Flight Manifest Whitley S-Sugar
Whitley Aircraft Drills
After action reports
Press Reports Summary
Operation Rupert 25 August 1944 (abortive sortie)
Sgt Ike Owens logbook
Date: Hour: Aircraft: Pilot: Flying Time:
25.8.44 Night Stirling L F/O Rogers 6hrs 45 mins
OPERATION RUPERT: 15 Men 2 Panniers 10 Containers
Time of takeoff 22.00hrs. A very good trip out to DZ. Found DZ very early but got no signal to drop. On 2nd approach to DZ got hit by cannon fire of mobile patrol column, starboard inner engine shot up, starboard wing badly hit. Made 3rd attempt to run in but got no signal to drop. Had bad time getting back, all navigation equipment shot away. Got lost on return. On return to England had to make a forced landing owing to shortage of petrol. Landed at Hartford Bridge (now Blackbushe – Ed.) 04.45, all troops safe, no injuries. Returned to Fairford via transport.
Operation Market 17/18 September 1944
Arnhem Drop Zone X, north of Renkum 17 September 1944
Sgt Simmons logbook 18 September 1944 (2 pages)
Sgt Cleaver logbook 18 September 1944
Operation Varsity 24 March 1945
Sgt. Norman Goodacre logbook 24 March 1945
Cpl Fred Topham, 1st Canadian Para, won the VC on this drop. I saw his work.
OPERATION DRACULA 1 MAY 1945 BURMA
OPERATION “TERMITE” 8 JULY 1954 Malaya
Operation Musketeer – Suez – November 1956
Troops of 16 Para Bde pre-emplane check RAF Nicosia 03.00hrs 5.11.56. Note no reserve parachutes fitted. Photograph courtesy John Fowlie and Roy McCluskey. PJIs Flt. Lt. Stan Roe and F.S. Don Birchley jumped on this Operation with 3 Para Battalion
Operation Musketeer – A Personal Account from Stan Roe (PJI)
In 1956 Stan Roe and FS Don Birchley jumped into Suez with 3 Para…
On 5th November 1956 Operation Musketeer was mounted from Cyprus to drop British and French paratroopers and equipment at El Gamel Airfield and the vicinity of Port Said.
All Paratroopers of 3 Para completed an intensive synthetic ground training programme immediately before the operation, with particular emphasis on aircraft drills. Emergency procedures for crash landings, abandoning aircraft, and ditching were a feature of the training, and stick commanders were given a refresher. 720 troops were trained in 72 hours. Because the drop height was to be 600 ft, there was no operational or safety purpose in wearing the reserve parachute. PJIs were allocated to aircraft with responsibility for servicing and inspecting para role equipment.
At the final planning conference it was agreed sodium flares would be used to mark the re-supply DZ, particularly in the case of bad visibility. Sqn Ldr Pip Parsons, OC RAF Detachment, suggested his staff were eminently suitable for this task and Brigadier Butler fully supported him, with the result that myself and FS Birchley were detailed to parachute with the main force to mark the re-supply DZ in the afternoon.
Flying conditions were smooth. Most troops settled down, some even slept, others peered through the windows, but little was revealed. Two hours to go. Despatchers gave signs as to what stage of the flight had passed. Sticks were prepared in good time and kept readiness during the long steady approach to the DZ at El Gamel airfield. The ‘drink’ was still down below when the red light changed to green. A wet reception looked on the cards!
Immediately after the main drop while 3 Para was advancing on its objectives and mopping up local resistance, I supervised the clearance of the runway, which had been obstructed with barrels, and was strewn with shell fragments. In 2 hours we had it ready for use. For the re-supply, we positioned the sodium flares to prevent too great a concentration of equipment in one place, and to keep the heavy stuff away from the Gamel runway. I was also appointed as the Liaison between the Army and the RAF. We selected marshalling points and helicopter landing strips and also sought accommodation in the Air Traffic Control Tower. I continued as airfield controller, supervising the marshalling and unloading of the aircraft until the RAF officially took over the airfield on the 9th November. Four days had passed since that 0530 take off from Nicosia……
(Extract courtesy Howard Marsh)