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Operation Pegasus - which Engineer unit?


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#1 horsapassenger

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:38 PM

Operation Pegasus was the successful evacuation of 137 Airborne soldiers, British and American aircrew and a number of Dutchmen which took place on the night of 22/23rd October 1944.

It is well documented that 24 canvas assault boats with 4 engineers per boat were provided for this operation. However some books say that these were British Engineers from 43rd Wessex Division while others say that they were Canadian Engineers.

I've looked at the War diaries for all of the Engineer units attached the 43rd Wessex (13th Bridging Platoon, 204th Field Company, 207th Field Park Company, 260th Field Company and 553rd Field Company) and none of these make any mention of participation in this operation.

Similarly none of the Canadian Engineer unit diaries that I've looked at make any mention. These units all appear to have been based around Herenthals, near Turnhout at the time.

Anybody got any ideas - after all I would have expected that supplying 24 boats and about 100 sappers from an Engineer unit with a complement of about 250 men for such an operation should get a mention in the diary.

John
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#2 17thDYRCH

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:04 PM

John,
A book on Operation Pegasus was published in May 2010 by Books LLC.
ISBN-10: 1155831551
ISBN-13: 978-1155831558.

The wiki states it was the engineers from XXX Corps supported by 506 PIR of the 101st AB Div which assisted with the evacuation. I know you are looking for specifics so hope the book reference helps.

From the colony...

Randy

Edited by 17thDYRCH, 05 January 2012 - 12:16 PM.

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#3 Paul Pariso

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:16 AM

John,
A book on Operation Pegasus was published in May 2010 by Books LLC.
ISBN-10: 1155831551
ISBN-13: 978-1155831558.

The wiki states it was the engineers from XXX Corps supported by 506 PIR of the 101st AB Div which supported the evacuation. I know you are looking for specifics so hope the book reference helps.

From the colony...

Randy


Hi Randy,

As I understand it "Book LLC" take all their info from various internet sources (mainly Wikipedia) and then puts it together and publishes it as a book. As far as I know they don't carry out any independent research or investigations into the subjects they publish about.

All the best...........:)
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#4 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:16 AM

Randy/Paul

Thanks for the lead - I'll see if I can track down the book.

You're quite correct that Easy Company from 506th PIR went across in the assault boats to establish a bridgehead on the North bank during the operation. For his actions 1st Lt "Moose" Heyliger was awarded the MC.

John
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#5 Ramon

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

Randy/Paul

Thanks for the lead - I'll see if I can track down the book.

You're quite correct that Easy Company from 506th PIR went across in the assault boats to establish a bridgehead on the North bank during the operation. For his actions 1st Lt "Moose" Heyliger was awarded the MC.

John


Maybe there is information in the book " get 'm out / pegasus I and II".
I can't find it on the moment but I think Paul P. have it also and can take a look.
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#6 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:39 AM

Ramon

Many thanks I have this book but Cees Haverhoek says (Line 5, page 167) that the Engineer unit is the 210 Royal Canadian Engineers, which I cannot find any further reference to.

John

Edited by horsapassenger, 05 January 2012 - 10:43 AM.
added page reference

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#7 17thDYRCH

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

Paul,

I had no clue Books LLC was that kind of publisher. Thanks for the update.

Randy
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#8 Paul Pariso

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:08 PM

Randy/Paul

Thanks for the lead - I'll see if I can track down the book.

You're quite correct that Easy Company from 506th PIR went across in the assault boats to establish a bridgehead on the North bank during the operation. For his actions 1st Lt "Moose" Heyliger was awarded the MC.

John


Hello mate,

The "book" can be either purchased as a print-on-demand paperback or downloaded as a PDF from the Book LLC site here,

Book Club

If you do get a copy I'd love to hear what you think of it! ;)

All the best..........:)
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#9 Paul Pariso

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:16 PM

Here's a direct link to the "book" on Amazon although they're saying it's produced by Hephaestus Books?

Operation Pegasus, Including: John Hackett (British Army Officer), Brigade Major, Carwood Lipton, Denver Randleman, Gerald Lathbury, Alexander Lipma: Amazon.co.uk: Hephaestus Books: Books

All the best.........:)
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#10 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:24 PM

Paul

Thanks I downloaded it from the link you provided - a total waste of $9.95 - as you say all the information they have is from the internet.

Thanks

John
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#11 Paul Pariso

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

Paul

Thanks I downloaded it from the link you provided - a total waste of $9.95 - as you say all the information they have is from the internet.

