crashed Horsa

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by alberk, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. alberk

    alberk Member

    Hello,
    here's a picture of a Horsa that landed near Wesel during Op Varsity. Looks as if the passengers might have been lucky... what a frightening way to go into battle!

    Found the pic in the US National Archive some years ago - as I do not know the more recent publications on the gliders it may not be all that new to the experts... Horsa crash.jpg
     
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi alberk,

    Here is the backside of that particular photo with comment picked up on Fold3 some years ago. Going by chalk number 29 it most likely belong to a group of 15 gliders, CN 16-30, in Serial B7. They flew out of RAF Gosfield destined for LZ O north and east of Hamminkeln, carrying men and equipment of the 2nd Ox & Bucks. Glider pilots were provided by Squadron F, GPR for Serial B7. Sorry I have no idea where CN 29 actually landed.

    Varsity-A20516-2.jpg

    Regards ...
     
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  3. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Alberk, Cee, good day to you both.

    Please see same (as yours in this thread) photo and caption below, from page 142 of "AIRBORNE AT WAR" by Lt. Gen. Sir Napier Crookenden KCB DSO OBE.

    Given the General's caption within the book, and stated source, it may (if correct) narrow the area down somewhat. Please note that I've been unable to find said photo on IWM website to check the veracity of the General's caption (Cee, you may have the skills that I lack to find it!) Are there the remains of a vehicle on the track (road?) to the right of the photograph?

    Also included by way of additional information is a map from "AIRBORNE AT WAR" that purports to show glider landing positions (hope it doesn't muddy the waters) If you save the photo of the map to your PCs and then "zoom" in the marked landing positions are easier to make out.

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.

    Horsa 29.jpg

    Varsity LZ DZ Map.jpg
     
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  4. alberk

    alberk Member

    Hello Jim,
    thank you - the photo I posted is not an IWM photo, I found it in the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Attached is map similar Plot of Landings.jpg to yours
     
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  5. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Yes, got that alberk, fully understood, but a copy of it must have been (maybe still is?) in the IWM archives at sometime for Lt Gen Napier Crookenden to caption it as such in his book (although this does not rule out the possibility that the caption he's used within is incorrect).

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
  6. alberk

    alberk Member

    ...by the way: if you look at the limit of DZ A and take the left bottom corner as a starting point- a thousand metres to the south of that point is my parents's house. That's where I spent my youth...
     
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  7. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    I think it looks like the Horsa's undercarriage rather than a vehicle. The deep scars visible on the ground suggest to me that the stricken glider landed on its skid.

    Jenny
     
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  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Jim,

    I'll keep my eyes open. You have to wonder where the idea that CN 29 landed on LZ P came from. Lt-Col. Crookenden was the CO of 9th Parachute Battalion during Operation Varsity and would have landed on DZ A with them.

    There was a photo taken of a group of gliders not long after they passed over the Rhine. The top glider could be CN 29? I'll attach a crop from a very large original that shows CNs 29 (or 28?), and 11. Missing are CN 7 and possibly 19.

    BHC 000683-Crop.jpg

    Regards ...
     
  9. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Hard to tell if it's 28 or 29 but a great photo nonetheless! Can anyone identify the tug from the letters DC which can be seen behind the roundel? It should be 271 squadron, possibly KG564 piloted by F/Lt JI MacNeil or KG500 F/O KC Wilson. Unfortunately the ORB for 271 squadron doesn't give these details.

    Jenny
     
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  10. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Thanks for that Jenny, much appreciated. To my shot to bits eyesight I took the wheel to be too large to be a Horsa one, but I think you have definitely called it right in your post.

    Again, thank you.

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
  11. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello Cee,

    I'm inclined to think that if Lt Gen Crookenden was provided with the photo by IWM that he gleaned 29s location from the description with the photo (which is maybe incorrect?).

    I've still not found it amongst IWM collections yet!

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
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