Category Archives: All Posts

Galpin's Horsa glider descends past the Ponte Grande bridge near Syracuse, Sicily, in Operation LadbrokeAll articles and posts for the Operation Ladbroke – Feat of Arms website, in the order they were uploaded either privately or publicly, starting with the latest.

Arnhem & Varsity Sketches by Glider Pilot Victor Miller

Victor Miller’s sketches show us something no photograph can – what it felt like to be in the front seat in a massed glider assault. Glider pilot Staff Sergeant Victor Miller fought in and survived three of the great glider … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 50 – Hemmed In By Fire

The men of Glider 50 found themselves surrounded by Italian positions until they were rescued by the SAS troopers of the Special Raiding Squadron (SRS). Glider: CG-4A Waco 50, serial 277213. Tug: C-47, 41-18471, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 107 – Escape and Evasion

Glider 107 landed near an Italian garrison who shot at it the instant it landed, and then patrolled for survivors. Glider: Waco CG-4A number 107, name “Rocket”, serial no. 277177. Tug: Albemarle Mk I [photo], letter G, number P1434, 296 Squadron, 38 … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 46 – Kicking the Hornets’ Nest

Glider 46 landed in a hornets’ nest of Italian defences. For good measure it kicked the nest first by trying to land on the roof of a pillbox. Glider: CG-4A Waco 46, serial 246587. Tug: C-47, 41-38705, Nose (Sqn) No. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 8 – Calm Before the Storm

The C-47 towing Glider 8 had an easy run in Operation Ladbroke. For its captain and his crew, it was the calm before the storm. Glider: CG4-A Waco 11, serial no. 73602. Tug: C-47, serial no. 42-68714, Sqn (Nose) No. 8, 10 … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 52a – Out of the Firestorm

Glider 52a landed close to its LZ, descending out of a firestorm of searchlights and anti-aircraft fire. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52a, serial 42-73623. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, Nose (Sqn) No. 82, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 29 – A Tough Nut to Crack

Unlike most of the glider troops in Operation Ladbroke, the men in Glider 29 reached their objective and attacked it. Glider: CG-4A Waco 29, serial 277232. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, 11 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. Lead aircraft … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider Z – No Business Being There

Glider Z only flew in Operation Ladbroke because a senior officer wangled an extra tug plane. More than one commentator thought he had no business being there. Glider: CG4-A Waco Z, serial no. 277185. Tug: C-47, “Boy’s Boys”, serial no. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 124 – A Life and Death Decision

The pilots of Glider 124 staked everything on reaching land. A few inches of height either way meant the difference between life and death. Glider: Waco 124, serial no. 277233. Tug: Albemarle [photo], letter Z, number P1525, 296 Squadron, 38 Wing RAF. … Continue reading

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Surgical Strike – the Bombing of Syracuse in Operation Ladbroke

Airborne assaults were vital to the invasion of Sicily, and the troops wanted shock and awe in the bombing of Syracuse. But the air forces kept them in doubt until the last minute. The plan for the bombing of Syracuse … Continue reading

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Mystery Plane – Wellington Bomber Wreck off Cape Murro di Porco

For over 75 years the fate of a lost Wellington bomber remained a mystery. Detective work on land and in the sea has confirmed its fate and that of its crew. In September 2017 a friend of mine sent me … Continue reading

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Photo Story: SAS SRS & Airborne – Agony & Ecstasy in the Med

While men of the SAS SRS assaulted a deadly gun battery, glider troops drowned in Operation Ladbroke. Returning later, the SRS remembered both the excitement and the horror.     .  There is a well-known photograph of SAS troopers of … Continue reading

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Wilf Oldham – Ordeal by Water

Wilf Oldham risked being swept away crossing the River Rhine, as British troops escaped the destruction of 1 Airborne Division at Arnhem. It was not his first airborne fiasco, nor his first ordeal by water. First came Sicily. UPDATE – … Continue reading

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SAS Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) – The Cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco

The cliffs below the gun battery at Cape Murro di Porco are daunting. Did the SAS Special Raiding Squadron really climb them to attack and destroy the guns? Recently discovered documents shed new light. The southern coast of the Maddalena … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 57 – The Cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco

Waco glider 57 landed in the sea off Sicily, near the forbidding cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco. As the men floundered onto the wing, they came under fire. Glider: Waco 57 Tug: C-47, 41-18446, 7 Squadron, 62 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

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Lt J S D Hardy, RSO of 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke

Lt J S D Hardy was Regimental Signals Officer of the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This is his account. Lt J S D Hardy was part of the Battalion HQ team of 1 Border Regiment … Continue reading

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Operation Ladbroke, Fustian, Glutton, Bigot, Husky – or not?

Operation Fustian or Marston? Glutton or Snowboots? Husky 2 or Mackall White? Operation Ladbroke or not? A wry look at the confusion caused by codenames. Codenames and codewords are designed to confuse the enemy. Unfortunately, they often also confuse their own … Continue reading

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Operation Ladbroke Sites – the Coup-de-Main Objectives

Ever wondered exactly where the Operation Ladbroke sites are in Sicily? Here’s a handy battlefield guide to the South Staffords’ coup-de-main objectives.  Please note: it may not be safe or possible to visit some of the Operation Ladbroke sites. See the warning at the bottom of … Continue reading

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Italian Cavalry Attack British Glider Troops on the Ponte Grande Bridge

The source was impeccable: the BBC. The news was incredible: Italian cavalry had charged British airborne troops holding the Ponte Grande bridge. In the middle of WW2, could it possibly be true? The thunder of hooves, clods of earth flying, weapons … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 52 & Gozo in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 52 had one of the more unusual stories of navigation failure in Operation Ladbroke. Uniquely, it landed on the tiny island of Gozo. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52, serial 245690. Tug: C-47, 41-18334, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

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