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Staff-Sergeant R. T. Jolliffe

6th Airborne Division - Glider Pilot Regiment - No.1 Wing - D Squadron

Sword Beach

 

We took off from base and crossed the French coast on track. We were struck several times by light flak in the fuselage, but the damage was negligible. We saw the green lights and cast off. I then handed over to my co-pilot - he had a better view of the landing strip. He took the glider to about 200 ft and after that we were both flying the machine at about 100 ft we struck an obstruction. The whole starboard side of the cock-pit was smashed. The pneumatic system was smashed and the starboard stick broken. We touched down about 80 miles an hour and being unable to stop the glider we crashed into the hedge.  

We were unable to get the tail off, and had to blow it off. We then went with our gun to a position at approx. ½ mile due East of RANVILLE. The day passed uneventfully, apart from spasmodic sniping and shell fire at 2100 hrs when the next gliders arrived. We came under heavy mortar fire, for about 30 mins, but this stopped and everything became quiet again.

(Source: Operation "Tonga" , Report)