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Purple Heart of POW Market Garden Troop Carrier C-47 pilot

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On the 17th of September it was the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden and unfortunately I couldn't get to Holland for the commemorations. However, a good alternative was to be at one of the historic Troop Carrier airfields to pay my respects.

75 years ago, 1st Lt John Webster and his crew from the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier Group took off from Membury airfield in C-47 42-100556 on day 2 of Operation Market Garden towing a CG-4A glider to Holland. This would be the last time that he saw England during the war as on the way to the DZ, his C-47 was hit by flak. With the aircraft on fire and the tow rope to the glider severed by the flak, he ordered his crew to bail out. All safely jumped from the aircraft however, 1st Lt Webster was unfortunately captured by the Germans and remained a POW for the rest of the war.



For injuries sustained on that day he was awarded the Purple Heart. I've been good friends with his son for a number of years and he recently gave me his father's Purple Heart. I feel privileged to be the caretaker of his award and since I only live 18 miles away from Membury Airfield where 1st Lt Webster was stationed, it was only fitting I visited the airfield on the 75th anniversary of his fateful flight to Holland.



All Airborne Troop Carrier items wanted especially uniform groupings and unit history books. Anything considered!!


Collector and researcher of IX Troop Carrier Command. Visit my Facebook page to see the research and collection.



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