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Glidertrooper

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  1. Super interesting articles, especially the histories around the real units and operations. Never heard of some until now! Many thanks for sharing. Cheers......John
  2. How to do a 'socially distanced' 76th D-Day anniversary... So I have family who don't live too far from WWII US Airborne country here in the UK and I have been meaning to check the area out for quite some time. With proper D-Day commemorations cancelled, today seemed like a good day to make the pilgrimage to these sites. Unfortunately I don't have any 'then' shots to show against the now. First up was a little 'incursion' to check out what is left of the main runway at the former RAF Membury, from where 436th Troop Carrier Group C-47 launched to carry paratroopers or tow gliders for the airborne element of the invasion. The view is looking North up the main North-South runway. Then after a car-picnic at Chilton Foliat due the intermittent rain, we ventured over to the former RAF Ramsbury, from where the 437th TCG launched for their invasion endeavours. Very little of RAF Ramsbury still exists, so the picture below shows what would have been the very end of the East-West main runway looking East. Behind me was the most amazing vista, as the airfield obviously sat atop a hill or plateau and must have been fantastic to fly into with it rising up above the rest of the countryside. Off to the right in the picture above, one of the taxi ways / perimeter roads of the airfield still remains and it was pleasing to find an info plaque there, so there is at least some acknowledgement of the airfields existence remaining. And now that I know the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was at Littlecote House (see picture below) that will be a destination for a future adventure, along with Basildon House where the 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion were based and is just down the road at Reading. Finally the sun came out as we paid our respects at the RAF Membury war memorial before heading home (can't remember with group's wreath it was, but we won't claim credit for it). Lest we forget Cheers......John
  3. Many months ago one of the original 506th PIR officer’s German silver hand beaten goblets came up on eBay named to a young replacement Second Lieutenant who was only involved in the Germany campaign. Now the engraving wasn’t too clear in the pictures, but was good enough if you knew what you were looking at. But at some point during the auction someone must have asked for better pictures of the engraving. So some new pictures appeared on the auction of what looked like the freshly polished globet, with the engraving nice and clear, but 70+ years of original tarnish missing. Right up until then I had been looking to sell a body part to raise the cash to make the buy-in, but instead backed right off. Still sold for $7000-$8000 odd though.
  4. Not sure if this is where or how I am supposed to do this, but just came across these two auctions on eBay, which appear to be from the same USAAF Troop Carrier Group vet (I haven't contacted the seller to confirm) and in my limited knowledge seem to be being offered at a very reasonable price: https://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-era-occupation-Clothing-Grouping-Airborne-Troop-Carrier-Dogtags/313046840793?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D225073%26meid%3D5e38c3d08aa64b848a685dc6ed4bf712%26pid%3D100678%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26mehot%3Dnone%26sd%3D312978866552%26itm%3D313046840793%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=pageci%3Ac4073492-83bf-11ea-aee4-74dbd180ea60%7Cparentrq%3A9c6875e91710a4cc349d162cffdc0926%7Ciid%3A1 https://www.ebay.com/itm/7pc-Grouping-Lot-WWII-Occupation-Medals-Wings-from-Vet-Air-Medal-Etc/312978866552?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D225073%26meid%3D5e38c3d08aa64b848a685dc6ed4bf712%26pid%3D100678%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26mehot%3Dnone%26sd%3D312978866552%26itm%3D312978866552%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=pageci%3Ac4073492-83bf-11ea-aee4-74dbd180ea60%7Cparentrq%3A9c6875e91710a4cc349d162cffdc0926%7Ciid%3A1 I would jump on it myself to keep them together, but not my area of collecting and they would end up in the UK, so harder to move on to someone who really wants them, especially if they end up going back to the US. Great research opportunity there with the Dog Tags and if the medals and wings are linked, then aircrew man too, although none of the medals are named. Good luck, hope it stays together and find a good home with someone here. Both still available with BIN prices as of me hitting 'post'.
  5. That booth is still there Rene, although I didn't partake, as I never enjoyed the experience the first time round 30 years ago and in those days they even paid me for the privilege!!
  6. Love the independent tank battalion stuff. Absolutely splendid uniform and even better to have the history and a link to the living veteran!
