Glider Pilot POW's D Day

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

  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Surrey, England, Regimental Rolls, 1914-1947
    Name: Terence Collins
    Event Date: 16 Apr 1941
    Regiment Number: 6153130
    Regiment: East Surrey

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  2. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Hi Chuck,
    The color picture of the Horsa @ La cour Bellevue is from Red Devils by Georges Bernage.
    It is a German is a rare color picture...
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  3. DavidM340

    DavidM340 New Member


    Sorry I have been absent from this forum, unfortunately I have been ill for the last 3 years owing to crippling back pain, that caused me to have an operation last year. Unfortunately with a family bereavement too it has left me somewhat incapacitated and seeing as this bereavement was of my late Grandfather Alan's sister (Jean) I haven't really wanted to talk about things.

    Alan George Hunter, was indeed captured in the farm mentioned in this thread. He never spoke of this to me, as I was a teenager when he lost a very brave battle to lung cancer on October 23rd 1992. Yet when my Great Auntie Jean was very ill she told me the story.

    Grandad left the plane with his fellow pilot, he didn't agree with the Captain and said that his orders were to go by the book and try to make contact with the resistance, which he did.

    He did tell me the story once, that with the resistance he was on a motorbike and passed a German patrol, in civvies and either did or didn't have an armband on...I didn't understand this at the time. All I remember from this conversation some 30 years ago is what he said by "If they had spotted It, I wouldn't have been here and neither would you." A comment one cannot forget.

    It was Jean who told me more. He was at the farm in question and word got round that there was British army company nearby. On hearing this they changed back into their uniforms and waited. Unfortunately this was untrue and it was the German Army. The family had been betrayed and The SS turned up.

    They shot the family in front of my Grandfather and the others in uniform. No wonder he didn't talk to me about it.

    He was then taken as a POW to Poland and was marched across Europe in the winter of 1945. I think my uncle has his POW diary, but I am not sure if he would allow me to publish it. I can certainly sort out a photo though.

    There is one story about a fellow POW also from Chatteris, where my Grandfather was from. One day my Grandfather was desperate for a cigarette. His supposed friend from his village said he would give him one for a pound and that he could pay him back when they got back to England. They made it back and his father went to my Great Grandfather, George Hunter, and asked for the pound. George gave him the pound and said "Never speak to me, or ask for anything from my family or I ever again." George was the village Blacksmith.

    When Grandad had recovered, he went to Palestine for 3 years and passed his officer exams. He left the army and went on to eventually sell tyres for Pirelli.

    Later he worked for Lincolnshire County Council for a number of years, becoming a MBE in 1984.

    He was heavily involved in the local British Leigon, being its president for many years and was a very active member of the local Normandy Veterans.

    In 1989 he and my Grandmother Kath, went to Normandy with the veterans and finally, Forty five years later, he managed to finally get to Pegasus Bridge. Something that I know meant a great deal to him. He wore all of his medals, apart from his PoW one and his MBE.

    Alan, was a very kind, honourable and gentle man. He was a skilled off spinner and a useful bat. He is responsible for my love of cricket and also told me never to be worried about challenging authority, if you know them to be wrong.

    Sadly he contracted lung cancer in the spring of 1992 and died later that October. He was exceptionally gifted in rigging up devices and woodwork, he never threw any contraptions away, yet his house was never cluttered and always tidy. He had a love for growing vegetables especially runner beans and was very proud of his vegetable patch. Woe betide if he caught you on that part of the garden.

    He had a fascination with watches and clocks. He would buy wind up alarm clocks from car boot sales and try to repair them. This was not always successful. He had several that would only work, if they were upside down, on their face or back or positioned in the most odd way.

    My Grandfather was the bravest man I ever knew, or have known since. He was kind, funny, and was very proud to have done his bit for his country. He never really talked about his time in the army, and we didn't ask him. He would sometimes mention humerous things, but would not dwell on it.

    Jean said that it was often because he felt guilty that he had been spared, because he was in uniform and that the family was shot in front of him. As a 21 year old, as he would have been, I can understand why he didn't want to share that with his Grandchildren.

    I appreciate that this may not give you the answers you want, but all I can tell you is that 84 is a number that I treasure and the fact that my Grandfather was one of the few who got into a rickety piece of bolster wood, with no engine and was told to crash land near to Pegasus Bridge and to take the bridge.

    The amusing thing is that I can almost hear the conversation he had with the Captain, when they were arguing about which direction to go in. I know how bloody minded my Grandfather could be, when he knew he was right and the person in authority wasn't. It is a trait I have picked up from him and I still use it with my bosses today.

