Sgt. Christie No. 5 Army Film and Photo Unit 6th Airborne Division

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by brithm, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Leonard Mosley flew from Fairford in a Stirling aircraft Chalk Number 144 EF256 flown by F/S. Maloney of 620 Squadron landing in grid 1275 in a 1:25,000 map.

    299 Squadron's Operation Record Book claims Mosley flew in F/O. Davidson’s aircraft with 20 troops and 9 containers of 12th Parachute Battalion from Keevil airfield.

    Good finds Guy & Cee.

    Brithm
     

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  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Just to add another twist to the story the photograph of Lough was taken by Malindine and according to the IWM RAF Harwell was the location. There is a wonderful zoom-in version available there.

    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205359418#

    "Paratroops of 22 Independent Parachute Company, British 6th Airborne Division, with their toy mascot 'Pegasus' at RAF Harwell, 5 June 1944."

    Whereas the Pegasus Archive in it's description claims they were at the Fairford airfield at the time.

    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/normandy/Photos/Pic_5thParaBgdTakeOff.htm

    "Men of the 5th Parachute Brigade HQ at RAF Fairford in the hours before emplaning. In the centre is Major Ted Lough, the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, and partially hidden on the extreme right is Captain Guy Radmore, the Brigade Signals Officer."

    I favour the Fairford location, but I'm just not 100% positive at the moment ... :huh:

    Regards ...
     
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  3. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    I came across some very clear views of war correspondents bound for Arnhem, including Stanley Maxted and Alan Wood that may be of interest. The man with his back to the camera is probably Major Roy Oliver. I'm not sure about the third man.

    Alan Wood.jpg Stanley Maxted.jpg Unknown.jpg

    Regards ...

    Added later - I made an imperfect stitch for ya all.

    Correspondents Arnhem.jpg
     
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  4. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Cee,
    I agree that the Major with his back to the camera may well be Roy Oliver.

    Maxted's first press accreditation was with the Royal Navy which accounts for his cap badge, Naval laurel and anchor and P for Press in place of the crown.

    The third man in glasses appears to have a Royal Fusilier cap badge, possibly some AFPU connection?
    Guy
     
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  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Thanks again Guy, that's terrific. The big "P" certainly baffled me ... :)

    Regards ...
     
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  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Cee,
    The man seated behind Maxted is Leonard Marsland Gander of the Daily Telegraph.
    Guy
     

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  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Guy,

    Another great find! I was thinking gee that name sounds familiar. Checking over on Post 23 I noticed the first page of a War Illustrated article had gone missing and wouldn't you know after finding to upload it turns out to have been written by Leonard Marsland Gander.

    ... :)
     
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  8. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Two more photographs of L Marsland Gander from Hartwell 'Ink and Images'. There are no references to Operation Varsity in the text.
    Gander appears to have an Eyemo camera with his kit.
    Guy
     

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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Another tremendous find Guy! Have you noticed I've been saying that a lot lately ... :)

    Although I'm not entirely certain I wouldn't be surprised if the second photo shows the Horsa he rode in on. It appears to be on its belly in a plowed field. According to his account he left from Shepherd's Grove in a glider carrying men of the Divisional HQ Defence Coy along with a Colonel RE and a senior Padre. Their landing was a bit rough when the landing flaps failed to function and the tail end of the Horsa was torn away.

    It's interesting that he is in the company of an Eyemo film camera, not usually considered the weapon of choice of a war correspondent. Hopefully one or two of the other men seen in the photos will be identified

    Regards ...
     
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  10. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

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  11. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    You're on a roll Guy - good find ... :)

    Regards ...
     
  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Captain Peter Cattle

    Maxted in his broadcast mentions escaping the Hamilcar with his pal, Peter Cattle. One of the first things he sees just after the crash is Peter on the floor with blood streaming down his face. In the following days the pair stayed together despite moving around to various locations. I thought, perhaps the fellow in the back seat of the Kubelwagen with the bandaged head was Peter Cattle? Guy Hudson sent me a couple of articles on Cattle who it turns out, along with Major Oliver, was a Public Relations man on Operation Varsity. Unfortunately We don't have a positive facial comparison to go by and I'm not sure it would help as he is obscured by the vehicle's door and windows. Capt. Cattle also took part in the Normandy invasion arriving early D-Day morning as can be read in the other newspaper account.

