Glider Pilot POW's D Day

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by arnhem2280, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. CAR

    CAR Member

    Well, I have another picture of that man, I've just posted it a few minutes ago, here it is again...
    I know where these men did crash in Normandy, the mother of one of my friends fed and sheltered them in Dives marshes, South Cabourg. Please contact us for moredata. Regards

    Attached Files:

  2. CAR

    CAR Member

    This picture was given to her by Terence Collins himself, just after his crash in Normandy.
  3. CAR

    CAR Member

    Hello Gentlemen,
    I am a French newcomer on this forum ; as an archaeologist and an historian living in Normandy near Cabourg, and working on WW2 relics and history, I 've been recently involved in a research about the crew of a lost Horsa glider on DDay. This glider crashed East of Ranville, at Varaville, near la Dives and la Ferme du Bac, in the same area than the lost glider of Coup de main force. Late the mother of one of my friend's wife, who was a young girl, had told him about that crew that was fed and sheltered in a farm near the Dives marshes. She kept a few names on a piece of paper : Peter Middane ; Alan Hunter ; Cyril Williams, O. Pres (?) ; J. Lalbin, and a picture of a Glider Pilot, with no name. I found nothing about these men except S/Sgt Alan Hunter, in the GliderPilotReg HQ war diary (WO 171/1233, Headquarters, The Glider Pilot Regiment). Then I read with great interest the past discussions about him and Collins, where it is said that their glider was not chalk 27 as stated on the Glider Pilot HQ WD, but chalk 84... I've already posted the picture, and then found the one of Terence Collins POW in another precedent post. Well, I am sure now that it's him on my picture ! If any information, please let us know. We could offer some data on the crash location. Kind regards

    Attached Files:

  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi CAR and welcome,

    Very interesting, your information may fill in a few gaps concerning the evasion of glider pilots Collins and Hunter. Just to clarify you are saying the picture you posted is of Sgt. T. Collins with service number 6153130. Could you pinpoint the location of the Ferme du Bac and if known any dates the men were in contact with the family there that helped them? They could have travelled some distance from their landing location before reaching the farm? Did the Germans discover the family aided the men and if so were there retaliations?

    Hopefully Arnhem2280 who started the thread will be along with other questions.

    Regards ...

    Edit: Identity of glider pilot in photo
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  5. CAR

    CAR Member

    Thanks a lot,
    well, as the old lady has passed last summer, my friend Guy an his wife Nadine found in her papers a few names written on a sheet of paper and the picture I posted this afternoon, so I'm trying to solve the mistery for them. At first, as I had his name on my list, the one matching with some 6th Abn WD, I've supposed this man could be Alan Hunter. But since I found a picture of Collins already posted on this forum, I am sure now he is Terence Collins, service number 6153130. They were pilot and copilot of the same glider 84. I will contact my friend about crash location ; he told me the paras were near or in La Ferme du Bac, Varaville (49°15'28"N - 0°06'52"W / Google 49.257927 ; -0.114466). Of course, they might have walked some distance in the surrounding floaded marshes. Until today I beleived they were lost Canadian paras, as several sticks touched ground in this area and further to the Esat, Grangues and so. We had thought about the lost glider of Coup de main party, but they didn't stay at that place and their story, as read in Neil Barber's book, doesn't match with mine - no French helpers are mentioned... Thanks for help and kind welcome, see you soon with fresh material. Best regards
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Thank you for the location of the La Ferme du Bac. It can be seen here on Google Maps:

    La Ferme du Bac near the River Dives

    Also a screen capture of the farm which is very close to where the Coup de Main glider, CN 94, landed by mistake.

    La Ferme du Bac.jpg

    Regards ...
    CAR likes this.
  7. CAR

    CAR Member

    Hello again,
    here is some fresh data about their crash location :

    they have been at first in a garden shed near the presbitary house juste beside the Church of Périers-en-Auge, 1 km or so north La Ferme du Bac :
    49°16'04.2"N 0°06'21.4"W - Google 49.267835, -0.105945

    Then, the French led them to an isolated farm, 1 km or so East of the church, La Ferme de Méricourt :
    49°15'52.5"N 0°05'35.9"W - Google 49.264587, -0.093291

