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Author Topic: Glider Ops WWII  (Read 2412 times)

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Offline Sneaky_Nikon

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Glider Ops WWII
« on: October 06, 2017, 04:30:10 PM »
Any of the history types got details of the Hotspur (Horsa?) glider ops in Nutts Corner & Kesh circa 1942-'44?

Gliders were lifted from Netheravon & towed across the Irish Sea by either Whitleys or Stirlings, 296 Sqn. being one of the operators of the former. The intent was to give crews of both gliders & tow craft experience with long legs and over water flight.  There's also some anecdotal evidence that the gliders were used as "leave taxis" by troops from NI.

At least one Hotspur was lost in the Irish Sea but the ditching was successful and all aboard rescued, the towing Whitley provided top cover until a destroyer arrived and then recovered to the IOM.  It was then lost in what can only be described as a bizarre and tragic accident when the Staish at RAF Andreas drunkenly pulled rank and commandeered the aircraft to take his chums for a jolly. The aircraft, BD417, barely cleared the perimeter before pranging, the airfield OC Wg Cdr Knowles DFC who was at the controls died along with four others aboard, 3 airmen survived.   Certainly one of the strangest crash reports I've come across.
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Offline viking9

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Re: Glider Ops WWII
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 05:02:34 PM »
Good luck with your search.

You might be able to find further information from the Archivist at the Museum of Army Flying:

Marjolijn Verbrugge: archivist@flying-museum.org.uk



I could have sworn it was just a fly on the windscreen.

Offline smudge

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Re: Glider Ops WWII
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 07:37:18 PM »
Very interesting piece of history about which I did not know.

I presume the Hotspur you mention was BD417?  Also lost in the Irish Sea was BT666, likewise assigned to 296.  I think there were fatalities on that one.

National Archives at Kew have the ORB for 296 Squadron as AIR 27/1645, don't know when I'll next be there but I'll add it to the query list anyhow!

In terms of Stirling tugs, 295 Squadron had Mk IVs assigned along with Horsas.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 07:42:16 PM by smudge »

Offline OldBanditDriver

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Re: Glider Ops WWII
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 08:14:19 PM »
There's a WW2 Glider pilot resident in Northern Ireland. I've known him for over 40 years. I was talking with him at the Ulster Flying Club open day, he's still as bright as a button!

I think he took-part in D-Day and Arnhem. He might be able to help you with WW2 local glider history.

I don't have contact details but somebody at the Ulster Aviation Society might be able to put you in touch.