Re: Flying Officer G. Hanson - RAF/GPR

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Danny Burt, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Danny Burt

    Danny Burt Member

    All,

    Picked up a photo of this chap detailed below on ebay. Does anyone know how he met his fate? Also anything about his glider - chalk no etc?

    Thanks

    Danny



    Flying Officer HANSON, GEOFFREY BERNARD

    Service Number 166501

    Died 24/03/1945

    Aged 20

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    attd. 1 Wing
    The Glider Pilot Regiment, A.A.C.

    Son of Thomas and Harriet Elizabeth Hanson, of East Barnet, Hertfordshire.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    From the date,the death of F/O Hanson would appear to be related to the Rhine crossing....... no known grave.

    His was attached to the Glider Regiment but his service record should reveal his path through Royal Air Force service prior to his detachment.
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Runnymede panel from my photo collection

    upload_2019-10-5_18-40-22.png
     
  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Only 20 and a Flying Officer already?
    Ah! Promotion backdated https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37063/supplement/2346/data.pdf wef 22 March 1945
    Shown on 38 Group RoH as G Squadron.
    EDIT: Reading Wiki on Operation Varsity it details that 420 gliders were despatched carrying the UK elements, of which 416 landed in the drop zones, and only 88 were undamaged by flak.
    As there is no \known Grave, it is possible that he was one of the 4 gliders that failed to reach the drop zone, but for no wreckage to be found normally indicates being lost in the Channel or other body of water, yet as it was daylight AirSea Rescue should have been available.
    I'd be interest ed to know what became of his glider, if possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  5. Hi Kevin,

    According to the glider raid report, Hanson and his second pilot Sgt Sargent were part of C squadron piloting Hamilcar CN240 loaded with a 17 pounder anti-tank gun, Dodge truck and crew. The tug pilot, Squadron Leader Imber of 298 Squadron, reported a successful release over the LZ. Details can be found in AIR 27/1651, at images 308/309.

    Squadron Number: 298 Appendices: Y | The National Archives

    Alan Cooper's book "Wot! No Engines? RAF Glider Pilots and Operation Varsity" states Hanson was killed by enemy fire after his glider had crash landed. It also states he was buried at the Reichswald War Cemetery.

    Hope this helps.
    Jenny
     
    KevinBattle and CL1 like this.
  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Jenny, thank you very much for the additional information and that he did make it to the DZ.
    However, as CWGC show him as No Known Grave, can you either add the excerpt from the book or contact the CWGC directly?
    I'd be happy to pass this on to the CWGC so that their records can show his Plot, Row and Grave.
    They don't currently seem to know this information.
    Any details on the other casualties on Hamilcar CN240?

    Wiki mentions that 16 Hamilcars were tasked with carrying 17 pounder guns,their crews and trucks.

    I note you link to Glider 305, so it appears you have specialised knowledge on Op Varsity, so thanks for adding to this thread.

    EDIT: PS: I assume CN is Chalk Number, not Constructors Number
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  7. Kevin, sorry there are no grave details given in the book and no source given either so I don't know how you would go about verifying the statement.

    The 8 troops in the glider were from the one of the Airlanding Anti-Tank Batteries. I don't have any names or info about their fate I'm afraid.

    Yes CN denotes chalk number.

    My dad was second pilot in CN305, a Horsa glider on this operation. He was lucky to get out alive.

    Jenny
     

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