"Flight to Pegasus"

D - Day 6th June 1944

Foreword by Keith Petvin-Scudamore (Webmaster) .

Copyright of most of this pages are: Jim H. Wallwork - RIP 1919 - 2013

I was very privileged to be in touch with Jim Wallwork who lived in Canada, he gave me this material for this BAF website and even at 92 years old continued to update it, he used to send me edits and speak to me on the phone.

As the vast Allied seaborne invasion fleet converged on the Normandy beaches on the eve of D-Day, 6th June,1944, six troop gliders were delivering a 180 man airborne force a few miles inland. Their objective: to pave the way for the main force by capturing two vital German held bridges. Jim was chosen to be pilot Glider No1, although he always maintained that any pilot in the group could have been No 1 as they were all capable.

Keith Petvin-Scudamore (Webmaster) in 2012

He was always sending me a message and in response to me telling him that many people visit this page and especially young people. This was his last message.

"Tell your young people that sometimes you have to fight and stand firm, WW2 was such a test. Take great care with your freedom as one day you may have to fight to preserve what you have" - Jim Wallwork DFM

903986 James Harley Wallwork - 1919 - 2013 RIP.

Attested on 1st May 1939 at 19 years 6 months

Royal of Artillery T.A. 53rd.Regiment

Posted to: 212 Field Battery

Posted to: HQ 53 Regt.

Posted to: 311 Infantry Training Centre - 111 Field Regt.

Transferred to 9th Pioneer Battalion - The York & Lancaster Regiment on 27th May 1940

Posted to: HQ Glider Regiment at Tilshead Wiltshire. (14th May 1942)

Service in Africa: 14th April 1943 to 23rd Dec. 1943
Service in North West Europe: 5th June 1944 to 11th June 1944
Service in British Liberation Army: 17th Aug. 1944 to 28th Aug. 1944
Service in North West Europe: 24th March 1945 to 30th March 1945

Released to Class Z (T) 29th April 1946
Released to Group (T) Reserves 10th Feb. 1954

Wounded on June 6th 1944 (Head and Knee wound)

Medals Awarded.

Army Flying Badge - Africa Star - Defence Medals - Italy Star - France/Germany
Distinguished Flying Medal - Efficiency Medal (TA)

(Jim Wallwork has given permission to Keith Petvin-Scudamore and Andrea Baxter to research his service and obtain all detail of Ministry of Defence - we have his full service records and full medical records)

Foreword by Jack Meadows

In Jim Wallwork's house in British Columbia hangs a large painting by retired Indian Army Major Conn Hackett, a mutual friend. Three cheerful sergeant glider-pilots swathed in a large Union Jack are celebrating VE-Day very unsteadily down the main street of Devizes. Another pilot, Jim Wallwork DFM himself, had a better reason to celebrate than most of us. Transferring from infantry, he was an early member of the Glider Pilot Regiment. In the Sicily Invasion he was one of the lucky ones cast off close enough to reach land. Later came Arnhem and a fortunate escape, and finally the Rhine crossing.

D-Day saw the second, and greatest, of his four major glider operations, the night landing at Pegasus Bridge over the Orne, to cut off enemy reinforcements from our invasion beaches. As a night fighter pilot (and ex flying instructor) at the time, I would have blanched at the very idea, said it was impossible, suicide. I still marvel at what was one of history's most amazing and skilful exploits, a key factor in the whole operation. It has never been as well told as in the style of the man himself, with all its understatements and ironic humour.

Six thousand feet. Six mile to go. The coast of France below and a sudden uncanny silence Now for the grand prize, the ultimate accolade, the raison d'etre of the Glider Pilot Regiment.

Staff Sgt. Jim Wallwork DFM. the pilot of the first glider to land, recounts his personal story of the action.

 

In early March 19444 six glider crews were collected at Netheravon from various flights of the regiment. No word as to why, in the usual glider pilot style, but we foregathered at mid-field and were addressed by our Colonel, George Chatterton, behind whom appeared a covey of army and air force brass. Heavy brass. He pointed out a couple of triangles marked with broad white tape, one here, one there on the airfield. Not very big, but apparently in his judgement, big enough.

