Friday, 25 January 2013

S.Sgt Jim Wallwork DFM

It is with regret that I must inform you of the passing of Jim Wallwork DFM on 24th January 2013. Rest in Peace Jim.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

S.Sgt Sydney Knox

I was recently contacted by Colin Knox, the son of S/Sgt Sydney Knox GPR. Colin has been kind enough to allow us to use some photographs of his father (along with other GP's), he's also provided me with what information he's been able to gather over the years. If any of you can provide us with more details then please do so.

My records show Staff Sergeant Sydney Knox (No.820096) of 'C' Squadron flew from Tarrant Rushton in chalk number 371, a Horsa, carrying Jeeps and/or other equipment of the Reconnaissance Sqdn into LZ 'Z' on 17th Sept 1944. Colin has been able to add; after the heavy fighting in and around Oosterbeek, Sydney escaped by swimming across the Rhine in the early hours of Tuesday 26th September, walked to Driel and then on to Nijmegen.

His co-pilot was S/Sgt D E Baker (No.4979177). However, he's listed as PoW held at Stalag 11B (Fallingbostel).

If any of the information above is in error or incomplete please don't hesitate to contact me with corrections. Likewise, if anybody has a detailed load list for chalk 371 we'd be very interested to see it.

Colin has given me permission to show the following photographs, please do not reproduce without permission. Thank you.

Sydney Knox - No. 64 Glider Pilot Conversion Course 'A' flight

Newspaper cutting of those who represented the GPR, June 1946

S/Sgt. Sydney Knox with his dog 'Flack' in the cockpit of a Horsa glider

Flight with Horsa Glider

Flight with the giant Hamilcar Glider

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Merville Battery Glider Pilots

Shortly after midnight on June 6th 1944 men of 9th Battalion the Parachute Regiment along with section of sappers from the Royal Engineers and Glider Pilots undertook a daring operation; to take and eliminate German guns in four casemates to prevent them firing onto the beaches planned for the seaborne element of Operation Overlord later that same morning. Eight Horsa's would carry in stores including Jeeps ammunition etc. 

The Author of 'The Day the Devils Dropped in' Neil Barber has developed an extremely interesting Facebook page in order to take the the story further and to a wider audience.

The following photographs of four of the Glider Pilots caught my eye the other day and so, after contacting Neil, I'd like to share them with you, as well as a link to Neil's FB page which is well worth a visit... as is his book itself, wink, wink.

Link: The Day the Devil Dropped In

Notes relating to S/Sgt. Baldwin: S/Sgt. Arnold Baldwin and his co-pilot Sgt Joe Michie flew one of the Horsa's on the night of 5th/6th June, however the tow rope broke over the English coast. With luck and superb flying they got the glider back to RAF Odiham in the dark.

Notes relating to S/Sgt. Dean: S/Sgt. Dean and his co-pilot Sgt Stan Bone flew another of the Horsa's in the assault on the Merville Battery carrying, among others, Capt. Gordon Brown. It was Capt. Brown who had the idea of marking the Glider Borne forces with the skull and crossbones which were then painted on the the Denison smocks.

Notes relating to Sgt. Michie: Sgt. Joe Michie was the Glider Pilot responsible for actually painting the skull and crossbones on the smocks as he was an artist in civilian life. As an aside detail, many felt that the painting was too bright and dulled them down by rubbing dirt into them.

Notes relating to S/Sgt. Kerr: S/Sgt. Dickie Kerr landed his glider his Horsa just to the East of the Battery and the men on board were able to attack and halt a German patrol which would've been hot on the heels of 9th Battalion as they were making their assault on the Merville Battery.

Photographs and notes are courtesy of Neil Barber.

S/Sgt. Baldwin Glider Pilot Regiment

Sgt. Dean Glider Pilot Regiment

Sgt. Michie Glider Pilot Regiment

Sgt. Kerr Glider Pilot Regiment