Thanks

John


Oops! Does that mean Sunday is off?? :D
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#12 17thDYRCH

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:41 PM

John,
In looking at the organizational chart of the 2nd Canadian Corps, there is no mention of 210 Royal Canadian Engineers...
Sorry to hear about the useless expenditure of $9.95.

Cheers,
Randy
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#13 idler

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

It was 210 Fd Coy RE. I think they were Corps Tps, should be able to check tonight

Pegasus gets a mention here.
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#14 17thDYRCH

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:58 PM

John,

Please see the following link:A Bridge Too Far: The Canadian Role in the Evacuation of the British 1 st Airborne Division from Arnhem-Oosterbeek, September 1944
There is a reference to Op Pegasus near the bottom.

The other Canadian connection can be viewed at Home
The author, John Sliz, via the information exchange tab, may be able to provide more information.

Cheers,
Randy

Edited by 17thDYRCH, 05 January 2012 - 04:18 PM.

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#15 wtid45

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:16 PM

The other Canadian connection can be viewed at Home
The author, John Sliz, via the information exchange tab may be able to provide more information.

Cheers,
Randy

Hey Randy, John Sliz is a forum member and given his books on the subject, is most likely the best person to solve the query.
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#16 17thDYRCH

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:27 PM

Jas,
I had no clue he was a member.
What is his forum name?

cheers,
Randy
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#17 wtid45

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:30 PM

Jas,
I had no clue he was a member.
What is his forum name?

cheers,
Randy

Here you go mate. http://www.ww2talk.c...bers/johns.html
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#18 17thDYRCH

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:08 PM

Jas,

Roger that. Hope he sees John's thread.

Cheers from the colony
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#19 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

Idler, Randy and Wtid 45

Many thanks for your messages. I have the war diary and other reports for the 23rd Canadian Engineers and although they were involved in Operation Berlin and Pegasus 2 they were certainly not involved in Pegasus 1.
I'll have a look at where the British 210th Royal Engineers were at the time - although they were not part of the 43rd Wessex Division.

John
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#20 idler

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:57 PM

Hmm...

There's no mention of 210 Fd Coy after North Africa in Joslen's Orders of Battle.

210 Fd Coy is listed as NWE in the index of the RE history but for the life of me I can't see it in the text.

No wonder this is still a mystery!

(n.b. to avoid all the LLC/Hephaestus chaff on ABE, there is now an option to exclude POD titles. Don't think Amazon have got this, yet))
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#21 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:28 PM

Idler

Thanks - I found a file reference for 210 Coy RE in the NWE files at the NA so will pop over there next week to have a look at it.
Sadly Leo Heaps who wrote the first book covering Pegasus appears to have laid a number of false trails which have been picked up and adopted by others when they have written later books and articles.

John
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#22 idler

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

I think two of these will clinch it.

The third is a non-Pegasus MM as the signatures are further evidence that they were 30 Corps Corps Tps.

Should be an interesting war diary...

Attached Files


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#23 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:39 PM

Idler

What can I say but "Brilliant" - there's no doubting that for proof. Can I thank everybody else for the help that they gave (Paul you're still welcome on Sunday!!)

John
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#24 kingarthur

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:52 PM

Some very good detective work there chap, most enjoyable to watch as a bystander.
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#25 ronald

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:22 PM

So that is solved, brilliant, now who supplied the boats, were they from Canadian Engineers or their own?


Ron
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#26 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:26 PM

Ronald

Watch this space - I'm off to the Archives in the morning!!

John
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#27 idler

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:34 PM

I still can't believe that nobody's worked this out before. Anyway, happy hunting tomorrow, John.

Andrew
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#28 horsapassenger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:00 PM

Andrew (Idler)

I think that people have accepted what Leo Heaps said in his book at face value, after all he is described by Dobie as being the officer in charge of the boats on the night and should therefore speak from a position of knowledge..
In his book "The Grey Goose of Arnhem" he is quite specific "The sappers from the engineers of the Forty-third Wessex Division, who manned the boats, waited for my signal".
It's not until you start searching for evidence in the war diaries of those units to support that statement that you run into difficulties. I'm not sure who the 210th were with but they didn't come up as being with the 43rd.
Hopefully we'll find out tomorrow, thanks to you!!

John
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#29 17thDYRCH

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:06 AM

John

We eagerly await your findings...


Randy
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#30 horsapassenger

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

Folks

Just back from the archives and Drew (Drew5233), who was sitting opposite me, will confirm that I had a big smile on my face as I read the 210th RE file. It's certainly provided the answers that I was looking for.
In answer to Ronald's question they provided both the boats and the crews to man them.
Once again thanks a lot for your assistance

John
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