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A picture for PEGASUS BRIDGE

'Dashing young Blade' Her Majesty The Queen Mother said of Richard Todd OBE.

PEGASUS BRIDGE From Wikepedia.
On the night of 5 June 1944, a force of 181 men, led by Major John Howard, took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, southern England in six Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus Bridge, and also "Horsa Bridge", a few hundred yards to the east, over the Orne River. The force was composed of D Company (reinforced with two platoons of B company), 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry; 20 sappers, 249 Fd Co. (Airborne); and men of the Glider Pilot Regiment. The object of this action was to prevent German armour from crossing the bridges and attacking the eastern flank of the landings at Sword Beach. Five of the Ox and Bucks's gliders landed as close as 47 yards from their objectives from 16 minutes past midnight. The attackers poured out of their battered gliders, completely surprising the German defenders, and took the bridges within 10 minutes. They lost two men in the process, Lieutenant Den Brotheridge and Lance- Corporal Fred Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh drowned in a nearby pond when his glider landed. Lieutenant Brotheridge was killed crossing the bridge in the first minutes of the assault and thus became the first member of the invading Allied armies to die as a result of enemy fire on D-Day. One glider, assigned to the capture of the river bridge, landed at the bridge over the River Dives, some 7 miles off. Most of the soldiers in this glider moved through German lines towards the village of Ranville where they eventually re-joined the British forces. The Ox & Bucks were reinforced half-an-hour after the landings by Major Pine-Coffin's 7th Parachute Battalion, and linked up with the beach landing forces with the arrival of Lord Lovat's Commandos.

One of the members of the 7th Battalion reinforcements was young actor Richard Todd OBE,who would, nearly two decades later, play Major Howard in the film The Longest Day.He like my brother and many others enlisted in KOYLI. Whilst Todd transferred to 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion as part of the British 6th Airborne Division, My brother joined 6th Battalion The Ox and Bucks Regiment so fought his war in Burma,and being at the right place at the right time, was honoured with an MC., as too in Italy was our cousin in the North Irish Horse. That wasn't the way Lady Astor saw the war scenario. She seemingly thought the 'D.Day Dodgers accursed that seemingly lay abed that day.


contact : John B. Pope