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Thread: Market Garden glider

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    Default Market Garden glider

    Not a great deal to go on, I know but here goes. On 17 Sept 1944 a "large glider" came down in a field close to the church at the village of Melton, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. Presumably this was one of those involved in the mass airborne landings that day. Strangely there is no mention in any of the East Suffolk Police reports on this incident, although a P-51 crash at Leiston and a Halifax at Holton on the same date are covered. The ditching of a USAAF glider off Aldeburgh the following day is also covered by the Police.
    Does anyone with an interest in Market Garden have any further details?
    TIA for any help.
    Regards,

    BC

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    Hi Bob

    I don't have anything on this one in my 'Woodbridge arrivals' research, I'm afraid. There's a couple of others (which I think I got from Colin Cummings' "Though Without Anger") on the following day, but nowt on 17th. If I can find anything I will of course let you know. I've got Arie-Jan van Hees' (spelling?) two books on the Arnhem flights and re-supply missions, so I'll see if there's anything in there.

    All the best

    Ian

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    Bob,

    Have you tried the guys on WW2 Talk? There are a lot of Market Garden 'nuts' on there.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

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    Ian and Nick: Many thanks for looking. I would have thought the Woodbridge ELG SRB would have recorded something this near, but then again there were probably lots of Stirlings, Halifaxes, C-47s and others which dropped in this date to keep them busy. I should have some more info coming shortly from a gentleman who saw the glider in question as a boy. I've only just re-joined WW 2 Talk so will give it a shot on there - thanks for the suggestion.
    Regs,

    BC

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    Hi Bob

    Are you sure the date's correct?

    I've checked in Arie-Jan van Hees's book "Tugs and Gliders to Arnhem" which contains an Appendix listing all the aborted glider sorties, and none mention Melton on 17th. There's one listed at Woodbridge on 18th. A few too dropped in at Martlesham Heath.

    Regards

    Ian

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    Hi Bob

    One thought though, AJvH's book only covers British gliders. Possibly yours at Melton on 17 Sept was an American one?

    Ian

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    USAAF 101st Airborne Division [437 TCG ?] took off from Ramsbury [Wiltshire] airfield, above the village , in operation Market Ggarden .On 17th September 1944 gliders took off from there for Holland .Other airfields used for Market Garden gliders were Aldermaston ,Chilbolton ,Membury, Welford [both close-ish to Ramsbury] ,Greenham Common .

    This is from a book by Roger Day "Ramsbury at War " A Wiltshire village and it's airfield 1939-1945
    ISBN 0 9536601 0 9

    Anne

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    Hi Anne. Not seen you on here for a while.

    At risk of hijacking Bob's thread, thanks for the note. I'm not aware of any books comparable with the van Hees pair in respect of the American glider and airborne efforts. I guess that in one sense there would probably be less to record, as XXX Corps advanced through the US Airborne's 'patches' and they didn't need things like reinforcements and re-supply drops. But the initial landings / drops would have been similarly busy. I have no idea about what American records might be like, or how accessible, but maybe one day someone will cover that aspect of Market Garden.

    The Rhine Crossing (Op Varsity) would be another interesting project too!

    Regards

    Ian

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    Ian
    The USAAF were in a base above Ramsbury and postwar veterans often returned to the village in May with their jeeps and photos, plus a Dakota flyover but they haven't been back for a few years .The book is written by a resident of Hungerford ,our nearby town .
    No, I haven't been "on " for a while but do "look in " regularly to see if anything relevant to my research.

    Regards
    Anne

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    I have now received a letter from an eye-witness and unfortunately it does not really help. I will quote Mr Russell Whipp's account as it appears:

    "The date was 17th September 1944.The codename was operation Market Garden, which I found out from the War Museum at Duxford. 17th September was a Sunday,my elder brother and I were walking home from church at about 12.00 noon (after pumping the organ at church) when we heard this unusual sound, and looked up to see the sky was full of gliders being towed towards the sea about 10 miles from Ufford, near Woodbridge. We got home and had lunch, then the word got round that a glider had crashed at Old Melton. We asked father if we could use our cycles to have a look, the distance was about 2 miles. When we got to the crash site the glider had hit the tree tops and wreckage was all over the place. There were also a lot of Military Policemen there, who told us to 'go away'. Since having a computer I have looked up Market Garden and found out more. The towing plane had lost one engine (stopped working). The pilot knew he could land at Sutton Heath (BC: RAF Woodbridge ELG) which was a crash aerodrome during the war, so he cut the glider loose, hence the crash. The pilot knew he could not get across the North Sea on one engine and towing a glider. Sutton Heath is only a short distance from Melton" (BC: Woodbridge ELG is approx 2 miles SE of Melton)

    Those learned and helpful gentlemen on WW 2 Talk provided quite a bit of gen on a Horsa at Martlesham Heath but it clearly does not tally with the above and I am now inclined to agree with you it might have been a USAAF glider involved

    I apologise if this has thrown up more questions than answers!

    BC

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