The Drop of a Canadian Stick
This was probably one of the first event of the night.
The plane carried 18 paras of The Headquarters Company of the 1st Canadian Para Battalion.
The following account was given by Sgt Douglas BROWN :
“As I remember those tense hours, the plane with our stick of 18 aboard was hit by antiaircraft fireand started to go down. The pilot, an Australian, kept the plane level. I was No. 17 to jump and George LA CROIX was somewhere ahead of me. As I jumped, the portengine was on fire and I estimate the plane was only about 300 feet above the ground. The battalion intelligence sergeant was No.18 behind me. I never saw him again.
Our group was widely scattered and I was alone on the ground, completely lost. After a while, I heard some movement nearby, which turned out to be LA CROIX. Some 20 minutes later, we came upon Sergeant Major HALL. We had jumped at about 01.00, and the time was about 02.30. Obviously we were we were some distance from the invasion front as we could not hear or see any military action, no building or habitation.”
What is written next is possible but not sure.
At about 02.45 the Horsa CN35 crash landed in woods, and possibly the 3 Canadians saw the crash. They rushed to the site and discovered the two pilots were dead (and very probably the passengers as well). They moved on and met 4 Brits of the other glider, the Hamilcar CN501.
The follow-up of this, is on the page of the landing of the Hamilcar CN501, ‘The Bag of Bagdad’.
C.S.M. L.B. HALL Sgt G. LA CROIX Sgt D.BROWN
(Pictures taken in January 1944)