Private John Aldred, son of James and Susannah Aldred, of Farnworth, Lancashire. He served with 13th (South Lancs) Parachute Battalion.
Leaving the UK from RAF Brize Norton, he took part in the glider insertion to Normandy during Op Overlord onboard a Horsa carrying a 13th Parachute Battalion jeep and trailer, motorcycle and five soldiers.
The glider, flown by S/Sgt Colin Hopgood with Sgt Daniel Phillips (Horsa CN35, Glider 133 - towed by an Albermarle Mk No. 1823 from 297 Squadron RAF), crash landed at Saint Vaast En Auge on the 6th June 1944. The glider should have landed at Ranville (12 miles S/E), but the tow rope broke when the plane reached the French coast, probably due to the anti-aircraft Flak. The glider crashed into trees, killing the two pilots.
Three passengers, Cpt Daisley, Pte Aldred (his batman) and Sigmn Davis (a despatch rider) died in the crash. The remaining two Airborne soldiers were later found sheltering in a washhouse near the crash site. They were fed by a villager for two days, before being captured trying to escape to Allied lines.
Private Aldred died on 6 June 1944, aged 24 years old. He is now buried at St Vaast-en-Auge Churchyard, Normandy.
Profile created with assistance from Phil Jennett, from original research reproduced by kind permission of Ludovic Louis: Les Parachutistes de Saint Vaast En AugeRead More