried the spare aircraft and gliders back to Base from Woodbridge.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax VII 8TQ NA.344.  Crew:  S/L IMBER R.J. D.F.C. (Captain), P/O PLEKMAN A.E. R.C.A.F. (Navigator), F/L FROST M. (Air Bomber), P/O SMITH L.B. (WOP/AIR), F/S TITMAN R. (Air Gunner), P/O MORRIS W. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  .  Time Down:  .  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TC NA.667.  Crew:  F/L LEE D.H. R.C.A.F. (Captain), F/O WARD R.C. (Navigator), F/O LETTS A.E. (Air Bomber), F/S HEASMAN V.T. (WOP/AIR), F/S FLINT H.A. (Air Gunner), F/S SHEPHERD J. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.25.  Time Down:  13.25.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TE NA.658.  Crew:  F/O GRIFFITHS T.M. (Captain), F/L MADILL W.M. R.C.A.F. (Navigator), F/S HESLEY R. (Air Bomber), F/S WHATMORE L. (WOP/AIR), F/S DIXON J.R. (Air Gunner), F/S HEARS V. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.25.  Time Down:  11.50.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, abortive glider pulled off by Brussels.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TF NZ.955.  Crew:  P/O CUNLIFFE G.H. (Captain), F/O MORTON W.R. R.C.A.F. (Navigator), P/O KAINE A.J. R.C.A.F. (Air Bomber), F/S CLARK L.W. (WOP/AIR), P/O YOUNG J. R.C.A.F. (Air Gunner), F/S MCINTOSH I.R. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.30.  Time Down:  13.00.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TH NA.660.  Crew:  W/O MACKRILL R.F. (Captain), F/S HEALEY R.H. (Navigator), F/S SMEDLEY D. (Air Bomber), F/S WALL W.H. (WOP/AIR), F/S BRIDGE F. (Air Gunner), SGT PANNELL A.W. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.35.  Time Down:  09.05.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider.  Abortive engine failed on take-off, glider told to cast off.  Forced landed, one man seriously hurt.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TO NA.118.  Crew:  F/O BUCHANAN H.P. R.C.A.F. (Captain), F/O BHERER J.A. R.C.A.F. (Navigator), W/O YEATS W.A. R.C.A.F. (Air Bomber), W/O DONALD E.R. R.N.Z.A.F. (WOP/AIR), W/O LOUTIT S.V. (Air Gunner), SGT LEWIS J.H. (Flight Engineer), WILMOT RADGALE (Correspondent).  Time Up:  07.40.  Time Down:  13.05.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TO NA.285.  Crew:  P/O BOWMAN K.W. (Captain), F/S HUGHES T.E. (Navigator), W/O VARNUM A.A. R.C.A.F. (Air Bomber), F/S LOVELL L.A. (WOP/AIR), F/S WRIGHT D.S. (Air Gunner), P/O JOHNSTON C.R.J. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.45.  Time Down:  13.40.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TS PN.243.  Crew:  F/O IRELAND P. (Captain), F/S WOODHART K. (Navigator), F/S ALEXANDER C. (Air Bomber), F/S KING A.G. (WOP/AIR), SGT DAWKINS (Air Gunner), F/S REYNOLDS T. (Flight Engineer), F/O BOOTH R. (Passenger).  Time Up:  07.40.  Time Down:  12.45.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TM NA.289.  Crew:  F/L WEATHERLAKE J. R.A.A.F. (Captain), F/S HIGGETT W.F. (Navigator), F/S HENSBY G.J. (Air Bomber), F/S WHITE E. (WOP/AIR), F/S TAYLOR S.E.W. (Air Gunner), P/O FORREST D. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.35.  Time Down:  13.00.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider.  Duty not carried out glider tail fell off and glider blew up at Goch.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TN NA.296.  Crew:  F/O ROGERS S.W. (Captain), F/L CARROW D.D. (Navigator), F/L BUBB K.R. (Air Bomber), P/O SELLS B.G. (WOP/AIR), F/O COOKE L.H. (Air Gunner), F/S WOODCOCK K. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.35.  