Operation Varsity Places nowadays

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

  1. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Aherne RAF.jpg
     
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  2. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi.
    With regards to the temporary graves all over the area do you know how far the search went by the locals? I’m thinking about the glider at Loikum I pointed out, do you think that area was searched?
     
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  3. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I will have to check - I can just say that I checked all Varsity airborne casualties in the CWGC. My search revealed those that I sent to you previously with regards to the Loikum area. Furthermore, the GRU did not solely rely on the local contribution - the effort by the local authorities was just an additional check and an attempt to make sure that remote graves were not forgotten.
     
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  4. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    The RAF crew killed on March 24th flew from Woodbridge in a Halifax, towing a Hamilcar. From the war diary of 298 Squadron:#
    "F/O MCGILLIVRAY and crew were shot down after dropping their glider. Two Halifaxes were seen to crash, four parachutes were seen to open from one. It has not yet been established to which Halifax these four parachutes belonged."

    and:
    "Halifax VII 8AK NA.311. Crew: F/O MCGILLIVRAY D. R.C.A.F. (Captain), F/S WALKER J.B. (Navigator), P/O HALES E.M. (Air Bomber), F/O DIXON G. (WOP/AIR), W/O BUNN J.E. R.C.A.F. (Air Gunner), F/S AHERNE A.A. (Flight Engineer). Time Up: 07.43. Time Down: . Details of sortie or flight: Operation "VARSITY" Hamilcar glider. MISSING. As two free aircraft only were seen to have been shot down Duty assured to have been carried out."
     
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  5. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Hi Alex.
    until 1975 Loikum was not part of "Amt Ringenberg", it belonged - in administrative terms - to "Amt Haldern" which was part of "Kreis Rees". The City of Rees has its own Municipal Archives, I could ask whether they also have a post-war list of British war graves.
    All I found in the Hamminkeln List was the handwritten addition at the bottom of this page - and it is barely decipherable:
    Bildschirmfoto 2021-01-17 um 12.26.51.png
    What I can read is this:
    "An der Grenze Ringenberg-Loikum bei Haus Nr. 72 Heinr. van der Linde unbek. engl. ???? (Sanität) angemeldet durch Herrn ????? Ringenberg am 8.11.47"
    (On the Ringenberg-Loikum border at house no. 72 - Heinrich van der Linde - unknown english (medic) reported by ???? Ringenberg on November 8th, 1947)
     
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  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi.
    Very interesting. If there’s any way of making more sense of that it might lead to something.
     
  7. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I am now trying to establish where the border between Ringenberg and Loikum was. And where Heinrich van der Linde lived. Asking the Rees Archives for a post war list might help for the area to the north of the LZs.
     
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  8. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    Thank you all for these very interesting posts. I was unaware of Operation Varsity. I realise that a lot of servicemen died in this and other actions (Varsity seemed well planned and executed, but the losses seemed high, probably due to the daylight approach), but it makes it all the more poignant when you see the lists of lads all killed on the same day. Obviously, the same goes for the Germans too.

    There is also a big debt of thanks to the CWGC or those that were involved in reburying the men after a couple of years in the ground. Not a pleasant task.
     
  9. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Paul, I absolutely agree. The work of the Graves Registration Units and the CWGC is very commendable - they pay respect to those who paid the highest price.
     
  10. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    The three medics of 225 Para Field Ambulance (Kennedy, Matthews, Townend) buried at 143528 were - according to a local source - killed in the crash of a C47 on 24 March 1945. Looking at the arial photo above this sounds plausible - it could very well be the debris of a crashed C47 that we see in the field.
     

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