The liberation of France, Belgium and Holland through the eyes of a young British soldier
Jack Oakley, a soldier of the 49th (West Riding) Division kept a diary in 1944 - 45. You can now follow this diary day by day 70 years after it was written. See the site. Or follow facebook.

Charles Hogan

907th GFA Bn. 101st ABN Div

Pvt. Charles Hogan had climbed into his Glider on the morning of the eighteenth of September, just like Bob Salley. Charles Hogan was flying in a glider with three other soldiers. The other soldiers were Pvt. Paul Smolinski, Pvt. Hardin Workman and the pilot, flight officer, William Aucissh. There was no co-pilot on board, one of the other soldiers had received a brief course in landing a glider, but we weren't looking forward to depend on that. The glider contained a jeep, gasoline, ammunition and small arms.

Charles "Bill" Hogan

Charles in his old uniform at his home in the USA in 1996. Photo: Charles Hogan

Charles says: "Once we came over the English Channel, we flew into very heavy fog. At one point the gliderpilot couldn't see the towplane any more. He then decided that the chances of hitting another glider of plane became to great in this situation, so he cut the glider loose. The towplane then send out a signal to the Air Sea Rescue Unit of the British Navy. Meanwhile our glider went down and the pilot made a crash landing in the Channel. All three other occupants of the glider where injured when the glider hit the surface of the water. I was not injured and was able to cut a hole in the roof of the glider and lift myself on top of the glider. Once I was on the wing, I could see the heads of the others bumping the top fabric of the glider. I cut holes for all of them and managed to pull all three of them on the wings. The glider was constructed of wood and fabrice and it did float for about two, two and a half hours. The Air Sea Rescue Unit managed to find us before the glider was swallowed by the water and so we all returned to England safely. A few days later I would make my way succesfully to Holland."

Charles Hogan's glider wasn't the only one that had problems with the heavy fog. Some towplanes and gliders got lost in the fog and eventually landed back in England and a total of 17 gliders landed in the Channel. Only half of the guns that the 101st needed actually arrived at the dropzones.

Bill died on April 23, 2008 in Bethany, Missouri

Paris 1945

Charles and fellow soldiers visiting Paris while on leave after the battle.


Charles took this picture while the crew was sitting on the wing of the glider waiting for the rescue boat to arrive.

Planning your trip to Arnhem, Nijmegen, Eindhoven for the 70th Market Garden commemoration? Bring the battlefield guide.


Lekker winkelen zonder zorgen - Gratis verzending en retour
Website concerning the Allied fooddrop missions over Holland in 1945

Also take a look at my website about the Normandy invasion in 1944