6th Airborne Division - Prisoners of War

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by brithm, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Gare du Nord

    To put my mind at rest I followed Ludo's excellent march route outlined above using Google Street View to familiarize myself with the area. Judging from the buildings (then and now) the main assault on the POWs by civilians occurs at the Gare du Nord Station after they exit the buses.

    There are many compelling scenes captured in the videos and stills. Perhaps unnoticed are scuffles that break in the crowd. One which passes by far too quickly involves a man who disturbed by the treatment being handed out attacks some of the main Vichy supporters.

    The above YouTube video I suspect is from a post war French documentary rather than a Vichy era newsreel. Possibly one from Nouveau Monde - Archives de Guerre or Images de Guerre?

    All of which I'm sorry to say doesn't help with either the identification of these men or firmly establishes the date of the Paris march.

    Regards ...
     
  2. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Hello CEE,

    I will investigate to find the possible date of the films. I don't know we will be successful but I 'll try.
    As there are Glider pilot regiment men amongst the POW I would assume that the films were made Late June or july 1944.
    As I wrote in a previous post, the Paras/Glider Pilots taken POW in the early days of the invasion went from Normandy to Verneuil Sur Avre, then Chartres, then Paris, and then... Germany...
    They went through Paris sometime around mid-july (as wrote G.ROBERTSON).
    Regards,
    Ludovic
     
  3. dave 1SLANR

    dave 1SLANR Willys Jeep

    Hi
    Hope this photo is of interest, 12th Parachute Battalion taken prisoner during the fighting at Le Bas de Ranville on the 6th June. Frank is at the front centre wearing the beret.

    I got to know Frank Gleeson through my dads two cousin's who were with frank on D Day with the 12th Yorkshire Btn.

    Brief description . Frank was L/Cpl of a Bren gun team who were sent forward they came under heavy enemy fire , his two comrades were killed and Frank was captured. Major Samms (think that's spelt right) escaped and received the MC , to which Frank upto the day he passed away was not very happy about . After his return to the UK Frank joined the SAS , on his retirement he returned to Normandy to live , and at one point told me he was writing a book (I don't think the book was ever completed ).

    I have a picture somewhere of him stood in the back of a German truck with a guard at each side , when I find it I'll post .
     

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  4. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    britm,

    I threw those in Google Images and nothing much turned up, except for the double image. The bottom picture has something to do with the assassination of Philippe Henriot by the Maquis. Since I suspect you found it on the same site, did you see the one just before which I'll attach. Possibly another Canadian Para on the march with other allied pows through Paris.

    Regards ...

    Cee,

    I think the Canadian Para Sgt in the photo you attached is Sgt. Doug Edwin Brown of HQ Company 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. The date of his capture was before the 29th June and the photo in the below article seems to confirm it with the moustache, not 100% sure though.

    Brithm

    Lots of careers in his 90 years - Winnipeg Free Press
     

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  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Two replies in one post

    Dave,

    Really interesting Dave, thanks for that. Frank Gleeson was no doubt a very brave man from the accounts I've read of his actions on that day. The photo itself must have been taken not soon after Frank's capture. Some time ago I went looking for the location based on the architectural features of the church in the background. Still haven't nailed it though. Do add the other pic if you happen to find it, I'm sure it will be of interest.

    brithm,

    Great find! The Sgt. Doug Edwin Brown identification looks very promising. He was no doubt a very big boy and the fact that he played for the Winnipeg Blue bombers post war is fascinating. Jeff Nicklin, the 1 Can Para Battalion Commander was also a Blue Bomber (a MVP Trophy was named in his honour in later years). There's another blurry pic of Doug Brown in the Pathe Stills which I'll add despite it's poor quality.

    Way to go guys ... :)
     

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  6. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Cee,
    The location is St Pierre sur Dives.

    In the book “Pegasus Bridge 6 Airborne”, Editions Heimdal, Published 1993(?), Authors G Bernage, JP Benamou and P Lejuee, there are several photos of the prisoners taken there.

    There is also a write up on Frank Gleeson’s actions and how he was captured with a small map of the action showing the timeline. It looks like he must have done a battlefield tour with one of the authors as there are a couple of photos of him taken after the war as well.

    There is an aerial photo of the area he was captured in that probably relates to the “ring contour” thread as well but it looks like a pre D Day photo.

    Regards

    Danny

    spsd.jpg
     
  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Thanks Danny,

    That is an impressive church. As usual I'm looking into something that has already been well documented. Could it possibly be this book you refer to:

    Red Devils In Normandy - Georges Bernage

    Cheers ...
     
