Sergeant Herbert William Woodward was the son of Albert Joseph and Mary Ann Woodward, and the husband of Doris Woodward, of Wantage, Berkshire. He served with 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry during World War II.
Some of battalion were attached to the Defence Platoon of HQ 1st Airborne Division and in September 1944, Sgt Woodward acted as the Platoon Sergeant when he took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden. One of the few from 1st Airborne Division to escape from the battle, he remained with the Divisional Defence Platoon and in early May 1945, was amongst the troops sent to Norway as part of Op Doomsday to keep order and disarm the German forces in the region.
On 10 May 1945 Short Stirling, LK297, l9-G took off from RAF Great Dunmow at 0355 hours, bound for Gardermoen airfield in Norway. The aircraft crashed at Andtjernâsen, ten miles north of Oslo, plowed down the hillside and exploded. The weather conditions at the time were terrible, with thick fog and rain compounding problems created by the poor signal from the Eureka beacon at Gardermoen. The crash killed all on board, including the six crew members, Air Vice-Marshal J R Scarlett-Streatfield, and 17 members of the British 1st Airborne Division, who where being transported to Oslo as part of Operation Doomsday.
The aircraft was not found until 21 June 1945, when soon afterwards they where buried at Vestre Gravlund in Oslo. In 1995 a large memorial marker was raised at the crash site.
Sergeant Woodward died on 10 May 1945, aged 29 years old, and is now buried in a collective grave at Vestre Gravlund, Western Civil Cemetery, Oslo, Norway.
Compiled with assistance from Phil JennettRead More