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On each DZ three sticks were dropped and in each case only one stick was accurately dropped. Lights were however erected on all DZs by the time main bodies arrived: the lights on DZ "N" were slightly to the EAST of their correct location.

The time actually required by the pathfinders to erect their aids varied accordingly to the nature of the country: the margin was only Just sufficient on DZ "V" and "K" and on "N" the inaccurate drop and the growing crops made the 30 mins allotted too short. The eqpt carried by each stick was found to be hy and bulky and restricted quick mov on the ground.

After the initial phase was completed personnel of 22 Indep Para Coy were used for marking out sup dropping areas and in an emergency they were used as a res and emp in this way most successfully on several occasions.


(a) Gliders

Of the 6 gliders for the br aslt party 4 landed on the correct spot, one was half a mile out and one was put down on a br over the R DIVES some 7 miles away. Of the bty party one was 600 yds out, the second 8000 yds away and the third crashed in UK.

The results of the remaining 85 gliders landed by night were:-

Correctly landed on LZs 52 Within 2 miles of LZ 6 Over 2 miles from LZ 10 Missing 17

Of the 17 missing gliders 3 landed in UK and one in the sea, personnel of all 4 arriving later.

All gliders coming in on the evening of D Day on the correct LZs and few cas were sustained either by enemy action or from crash landings.

(b) Parachute

The parachute drops were not as cone as might have been expected. This may have been due to the fact that only half an hour was allowed to the Indep Para Coy for its work. It was desirable to keep this time as short as possible, surprise had been lost by the glider aslt on the brs and it was realised before the op that a risk was being taken; but, since the DZs were comparatively easy to find, the risk was accepted.

Appx "K" shows the areas where all sticks were dropped.

It is impossible to give accurate strs of bns in the first few hrs of darkness, but the 3 Para Bde bns certainly had to carry out their tasks at well below 30% str.

In the case of the 5 Para Bde the number finally missing after rallying was complete was 432 of whom a substantial number rejoined during the next few days.

The final figures of missing for the two Para Bdes was 30 offrs and 628 ORs.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 6 Airborne Div: report on operations, 1944 June

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