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missile-monkey

British Dakota Information. Help....

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A very good friend and I are off to Normandy in early June and Arnhem in September this year for the 75th anniversaries. 

 

He is mad on all things British airborne, paratroops, Glider Pilot Regiment and air landing troops with a particular interest in the Pegasus Bridge job and Operation Market. What he is not so hot on is modelling. He says he as two left hands with four thumbs and one finger on each ! ! I would like to build for him a Dakota and Horsa combo in 1/72 scale.

 

I know very little about WW2 aviation other than recognition of the most common and prolific types. I am also aware of the flaws in the Italeri Horsa, however I could do with some help and advice. My queries at the moment and in no particular order are:

 

Did British Dakotas ever tow the Horsa? or were they towed by the likes of the Stirling and Halifax. I know for the Pegasus bridge Op the three gliders were towed by Halifax which went on to bomb (not very successfully) a target in Caen.

 

Was there ever a time either during D Day or Operation Market when British Dakotas towed the Horsa. Would it be historically accurate to build a British Dakota towing a Horsa. 

 

Am I right in saying that the majority of British paras that were dropped at Arnhem jumped from US aircraft and that British Dakotas dropped only supplies? If so why was this?

 

Am I right is saying that the majority of British Dakotas were delivered in and flew in US colour schemes? 

 

What is the best as in most accurate 1/ 72nd scale kits for the Dakota, Stirling and Halifax.

 

Any information would be really appreciated.

 

Regards

 

MM.......

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RAF Dakotas towing Horsa on D-day? Yes, a quick search showed that the Dakotas of 48 and 271 Sqns at Down Ampney dropped paras and towed Horsas.

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RAF Dakota`s did tow Horsa`s during D-Day, Arnhem & the Rhine crossing,....... on D-Day RAF Dakota`s dropped British paratroopers but at Arnhem the USAAF did the job, apart from the Pathfinders who jumped from Stirling`s. 

The best kit is the Airfix kit,...... then just find a photo of the subject that you want. Italeri did a Dakota with RAF D-Day markings and the kit used was the old Esci kit which was the best one available before the Airfix kit turned up. 

Italeri have a kit for the Airborne Forces MkIV,..... that is the best to go for,......... The Revell Merlin engined Halifax can be built as a glider tug,....it has the Mk.V undercariage, glider towing brace and parachute exit in the belly,...... however the engine nacelles are rubbish and the 4 bladed propellers are not accurate either. Freightdog Models have a pretty decent correction set for the engines,.....which is simple to use.

 

I jumped into Arnhem in 1988 for the anniversary and I`m very jealous of your trips this year,.......... you will be amazed by the kids in the cemetery in Oosterbeek on the Sunday,..... what they do is heart rending but beautiful!!

 

All the best

                  Tony

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271 Squadron ps for Market KG444 flown by Jimmy Edwards was later awarded a DFC  for a forced landing after being attacked by a FW190. He had several injured crew who were to bad to bake out. His facial injuries led to to wear a handlebar moustache and was part of the Guinea Pig club in pioneering plastic surgery.  He later became a TV comic actor

 

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/war_271sqn.htm

 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Edwards

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Overhaulin said:

271 Squadron ps for Market KG444 flown by Jimmy Edwards was later awarded a DFC  for a forced landing after being attacked by a FW190. He had several injured crew who were to bad to bake out. His facial injuries led to to wear a handlebar moustache and was part of the Guinea Pig club in pioneering plastic surgery.  He later became a TV comic actor

 

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/war_271sqn.htm

 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Edwards

 

 

 

Here is info that I found out while researching Jimmy a while ago for a facebook post I made;

During WW2 comedian Jimmy Edwards served as a Flight Lieutenant flying Dakota`s with No. 271 Squadron RAF He took part in the D-Day landings and at Arnhem his Dakota (KG444, named ""The Pie-Eyed Piper of Barnes" after his birthplace Barnes) was shot down resulting in facial injuries requiring plastic surgery, which he disguised with a huge handlebar moustache that became his trademark. Accordingly he was also a member of the Guinea Pig Club and he was awarded the DFC, the circumstances being " while returning from his fourth mission as part of Operation Market Garden his aircraft was hit and he gave the order to bale out. When he went to jump he found some of his crew were injured and unable to jump so he returned to the controls and landed the aircraft in a wood, A brave and funny man.

