Gunners/Market Garden/Overlord

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Standfast, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Any experts put me straight out there?
    I know that Gunners (RA) were amongst the Glider borne Troops in Operations Market Garden & Overlord. Did any of them actually parachute in such as the OP Parties etc.

    Also, wowuld they have worn parachute wings on their smocks in the normal place or would they have worn the 'Light Bulb' type badge on their lower forearm? Or did that differ from unit to unit?

    AAAAANNNDD......Did any members of the RHA jump in or land in Gliders on these operations?

    Ta in advance.
     
  2. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    10 - 15 years ago I read an autobiography by an FOO or his driver. I remember that he claimed to have watched the whole Marken Garden catastrophe unfold as he watched from on OP on a low hill to the north of Arnhem, having infiltrated through the German lines. I can remember very little about it. I suspect they drove a Jeep off the back of a glider and headed for the high ground.

    Seem to recall it took them a week or more to exfiltrate but like I say, the details are all gone from my memory.
     
  3. Foo's did jump in with their affiliated battalions. This book will answer most of your questions and is a cracking read. Got mine from Airborne Forces Museum (Hartenstein Hotel) in Arnhem but it's available on Amazon.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 6th Airborne Division, Normandy.

    In Normandy the FOO of 53 (Worcestshire Yeomanry) Air landing Regiment RA were attached to each of the infantry battalion of the three brigades. Some were parachute trained and jumped in with the units. From the few photos I have seen they wore the parachute wings rather than the “light bulb”.

    There were also 6 FOB teams attached to the two parachute brigades. The RA officers wore the parachute wings on their BD along with the Combined Operations badge. The Naval Telegraphists who where part of each team wore the parachute wings and the maroon beret with Parachute Regiment badge.

    Couple of books you might want to look out for are “Dropzone Normandy” and “Go to it”. FOO/FOB mentioned in them. “Go to it” covers the 6th Airborne Div in detail.

    Believe the book mentioned by AlienFTM is called “Guns Have Eyes”.

    Regards
     
  5. Alien, Crimp off & Jack, thanks for your input fellas.
    I do have most of the books mentioned except 'Guns Have Eyes'.
    Although these books do have hundreds of quality pics, I have only ever seen one pic of a Gunner during WW2 wearing wings (not an officer) and that was hanging in the Airborne Forces Museum in the Shot. And that was a group photo of about Battery strength.

    Looks like no RHA jumped, unless specially attached to one of the documented units.
     
  6. 1 st Airlanding light Regiment Royal Artillary, 1st Airborne Division fought at Arnhem, based in Boston Lincolnshire prior to the op they arrived by glider carrying their 75mm pack howitzers, The majority were not parachute trained but wore the maroon beret of airborne forces and other airborne kit like the denison smock. Some great books have been written about the Regiment and Arnhem.

    Cheers,

    Tim.
     
  7. Lt.Col "Sheriff" Thompson was the senior gunner at Arnhem. when the 1 Para brigade began retreating from the town to the Oosterbeek Perimeter he was responsible for putting together a scratch force to hold that sector.

    Much later he was the military attaché to South Vietnam, where he impressed the hacks by turning up at all the major fighting in his car with a shooting stick to sit on.