  7. I am always on the look out for interesting things to contribute to this thread, particularly as I am partly based in 'airborne country' over here in Berkshire, England, where many of the US Troop Carrier airfields were positioned and most of the US Airborne units were billeted. Unfortunately I don't get around these places as much as I would like and I am also having difficulty finding the 'Then' pictures to go with any 'Now' I could take. Anyway, I thought the many jeep lovers and contributors from the Netherlands here might be interested by this. Before the lockdown came in, to pass an afternoon I took my son down the road to the military museum in Aldershot garrison town. A neat little museum, particularly if you are interested in the army town's history. All the armour outside could do with a lick of paint though and of course 'Elfs and Safety' mean you are denied the fun of climbing all over these heavy metal machines --> https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/aldershot-military-museum Getting to the point, hidden in the back barn I found what is claimed to have been the post-WWII jeep of XXX Corps GoC Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks of Operation Market Garden fame. I am always a little dubious of such claims, but here it is with my boy at the wheel: Cheers......John
  8. Looks like you two had a really fine day out and some great finds too. Wonderful beret, but that picture of the two of you is just fabulous. Cheers......John
  9. Indeed there was much mention of that traffic jam incident from locals and experienced attendees of the commemorations. Given the presence of both the Queen of the Netherlands and the UK's Prince of Wales, I'm sure their security details would not have wanted a repeat of such an incident, given the extensive crowds at the Heath on Saturday. I was interested to learn on this trip that the 315th Troop Carrier Group were also responsible for delivering the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade (1.SBS) to their Drop Zone at Driel on the 21st September 1944. Sadly that date was also the day our family member was KIA. Cheers......John
  10. Would just like to echo Ken's comments, both to thank Rene for his posts, which helped with my families Operation Market Garden visit to the Netherlands this year and also the remembrance of the veterans. In that respect I cannot recommend this tribute enough (hope it is not unreasonable to post given it isn't actually US veterans) - https://arnhemboys.com - which was present as installation at the Hotel Hartenstein. I had the great pleasure of a chatting briefly with Canadian C-47 pilot Lloyd Bentley during the 70th Commemorations in 2014 and this 75th Commemoration I was honoured to have a chance encounter with Tad Cisek of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, who happened to be staying in the same hotel. I even met Glider Pilot Frank Ashleigh, although back in the UK the day after my wedding back in June this year. All wonderful gentleman and this is such a fine and fitting tribute to all these old boys - May we never forget them. Cheers......John
  11. Thank you Rene and thank you for the updates on the Norman D Landing thread, which were a great help in convincing us to visit the Waal river crossing point yesterday. Just back to the hotel from our afternoon at Ginkel Heath - preceded and followed by a 5km route march pushing a baby buggy because they close the road! - where I was lucky enough to strike up a conversation with two currently serving 82nd Airborne, whos current unit lineage traces back to the 504th PIR and one of whom had made the Waal river crossing yesterday. Interestingly, both had blue skull and cross bones patches on both sides of their helmets, which they had with them as they had also just jumped into the Heath as part of the mass drops. Cheers......John
  12. Many thanks. Arrived in Arnhem last night and hope to make it to the 82nd Airborne monument at the Waal river bridge today, 20th, in perfect timing for the anniversary of this action. Cheers......John
  13. Travelling up to Holland with the family tomorrow, but will be headed for the British Airborne Operation Market Garden sector to pay our respects to a family member at rest in Oosterbeek CWGC cemetery. Safe travels to all and hope you have enjoyable visits during the commemoration period. Cheers......John
  14. And finally the obligatory ‘for fun’ shot… …with an original WWII 82nd Airborne Division patch and a fairly uncommon variation of the 1st Allied Airborne Army DUI, which is pin back with no hallmark. On witnessing the 504th PIR / 307th AEB assault crossing of the Waal River, the Commander of the British Second Army summed up that historic action with one word… “Unbelievable”
  15. Prior to and during the assault crossing the 504th PIR and 307th AEB received artillery support from British Army elements and 82nd Airborne Divisional artillery in the form of this unit: 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion (PFAB) – hallmarked HR.Newcombe & Co N.Y.C (incised) – this particular DUI is supposedly attributed to a named soldier from B Battery, although I have no actual provenance.
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