6th Airborne Division - 22nd Independent Parachute Company - War Diaries
5th June 1944
1200 - Final briefing of all ranks for Operation 'OVERLORD'.
1800 - All offrs attended final briefing of RAF crews.
2300 - Two sticks commanded by Maj F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD, 2IC Lt M. MOORE, Capt I.A. TAIT ) emplaned and took off at BRIZE NORTON airfd in ALBEMARLE a/cs. Four sticks commanded by Lt R.E.V. de LATOUR, Lt D.C.E. WELLS, Lt. R. MIDWOOD, Lt. J. VISCHER ) emplaned and took off at HARWELL airfd in ALBEMARLE a/cs.
2330 - One stick commanded by No.910946 Sgt. HULME, W. emplaned and took off from KEEVIL airfd in STIRLING a/c.
6th June 1944
0020 - The following pathfinder sticks were dropped on the following DZs in NORMANDY, France EAST of the R. ORNE.
(i) DZ "V" ref map. 1776
Two sticks commanded by Lt. R.E.V. de LATOUR and Lt. D.C.E. WELLS. One OR No.319425 Pte. DEAKIN received jumping injury (broken leg) on landing and was later evacuated.
0035 - One "EUREKA" set up on DZ coding channels "C/A".
0040 - 'T' set out on ground using holophane lights and coding letter 'V'. One OR wounded No.1100814 Pte. CHRISTIE, P. and later evacuated.
Comment on Drop: Sticks dropped well over DZ by RAF. Stick assembly slowed up by:
(a) extra heavy load carried on men, taking up extra space in a/c and resulting in cramped positions when running in.
(b) dykes filled with water on extremities of DZ.
(c) noise and confusion created by RAF bombing of enemy battery posn at SALLENELLES refmap. 1376.
Some kitbags broke away under the shock of the chute developing and were lost. Of the four 'EUREKAS' dropped on this DZ three were retained intact, the fourth was put out of action by the drop and detonated on the DZ.
0145 - Both sticks assemble at 9 Para Bn RV wood refmap 168757 with A coy 9 Para Bn to set out lights and 'EUREKA' for glider landing on enemy battery posn refmap 1577.
0405 - 'EUREKA' switched on, channels C/A immediately east of battery posn.
0415 - Seven holophane lights set out on ground marking 'T', coding letter "A".
0600 - Sticks moved off to company conc area LE BAS RANVILLE refmap 1073, contacted 9 Para Bn in area LE PLEIN refmap 1275, assisted in giving covering fire for Commando attack on AMFREVILLE refmap 1274. No.3663154 L cpl HOWARTH, L. killed by enemy action.
2000 - Both sticks reported in to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
(ii) DZ 'N' ref map 1174
Two stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT and Lt. M. MOORE dropped on SE corner of DZ.
0023 - Major F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD made premature and accidental exit from a/c SE of DZ ref map Eastings 15-20 Northings 70-75. Major F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD has not been seen since and is reported missing.
0020 - One stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER dropped across SE corner of DZ. This stick should have dropped on DZ 'K' refmap 1269 but owing to navigational area by RAF crew the stick was released over DZ 'N'.
0035 - Stick under Lt. J. VISCHER assembled on DZ contacted part of Capt. I.A. TAIT's stick and set up 'EUREKA' beacon and 'T' of 5 lights. 'EUREKA' switched on to channels D/C, holophane lamp coding letter 'K'.
0130 - All three sticks assembled at Xroads refmap 125740 under Capt. I.A. TAIT with exception of Maj. F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD and one OR (No.14416184 Pte. NEWTON, R. who rejoined the company two days later).
Comment on Drop: All three sticks were dropped somewhat off the DZ across the SE corner. Sticks were slow. This was due to heavy loads and cramped spacing in the a/c. Stick assembly on the ground consequently took longer than intended. A number of kitbags broke loose during the drop and were lost. No jumping injuries were sustained by any of the three sticks. No 'EUREKAS' were compromised on this DZ but three were damaged by the drop.
0350 - Marking of LZ 'N' for night glider landing - Div HQ tps - under Capt. I.A. TAIT. Three sticks commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT, Lt. J. VISCHER, Lt. M. MOORE set out lights on three separate landing strips. Two 'EUREKAS' were set up.
Comment on Landing: Successful landing was made by most gliders, some overshooting the lights. It was later reported that the lights were clearly visible.
0700 - The party made its way to company conc area near Div HQ at LE BAS RANVILLE.
0020 - (iii) DZ 'K' refmap 1269
One stick commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD dropped on DZ.
0035 - One 'EUREKA' set up coding channels D/C, one holophane lamp coding letter 'K'. Five of the stick failed to report to stick RV. Four of these have not been seen since and are reported missing (No.3654430 L sjt BOARDMAN, A., No.14001912 L cpl STOODLEY, R., No.5124865 Pte. NAUGHTON, L cpl HACKMAN, R.) No.1435752 L cpl. O'SULLIVAN, E.D. killed by enemy action on DZ.
0130 - Remainder of stick assembled under Lt. R. MIDWOOD at 8 Para Bn RV, Road and track junc refmap 132690. A thorough search of DZ was carried out.
0530 - Remainder of stick moved off under Lt. R. MIDWOOD to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
1230 - Lt. R. MIDWOOD and four ORs reported to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
Comment on Drop: Slow stick on account of heavy loads. Stick came under heavy fire almost immediately after landing. One 'EUREKA' carried by L sjt BOARDMAN is missing and must be considered as probably compromised. This DZ has been in the hands of the enemy ever since D-Day. It has therefore not been possible to establish the exact fate of this 'EUREKA'. Search of the DZ is at present impossible. Owing to enemy opposition one 'EUREKA' was abandoned on the DZ after being detonated.
0100 - One stick of twenty men commanded by Sjt HULME dropped with the mainbody on DZ 'N'. Three ORs sustained jumping injuries (No.1305139 Pte. KING, R. - fractured leg, No.3663662 Pte. STEPHENS, J. - fractured leg, No.14408455 Pte. ALLCOCK, H. - twisted ankle.) and were later evacuated.
0130 - The stick assembled at xroads refmap 125740 and reported to Capt I.A. TAIT.
2130 - Daylight glider landing on LZ 'N'. Ground aids set up by one stick commanded by Capt I.A. TAIT.
Daylight glider landing on LZ 'W'. Ground aids set up by one stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER.
Comment on Landings: Both landings were highly successful.
2200 - Lt. DCE WELLS wounded by mortar fire in area LE BAS RANVILLE and evacuated.
2330 - Nightsupply drop on SDZ 'N' SDZ marking carried out by one stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT. Lt. R.E.V. de LATOUR re-promoted temporary Capt.
7th June 1944
0200 - Nightsupply drop on SDZ 'N' SDZ marking carried out by one stick commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD. Capt. REV de LATOUR appointed LO to 1 SS Bde.
1200 - One section commanded by Lt. M. MOORE sent to reinforce forward company position of 12 Para Bn area refmap 105730. Remainder of company man defensive positions Div HQ area against an attempt by the enemy to break through. No.833785 L cpl. Glenn, F. killed in action, area LE BAS RANVILLE. Enemy sniping, mortaring and shelling of LE BAS RANVILLE area throughout the day.
8th June 1944
2100 - Daylight Supply Drop on SDZ 'N' Ground aids set out by one stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT. DZ was mortared and shelled by enemy immediately following the drop. One Platoon commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD took up positions East of DZ in order to cover DZ.
0530 - Daylight supply drop on SDZ 'N' Ground aids set out by one stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER.