Airborne Assault on Holland: An Interim Report (Wings at War by Center for Air Force History (U.S.)

By Center for Air Force History (U.S.)

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At a point where the British spearhead went deepest into enemy territory our aircraft bore north and continued at 1,500 feet. Orange smoke was observed marking the front line, and the two ships speeded to i8o m. p. h. Very heavy antiaircraft fire was received and at 1232, in the vicinity of Patie, Belgium, the plane carrying team 2, hit badly in the left engine and wing tank, fell flaming into a steep dive. Four 'chutes were seen to leave the door before the plane crashed, exploding in a sheet of flame.

20 Sorties by Thunderbolts of USAAF ....................... 83 Total air sorties ................................... 251 German Air Force Reaction to the Airborne Landings Just as the GAF failed to meet the challenge of the Normandy invasion, so it made a miserable showing against the Netherlands air35 borne assault. Strained by aircraft and fuel shortages, forced to bring planes from inconveniently distant points, harried by commitments in other sectors, the Luftwaffe could not mount the furious defensive effort called for by so ominous a development.

The success of the airborne operations testifies to his sound judgment. Glider Phase of the Operation Considering the number of personnel carried, the tonnage of supplies landed, and the amount of equipment transported to the batde area, the glider phase was a success. This success was largely attributable to the careful planning of FAAA and IX TCC. Immediately upon landing, glider pilots reported to the nearest United States command post. As soon as circumstances permitted, they were evacuated under orders of the command post to Headquarters ioist Airborne Division or Headquarters 82d Airborne Division for further air evacuation to the United Kingdom.

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