Cheers,

          Tony

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Gentlemen,

 

Thank you for the information.  Tony, I bet jumping into Arnhem must have been awesome. We plan on following the route taken by 30 Corps up to Arnhem and of course stopping off at Oosterbeek cremetery to pay our respects.

 

Overhaulin, thank you for the links. Very informative. How do you guys find this information?

 

Regards

 

MM

 

 

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On 5/19/2019 at 6:54 AM, tonyot said:

Italeri did a Dakota with RAF D-Day markings and the kit used was the old Esci kit which was the best one available before the Airfix kit turned up. 

There are two Italeri kits available: 

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/italeri-127-c-47-skytrain--136110 -- which is Italeri own development and is better to avoid (it's not that bad but there are much better options).

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/italeri-1338-dakota-mkiii--185561 -- this one is based of ESCI one and can compete with the Airfix kit even when next to each other. The decal options on this kit are quite nice as well: you have RAF "D Day" Dakota as well as the USAF Skytrain which has a nice history on it's own: http://redhandsmodels.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post.html (Too bad it was scrapped instead of being preserved in some museum)

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2019 at 6:01 PM, missile-monkey said:

.  Tony, I bet jumping into Arnhem must have been awesome. We plan on following the route taken by 30 Corps up to Arnhem and of course stopping off at Oosterbeek cremetery to pay our respects.

Regards

MM

Oh it was mate,.....one of the highlights of my career,......a boyhood dream. I would have loved to have done it from a Dakota,..... but the Herk was good,..... apart from the pilots putting on an airshow or the crowd first and making us all sick in the back! I was number one in the door and saw the bridge in the distance as we ran in,....in between retching!!  The cemetery at Oosterbeek is a strange place, deeply sad,....but also uplifting due to the fact that they are all buried together and the Dutch treat them as their own,..... the children lay flowers and at Christmas the Dutch put a candle on each headstone,...... they are heroes and treated as such,...it is hallowed ground for any British paratrooper.

I was hoping to go to Arnhem this year for a reunion with the lads and to pay our respects,.... but I cannot make it,...... I do hope that you have a fantastic time, the Dutch people will treat you as if you were one of the people who helped liberate them,.. they are awesome!!

All the best

                  Tony   

Edited by tonyot

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On 19/05/2019 at 12:54, tonyot said:

 

I jumped into Arnhem in 1988 for the anniversary and I`m very jealous of your trips this year,.......... you will be amazed by the kids in the cemetery in Oosterbeek on the Sunday,..... what they do is heart rending but beautiful!!

 

All the best

                  Tony

Wow!

 

I must have watched you, Tony ... I went to Arnhem on that occasion courtesy of the late and (by me at any rate) much missed Friends of Duxford.  We stayed in Eindhoven so had to drive along the ‘Devil’s Highway’  to Arnhem for the Para. drops, etc. Most moving to see so many ‘chutes, especially some of the veterans, some in their 80s, dropping,  Elsewhere you mention the Osterbeek Cemetery.  Yes, very moving. On the way to Arnhem we stopped by a smaller Cemetery - to my shame I cannot remember where it is - so very quiet and peaceful.  Imagine a coach load of Brits walking among the graves, not a dry eye in sight.

 

I’d been to Arnhem years before, with my Dad.  I’m sure there were some German graves just the other side of a hedge in the main Cemetery.  I couldn’t see them in 1988.  I can’t decide if my schoolboy memories are at fault or they’ve been moved.

 

Oh .. at the hotel in Eindhoven there were som American veterans with their wives.  I was In the bar one evening enjoying a quiet drink when I overheard what some were saying.  I realised at least some of them were ‘Band of Brothers’!

 

Apologies for interrupting your ‘thread’, Missile-Monkey ... Yes, as Tony said, the Dutch are something else, especially the school children who care for the graves and leave flowers.

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Xtradecals do a series of 172 decals dedicated to D-day

 

Incidentally did the RAF Dakotas add flame damping exhausts instead of the usual exhausts?  See Xtradecal sheet for multi-engined aircraft

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1 hour ago, Jonny said:

Wow!