    Again, I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this thread. It has been a difficult few years for me and I hope that you will respect that. I have used the famous Hunter grit to get me through the difficulties of learning to walk again and I know that Alan, was encouraging me not to give up from afar. If any of you want to know anything else, please don't hesitate to ask...but know this.

    A street in Waddington, as in RAF Waddington, is named after him. Hunters Close. It is diagonally opposite where he lived for 31 years.

    Happy Christmas to you all

    Ps The picture you think is of Alan in uniform isn't. It's all about the ears. My Grandfather had quite prominent ones :)
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Welcome David,

    Thank you for that lovely portrait of your grandfather. He was obviously someone who was loved by you, your family and wider community. I'm very sorry to hear of the back problems that have seriously affected your life. I wish you all the best in your continuing recovery.

    I'm sure there will be a few questions for you in the coming days.

    Regards ...
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  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi David,

    CAR points out two farms this particular group of stranded Airborne men were associated with - La Ferme du Bac near the River Dives bridge and another to the north east, La Ferme de Méricourt. Could you specify at which farm he was captured and where members of the farm family (man and wife?) were killed by the Germans in retaliation. I assume it is La Ferme de Méricourt but would like to confirm?

    We know the glider pilots stuck together after landing and made their way to the west after separating from the Captain Maynard group. Did he by any chance mention any other men that may have accompanied them. Paratroopers from Stirling CN 156 were witness to the landing of the glider that came down in a field below Le Grangues village, off the La Cour Bellevue Road. It's curious that the names of your grandfather should appear in the same list as those of CQMS R. A. Midlane and L/Cpl Wiiliams both of whom were with 7 Para and dropped from CN 156. I'm just wondering if these men met early on and stuck together afterwards.

    Thank you for letting us know that the photo of the glider pilot in uniform is not your grandfather, Alan George Hunter.

    Regards ...
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  6. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Thanks David for all this information about your Grandad.Really interesting.
    Would it be possible to share with us a photo of alan when in the GPR?
    Thanks & Regards,
    CN84 manifest.jpg
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  7. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    Hi David

    Thanks for posting regarding your late Grandfather, Alan Hunter. Do you by any chance have a photo of him and Terry Collins together so we can be 100% sure that the photo posted earlier is of S/Sgt Collins?


  8. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Found this report concerning the crash of Glider 84

    Attached Files:

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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Not surprisingly there were a number of Williams belonging to 7 Para. Three of them we have more or less eliminated as a possibility. There was one listed in the 41st Ringway jump course (17/12/42) whose first name is not given. He may be the man named in Lt. Bowler's CN 156 stick as L/Cpl. Williams.

    "5679966 - Pte Williams - A good type has made satisfactory progress."

    Also found a Pte. Williams part of the Stirling CN 180 stick carrying 12th Parachute Battalion men under Lt. Sharpe. They also dropped in the Cabourg/Dives area. He was captured at some point. Can't find any further information on him at the moment.

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    You mean this guy

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: C Williams
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Army Number: 5679966
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    POW Number: 70165
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: VIII-C
    Camp Location: Konin Zaganski, Poland
    Record Office: Army Air Corps and Army Catering Corps Record Office, Drill Hall, East Claremont St., Edinburgh 9
    Record Office Number: 45


    still no first name but an initial at least
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  11. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Brilliant! That could very well be our man Cyril Williams. So a very strong possibility he was the 7 Para man named Williams who dropped from CN 156.

    Thanks TD!
  12. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Hi all,
    When you visit Pegasus Memorial @ Ranville you will be able to see the La cour Bellevue glider (CN84) rudder (part of it!).
    It is on display in the main exhibition hall hung on a wall, near the Jeep
    Ben14 once told me the story.
    CN84 Rudder at Pegasus Memorial.jpg

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  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    The Bellanger family of the Ferme de Méricourt are mentioned in the "Récit de Mme Niedbalski" at the bottom of this page on

    Témoignages 1944 Libération

    I'm not going to attempt a translation as I would probably make a mess of it. Google Translation helps but doesn't always catch the subtleties of the language.

    Regards ...
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  14. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Sgt. P.G. Phillips & S/Sgt. D. Rushton both taken prisoner Horsa LH494 Chalk Number 77

    Attached Files:

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  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

    Name: P G Phillips
    Rank: Serjeant
    Army Number: 989770
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    POW Number: 80904
    Camp Type: Stalag Luft
    Camp Number: VII
    Camp Location: Baków, Poland

    Name: D Rushton
    Rank: Staff Serjeant
    Army Number: 10666246
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    POW Number: 80138
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: IV-B
    Camp Location: Mühlberg, Elbe, Brandenburg

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