Francis Cliffe Holdsworth, son of Alfred and Edith Holdsworth; husband of Mary Helen Holdsworth, of Bradford, Yorkshire, enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps and volunteered for Airborne forces.
Driver Holdsworth successfully completed his air despatcher training and was posted to 253 (Airborne) Divisional Composite Company, Royal Army Service Corps, and took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem).
The aircraft that Dvr Holdswroth was on board (RAF 295 Squadron, Stirling LK-170, base Harewell.) was hit by flak when returning from a re-supply mission at Arnhem and crashed in German held territory near the house of Mr F. B. van Rie, Eede W.35, municipality of Aardenburg at 15.50h. There were no survivors and only one unidentifiable soldier could be recovered from the wreckage (probably a despatcher), along with the RAF Air Gunner.
Eye-witnesses of the recovery of the wreckage in 1945 confirmed that the aircraft crashed nose first, and the fuselage, with the exception of the tail section, was completely compressed and destroyed. (Roll of Honour, Battle of Arnhem, 5th revised edition, 2011). The other remains were declared unrecoverable due to the total destruction.
Dvr Holdsworth was killed in action on 19 September 1944, aged 33, and is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial to the missing.
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By Rod GibsonRead More