Time Down:  13.10.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TR NA.320.  Crew:  F/S HAWKINS J.P. (Captain), F/O MCMILLAN A.K. (Navigator), SGT GODSLAND R. (Air Bomber), SGT WEARNE A.G. (WOP/AIR), SGT CHANDLER D.T. (Air Gunner), SGT ROSSI A.J. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.50.  Time Down:  18.30.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Horsa glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III.  Crew:  F/L WEBLEY A.J. (Captain), P/O ROBERT J. (Navigator), F/O BAUMANN E.L. (Air Bomber), SGT HUMPHREY B.G. (WOP/AIR), W/O STEWART J. (Air Gunner), F/S LAVERY A.M. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.45.  Time Down:  13.35.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TP NA.343.  Crew:  F/O POLLARD F.E. (Captain), F/O BARTON S.J. (Navigator), F/O SNELL H.E. (Air Bomber), SGT BLACKER T. (WOP/AIR), SGT SANDERSON F. (Air Gunner), SGT BREAKELL W.H. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.50.  Time Down:  12.50.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY", Horsa glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TB NZ.978.  Crew:  F/S ASHTON R.F. (Captain), F/O WILSON G. (Navigator), F/L OLVER F.G. (Air Bomber), SGT COLEMAN C.A. (WOP/AIR), SGT PIPER H.J. (Air Gunner), SGT ATKINS D.F. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.28.  Time Down:  13.08.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" duty carried out.  Heavy Hamilcar.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TG NA.115.  Crew:  F/O CLARK E.J. (Captain), SGT MITCHELL G. (Navigator), F/S BASSETT L.N. (Air Bomber), F/O HARROD J.A. (WOP/AIR), SGT CHALMERS J. (Air Gunner), SGT JACKSON W.N. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.30.  Time Down:  10.30.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" abortive Glider pulled off.  Heavy Hamilcar.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8TU NA.282.  Crew:  W/C LAW-WRIGHT R. D.S.O. D.F.C. (Captain), F/O RAE J.C.B. (Navigator), W/O CARLISLE E.F. R.C.A.F. (Air Bomber), F/S STONHAM T. (WOP/AIR), F/S JOHNSON G.B. (Air Gunner), F/S DERRETT D.S.B. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.58.  Time Down:  12.55.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Horsa glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax VII 8AL NA.341.  Crew:  S/L STARK J.B. D.F.C. (Captain), F/S FLORENCE W.R. (Navigator), F/S LAW A.E. (Air Bomber), F/S FRASER T. (WOP/AIR), W/O BUZZA J.A. R.C.A.F. (Air Gunner), SGT FULLER T.H. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.30.  Time Down:  13.40.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax VII 8AJ NA.347.  Crew:  F/L ALTY D. (Captain), W/O BARTON J.W. (Navigator), F/O VOST E. (Air Bomber), F/O KEEPING J.M. (WOP/AIR), P/O MCROBB J.F. (Air Gunner), SGT KEATING W.H. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.22.  Time Down:  13.12.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AV NA.146.  Crew:  F/L JOHNSON A. D.F.C. (Captain), F/O SMITH J.A. R.A.A.F. (Navigator), F/O LEE F.H.R. (Air Bomber), F/S OWEN R.A. (WOP/AIR), F/S BIRCH H. (Air Gunner), F/S SPARKS M.S. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.25.  Time Down:  12.55.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AM NA.310.  Crew:  F/O ATKINSON R. (Captain), F/O PANTELLINI L. (Navigator), F/O SMITH E.C. (Air Bomber), F/S NORRIS A.J. (WOP/AIR), F/S JONES E.W. (Air Gunner), SGT CREANE D.P. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.20.  Time Down:  13.15.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AR NZ.983.  