  8. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Cee,
    This is the book.
    b2r.jpg

    Title, Pegasus Bridge: 6e Airborne : jour J à Bénouville-Ranville
    Authors, Georges Bernage, Jean-Pierre Benamou, Philippe Lejuée
    Publisher, Heimdal, 1993
    ISBN, 2840480204, 9782840480204
    Length, 64 pages

    I have not seen inside the one you linked to.

    It is probably the same format. They seem to vary the content slightly with different photos and sometimes information from locals who were there at the time.

    Most have the “regular” Airborne photos but they always seem to have a good selection that don’t seem to turn up in other books.

    Danny
     

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  9. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    Just realised that these two softcover books plus additional text/photos might be the contents of the book you linked to.

    160 pages in Les Paras du Jour J. 80 pages in La Nuit des Paras.

    Danny

    b4r.jpg
     

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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Dan,

    Interesting photo of Howard and von Luck sitting together. I couldn't help but notice on Amazon the many books Georges Bernage has put out on the Normandy Campaign.

    The article on Doug Brown from the Winnipeg Free Press appears to have been posted today. How birthm found that so quickly is a mystery ... :). I fired off an email to the writer with a march pic to see if it would arouse any interest from that end.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that brithm's photo gives us a date for the Paris POW march - July 29th, 1944.

    Regards ...
     
    brithm likes this.
  11. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Brith, CEE,

    Great find with Sgt Doug BROWN. If you don't know his story here it is:
    He was in the same plane as CSM HALL , Sgt La Croix and the battalion intelligence sergeant who jumped N°18. Sgt D. BROWN was N°17.
    As he jumped BROWN noticed the port engine was on fire. He also mentionned that pilot was an Australian.
    A few minutes after landing (at about 01.00,near Saint Vaast En Auge, Villers Sur Mer), BROWN met LA CROIX. About 30min later they came upon CSM HALL.
    Around 03.30 they saw a Hamilcar glider landing and the 3 Canadians decided to go to the crash site. The Hamilcar was CN501, one of the four intended on D-Day night was carrying a 17 anti tank gun.
    As CSM HALL & Sgt BROWN were asking for their location at a nearby farm house, the others ( Sgt La Croix, the 2 glider pilots, and the gun crew(8)) were waiting along a hedgerow at about 100m from the farm house. That farm is called "Le Lieu Panier" and the owners were Mr & Mrs Marie. As the 2 Canadians were discussing with the 2 farmers, the hear the burst of a machine gun fire.
    Back a the hedgrrow 3 gunners were dead (Bombadier William WHITNEY, Gunner Douglas STANLEY, and Gunner Frank NEWHAM), the 1st pilot was mortally wounded, so was Sgt LA CROIX. The 5 of them are buried at Saint Vaast En Auge churchyard.
    At dawn, 5 of the gun crew stayed at Saint Vaast En Auge to protect the escape of the 2 Canadians + the 2nd pilot 14220815 Sgt Ronald HARRIS. They were :
    4292339?? Sgt W.CANNON taken POW at Saint Vaast, 6th June around 16.00
    1074775 Bdr K. HARDING taken POW at Saint Vaast, 6th June around 16.00
    ???????? Gnr J. GRAINGER taken POW at Saint Vaast, 6th June around 16.00
    +2 others names unknown.
    In his account Sgt D. BROWN stated they were taken POW four day after landing. Brown remembered being taken to Chartres.
    Douglas BROWN helped me to trace Sgt LA CROIX family. Richard LA CROIX was married, had a daughter (Arlene 5 years old), a son (Dale 3 years old). Arlene first saw her dad's grave in 2000. Mrs La Croix was never able to travel to France to visit her husband's grave. All the La Croix family will be at Saint Vaast En Auge on 5th june 2014 for the 70th D-Day anniversary.
    I will post a picture of Sgt R. HARRIS.
     
  12. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Hi all,

    as mentionned in the previous posts.
    Hereafter (from left to right) the pictures of Sgt Brown (1st Can. Para),CSM HALL (1st Can. Para), & Sgt HARRIS (GPR), the 3 Saint Vaast En Auge escapers.
    The 3 of them were taken POW around 9th-10th june 1944.
    Regards,

    Ludo
     

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  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Ludo,

    I'm sorry to say I missed that entirely and I can see now how the discovery of Douglas Brown among the marchers would have special significance to you. Thanks for telling the full story of what happen to those men. You can't help but think if La Croix would have stayed with his mates when they visited the farm house for directions he may have survived the war.

