249th (Airborne) Field Company RE on D-Day and Battle of Normandy

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by PRADELLES, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Cee,
    No sniper, "quiet journey".
    Did they stay here if the footbridge was useable...
    Should they come back ?
    Too late to know more about that I think...
    Regards,
    Xavier
     
  2. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    And an happy new year for all !!
     
  3. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I hope you are well.
    I research a high definition version of "Pont London 1 picture" attached.
    I never saw these picture before...
    Kind Regards,
    Xavier P
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Active Member

    Good afternoon to you all I’ve just caught up with this , this time and area is of extreme interest to me I look at every photograph of airborne lads that come upon hope a face might pop up. If you look along the the river from the bridge at low tide you can see two sets of stakes that held the bridges in place
     
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  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Xavier,

    Hope you have been keeping well. The pontoon bridge on the left is actually York 1 and no I haven't seen that pic before either. I have run across the one showing the men moving part of London 2 on the River Orne. It was taken by Sgt. Christie on June 8th (B5231). Michel probably has a good pic of London 1 somewhere ...:).

    Regards ...
     
  6. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Active Member

    Good evening , I’m still reading my way through this great thread,Exercise. BIZZ ll. an extract from the diary mentions Faringdon , Coleshill as part of the exercise areas , l live In a small village between the above villages . A neighbour told me only the other day that the fields around were used for DDay practice now I can tell him he was right . If 7 para were involved my uncle could of slipped home for a cup of tea . Looking forward to reading the rest
     
  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Brian,

    Was there an airfield located at Farringdon?

    Xavier,

    I can't imagine the following will be new to you but will post anyway. There are several photos of the elevated Bailey bridge London 1 shown in Michel Le Querrec's Benouville gallery on Flickr. Most of them are marked up for illustrative purpose.

    London 1 can be seen in this British Pathe compilation at about 1:40.



    Regards ..
     
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  8. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Active Member

    Hello Cee Faringdon is about a ten minute drive from Brize Norton, fifteen minutes fromRAF Fairford where 7 para took off from on the eve of DDay. There is a disused airfield that was operational during the war and after , that’s five minutes away RAF Watchfield there was alway flying there no matter what the weather as they taught blind flying , I’m going to ask a couple of the old gents about the drop when this mess has cleared. The mention of Coleshill in the exercise is interesting because it was where Churchill’s secret army was trained and they would practice attacking the Watchfield airfield which was onlY2or3 miles as the crow flies. I’m going to try and catch on the thread tonight, will read up about the exercise to regards Brian
     
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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    I thought I would take another shot at identifying the four Op Tonga gliders that carried 5 ORs each from 2 Platoon, 249 Fld Coy RE. Each of those gliders carried assault boats, dinghies and other bridging materials as detailed in the HQ RE war diary under "PART II - THE PLAN".

    In post 73 you suggested CN37 was one of the four gliders. CN37 had aileron problems and returned to base at Brize Norton as you noted. They probably flew out on the evening of June 6th as CN112B. The information I provided I now realize was incorrect. That glider was not carrying 6AAR men with their 2i/c, Major Welstead, as I suggested. Major Welstead was actually on Op Mallard glider CN76 that broke loose and came down above Winchester on the evening of June 6th.

    My bet is the four gliders ran from CN37 to CN40. One problem is the story surrounding CN38 which doesn't quite fit. According to the authors of the book "Operation Tonga" CN38 carried 28 men from the Ox & Bucks. I can't find any evidence to corroborate that statement. Also glider pilot S/Sgt. Corry claims the men were quickly out and gone after landing. That doesn't really sound like a group of men with a lot of bridging equipment to deal with.

    CN38 was said to have landed on a school playing field at Ranville. Aerials do show a glider near Ranville that might be the same.

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  10. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Cee,
    I will answer you soon about that...
     
  11. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I need help...
    Extract from war diary of the 7th Parachute Battalion :
    "C Coy was almost completely split up into battle outposts. I had altered the original orders to these outposts about the withdrawal as I could not communicate with them by wireless and did not consider runners reliable enough for such an important message. I ordered them to withdraw on their own initiative but only if under heavy pressure. None of them did so withdraw."
    We can conclude that the outpost at Saint-Aubin d'Arquenay was held on Dday...and was the first contact between the Commandos and the 6th Airborne Division. Are there any more information about that ?
    Kind regards,
    Xavier P
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    I see in the Operation Orders under section 10, Bridgehead Positions, a C Coy platoon section was to be sent to St. Aubin d'Arquenay.

    "(c) Battle Outposts. - to be found by C Coy.
    i. Strength. One pl. Location. 107765. Tasks. Destroy or neutralise enemy bty. Occupy the bty posn.

    ii. Strength. One sec. Location. On SW approach to X rds 093766.
    iii. Strength. One sec and pl sgt. Location. Wood 076758.
    iv. Strength. One sec, pl HQ (less pl sgt). Location. Rd junc 086746."


    I don't recall any accounts or incidents involving either 7 Para or the Commandos that would indicate that actually occurred. Do you know of any?

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
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  13. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Cee,
    I have been confirmed by Pine-Coffin son that the first contact would have been Le Port, half of which was in German hands. The offical link up was on the canal path by Battalion Headquarters between Captain Pyman of the Commandos with Brigadier Poett and my grandfather.
    Kind regards,
    Xavier
     
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  14. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    I think this outpost wasn't held by paras of 7th Battalion.
     
  15. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Active Member

    Good evening Xavier have you read the book ThePegasus and Orne Bridges by Neil Barber he cover what your looking at in great detail , it is a fascinating account of that action regards Brian
     
  16. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  17. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I hope all is well for you.
    I research more information about Driver C.W. Woodley 14532203.
    I have some information about him, but not sure it's true...
    Who could help me ?
    Kind regards,
    Xavier
     

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