Briefing was very succinct: " You will be towed at one-minute intervals to 4,000ft, which will take about one hour. You will then release three miles away at a point decided by your tug, from where you will be able to see these triangles. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 will land in this one, making a right hand circuit, and 4, 5 and 6 on t'other from a left hand circuit. Now hop off for lunch. All gliders are ready and assembled on the towpath. Take off 1300hrs".

No word as to how we were chosen. Perhaps drawn from a hat? Perhaps crews our squadron commanders were glad to part with? We were all sergeants. My co-pilot was Johnnie Ainsworth. I was told to fly first and, although throughout training the other crews changed numbers and patterns (a wise move), I always stayed as number 1. So we took off and flew a short course, saw the triangles, cast off and landed all six in our correct areas, to our utter astonishment. A mutter of dis-belief emanated from the brass, and a few low -key bragging words about "his boys" from. George. The Royal Air Force cast the doubt, so we did exactly the same the next day with exactly the same - to us - incredibly lucky result.

From that point , the operation was " on" although no-one mentioned it to us. And Deadstick, the codename for the glider pilot training, started. Here perhaps might be included a quotation from Air Vice-Marshall Arthur Harris, Chief of the Air Staff, who opined that it would be disastrous to try to train army personnel to fly troop-carrying gliders. His actual words were:

"The idea that semi-skilled, unpicked personnel (infantry corporals have, I believe even been suggested) could , with a maxumum of training, be entrusted with the piloting of these troop carriers is fantastic. Their operation is equivalent to forced landing the largest sized aircraft without engine aid - than which there is no higher test of piloting skill". We can now extend a belated thankyou to Bomber Harris as he became known, for such an occolade to the Glider Pilot Regiment.

 

Somewhere in the West Country Major John Howard and his merry men of D Company, Ox & Bucks, also started their preparations for an assault on something or other! It took only a few trial runs with Albemarles at Netheravon to prove that we needed a much more powerful tug to get fully loaded Horsa up to 6,000ft - which was the new and final height - in less than an hour, so a switch was made to Tarrant Rushton airfield and No 298 and 644 Halifax Squadrons. Here, for the first and only time, we were crewed with our tug and stayed together through the training and final run-in. This was a most important move, as we developed a confidence and friendships in a sometimes dangerous and more often hilarious training period. My tug skipper was Wg Cdr Duder DSO DFC, enough to give anyone plenty of encouragement as he obviously knew quite a bit about flying and was indeed the proverbial ace.

It was all a bit half-arsed at first. A daylight tow was made at various times, apparently when Tarrant Rushton airfield was not to busy, which as two operational squadrons were based there, was not very often. Height was now set at 6,000ft, and two separate courses and times developed. Gliders 1 - 3 to fly a three sided path, and 4 - 6 a dog leg pattern. We were towed in line astern at one minute intervals. Broadly, 1 - 3 flew downwind leg of 180 degrees at 90mph for 3mins 40secs, then a 90degree Rate One turn right on to second course for 2mins 5sec, and a last 90degree turn right for the run-in, by which time the target should be directly ahead. Gliders 4 - 6 cast off at the same spot, operated half then full flap and in a dog-leg couse flew in straight to the target.

I soon became evident that to fly out of and back to Tarrant was no longer feasible, so the search began for a suitable target area, which some boffin or other decided would be "Holmes Clump",. I don't know who Holmes was, but his Clump is etched on all our hearts forever. It is an L-shaped wood just off Netheravon, most convenient in that gliders landing there can be towed across the fields by tractor back to Netheravon airfield proper. And from this was developed Deadstick training. Fourteen glider pilots (six crews and one back-up - which did prove necessary) were sequestered in one Nissen hut at Tarrant with a Lieutenant as our mother hen, our own transport, and our own independent operation directed by two RAF pilots, Flt. Lt Tom Grant, a tug/glider specialist, and Keith Miller, a similiar specialist, these two organised everything. Briefings, courses, winds and timings on every flight. The drill in flight was to cast off at 90mph while turning onto the decided course, immediately I was "On", the co-pilot operated the stopwatch and timimg started, countdown by Ainsworth, " Five, Four Three, Two, One, Zero, and I made a controlled Rate One right turn to course 2: and when I was "On" again Johnnie restarted the watch. Another countdown and at zero, another 90degree turn right and the target lay ahead.

