PEGASUS BRIDGE MEMORIAL FLIGHT

 OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
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THE TAKING OF PEGASUS BRIDGE "Operation Deadstick" - D-Day 6th June 1944


"Your task is to seize INTACT the bridges,
and hold them until relief by 7 Para.
You must expect a counter attack anytime after one hour.
It is vital that the crossing places be held."

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The Pegasus Bridge Memorial Flight will commemorate the “Coup de Main” operation carried out by men of D & B. Companies, 2nd. Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who were air landed by Horsa Glider after being released from their Halifax tug aircraft on D-Day the 6th. June 1944 by 298 and 644 Squadron RAF. At 26 minutes past midnight the bridges over the Orne River and Caen Canal were secured and the message ‘Ham & Jam’ was sent to Combined Operations HQ. This daring operation protected the left flank of the main D-Day invasion.

Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. It was so crucial that, had it not been successful, then the entire Normandy invasion might have failed. They were air landed beside the bridges by soldiers of the Glider Pilot Regiment and supported by Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps & 7 Para liaison. Soon afterwards hundreds of soldiers of 7 Para were dropped to reinforce the Ox and Bucks and then Lord Lovats Commandos joined them after landing from the sea. The “Coup de Main” was led by Major John Howard, who had trained his troops for over 2 years for this one operation. The rest of course is history.

 298 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE  644 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE  GLIDER PILOT REGIMENT  ROYAL ENGINEERS  ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS  PARACHUTE REGIMENT
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"Operation Deadstick" - D-Day 6th Juin 1944

"Votre tâche est de saisir INTACT les ponts
Et les tenir jusqu'à ce que le soulagement par 7 Par
Vous devez vous attendre à une contre-attaque à tout moment après une heure
Il est vital que les lieux de passage soient tenus"

Le pont Pegasus commémorera l'opération "Coup de Main" menée par des hommes de D & B. Companies, 2e. Le Battalion Oxfordshire et l'Infanterie légère du Buckinghamshire, qui ont été débarqués par Horsa Glider après avoir été relâchés de leur Halifax remorqueur le 6 Juillet. Juin 1944 par 298 et 644 e Escadron RAF. 26 minutes après minuit, les ponts sur l'Orne et le canal de Caen ont été sécurisés et le message «Ham & Jam» a été envoyé au QG des opérations combinées.

Cette opération audacieuse a protégé le flanc gauche de l'invasion principale du jour D. Pegasus Bridge a été le premier engagement du jour D c'etait crutial si il avait echoue, le tournant de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. aurait ete l' invasion.


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LANDING ZONES IN THE UK AND FRANCE
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May 23rd 2018 - NMA Map image courtesy of the National Memorial Arboretum - - - - - - - - - - 6th June 1944 - Landing Zones in France courtesy of Phillip Basford RAMC

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THE PEGASUS BRIDGE MEMORIAL FLIGHT

This modern sculpture is not an exact replica of a Horsa Glider, rather a stylised approach to give a sense that men and crew are being transported in quite a fragile vessel with only a wooden superstructure and canvas between them and mother earth. The feeling of exposure, the sound of air passing over the wings after being released and the anticipation of a precarious landing in hostile territory were foremost in the design concept.

The three Horsa Gliders are descending on a giant letter S in commemoration of this most SECRET operation carried out in SILENCE , with SPEED , STEALTH and achieved complete SURPRISE! The Gliders are set on a two metre high conical column with a circular base for the garden.

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Triptych courtesy of Phil Nixon.

HTML Raw Coding by Mike Colton - Ex 1RGJ, 22 SAS, SSF (Oman) & Founder of the Allied Special Forces Association 1999