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Index Pegasus Bridge

Just after after midnight on 6th June 1944, 181 airborne troops were released in six gliders over the Orne Estuary. By a superb feat of navigation and night flying five landed adjacent or near to the Orne River and Canal bridges. ‘Pegasus Bridge’ as the latter came to be called was the first British objective to be captured on D-Day.

Major John Howard’s six platoons from D Company the ‘Ox and Bucks’ Light Infantry supported by Royal Engineer detachments captured the bridges after a 15- minute short skirmish. Total surprise was achieved. Later reinforced by soldiers from 7 PARA the bridge was held, despite repeated counter-attacks by German tanks and infantry. Enemy reinforcements now faced a six-hour detour through Caen in order to cross the river to engage the Invasion bridgehead.

Detailed planning, harsh and aggressive training and precision flying produced one of the outstanding glider coup de main operations of the Second World War.

 

Units Engaged:

D Company 2nd Battalion ‘Ox and Bucks’ Light Infantry.
Elements of B Company.
RE attachments from 249 Forward Company RE.
Pilots from the Glider Pilot Regiment.
by Paradata Editor

S/Sgt Jim Wallwork DFM, pilot of the first glider to land at Pegasus Bridge, recounts his personal story

Read the account of Staff Sergeant Wallwork, Glider Pilot Regiment, who landed the first glider to reach Pegasus Bridge, recalling the training in Spring 1944 through to his recollections of the operation itself on the night of 5/6th June 1944.

Find out more about S/Sgt Jim Wallwork DFM, pilot of the first glider to land at Pegasus Bridge, recounts his personal story

Compiled and reproduced by kind permission of Jim Wallwork DFM, with thanks to Keith Petvin-Scudamore of www.britisharmedforces.org


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