Tag Archives: Gliders in Sicily

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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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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The Story of Glider Y – Bayonets & Threats of Execution

Waco glider Y was posted missing in Operation Ladbroke. A recently discovered Italian report has the details: Y’s men were captured and interrogated. Bayonets were brandished, executions threatened. Glider: CG-4A Waco Y. Tug: Albemarle AC, P1557, 296 Squadron, 38 Wing … 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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Chatterton vs Hopkinson – the Facts

There is a story about Lt Col Chatterton and Maj Gen Hopkinson and the genesis of Operation Ladbroke that is so pervasive that it has almost become gospel. Certainly it seems to go completely unchallenged. But there is no evidence … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 3

In his post-war book, the CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. Is the accusation true? In Part 1 we saw how the use of gliders in Operation Ladbroke, the opening assault in … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 70 – Disaster for Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 70 landed in the sea off Sicily. So did the other two gliders full of medical men attached to 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This was a disaster not just for the medics, but also the men … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 2

The CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. That was later. What did he say at the time? In Part 1 we saw how Operation Ladbroke, the glider assault that opened the invasion of … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 26 – Combat Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Glider 26 carried a surgical team in the invasion of Sicily. According to contemporary reports, the medics not only saved lives, but they also fought to do so. Glider: CG4-A Waco 26, serial no. 243811. Tug: C-47 or C-53, serial 41-18418, nose (squadron) … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster?

After the failures of Operation Ladbroke, recriminations flew in every direction. The glider pilots were not exempt. Surprisingly, their own commander later blamed them the most. “It was … the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life”, the … Continue reading

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