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Thread: Horsa Gliders of Market Garden Operation

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    Default Horsa Gliders of Market Garden Operation

    Hello

    It's Kornel again.

    I am preparing to build a model of Airspeed Horsa Mk.I glider carrying elements of polish parachute brigade to Holland. The problem is that I cannot find any information on the serial numbers that these gliders carried. All that I know is that they were towed by planes from RAF's 297 sqn and that their chalk numbers were 890-899. Do you have any knowledge in this matter ?

    I would be very grateful for any help from you.

    Best Wishes
    Kornel

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    Hello Kornel,
    There are lists in 8th & 9th Air Force Losses. I will take a look and get back to you.
    There is also an expensive book that I think the 8th/9th had details from.

    Have had a look but it only gives US towed Glider serials/chalk numbers.
    Colin Cummings's " Though Without Anger" has Horsa serial numbers and also those used 17/18/19 Sept 44, some 600 odd.
    The US forces used some 700 , so it would seem that ALL the serial numbers are in the book.
    If I recall corectly 297 Sqdn, used Albemarle's and from your Chalk numbers only towed 10 Gliders ?

    Try this, at least 2 books -

    https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Mar...s=paratroopers

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 12th August 2017 at 00:26.

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    Dear Alex

    Thank you for your effort. I know Piotr Witkowski's book very well since he is a friend of mine and I helped him a little while working on the polish edition this monograph. Piotr gathered a lot of source material for the Polish Parachute Brigade and its equipment and created a wonderful books. We know which unit of the Brigade flew in which glider and with what sort of equipment. Unfortunately, the assignment of chalk numbers to code numbers (side) of these gliders is almost impossible. We have been looking for this for a long time.

    What I know is that there were two glider drops of the Polish Brigade:

    1. September 18th 1944: Gliders with chalk numbers: 890-899
    2. September 19th 1944: Gliders with chalk numbers: 125-151

    If it comes to Colin Cummings's " Though Without Anger", I don't know this book. I need to look for it. Thanks.

    Best Wishes
    Kornel

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    ……………. And suddenly Cummings appears but is no help whatsoever.

    The problem I found in putting serial numbers to Chalk No:s is the way gliders were ‘accounted for’.

    At a base there would be a number of gliders which were used for the normal training tasks but when an operation or major exercise was called, the requirement for gliders increased exponentially. These additional gliders were collected from an HGSU (Heavy Glider Storage Unit) and flown to the operating base. Once at the base they were prepared for the operation and referred to almost exclusively by their chalk number. Possibly the only time they had their serial number recorded was in the logbook of the pilot collecting the glider from the HGSU. Even then, it might have been that the three numerals were recorded and not the full alpha-numeric code.

    In the book “Though Without Anger”, I went to a source where serial number was recorded but also I got serial numbers for one or two gliders which crashed in UK or lost their tow and landed in UK. Given the volumes of gliders I cannot even be sure that the dates I’ve used are always accurate.

    I have not checked the gliders against the Aircraft Movements Card held at the RAF Museum Hendon and it might be that these cards record which stations took which gliders and by serial number. I don’t think the unit Forms 541 (Record of Sorties Flown) will help, since the operation was a ‘one way’ affair and the glider was essentially a disposable item. The only point, however, is that there might by some record in the Form 541 of the collection flight (see comment above).

    Colin Cummings

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    Hello,
    I know its old but in "Coastal Support and Special Squadrons" by J. D.R. Rawlings it has in the 297 Sqdn section -
    " two trains of Horses to Arnhem on the 16th and18th".
    I give this as Kornel mentions the 18th and 19th.
    Which are the correct dates ?
    Also, how many Gliders would a "train" consist of being towed by an Albemarle, and would the number be greater if towed by a Dakota or Stirling/Halifax ?

    Extra from the "old" 38 Group" site -
    297 Sqn - " 17th Sept 28 Albemarles ( 2 from Hampstead Norris ORTU ) took off 10:40 hrs. 26 with Horsa and 2 with Waco Gliders to LZ 5m ENE of Arnhem.
    The next day 24 more without losses".
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 12th August 2017 at 15:27.

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    If they went to Arnhem on 16th September they'd get a terrible shock!!

    "Ack mine herr, could you come back tomorrow bitte, as we are not ready for you der tag" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    If they went to Arnhem on 16th September they'd get a terrible shock!!

    "Ack mine herr, could you come back tomorrow bitte, as we are not ready for you der tag" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That's a good one Collin :)

    Unfortunately even when the Sosabowski's men landed on 18th nad 19th they did get the terrible shock. One of the landing zones was not the safest place.