 

I must have watched you, Tony ... I went to Arnhem on that occasion courtesy of the late and (by me at any rate) much missed Friends of Duxford.  We stayed in Eindhoven so had to drive along the ‘Devil’s Highway’  to Arnhem for the Para. drops, etc. Most moving to see so many ‘chutes, especially some of the veterans, some in their 80s, dropping,  Elsewhere you mention the Osterbeek Cemetery.  Yes, very moving. On the way to Arnhem we stopped by a smaller Cemetery - to my shame I cannot remember where it is - so very quiet and peaceful.  Imagine a coach load of Brits walking among the graves, not a dry eye in sight.

 

I’d been to Arnhem years before, with my Dad.  I’m sure there were some German graves just the other side of a hedge in the main Cemetery.  I couldn’t see them in 1988.  I can’t decide if my schoolboy memories are at fault or they’ve been moved.

 

Oh .. at the hotel in Eindhoven there were som American veterans with their wives.  I was In the bar one evening enjoying a quiet drink when I overheard what some were saying.  I realised at least some of them were ‘Band of Brothers’!

 

Apologies for interrupting your ‘thread’, Missile-Monkey ... Yes, as Tony said, the Dutch are something else, especially the school children who care for the graves and leave flowers.

Jonny,

 

You didn't interrupt my thread. You added to it. The more information we share about those times with each other the less likely it will happen again.....One hopes...

 

As a side note in preparation for my visit to Normandy in June I have just read Pegasus Bridge by Stephen Ambrose. What a job D Coy Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry did.  A marvelous piece of flying by the Glider pilots and then some very brave soldiers taking and holding the bridge.

 

It was almost criminal IMHO to put them back in the line as ordinary line infantry after the battle instead of returning them home for future airborne operations. I do understand that manpower was a particular problem for the British Army in Normandy but still?

 

Ambrose does make a very good point in the book. What if the likes of D Coy and other glider troops had gone in first to take and hold the bridges at Eindhoven and Nijmegen like they did in Normandy instead of paratroops which landed all over the place and took time to organize. Would Market Garden had ended differently?  I don't know. Like I said at the beginning I don't know enough about WW2 history to make a determination.

 

Regards

 

MM

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2019 at 10:34 AM, missile-monkey said:

Ambrose does make a very good point in the book. What if the likes of D Coy and other glider troops had gone in first to take and hold the bridges at Eindhoven and Nijmegen like they did in Normandy instead of paratroops which landed all over the place and took time to organize. Would Market Garden had ended differently?  I don't know. Like I said at the beginning I don't know enough about WW2 history to make a determination.

 

Regards

 

MM

Hiya MM,

                6th Airborne Div took huge casualties in the fighting in Normandy but you have to remember that once on the ground,....you are a soldier,.....getting there by air is just another form of transport,..... every soldier was needed and 6th Airborne fought like hell,....... 1st Airborne Div was in reserve for any further airborne ops. In the same way, after the Rhine Crossing 6th Airborne Div fought right up to the Elbe,... and of course they also fought in the Ardennes in between, being rushed back to the continent from the UK.

 

As for Market Garden,..... 1st Airborne Div did request a coup de main glider landing for the Rhine bridges,..... but the RAF refused,..... using the excuse of flak and boggy ground,...... it seems that they were caught up with the `old men on bicycles' myth! 6th Airborne Armoured Recce unit offered to send some of its Tetrarch tanks to make a dash for the bridge but they were refused,..... the jeep borne 1st Airborne Recce was declared adequate for the long dash,..... and were ambushed en route. The transport force had come under the command of USAAF Gen Brereton and he was quite conservative, ...... coup de main forces for each of the major bridges may have made all the difference.

 

Around 50 or so gliders were also taken up by Gen. Browning`s Tac. HQ on day 1,....... which landed near to Eindehoven and once in place did almost nothing,........ these gliders could have been better employed as a coup de main force,........ using soldiers from each of the three Airborne Divs. 