Only once did Deadstick break any gliders when number 6 was late, he eventually landed with the most horrific noise and we feared the worst, but luckily except for the odd broken bones all was well, hence our need for a spare crew. In all we practised Deadstick 42 times and were bloody good at it by June 1944. The airfield was sealed on June 1st and John Howard and D Company, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry our only and live load. They were the best troops we ever met, and we were glad of that.

At last we were told where, how, and why the two bridges over the River Orne and Caen Canal had to be taken intact and held. Gliders 1 - 3, flying the three course path, we were to take the canal, while 4 - 6, would drop straight down and take the river. There were still various problems to deal with and in turn they were overcome but the Day had come, we took off at 2245 through low cloud and into clear at 6000ft over the channel, it was a smooth flight and Howard encouraged the men to sing, none were airsick. Thanks to our tug crew we were dead on time and dead on target, "Cast Off", the singing stopped and that was when six Horsas tiptoed quietly into two little fields in Normandy and released 180 fighting men in full battle order to give the German garrison the surprise of their lives.

The Glider Pilots cast off at the coast about 6 miles from the target (midway between Caen and the coast.

The tug pilot said, "Weather's good, the clouds are at 600 feet, a couple of minutes before we cast off. And we all wish you the best of luck." Alter course, air speed right, John Ainsworth with the stopwatch, I'm checking the compass, he's checking the air speed. We cruise along and then 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . bingo, right turn to starboard onto course. Halfway down the crosswind leg I could see it all, the river and the canal like strips of silver in the moonlight. Visibility was good- the temptation to fly in was forgotten as training, training and more training took over. I duly completed the crosswind leg as Johnnie timed me, made the regulation rate-one turn and there as expected was the target straight ahead. The final approach was a little fast and I landed probably at about 95 instead of at 85, and 10 miles per hour in the dark looks rather quick. I hit the field and caught the first bit of wire and so I called "Stream," and by golly, it [the parachute] lifted the tail and forced the nose down. It drew us back and knocked the speed down tremendously. It was only on for two seconds, and "jettison," and Ainsworth pressed the tit and jettisoned the parachute, and then we were going along only about 60, which was ample to take me right into the corner. We got right into the corner of the field, the nose wheel had gone, the cockpit collapsed, and Ainsworth and I went right through the cockpit. I went over head first and landed flat on my stomach. I was stunned, as was Ainsworth; I came around and he seemed to be in bad shape. I said, "Can you crawl?" and he said, "No," and then I asked if I lifted, could he crawl out and he said, "I'll try." I lifted the thing and I felt that I lifted the whole bloody glider when probably all I lifted was a small spar, but I felt like 30 men when I picked this thing up and he did manage to crawl out.

Although we made an awful noise on landing we seemed not to bother the German sentries, I was stunned and pinned under the collapsed cockpit, but the troops were getting on with it. Exactly one minute later No.2 arrived and joined in, followed by No. 3, this all justified all those training flights. Long afterwards we all confessed to feeling rather pleased with ourselves at having pulled it off, this when June 6 was 20minutes old and our little battle was just starting. Air Chief Marshall Leigh-Mallory called it the greatest flying feat of the Second World War.

There was only one casualty on landing, the Bren gunner in No. 3 who drowned in a pond, Johnnie and I revived in a few minutes and with the aid of a medic I crawled free of the debris. I made myself useful carting ammunition from the glider to the troops, then we heard the Tank, we needed Gammon anti-tank bombs, but I could not find those bloody bombs, so took a case of 303 which made Howard cross. "Get the bloody Gammons" he hollered.

It was a rough night. We pilots did what little we could to help but the Parachute Brigade arrived at 0300hr and Lord Lovat at about 1300 on the 6th, they were indeed welcome. By daylight my legs had seized and I became a stretcher case and after local medical assistance ended up at Ronkswood Hospital Worcester. I returned to my regiment some three weeks later in time for Arnhem, then back to Tarrant for a conversion course on Hamilcars in order to fly a 17pounder and crew across the Rhine in March 1945. It was short,sharp and a good clean way to go to war. I do not think any of us would have changed a thing.


