Operation Varsity Places nowadays

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by MoeA, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    It looks like there's only one glider near that location - I've marked it with a blue arrow.

    Jenny unknown.jpg
     
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  2. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Jenny, thank you. That is the exact spot. Makes you wonder what happened to the poor man (and his co-pilot and passengers) on that day. I see quite a few white specs on that photo (153508 / 148503 /144509 /138502 /136521 and maybe 139520). Is it just my imagination? Are these really just specs? They would all be beyond the official map with the plot of glider landing. At 145513 I had previously detected the grave of Bdr Yates of 4 Airlanding AT Bty.
     
  3. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Yes I think you're correct and these are all gliders. They're all far away from the LZs, probably due to the heavy smoke haze. Do you have the graves concentration report concerning Yates? Is he alone or were others buried at the same spot?

    Jenny
     
  4. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    He was alone...

    I am just checking the NCAP collection for the area ... so far, I am having difficulties to find any gliders there. They are all clearly visible on the proper LZs but in this area I cannot make out anything. I will try some more but I am beginning to have my doubts...
     

    Attached Files:

  5. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    I just looked up aerial pictures from the 25th from that particular spot, might it be that he just got buried there but crashed somewhere else? The only aircraft that crash landed in that grid was the hamilcar with the tank tracks coming out of its front I showed earlier. Although it must have been under heavy fire since you can see a lot of trenches around it, they might have been lucky and got the vehicle out of it fairly quickly.
     
  6. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Here is the spot that you marked on the map with the blue arrow and the white dot.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Nice one Moe! So is that a Hamilcar rather than a Horsa?

    Jenny
     
  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,

    The glider shown in Moe's aerial could be a Horsa? Horsa wings taper a little more than the Hamilcar's and are more rounded on the end. As well there appears to be a length of fuselage to front of wings or am I seeing things? Hamilcar wings are set well forward on fuselage.

    However, the blackness of the wings, rear fuselage and tail may indicate the glider was set ablaze. In which case speculation about wing shape would be meaningless. If lines seen to front of glider are actually tracks then it is more likely that each line is a set of tracks.

    For comparison I'll add a low level Normandy aerial showing a Hamilcar with Horsas nearby.

    GMOZ-CU.jpg Horsa-Hamilcar Compare.jpg

    Regards ...

    Edit - Second thoughts
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  9. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I have strong suspicion that the plot of glider landings is quite unreliable for the gliders outside the LZs. Of five Hamilcars in the Mehrhoog and northern Ellern area plotted on the map three just do not show on the aerial photographs taken on the 25th. A fourth one I am not sure about. I know the area very well, Mehrhoog is easy to make out with the street (Bahnhofstraße) crossing the railway, Ellern has distinctive patches of wood, so it is easy to find your way around on the aerials... check for yourselves, the photos do not match up with the map. I looked for Hamilcars. The gliders usually are easy to spot on the photos but even a close look does not reveal anything even though the map has a glider marked there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  10. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I marked those Hamilcars and Horsas that are confirmed by the aerial photographs taken on March 25th: check with aerials.jpg
     
  11. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Yeah I agree alberk, I lived in Hamminkeln for many years myself and know the area since my childhood so I know the area with the LZs myself. Some of the glider positions I've seen plotted on maps dont match up with aerial pictures from the 25th. The area I've shown with the hamilcar is the actual position that was marked on the map by alberk, if you look at the original zoomed out you can see the railroad track running south to north and the Reeser Straße to the west of the marked spot. With access to all those aerial pictures it might be time to mark gliders that have been plotted wrong.
     
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  12. MoeA

    MoeA Member

  13. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    There's one (burnt) glider at the southern edge of the image - the rest, I am afraid, escape me..
     
  14. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I am coming back to our search for gliders which landed far off the mark.

    Today I was pointed to three medics of 225 Para Field Ambulance: Pte George Townend, Pte Kenneth Mathews and Pte Robbie A Kennedy. All three died on March 24th, 1945 and were buried at 143528 - far away from the LZs and DZs.
    Sonsfeld.png

    I checked the aerial photographs and found this - could it be a crashed glider?
    Glider Sonsfeld.png

    At the same time another question comes up: Were some soldiers of 225 Para Field Ambulance carried in gliders?
    Townend.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
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  15. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Is that location only just over the Rhine? As in East of the LZ’s?
     
  16. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Yes to personnel in gliders....



    Place: BLA



    1200 - MDS est. in area HAMMINKELN GERMANY at 185495. Section M.O's re-joined MDS within 4 hours from the time of "drop", leaving S/Sgt. & bearer party of 12 ORs to carry cas. from RAP to MDS. 2 Operating Theatres open in MDS. 12 Parachutists, 2 glider personnel missing.
     
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  17. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi alberk.

    Another interesting discovery! The only hint I could find that men from 225th PFA arrived by glider comes from a short statement in the their war diary:

    "12 Parachutists, 2 glider personnel missing."

    They could possibly have been on one of the 12 5th Parachute Brigade Horsas (424-435) that left from RAF Shepherds Grove. The HQ RAMC left with 6th Div. HQ gliders from RAF Rivenhall but their WD makes no mention of a missing glider.

    Regards ...

    Oops - just cross posted with Alex.
     
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  18. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for confirming the glider element.
    The location is to the northwest of LZs...
     
  19. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I meant just East of the Rhine not LZ’s (I’m blaming working nights for the brain freeze)!
     
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  20. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I just found out that six RAF crew were buried at 150526. They were all killed on March 24th and were with 298 Squadron which towed gliders. After releasing their glider their aircraft made a turn north to make it back to the west.
    Wittenhorst RAF.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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