Glider pilot in the 72nd Squadron of the 434th Troop Carrier Group
For Operation Market Garden I was amongst the first gliders to land near Son in Holland. Once more did we carry soldiers of the 101st into battle. We landed on September 17. Our landing, which was around midday, was successful. After the landing we took up positions to wait for the English tanks. The first night me and some other Glider pilots from our group spent in the bomb shelter of a farmer near Son. As I recall the family had their shelter in barn area, they were like us aware of air raids near Son. I remember the father had a hand operated flash light that he pumped by hand to get some light. The Dutch called this type of flashlight a "Knijpkat". We stayed there for about 2 hours as I recall, then moved on toward Son to check out the damage and etc.
Our combat training both in US and in England was mostly concentrated on individual use of arms, and survival training behind lines. We were to aid troopers if needed as to ground action, we were never trained to fight as a single unit since our landings together were often scattered at best
Our early landing was without to much trouble The later flights had strong enemy fire and losses were heavy on later flights. The weather was poor on the later missions and several resupply missions were cancelled.
Great books about WWII Troop Carrier Command:
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