Copyright: Jim Wallwork

This article was updated in August 2009 and 2012 from edits supplied by Jim Wallwork, he died in Canada, in 2013.

Wallwork played down claims that his unit initiated D-Day. "France was a very busy place that night: paratroopers dropping in, small aircraft taking arms to the resistance, the navy removing German novelties from off the beaches," he said.

"Our only claim to fame is not that we were the first to arrive, but that we were the first to fire a shot. We were the first to take a small bit of France and give it back to the French. It was really quite easy. There were NO paratroops on this particular operation. All glider pilots were Airborne Infantry."

As the years go by the survivors of this daring action are dwindling in numbers, they are-

Frank Bourlet. Peter Boyle, Peter 'Rocky' Bright, Wm 'Bill' Gray, Cyril E. Haslett, T.G. 'Tom' Packwood, Raymond 'Tich'Rayner, Stan Watson, Fred Weaver, Jim Jennings, 'Smokey' Howard, Alf Whitbread, ' Tug' Wilson and . who as the last surviving officer of Coup de Main Force, in June was awarded the Legion d'Honour in recognition of his many years of support for Normandy Veterans Association (NVA) Airborne Assault Normandy Trust (AANT) and Coup de Main survivors.

Update.

Last Post. Sadly, during the past two years we have lost Doug Allen 24.11.06,

Stan Evans, CdeG: 18.09.04; Arthur Roberts: 13.11. 04 and Wally Parr: 03.12.05. Geoff Barkway, DFM, Pilot of No. 3 glider at Pegasus Bridge died on Thursday, 8th June. 2006. - Denis 'Eddie' Edwards died May 2008 - Colonel David Wood died aged 86 on 17th March 2009 - Harry Clark died in 2008. - Jim Wallwork DFM died Sept 2013 -

Lost in action.

L/Cpl Fred Greenhalgh and Lieut. D. Brotheridge


The Action to take the Bridges - (from the troops viewpoint)


In Glider No. 1, Howard’s men started to loosen up a bit, some of them even singing Cockney tunes as a way to pass the time during their journey. But the singing only masked their nervousness about what they might face on landing. The men had been shown the most recent aerial photos, and they had seen newly dug holes in the Normandy countryside for anti-glider stakes, nicknamed "Rommel asparagus" by Allied troopers. Many of those holes appeared near the bridge landing sites. Each man had plenty to think about as the gliders neared the French coast.

Major John Howard (Memorial)

The tow planes and gliders crossed over the town of Cabourg, at which point the glider pilots cut themselves loose from the bombers. Once free of the tow planes, the gliders were in free flight at 6,000 feet, and each plane went into a steep dive to get through the flak belt being thrown up by the German anti-aircraft guns targeting the bombers that droned onward.

The steep dive brought painful pressure to the ears, and to relieve it each man blew hard while holding his nose. Many of the paratroopers fought queasiness as the powerless aircraft swooped downward in the darkness. In the cockpits, co-pilots began monitoring stopwatches as pilots checked their compasses to make the exacting runs on the downwind and upwind legs of the flight. They would have to work to stretch the glide out far enough to reach the bridges 10 miles away.

Landing site

In Glider No. 1, pilot Jim Wallwork held the aircraft steady while John Ainsworth called out, "5-4-3-2-1-bingo, right turn." The glider turned to starboard and onto the course of the crosswind leg. Wallwork strained to see what lay ahead of them in the light from a half-moon.

"Halfway down the crosswind leg, I could see it," Wallwork later recalled. "I could see the river and the canal like strips of silver and I could see the bridges. So then, to hell with the course, I didn’t complete the crosswind leg. I bowled down and landed rather quickly."

