Private Henry J Philpotts

18 Sep 1944

Private Henry John Philpotts joined Parachute Regiment from 23 Infantry Training Corps (ITC), Worcester Regiment, and became part of 156th Parachute Battalion. By late 1944, he was part of a Medium Machine Gun (MMG) Platoon when he took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden.

18 members of Medium Machine Gun Platoon of 'S-Coy' of the 156th Battalion were killed as they travelled to Arnhem as part of the Second Lift, on 18 September 1944. Their C-47 Dakota, 43-15180 (Chalk No 619) of USAAF 314 Transport Command Group, was hit by German Flak and crashed beside the Bonegraafseweg at Ochten (about 20kms southwest of Oosterbeek) having taken off from RAF Saltby. 
One of five aircraft transporting troops of 4th Parachute Brigade hit by flak at around 13:45 hours, and transporting half of the Battalion machine gun platoon, the port engine and fuel tank was hit, sending the plane down in flames.  Despite the pilot, Leonard Ottaway attempting to crash-land, the undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft became engulfed in burning fuel, eventually exploding.
Private Philpotts died on 18 September 1944, aged 19 years old. He was originally buried with all other casualties from this incident near to the crashed aircraft by locals from Ochten and Eldik, then later reinterred in Jonkerbos War Cemetery near Nijmegen. Due to the fact that they could not be individually identified, the headstones bear the incription 'buried near this spot'.

Compiled with reference to 156 Parachute Battalion: From Delhi to Arnhem (2009) by John O'Reilly.

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Service History

  • Date not known
    23 Infantry Training Corps (ITC), Worcester Regiment (Private)
  • Date not known
Henry J Philpotts

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