    Capt Peter Cattle.jpg Capt Cattle Op Varsity.png Yorkshire Post & Leeds Mercury 14 June 44.jpg

    Thanks to Guy Hudson for his excellent sleuthing once again and also to brithm, who found yet another short clipping which I won't add here.

    Regards ...
     
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  13. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    I was told this is a photo of Sgt Christie taken at the Reichstag in 1945. I have had it for a number of years and bought it with a number of other photos that were completely unrelated.

    If its not him apologies.

    Cheers

    Arnhem
     

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  14. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Arnhem,

    I think you have him there. A lovely photo and one I've never seen before ... thanks!

    Regards ...
     
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  15. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    My pleasure

    Cheers

    Arnhem
     
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  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Seaghan Maynes

    Guy Hudson has been tireless in finding possible candidates for the remaining unidentified men in the Hardy photo of war correspondents returning across the Rhine. His following comparison really caught my eye and came from a photo of a group of WCs gathered around General Patton at war's end. Guy also pointed out an interesting IWM interview with Seaghan Maynes who at the 12:30 mark briefly recounts his experience of jumping into Germany on Op Varsity. Maynes describes himself as 5' 3" and weighing 8.5 stone - not a big guy.

    Comparison.jpg Correspondents with Patton.jpg

    The group photo with General Patton comes from the book 'Between the Bylines'. We came to the conclusion that Seaghan Maynes has been misidentified and is actually the short man in British uniform standing second left next to Patton who at 6' 2" in height towers over him and the fellow on the left front is actually Larry Newman.

    According to Guy the fact that Maynes jumped with the British is confirmed in the Doon Campbell autobiography. Campbell who was also a correspondent with Reuters wrote:

    "London's reply came with the sobering light of dawn. It's all yours. But the army wouldn't let me jump. They said you needed two hand to use a parachute. I could not challenge that, since I'd never heard of a one armed parachutist either. Seaghan Maynes was sent to parachute down with the British Troops, while I was assigned to a glider attached to a combat team of the 17th Airborne."

    Also:

    "The Americans were such a thoroughly civilized and combat conscious crowd that I did not kick. It was worth foregoing the splash in the British press which naturally went to Seaghan with the British outfit"

    A picture of Doon Campbell that shows is wooden hand. Campbell was borne without a left hand and apparently lost is wooden one at some point when his jeep accidentally plunged into a river.

    Doon Campbell.png

    Theobob mentioned previously in the thread that there was a WC that jumped with his Father's stick on Varsity and thought it might be Maynes. We couldn't find any evidence at the time. So in light of this new info Theobob's speculation could very well be true, unless of course there was yet another correspondent who dropped on March 24, 1945 unknown to us.

    Let's see how that holds up and again many thanks to Guy Hudson ... :)

    Regards...
     
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  17. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

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  18. Theobob

    Theobob Senior Member

    Hi all
    Please forgive my tardiness in following this link
    Been busy buying a house.
    Cee kindly nudged me today and it set off my aging brainbox
    I have met with a few of my dads colleagues over the past few years and remembered a conversation with Capt Geoffrey Forde about a war correspondent
    So i checked through my papers and turned up this:

    View attachment CCF13032015.pdf

    So do we think that it likely that Alan Wood was the WC who jumped with my father?
    I know its jumping to conclusions but given the Capt Forde and my dads unit were the same its not such a stretch.
    A little background on 2FOU:
    This unit was made up of Canucks and Brits
    They were just over 100 officers and men
    Some Canadians were from 1st Can Para and some (like my dad) came straight from 27 Field Artillery RCHA.
    On Op Varsity some were glidered and some Jumped ( my dad jumped with 5 brigade)
    So we are talking about a pretty tight unit
    And i guess its not surprising that a WC would attach themselves to this unit as they carried wireless capability with them.
    Capt Fordes glider crashed,and he was badly wounded and captured ,so Alan Woods never did get his typewriter.
     
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  19. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Rob,

    Thanks that's great and inspired me to look through the Pegasus Archive. I found your Captain Forde there as well and links to other 2 FOU stories. Forde is a wonderful writer.

    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/varsity/geoffrey_forde.htm

    I can't find reporter Alan Wood on the Op Varsity Drop. L. Marsland Gander also maintains he left from Shepherds Grove by glider. He arrived relatively safely with his typewriter in one piece. Hopefully someone will have better luck than me finding Alan Wood during this period.

    Regards ...
     
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  20. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

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