Wallwork glided in at 95 mph. He was a little fast, having hoped to come in at 85. He deployed his arrester parachute for a few seconds, then released it and crashed into the corner of a small triangular field next to the Caen Canal Bridge. The nose wheel came off, the cockpit collapsed and Wallwork and Ainsworth were thrown through the cockpit. The rest of the men were tossed about as well, with Howard smashing his head on a beam, which jammed his helmet down over his eyes. For a brief moment Howard thought he had suddenly been blinded, but he quickly recovered his wits and found his platoon commander, Lieutenant Dan Brotheridge.

Kneeling next to Brotheridge, Howard heard him give his section leader a simple, four-word order: "Get your chaps moving." Nothing more was necessary. Each man knew just what to do. In minutes, men of No. 1 platoon were racing across the bridge, firing as they ran and tossing grenades into bunkers. A flare went off, fired by a German sentry.

One minute after Glider No. 1 landed, Glider No. 2 was down. "I dropped to the ground with an almighty crash," said pilot Oliver Boland, "and we crashed along and managed to stop."

Directly behind No. 2 came No. 3, which initially touched down behind Glider No. 2 but then shot into the air and sailed over No. 2, crash-landing between it and Glider No. 1. Number 3 broke in half upon the second impact and hurled L/Cpl Fred Greenhalgh into a pond, pinning him there until he drowned. Had the glider not become airborne after its first impact, it would have crashed into the rear of glider No. 2, and two-thirds of Howard’s force might have been wiped out upon landing.

Now the attackers’ intense training paid off. The men from the second and third gliders moved quickly to accomplish their assigned tasks, and within five minutes the bridge over the Caen Canal was in British hands. Engineers checked the span for explosives and found that not only were the wires not hooked to the hellbox but the explosives themselves were not fixed in the holders attached to the bridge supports. Instead, they had been stored in a shed situated just off the far side of the bridge. Gale’s assessment of a bored and lethargic bridge defense force had been more than accurate.

For the first 15 minutes there was no word from the other bridge over the Orne River. Howard asked his radioman, Corporal Tappendan, over and over, "Any from four, five, or six?" The answer was, "No, no, no." Finally, Dennis Fox from Glider No. 5 called in that the Orne Bridge had been captured. Within minutes of that report, Glider No. 6 landed and Lt. Todd Sweeney’s troops came racing to the bridge. The attackers had achieved total surprise, and the British now controlled both bridges. Ecstatic, Howard ordered Tappendan to send out the success signal. Tappendan lay down on the road by the canal bridge and transmitted, "Hello Four Dog, Hello Four Dog, Ham and Jam, Ham and Jam!" He paused for an answer, but there was only silence on the airwaves. Then he tried again, "Hello Four Dog, Hello Four Dog, Ham and Jam, Ham and Jam." But try as he might, no one answered him. At that very moment, the rest of 6th Airborne was descending onto the Ranville Plain. A radio in that force had been set to their frequency, but no one answered.

"For a solid hour I lay on that road," Tappendan recalled. "I finally got so frustrated that I said, ‘Hello Four Dog, Hello Four Dog, Ham and Jam, Ham and Bloody Jam, why don’t you answer me?’"

Tappendan had no way of knowing that the radio tuned to his frequency had been lost in the jump, so no one knew that Howard’s force had captured the bridges intact. The major began consolidating his positions, preparing for the anticipated German counterattack.

 

D Company, 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - December 1943

(Picture Bill Boren - HustonUSA - Denis Edwards)

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A list of the 180 personnel of the Coup de Main force that captured the bridges over the
Caen canal and the River Orne in Normandy just after midnight, June 5th/6th, 1944.

The list contains names of the pilots and medical team, these lists were supplied by the late Denis Edwards (spokesperson for Coup de Main Party) until such time as I am proved wrong, I stand by the names on the list. (webmaster Keith Petvin-Scudamore)

The bridges were renamed Pegasus and Horsa bridges by the French government in recognition of their being the first part of France to be liberated on D-Day

Gliders were piloted by 12 members of the Glider Pilot Regiment, who were trained to fight alongside the infantry after landing. Infantry were supplied by the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, from 6th Air Landing Brigade of the 6th Airborne Division.

Comprising the 4 platoons of ‘D’ Company and 2 platoons from ‘B’ Company, supported by a detachment of 30 men from the 2nd platoon, 249 Field Company, Royal Engineers (Airborne), 3 members of the Royal Army Medical Corps and a Liaison officer from the 7th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

Glider Number 1 - Target : The Caen Canal Bridge.