    They must have crashed South of Cabourg-Dives-sur-Mer, as reported, most certainly on the right side of the river Dives, and walked to the little island of Periers-en-Auge, that formed a ridge upon the eastern bank of the flooded marshes.
    After that first night, Captain Maynard's group was arrested the 6-7th June.
    It seems that the two Glider pilots alone, made their way through enemy ground during the whole month of June. Miss Collins has reported her husband had been with the Resistance, so they were probably hidden in another place, maybe Vermughen farm or Dives-sur-Mer. Several paras were sheltered and helped by civilian people around the marshes, in Dives-sur-Mer, Cabourg, Varaville. Some of them gathered in the Vermughen farm, some others in houses in Dives-sur-Mer, known as "The Cottage divais", some others in the Church tower !
    In the first days of July however, the local staff of the Nazis, who had fled from Caen just after DDay, arrested them all, then tortured and killed the French helpers of the paras, Adrien Vermughen, the priest of Dives-sur-Mer and others in the Saint-Pierre-du-Jonquet wood, where the bodies were found after war. Some of them still have no name. Happily, Collins and Hunter were not killed.

    Best regards
  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Ok here are the two locations on Google Maps for those wishing to explore.

    Church of Périers-en-Auge

    La Ferme de Méricourt

    So there appears to have been quite a bit of moving around prior to their capture which would have been very difficult. The area west of the Dives was flooded quite badly. Since you mentioned the Vermughen Farm I'll give its location as well - a great number of Airborne men passed through there.

    Vermughen Farm Location

    Here's a compare showing the farm on June 7,1944 near La Divette and today. I numbered the fields to make sure they lined up.

    Vermughen Family Farm.jpg

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I noticed in some notes sent by Michael P-C there was a Private Orr who belonged to 4 Platoon, B Coy, 7 Parachute Battalion. His platoon jumped from Stirling CN 137 out of Fairford and landed east of the Dives. One group led by Sgt Lucas took part in the firefight at the Dives bridges with the Ox and Bucks. The Lucas party had to withdraw and eventually with the help of various locals made it to the Vermughen Farm. I don't think Orr was with the Lucas group and must have hooked up with Collins and Hunter later.

    Other than Hunter and Orr I don't recognize any of the other names on the back of the post card sent by Christine which I'll attach. I'll send it to Michael as he will be interested.


    I have no idea where Horsa CN 84 might have landed at this time. There were a few gliders that were never positively identified that came down east of the Dives. I'll dig around.

    Regards ...
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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Check out this thread, "Missing gliders of Operation Tonga D-Day".

    Missing gliders of Operation Tonga D-Day

    Ludo, if I'm reading it right, believes the glider that came down below the village of Grangues is CN 84. There is also an unknown glider in a field on road D458 not far from where it connects to D27 in the Bruyere area.

    Regards ...
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  11. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I never thought to look on a data sheet created by brithm. He has the following men listed on Stirling CN 156 out of Fairford, a mixture of 7 Para and 225 PFA men:

    Lt. Bowler (KIA), Pte. Edwards (P/W), L/Cpl. Binns (P/W), Pte. Tebbet (RAMC – P/W), Pte. Jamieson (RAMC-No.4), Pte. Mold (RAMC-No.5), Pte. Slater (RAMC - P/W), L/Cpl. Bage (RAMC-P/W), Pte. Troutt (RAMC-P/W), Pte. Traill (P/W), Pte. Rogers (P/W), S/Sgt. Marsden (RAMC - P/W), Pte. Jay (P/W), L/Cpl. Williams (P/W), Pte. Schwartz, CQMS. Midlane (P/W), Sgt. Warwick (P/W)

    So we have a Midlane and Williams amongst the men. Here's some info from Michael P-C who spotted Midlane in the stick:

    "Very interesting find, but doubt it matches with Pte Orr, however I have this information, 5676368 Peter Midlane on stick list as R.A. Midlane, CQMS HQ Coy 7 Para, stick 156, mixed stick 7 para and 225 FD Ambulance.

    The below I found on the web years ago and got no response from the given email, but it does tie in with this new information

    Stephen Midlane
    Email: ------------
    Date: 12 Jul 1999

    My father joined the SLI in 1940,transferring to the 7th Parachute Battalion in 1942. He was dropped into Normandy on D-Day but, missing the target he spent the next few weeks in hiding, finally being captured and sent to Stalag VIIIC. While in PoW camp he passed his book-keeping exams! I also have a programme he kept for a performance of The Pirates of Penzance by the camp inmates. My father revisited Pegasus Bridge and Ranville for the 6th June pilgrimages in 1982 and 1984, which meant a great deal to him. He died in November 1986. I would like to hear from anyone who may have known him or has news of other members of his battalion."

    So I hope that helps in identifying a few more names. I edited Michael's info to focus on the Midlane material. I'll attach an official stick list sent some time ago by Michael.


