Abbreviations

2P

A/C

C

Lt

LZ

M/C

N

RASC

TCC

W

Second Pilot

Aircraft

Captain

Light

Landing Zone

Motorcycle

Navigator

Royal Army Service Corps

Troop Carrier Command
Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: March 1945

 

21st March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

26 Squadron crews proceeded to Birch today to remain there to operate on Exercise Varsity at such time as ordered.  All crews proceeding to Birch gave their respective aircraft a thorough air test during the day.

 

TRAINING:  F/S Manson flew Anson 487 to Bramcote and return.  F/O Crowe flew Anson 700 to Madley and return.  F/S Draycott flew Anson 487 to Northolt and return.

 

22nd March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

No operations.

 

TRAINING:  F/O Miller, F/S Oliver and F/S Montgomery did circuits and local flying in Anson 487.  F/O Burford flew Dakota KN 211 to Birch and return.  S/L McVeigh and W/O Thompson flew internal trips to Birch in KG 967 and KG 288.

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

No operations.

 

TRAINING:  F/S Oliver, F/S Montgomery did local in Anson 487.  F/L Sweetman air tested KG 368.  F/S Draycott flew Anson 487 to Northolt and return.  F/S Montgomery flew Anson 199 to Watchfield and return and F/L McGregor flew Anson 199 to Northolt and return.

 

24th March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

OPERATIONS:  Glider operation Varsity was carried out today.  24 crews participated (9 "A" Flight crews, 8 "B" Flight crews, 7 "C" Flight crews).  Two crews acted as standby crews.  Upon completion of the Operation, all crews returned to B.75 to standby for possible re-supply mission.  The operation was successfully completed without loss of aircraft or injury to any personnel.  F/L McGregor flew an Anson to B.75, carrying a spare crew for possible re-supply.  S/L McVeigh also flew Anson 487 to B.75, with six aircrew to stand by for possible re-supply.

 

TRAINING:  W/O Cox flew internal runs to Birch returning to base with ground personnel.  S/L Reed returned from B.75 with Anson 487 which was flown to B.75 in the morning by S/L McVeigh.  F/L Munroe and W/O Lane flew several internal runs to Birch returning with Squadron personnel, the a/c used were KG 798 and KJ 967.

 

OPERATION VARSITY SUMMARY

 

On March 24th, 24 aircraft took part in Operation Varsity, took off from Birch on Operation tugging Horsa gliders.  Their total load consisted of 230 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles, 15 Jeeps and trailers, 2 jeep trailers, 6 jeeps and 6 pounder guns, 2 handcarts and ammunition, 4 bicycles and two motor cycles.  All aircraft reached the L.Z. (U) and through very thick haze all made successful release of gliders.  Crews on return reported moderate, medium and heavy flak over the L.Z., the rope dropping area and Deersfordter-Wald but it was mostly inaccurate.  Four aircraft were very slightly damaged.  No aircraft were lost in 437 Squadron and all crews returned safe with no casualties.  The weather over the whole route was excellent except for dust and smoke at the L.Z.  437 Squadron operation with IX TCC and No.38 Group in this Operation.  All aircraft landed at 104 S.P. B.75 for re-fuelling and de-briefing.  Operation Varsity took place in the area across the Rhine north of Wesel.  The two reserve aircraft were not used.  The following crews and aircraft took part in Operation Varsity:-