Rank Name Serving in Coy/Platoon Serving as..
S/Sgt Wallwork Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Ainsworth Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Co-Pilot
W/Cdr Duder RAF   Tug-Pilot
Lt. Brotheridge

2nd Oxf.Bucks

D 25

Platoon Commander
Sgt Ollis      
Cpl Caine      
Cpl Webb      

Pte Bates

     
L/C Packwood      
L/C Minns      
Pte Baalam      
Cpl Bailey      
Pte Bourlet      
Pte Chamberlain     Platoon Medic
Pte Edwards
     
Pte Gray      
Pte Gardner      
Pte O’Donnell      
Pte Parr      
Pte Tilbury      
Pte Watson      
Pte White      
Pte Windsor      
Pte Jackson 08      
Cpl Tappenden   Coy. HQ Wireless Operator
Major Howard   Coup de Main Force

Officer Commanding

Cpl Watson Royal Engineers    
Spr Danson ditto    
Spr Ramsey ditto    
Spr Wheeler ditto    
Spr Yates ditto    

Glider Number 1, together with gliders 2 and 3, landed very close to its target, the Caen canal bridge, now named Pegasus Bridge. All three gliders landed within a few minutes of each other.

Glider Number 2 - Target : The Caen Canal Bridge.

Rank Name Serving in ... Coy/Platoon Serving as..
S/Sgt Boland Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Hobbs Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Co-Pilot
WO Berry RAF   Tug Pilot
Lt. Wood D 2nd Oxf.Bucks 24 Platoon Commander
Sgt Leather      
Cpl Godbold      
Cpl Cowperthwaite      
Cpl Ilsley      
L/C Roberts      
L/C Drew      
Pte Chatfield      
Pte Lewis      
Pte Cheesley      
Pte Waters      
Pte Clarke 33      
Pte Musty      
Pte Dancey      
Pte Harman      
Pte Warmington      
Pte Leonard      
Pte Weaver      
Pte Radford      
Pte Clark 48      
Pte Pepperall      
Pte Malpas      
L/C Harris RAMC   Medic
A/Capt Neilson Royal Engineers    
Spr Conley      
Spr Lockhart      
Spr Shorey      
Spr Haslett      

Glider Number 2, together with gliders 1 and 3, landed very close to its target, the Caen canal bridge, now named Pegasus Bridge. All three gliders landed within a few minutes of each other.

Glider Number 3 - Target : The Caen Canal Bridge.

Rank Name Serving in Coy/Platoon Serving as..
S/Sgt Barkway Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Boyle Horsa Glider Pilot Regt   Co-Pilot
WO Herman RAF   Tug Pilot
Lt. Smith 2nd Oxf.Bucks B 14 Platoon Commader
Sgt Harrison
     
Cpl Higgs      
Cpl Evans      
Cpl Aris      
L/C Madge      
L/C Cohen      
Pte Greenhalgh      
Pte Wilson      
Pte Hook      
Pte Stewart      
Pte Keane      
Pte Noble      
Pte Crocker      
Pte Basham      
Pte Watts      
Pte Anton      
Pte Tibbs      
Pte Slade      
Pte Burns      
Pte Turner      
Pte Golden      
Pte A. Gregory RAMC   Medic
Major Jacob-Vaughan RAMC   Medical Officer
L/C Waring
Royal Engineers    
Spr Clarke      
Spr Fleming      
Spr Green      
Spr Preece      

Glider Number 3, together with gliders 1 and 2, landed very close to its target, the Caen canal bridge, now named Pegasus Bridge. All three gliders landed within a few minutes of each other.

Glider Number 4 - Target : The Orne RiverBridge.

Rank Name Serving in Coy/Platoon Serving as..

