About the Operation Ladbroke “Feat of Arms” website

I started this website in 2015 to accompany the research I have been doing for my book “Feat of Arms“, which focuses on the invasion of Sicily on 9/10 July 1943 in the Syracuse area, in particular the glider assault codenamed Operation Ladbroke.

During my research I have come across many fascinating places, documents, photographs and stories. Some will feature in the book when it is published, but many will have to be excluded or only partially covered, simply on the grounds of sheer quantity.

There are also stories from glider and airborne assaults in campaigns other than Sicily, or from other areas of the invasion of Sicily, which are outside the scope of the book.

So this website is a home for many of these stories.

It has also been a privilege and a pleasure to meet veterans, their families, and other historians. The articles that appear here are a way of giving them back something without their having to wait for the book.

It is particularly rewarding when I can help families find out more about relatives who fought in Operation Ladbroke and the battle for Syracuse. Do ask.

 

2 Responses to About the Operation Ladbroke “Feat of Arms” website

  1. Martin Warburton says:

    Resuming my research into my father’s involvement in Operation Labroke as a glider pilot. From a newspaper article in his papers, I presume he had some involvement with the action around Ponte Grande. I am planning a holiday to Sicily next year and hope to visit some of the locations around that area. He was S/Sgt Warburton R.N.G. 1513149. From his log-book I know he flew Waco CG-4A glider (s/n 43-77142) and crash landed – nobody injured. From other documents I saw during a visit to the Museum of Army Flying, he was pilot in charge of chalk no.36 taking off from “Airfield B” in Tunisia. Any further info to assist in research and a ensure positive visit would be appreciated.

    • Ian Murray says:

      Thanks very much for leaving a comment, Martin. Glider 36 carried 16 men, half of 20 Platoon of D Coy of 2 South Staffords (2SS). D Coy’s objective [info] was the gun battery called Mosquito [info], but so few D Coy gliders landed anywhere near the LZs that it was not taken. The 2SS war diary (WD) says only that 36’s half platoon “under Sgt Basten landed near their landing zone, but were unable to pin point their position and rejoined the main body next morning”. This could mean the morning of the 10th, but when men reached and fought at the Ponte Grande the WD usually says so. It tends to use this kind of “rejoined” phrasing when men missed the fighting, so it may also mean the morning of the 11th. It seems 36 landed [here], not far from glider 35 [story]. The debriefing report (presumably made by your father) says: “Tow uncomfortable, at low altitudes and when avoiding other formations. Glider released at 2225 hrs at 1900 ft approx 2500 yds off shore and owing to poor visibility landed 1/2 – 3/4 mile SW of LZ”. An American glider officer who later examined 36 reported: “Landed in open thistle & stubble field. There are indications of high speed landing across moderate furrows which caused the landing gear to wash off damaging struts. Stopped 150 feet from where it first contacted ground.”

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