    Ludo you should edit your profile so your site appears at the bottom of your posts. I think you have earned that right after all the work you have done over the years documenting what occurred with the Airborne men who came down near Saint Vaast En Auge.

    Les Parachutistes de Saint Vaast En Auge - Ludo

    Cheers ...
     
  14. reddevon

    reddevon Member

  15. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Cee,
    Yes interesting photo. Also shows the old museum at Pegasus Bridge.

    The early 39-45 magazine had a few articles in featuring Howard and von Luck. I have a few copies of the magazine covering Normandy and they seem to have a few pages covering veterans in each issue.

    George Bernage certainly puts out a lot of books. I have a few. Good quality reproduction of the photos in all the books I have. They have also been adding English translations to the books in recent years as well and have started another line of magazines covering Normandy.

    From the company website : (Google translation) Bernage George was born in 1949 and attended university History and Scandinavian Languages. He specializes in the history and architecture of the Middle Ages and in the history of the Second World War. He became an expert on D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 1944. In 1975, he founded the Editions Heimdal in Bayeux which develops the themes of Normandy, World War II and the Middle Ages with the launch of several magazines and numerous books that are for reference in their field. In 1983, Georges BERNAGE launches 39/45 Magazine which will be the editor for many years before becoming the Director of the publication.

    Document sans nom

    Back issues of magazines 39/45 Magazine | eBay

    Regards

    Danny
     
  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    this chap on the left is from 50th Infantry division but has no shoulder titles on his blouse? what is he doing with the 6th Airborne Div?

    reddevon,

    The best I can suggest is that the men shown are at German collection point (or camp?) for pows captured from the various battle areas. You can see evidence of that as well in the latter part of the two videos pointed to by brithm in post 10. There's always the possibility the para may have dropped or landed astray.

    Danny,

    Thank you for further info on Georges Bernage. As you say he certainly has been prolific over the years. Not having read any of his work I can't really comment on the quality.

    Regards ...
     
  17. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Dan,

    Interesting photo of Howard and von Luck sitting together. I couldn't help but notice on Amazon the many books Georges Bernage has put out on the Normandy Campaign.

    The article on Doug Brown from the Winnipeg Free Press appears to have been posted today. How birthm found that so quickly is a mystery ... :). I fired off an email to the writer with a march pic to see if it would arouse any interest from that end.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that brithm's photo gives us a date for the Paris POW march - July 29th, 1944.

    Regards ...


    Cee,

    It was definitely the 29th June 1944 that the prisoners were brought to Paris. I believe all of the prisoners were taken from POW Transit Camp in Chartres all British, Canadians, Americans and French prisoners.

    This is a Statment made by Gldier pilot Sgt. Shannon from Kevin Shannon & Stephen Wrights's book One Night In June

    p. 158 On the morning of 29 June, the three glider pilots [Shannon, Helme, Dow] were amongst six hundred POWs loaded into ancient Renault Buses and driven off in convoy towards Paris. Bill Shannon remembers the Allied reaction to the convoy.

    In spite of large red crosses painted on the roofs of the buses, we were strafed by a flight of Typhoons and casualties were sustained amongst the prisoners…Arriving at the Gare du Nord, the convoy halted and we had to run the gauntlet through a hostile crowd of French civilians, who punched, kicked and spat at us. After forming up in the station yard we were marched, by a circuitous route, round the city to the Gare de L’est, which is only next door.

    brithm
     
  18. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    29/6/44

    Ok thanks brithm. Ugh, the brain wasn't clicking too well on that one ...:huh:

    Philippe Henriot the Vichy Minister of Information and Propaganda was assassinated the day before on June 28th by members of the Résistance. I'm not sure if the POW march just happened to coincide with the assassination or was hurriedly planned by the propagandists to take advantage of the outrage of the Vichy supporters? Henriot's funeral must have taken place not soon after the march.

    Les Funérailles Nationales de Philippe Henriot

    Regards ...
     
  19. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Guys,

    These are few stills of Glider Pilots captured in Normandy with the 6th Airborne Division. S/Sgt Ridgway & Potts are in the first two stills.
    Hoping this will breathe a new life into the thread.

    Does anybody recognise anyone?

    Brithm
     

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  20. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    brithm,

    Such clear face shots! I'm surprised there is has been no identification thus far of the GPR men. Has the Canadian paratrooper attached below been named? I believe there were 3 officers from the battalion captured on D-Day.

    Regards ...
     

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