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 600 DC.  Crew:  C.69500 W/C Sproule J.A. (C), J.19905 F/O Andrews F.J. (2P), J.11627 F/L MacNeill H.C. (N), J.17515 F/L MacNeill G.E. (W).  Time Up:  07.02.  Time Down:  11.30.  Details of sortie or flight:  14 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 2 trailers.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 312 DG.  Crew:  J.58089 F/O Purkis R.B. (C), R.170354 W/O Kowel P. (2P), J.38199 F/O Walker E.K. (N), R.133833 W/O Platt R.F. (W).  Time Up:  07.03.  Time Down:  11.31.  Details of sortie or flight:  5 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep & trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 501 DT.  Crew:  J.19772 F/O Roy C.N. (C), J.40852 F/O Chown R.A. (2P), J.38234 F/O Ballanger W.R. (N), J.90772 P/O Sproule G.A. (W).  Time Up:  07.04.  Time Down:  11.31.  Details of sortie or flight:  5 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 395 DY.  Crew:  J.23610 F/O Phillips J.H. (C), R.198800 F/S Green R.W. (2P), J.43018 F/O Hughes W.J. (N), R.94564 F/S Frank R.E. (W).  Time Up:  07.04.  Time Down:  11.32.  Details of sortie or flight:  26 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 handcart and boxes of ammunition.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 634 NK.  Crew:  C.1646 S/L Reed J.T. (C), R.185801 W/O Depew M. (2P), J.12739 F/L Smith S. (N), R.113599 W/O McLeod C.F. (W).  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  11.321.  Details of sortie or flight:  26 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and handcart and boxes of ammunition.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KN 281 DN.  Crew:  J.28308 F/O J.M. Byrnes (C), J.42998 F/O Kachuk M. (2P), J.38747 F/O Hunt K.E. (N), R.160020 W/O Chambers J.R. (W).  Time Up:  07.06.  Time Down:  11.33.  Details of sortie or flight:  28 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and boxes of ammunition.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 425 DN.  Crew:  J.5194 F/L Burford J.N. (C), J.58857 F/O Coleman R.S. (2P), J.11506 F/L Starratt D.E. (N), J.10881 F/L Romanowis W.J. (W).  Time Up:  07.07.  Time Down:  11.33.  Details of sortie or flight:  28 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and boxes of ammunition.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  FZ 694 DP.  Crew:  J.59631 F/O Jones G.E. (C), R.190925 F/S Knight J.R. (2P), R.185420 F/S Friedlander B.B. (N), R.219235 F/S Patenaude C.A. (W).  Time Up:  07.07.  Time Down:  11.34.  Details of sortie or flight:  8 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer and 8 cycles.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KN 278 DW.  Crew:  J.7531 S/L Sanderson W.C. (C), J.14104 F/L Brooks E.W. (2P), J.13684 F/L Boland E.J. (N), J.36556 F/O Hoy T.C. (W).  Time Up:  07.08.  Time Down:  11.34.  Details of sortie or flight:  9 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 412 NT.  Crew:  J.11001 F/O Clarke H.S. (C), J.37095 F/O Barnhouse R.H. (2P), J.21736 F/L Lindsay G.M. (N), J.40655 F/O Kirick D. (W).  Time Up:  07.08.  Time Down:  11.55.  Details of sortie or flight:  9 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer and 1 cycle.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KN 269 DU.  Crew:  C.2719 F/L Harville C.G. (C), J.43883 F/O Liebman H. (2P), J.29240 F/O Crump L.F. (N), J.47239 F/O Weir T. (W).  Time Up:  07.09.  Time Down:  11.36.  Details of sortie or flight:  7 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer and 1 Lt. M/C.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 577 DS.  Crew:  J.29452 F/O Wynne J.R. (C), J.29152 F/O Sterling J.N. (2P), J.39002 F/O Simpson W.E. (N), J.24832 F/O Souter R.J. (W).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  11.37.  Details of sortie or flight:  9 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer and 2 cycles.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 389 DB.  Crew:  J.6268 S/L Joyce R.C. (C), J.43014 F/O Botari L.J. (2P), J.24177 F/O McKinley H.J. (N), J.29238 F/O Rechenue J. (W).  Time Up:  07.11.  Time Down:  11.38.  Details of sortie or flight:  7 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer and 1 M/C.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 310 DD.  