 

Cheers

           Tony

       

Edited by tonyot

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Posted (edited)

Hi Tony,

 

 I didn't know any of this thanks for the info. I totally get what you are saying about airborne soldiers being just that...soldiers and how the glider (in the case of D Day) was just an instrument in getting the soldiers to the fighting. I heard much the same from Royal Marines about my Wessex and Sea King helicopters during the Falklands and in Northern Ireland. However I still can't help thinking it was a waste. It's akin to spending thousands and thousands of pounds and years and years training a heart or brain surgeon then asking him/her to look after a 1st aid tent at a village fete.

 

It would seem that by the time of Market garden the hierarchy in the British military had forgotten everything they had learned whilst planning and executing during D Day.  I also heard that the decision to jump during daylight was made by Lieutenant General Brereton (Commander of the allied airborne army) as a result of the American experiences when jumping at night on D day. 

 

I'm starting to get into the war in North West Europe and have begun to research and read about the campaign especially in the battle for Normandy.

 

Thanks again for your info.

 

Regards

 

MM  

Edited by missile-monkey
Fat Fingers little keyboard

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MissileMonkey ...

 

I’m reading Antony Beevor’s “Arnhem” book.  As is his D-Day book, it appears very well researched.  Regarding the Arnhem book, his account matches Tony’s (I gather the proposal to try coup de main attacks on the Nijmegen and Arnhem bridges was vetoed by Major General Paul L. Williams) comments - there are some  inor differences, e.g. the number of gliders allocated to transporting Browning’s HQ,  which might have been better employed transporting fighting soldiers, and who vetoed what regarding the location of landings and drop zones.  It seems the decisions to drop paratroops (and gliders) so far from the objectives was largely decided by the US air troop command, because of the distance involved flying from England and the risk of interception by Luftwaffe fighters and flak batteries near the bridges.

 

So far, from Beevor’s book, it appears that planning of the whole operation was rushed.  That’s because Montgomery wanted to rush into the Ruhr and on to Berlin, the 1st Airborne had been readied for several operations, all cancelled at the last minute and the senior officers wanted Action.   Today it seems ridiculous that XXX Corps was expected to rush miles along a single highway, that paratroops were expected to msrch miles from their drop- and landing-zones to their prime objectives, and that intelligence regarding German positions,  umbers and capabilities seems to have been ignored.

 

I’m  no military expert, so have to inform myself from books by such as Antony Beevor and from visiting battlefields such as Arnhem and the D-Day beaches, Pegasus Bridge, and the like.    Sorry if this ruffle# feathers.  Not my intention, I assure you.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jonny,

 

You haven't ruffled my feathers. Like you I'm not a military expert, and also like you I do most of my learning from books, increasingly the internet and by speaking to other people. I'll add Beevor's  book to my list to read before my trip in September.

 

As a side note I have just started reading 'The Glider Soldiers' by Alan Wood. I'm at the part where he is describing the various units which made up the infantry element and how the Glider Pilot Regiment was formed and it's organisation. Absolutely fascinating.

 

All the best.

 

MM

Edited by missile-monkey

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Just back from Oosterbeek, with a bag full of books.

i started a drop too many by general Frost.

He   wrote about a bridge near Catania, called ponte di primosole.

It looked like a rehearsal of the bridge on the rhine to me.

 

joseph

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Back in the late 1980s, I worked behind the bar in a pub on the outskirts of Liss, in Hampshire...

....a couple of evenings a week, a quiet, unassuming man would sit in the corner nursing a pint...

....although there seemed something vaguely familiar about him, I couldn't put my finger on it...

....then one night, I discovered that 'Johnny' was no less than Major General John Frost himself...

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On 5/29/2019 at 8:26 PM, beppe said:

Just back from Oosterbeek, with a bag full of books.

i started a drop too many by general Frost.

He   wrote about a bridge near Catania, called ponte di primosole.

It looked like a rehearsal of the bridge on the rhine to me.

 

joseph

Joseph,

 

I saw a copy in my local library on Wednesday afternoon. I'm currently swotting up on D Day and the battle to break out of Normandy for my impending trip next week. I might get round to reading a Drop too many in the summer before my trip to Arnhem. Let me know what you think of it.

 

Regards

 

MM

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I'll do.
Enjoy Normandy, it'll be crowded.
I spent a few days Ouistreham and Arromanches, wonderful places.

 

Cheers,

Joseph

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