    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  12. CAR

    CAR Member

    Yes, it does help finding some others hidden there, maybe they were gathered in La Ferme de Méricourt,
    Thanks a lot, Regards
  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Michael is doubtful of Pte. Orr. The name "Orr Pres" is unusual. It should be noted, however, that Pte. Orr is marked as POW on the CN 137 stick list. Perhaps Midlane, Williams and Orr filled out POW reports on returning home. If so they would be held at the National Archives.

    You would need some strong evidence to establish if the glider that came down below Le Grangues village is CN 84. The account by Willy Troutt on the Dives River Association site does mention the arrival of a glider in a high place. I only have bits of Ernie Mold's account. The following from Michael:

    "In Ernie Mold's account it stated that a glider turned towards us, it landed in the field ripping the wings off and the body turned over, we thought no one could survive but to our amazement they got out. He then mentions talking to a sergeant and agreeing that they should head South West. They later split up into different groups."

    Mold and eventually Jamieson, both of whom were medics, made it back safely to the 225 PFA in Ranville. Unfortunately no names of the men from the glider are given. Willy Troutt mentions a man named Leudnig, but I can't place him at the moment.

    Regards ...
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Cee - it would be worth contacting Ludo as I feel I know some of the names above (Orr & Troutt specifically) and have supplied him with many sticks POW details.

    However I have been known to be wrong

  15. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Thanks TD,

    I have a feeling since I refer to them so much that Ludo, Ben and brithm are keeping an eye on this thread ... :)

    Regards ...
  16. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Yes we do; all of this is really interesting.
    I have attached docucuments and maps with the different locations of the Gliders events in the Grangues area.
    Grangues Farms & Gliders.jpg Gliders in Grangues area.jpg grangues aircrafts.jpg
    If eveything is clear about CN74 and CN90, we have no final clues for the men aboard the other two gliders (CN84 and CN77).
    CN84: landed at La cour Bellevue: several pictures of the gliders are available (3 attached): glider damaged: the port wing is missing
    based on Wally Troutt and Ernie Mold accounts , we think the glider is CN84: 1st pilot: S/SGT A. HUNTER 2nd Pilot: Sgt T. COLLINS, passengers: Captain MAYNARD, Sgt J. TAYLOR, L/Cpl LAWRANCE, Spr F. BEEBY, Spr WALKER)
    CN84 view1.jpg CN84 view2 German picture.jpg CN84 view3.jpg

    CN77?: landed at St Evrout (picture provided by Ben some time ago): no damage on glider
    not many détails are available about that glider.
    Saint Evrout Glider.jpg

    about the paras in CN156, I am searching about Lieutenant BOWLER. I would like to understand the circumstances he went MIA. He has no know grave.
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  17. CAR

    CAR Member

    Thanks a lot everybody for these informations, matching with the different materials gathered in Grangues by local historians, I will share ;
  18. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member


    I have just logged in and found the updates on this thread which are very interesting. I will have a look at other photos I have of Terence Collins and post them so that they can be compared to see if they are the same man in the photo. I will also go back through my research to see what I have that might help.

    Once again thanks for all the assistance I have received from those who contributed to this thread.


  19. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Great maps by Ludo and was surprised to see a colour photo of the horsa at La Cour Bellevue.

    Here's a compare of the two photos of Collins. Initially I was skeptical but I think it is the same man. The ears are very similar and both have bushy eyebrows. Collins and Hunter were with A Squadron GPR so you might find Collins at least in a unit photo.

    Sgt Terence Collins GPR-Compare.jpg

    Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Lowman's report (Headquarters Royal Engineers and its Misfortune on D Day) tells us that CN 84 carried a jeep and trailer:

    "The main body comprising the Adjutant and seven Other Ranks in two gliders was to land with two jeeps and trailers at 0320hrs with Divisional HQ. ... Following the glider landing at 0320hrs the small party waited for the two glider loads with the main body to link up. Presently one load consisting of Staff Sergeant Rickman, Army Physical Training Corps, Lance Corporal Hullin (clerk) and Sapper Clark the draughtsman arrived with a jeep and trailer but there was no sign of the second load with the Adjutant, Captain Jack Maynard RE, and three Other Ranks."

    I posted another photo of La Cour Bellevue glider over here with some speculation.

    Missing gliders of Operation Tonga D-Day

    Regards ...
  20. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    Attached, hopefully are two more photos of Terry Collins. The first in in Cairo in July 1946 and the second is late 1940's or early 1950's whilst he was in the East Surreys. I am not sure if the photo posted earlier is the same man as the POW photo that I posted. Maybe these two will clarify things.



    Attached Files:

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