S/Sgt Lawrence

Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Shorter Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Co-Pilot
F/O Clapperton RAF   Tug-Pilot
Lt Hooper 2nd Oxf.Bucks D 22 Platoon Commander
Sgt Barwick
     
Cpl Goodsir      
Cpl Bateman      
L/Sgt Rayner      
Cpl Ambrose      
Cpl Hunt      
Pte Allwood      
Pte Wilson      
Pte Hedges      
Pte Everett      
Pte St. Clair      
Pte Waite      
Pte Clive.      
Pte Timms      
Pte Whitford      
Pte Johnson      
Pte Lathbury      
Pte Hammond      
Pte Gardner 08      
Pte Jeffrey      
Capt Priday
    Company 2i/c
L/C Lambley     Company. Clerk
L/Sgt Brown
Royal Engineers    
Spr Deighton      
Spr Guest      
Spr Paget      
Spr Roberts      

Glider Number 4 was scheduled to land first, but was pulled off course by its tug aircraft and landed by a bridge over the River Dives some 8 miles to the East. Although losing some men in skirmishes along the way, the crew and airborne infantry and engineers successfully fought their way through the flooded Dives valley and back to Hérouvillette, to rendezvous with the Regiment in the early hours of June 7th.

Glider Number 5 - Target : The Orne RiverBridge.

Rank Name Serving in Coy/Platoon Serving as..

S/Sgt Pearson

Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Guthrie Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Co-Pilot
WO Bain RAF   Tug Pilot
Lt Sweeney 2nd Oxf.Bucks D 23 Platoon Commander

Sgt Gooch

     
Cpl Murton      
Cpl Howard      
Cpl Jennings      
L/C Porter      
L/C Stacey      
Pte Allen      
Pte Bowden      
Pte Buller      
Pte Bright      
Pte Bleach      
Pte Clark 46      
Pte Galbraith      
Pte Jackson 59      
Pte Roach      
Pte Roberts 94      
Pte Read      
Pte Tibbit      
Pte Wixon      
Pte Wood      
Pte Willcocks      
Lt Macdonald 7th Parachute Bn   Liaison Officer
Cpl Straw Royal Engineers    
Spr Bradford      
Spr Carter      
Spr Field      
Spr Wilkinson      

Glider Number 5 hit an air pocket and forced it to land in a field adjacent to the Orne River Bridge - not exactly where planned but very well positioned for the job that was to be done.

Glider Number 6 - Target : The Orne RiverBridge.

Rank Name Serving in Coy/Platoon Serving as..

S/Sgt Howard

Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Pilot
S/Sgt Baacke Glider Pilot Regt   Horsa Co-Pilot
F/O Archibald RAF   Tug Pilot
Lt Fox 2nd Oxf.Bucks B 17 Platoon Commander

Sgt Thornton

     
Cpl Lally      
Cpl Burns      
Cpl Reynolds      
L/C Loveday      
Pte Collett      
Pte Hubbert      
Pte Clare      
Pte Peverill      
Pte Pope      
Pte Whitehouse      
Pte Whitbread      
Pte Lawton      
Pte Rudge      
Pte O’Shaughnessy      
Pte Annetts      
Pte Summersby      
Pte Woods      
Pte Wyatt      
Pte Ward      
Pte Storr      
L/C Lawson RAMC   Medic
WS Lt Bence Royal Engineers    
Spr Burns      
Spr C.W.Larkin      
Spr C.H.Larkin      
Spr Maxted      


Glider Number 6 landed as planned and very close to the river bridge where they met little opposition

These lists are extracted from the book ‘The Devil’s Own Luck’ – From Pegasus Bridge to the Baltic Sea as an Airborne Sniper – 1944/45 – published by Pen & Sword Books, Ltd of Barnsley, Yorkshire by.Denis Edwards

 

Major John Howard DSO at Pegasus Bridge in 1993, (Heimdal)

1912-1999

The successful taking of the bridges had not been without cost. Two men had been killed -- Greenhalgh, who had drowned in the pond, and Howard’s platoon commander, Brotheridge, who had been shot through the neck on the far side of the bridge.

Ayres K. S. Pte 3/8/44 Breville/St Come Herouvillette (from 1st Bucks)
Bannatyne G Pte 25/8/44 Advance to Seine Beuzeville
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

 

Copyright: History Net - (with thanks)

Credits: Numerous pictures from various websites - Great help from Denis Edwards RIP., with thanks.

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