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 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
… We were anxious to get the whole force on the ground in about four and a half minutes. This meant a very tight formation with following aircraft, slightly above the leaders so as not to run down parachutists already in the sky. The meteorologists were adamant that there would be stiff cross-winds. This meant that given the narrowness of the drop zone, unless we restricted dropping heights to 700 feet and below, many soldiers might drift onto the beaches, which were mined, or into the sea. So 700 feet became our ceiling. But this too raised problems. A year or so before the brigade had had several fatal accidents when parachutes had failed to open. Thus reserve chutes had become very much the fashion and a substantial proportion of our soldiers had never jumped without one. But they only worked if the dropping height was above 1,000 feet, since below that height, by the time the soldier realized that his main chute was playing truant, it was too late to deploy the reserve. A firm decision was made – no reserve chute – which was not received with universal enthusiasm. However, when each man was issued with his operational load – food, water, medical gear, digging equipment, ammunition, grenades and many other items – only the strongest would have welcomed any additions.
(from article by Major Frank King, HQ 16 Independent Parachute Brigade Group)
“Men of the Red Beret” Max Arthur (Hutchinson 1990)