    Things you are wrote are really interesting and valuable even if they are not The numbers I am looking for. Could you tell me where can I buy your book?

    It's really tough to be a historic modeller. I've just finished an odyssey of Market Garden C-47 carrying Polish Brigade nad now I am starting a Horsa horror and Ringway Whitley thriller...

    Once Alain thank you for all your help. I am digging...

    Kornel

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    Hello Kornel,
    The following Horsa Serial numbers are from the Air Britain RAFSerial series books.
    This list is for date 17-09-1944, I suggest that this is for Gliders that were towed the night of 17/18th, but I could be wrong.

    Horsa's "Market Garden" Arnhem, 17-09-1944

    DP283;303;311;330;335;339;340;368;374;375;377;385; 422;424;428;487;491;
    495;500;532;536;537;541;543;544;550;555;558;562;61 3;618;644;699;721;754;765;774;775;776;797;802;804; 826;829.

    HG736;737;749;761;785;796;799;804;815;819;831;832; 850;856;871;872;873;
    910;911;922;930 Ditched;937;939;962;965.

    HS106;112;124;141.

    LF886;897;920;921;958.

    LG681;690;744;851;896;922;941;942;983;989;997.

    LH114;116;128;136;167;168;172;175;180;182;210;211; 222;226;229;240;244;
    247;263;265;268;278;279;280;285;286;288;291;299;35 5;386;387;395;400;412;430;439;448;456;458;463;471; 473;501;506;509;510;511;512;514;523;525;535;551;55 2;563;564;577;597;946.

    LJ130;142;213;237;262;265;315;318;324;328;330;332.

    PF691;702;712;717;739;742;747;748;764;786;795;797; 806;807;815.

    PW645;654;667;669;672;697;703;710;711;728;751;752; 756;766;778;781;784;
    790;817;820;842;866;870;875;877;888;890;895.

    RJ150;160;172;173;177;178;180;182;183;184;185;186; 188;191;192;195;196;
    212;215;223;224;225;226;227;229;230;252;253;261;26 8;269;271;272;274;278;280;286;287;301;304;308;312; 316;332;333;336;341;344;345;346;350;353;354;355;35 9.

    RN525;532;540;541;549;550;551;552;553;563;565;584; 595;596;600;607;608;
    609;610;612;613;614;618;619Ditched;622;623;625;638 ;642;643;646;654;657;
    658;660;664;669;670;671;676;678;695;696;700;701;70 4;705;710;716;718;719;721;722;726;728;729;730;738; 759.

    All you have to do now is find those towed by 297 Sqdn,

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 12th August 2017 at 21:32.

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    Hello Kornel,
    Here is a list as above for the 18-09-1944. I expect it is for the 18/19th.

    Horsa's - "Market Garden" - 18-09-1944

    DP286;345;398;415;417;516;520;528;533;548;606;611; 651;658-297Sqn; 689;720;726;749;756;759;776;807;834.

    HG740;748;759;791;836;847;901;914;924;959;960;961; 982.

    HS116;132;148.

    LF887;893;908;914;961.

    LG663;665;697;718;748;767;771;792;798;837;847;886; 977;981.

    LH134;138;140;144;178;184;187;188;204;216;218;227; 228;230;274;283;292;318;319;334;335;351;357;359;39 0;396;407;408;414;445;446;449;455;459;461;462;464; 504;522;527;528;536;556;561;581;956;965.

    LJ102;106;219;321;333.

    PF692;698;704;713;718;721;743;749 Ditched;750;751;754;755;761;796;798;811.

    PW640;641;644;648;650;655;656;660;668;674;704;718; 727;749;750;753;765;
    772;782;789;816;823;825;885;894.

    RJ115;117;126;153;154;163;167;168;170;171;181;187; 189;194;213;214;217;
    258;265;266;267;273;281;282;283;284;291;293;294;29 6;298;299;302;303;305;307:330;335;338;339;340;342; 347;348;356.

    RN526;528;531;534;536;539;542;544;547;559;562;564; 566;568;583;586;588;
    589;590;591;592;593;594;597;602;603;604;605;611;61 6;640;641;650;653;655;659;661;668;673;675;697;702; 708;709;717;733;754;769;774;789;790;844;866.

    Good hunting

    As an after thought the dates 17th could be the 16/17th and also for the 18th could be for the 17/18th ?
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 12th August 2017 at 22:40.

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    Thank you so much Alex!

    The first huge part of work is behind me thanks to you. I will look for some more materials about 297 Sqn now.

    Regards
    Kornel

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