Crew:  J.24112 F/O McLean W.E. (C), J.42897 P/O Stewart T.E. (2P), J.14983 F/L Cox D.A. (N), J.92102 P/O Mercer R. (W).  Time Up:  07.12.  Time Down:  11.39.  Details of sortie or flight:  6 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 354 DH.  Crew:  J.20212 F/L Payne C.F. (C), J.36209 F/O Holborn J.C. (2P), R.183565 F/S Dennison-Broad T.R. (N), R.184013 W/O Tennant H.G. (W).  Time Up:  07.13.  Time Down:  11.39.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder gun.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 452 DF.  Crew:  J.43074 F/O Rasmussen K.E. (C), R.202549 F/S Sutfin E.E. (2P), J.23722 F/O DePol C. (N), R.141653 W/O Steele E.B. (W).  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  11.40.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder gun.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 529 DJ.  Crew:  J.14331 F/L Semple E.Q. (C), J.41793 F/O Dickson R.H. (2P), J.36940 F/O Mitchell J.P. (N), R.112363 W/O Reading R.A. (W).  Time Up:  07.17.  Time Down:  11.40.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder gun.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 427 NA.  Crew:  J.24116 F/O Seary J.E. (C), RAF.48092 F/L Roberts E. (2P), J.24176 F/O Gillett J.E. (N), R.142517 W/O Tomebak J.S. (W).  Time Up:  07.18.  Time Down:  11.41.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KN 2256 DL.  Crew:  C.23856 F/L Findlster J.G. (C), R.216095 F/S Hadfield K.E. (2P), J.29398 F/O Russell J.N. (N), R.130101 W/O Sargeant J.J. (W).  Time Up:  07.20.  Time Down:  11.41.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  FZ 692 DR.  Crew:  J.29007 F/O Wells J. (C), J.42330 F/O Porter W.H. (2P), NZ.417247 F/O Svendsen F.G. (N), R.187566 F/S Chinsky E. (W).  Time Up:  07.21.  Time Down:  11.42.  Details of sortie or flight:  3 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and 1 6-pounder.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KK 211 ND.  Crew:  J.14052 F/L Deeks A.A.R. (C), J.41594 F/O Hoskins L.C. (2P), J.90465 F/O Chambers L. (N), J.47921 F/O McEwan G.B. (W).  Time Up:  07.22.  Time Down:  11.42.  Details of sortie or flight:  5 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  FZ 689 DQ.  Crew:  J.95740 F/O Clegg H.G. (C), R.197175 F/S Parrott P.J. (2P), J.26281 F/O Simpson J.D. (N), J.58586 F/O Zelicoyitz W. (W).  Time Up:  07.23.  Time Down:  11.43.  Details of sortie or flight:  6 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 345 DV.  Crew:  J.20941 F/L Dale V.J. (C), R.180216 W/O MacKay D.N. (2P), J.16845 F/L Priest L.E. (N), R.193781 W/O Harrison J.B. (W).  Time Up:  07.24.  Time Down:  11.43.  Details of sortie or flight:  6 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 565 DK.  Crew:  J.27368 F/O Strenz D.A. (C), R.192750 W/O Laidlaw R. (2P), J.11452 F/L Hurd E.A. (N), J.2952 F/O McLeod F.A. (W).  Time Up:  07.25.  Time Down:  11.43.  Details of sortie or flight:  5 personnel of 1st Ulster Rifles and 1 jeep and trailer.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  FZ 639 NS.  Crew:  J.39543 F/O Durrant R.J. (C), RAF.153118 F/O Armstrong A.B. (2P), J.36882 F/O Johnston A.D. (N), R.170738 P/O Hardy D.G. (W).

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  KG 394 DO.  Crew:  J.47544 F/O Lindsay T. (C), R.194017 F/S Greenslade D.J. (2P), J.8824 F/O Brown J.H. (N), J.45294 F/O Morris W.E. (W).

 

(The above two aircraft were held in reserve and did not operate).

 

25th March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

In addition to the crews standing by at B.75, two further crews arrived with two more Dakotas today to reinforce our re-supply detachment.  F/S Hooper flew Anson 487 to Wymeswold and return.

 

26th March 1945

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

OPERATIONS:  It was decided this morning that re-supply of the airborne units would not be necessary and all crews returned to base via Down Ampney transporting R.A.S.C. personnel to Down Ampney, returning empty to base.  Later in the day two "A" Flight crews carried bombs to B.75 and did not return to base today.  One "C" Flight crew flew army freight to B.75 and returned to base empty.

 

TRAINING:  F/S McPhee flew Anson 487 to Northolt and return.  F/S Parrott flew Anson 487 to Bramcote, Wymeswold, Leicester and returned to base.  F/S Draycott air tested Anson 199.