Crew:  F/O REID G.J.F. R.A.A.F. (Captain), P/O MARSH W.H. (Navigator), P/O MORREY D.W. (Air Bomber), P/O OKARD D.H. R.A.A.F. (WOP/AIR), F/S JONES H.M. (Air Gunner), F/S MCMILLAN D.C. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.25.  Time Down:  09.45.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar, glider duty not carried out.  Glider pulled off and landed at Manston.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax VII 8AH NA.350.  Crew:  P/O MUTTON J.B. R.C.A.F. (Captain), P/O LEE T.E. (Navigator), W/O SEWELL J. (Air Bomber), F/S SALMONESE L. (WOP/AIR), F/S NICOLSON J.P. (Air Gunner), F/S MCFARLANE T. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.40.  Time Down:  13.50.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AS NZ.963.  Crew:  W/O OUSLEY F.A. (Captain), F/S WOOLF E.P. (Navigator), F/S WALMSLEY T. (Air Bomber), F/S MIDDLETON J. (WOP/AIR), F/S TUCKER E.J. (Air Gunner), SGT JAMIESON R. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.35.  Time Down:  12.50.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AN NZ.972.  Crew:  W/O PARSONS D.P. (Captain), F/S HELLIER M.E. (Navigator), W/O MCDONALD G.D. (Air Bomber), F/S RUSHTON E. (WOP/AIR), F/S GIBSON J.R. (Air Gunner), SGT HICKS W.J. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.40.  Time Down:  13.15.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AP NZ.977.  Crew:  F/O BLAIR C.S. R.N.Z.A.F. (Captain), SGT HOBBS W.J. (Navigator), SGT CAMBRAY R.E. (Air Bomber), F/S TROW H.H. (WOP/AIR), SGT HOWES R.S.P. (Air Gunner), SGT YATES K.E. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.55.  Time Down:  13.05.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Horsa glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AQ NA.113.  Crew:  F/O WATKINS R.F. (Captain), SGT SCOTT E. (Navigator), F/S BOWER H.B. (Air Bomber), F/S BOUNSALL C.L. (WOP/AIR), SGT HARRISON K. (Air Gunner), SGT BRADLEY G.W. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.45.  Time Down:  13.50.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.  Hit by flak after glider release.  Landed at Base.  No casualties.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AT.  Crew:  F/O SCOTT J.W. (Captain), F/O FARROW A. (Navigator), F/O LYTLE S.A. (Air Bomber), SGT HOGG A. (WOP/AIR), SGT THOMAS S. (Air Gunner), SGT GILLON A.G. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.40.  Time Down:  13.05.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider, duty carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax VII 8AK NA.311.  Crew:  F/O MCGILLIVRAY D. R.C.A.F. (Captain), F/S WALKER J.B. (Navigator), P/O HALES E.M. (Air Bomber), F/O DIXON G. (WOP/AIR), W/O BUNN J.E. R.C.A.F. (Air Gunner), F/S AHERNE A.A. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.43.  Time Down:  .  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider.  MISSING.  As two free aircraft only were seen to have been shot down Duty assured to have been carried out.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Halifax III 8AZ NA.613.  Crew:  F/O WILLIAMS P.C. (Captain), F/S REDKNAP S.G. R.C.A.F. (Navigator), F/O ACKROYD H.E. (Air Bomber), F/S STEWART G.C. (WOP/AIR), SGT PAYNE J.R. (Air Gunner), SGT STINSON A.H. (Flight Engineer).  Time Up:  07.53.  Time Down:  12.21.  Details of sortie or flight:  Operation "VARSITY" Horsa glider, duty carried out.  Aircraft hit by flak on way out.  Hydraulic trouble expected.  Forced landed at Manston.  No casualties.

 

25th March 1945

Place: Tarrant Rushton

 

0700 - Squadron standing by for re-supply.  Re-supply cancelled.