Box 023, folder 53: Horace D. Cherrington

ReadAboutContentsHelp
https://media.library.ohio.edu/digital/collection/p15808coll15/id/5993

Pages

ryan_box023-tld_f53_01
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f53_01

CHERRINGTON, Horace D. Canadian R.C.A.F. Box 23, #53

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f53_02
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f53_02

can. A.F EX For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-Day CAN 1

THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS. Lh

What is your full name? Horace Douglas Cherrington

What was your unit and division? 570 Squadron, 38 Group, Royal Air Force

Where did you arrive [crossed out] in [end crossed out] [inserted] OVER[end inserted] Normandy, and at what time? I mile west of Ouistreham at 21.00 hours

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Sergeant Bomb airmen

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 23 yrs

Were you married at that time? No

What is your wife's name? N/A

Did you have any children at that time? N/A

What do you do now? I am an enginee in the design office of Canadair Ltd

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? I knew when I joined the Squadron on 11th April 1944 that our main task was to train for the forth coming second front, this was confirmed by a talk given by General Eisenhower on a visit to the squadron on April 22nd [inserted] But I didn't know where or when I would be going till the briefing on June 5th [end inserted]

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? We had quite an uneventful crossing, it was still day light and aircraft towing gliders could be seen both in front and behind in a long stream, I had to keep a watch to starboard to prevent a possible collision with aircraft flying nearby. We saw a glider down in the sea probably due to a broken tow rope and remarked how disappointed they must be, down there, being out of the big show. We discussed the best evading tactics after releasing the gliders as we expected quite a bit of opposition in the way of antiaircraft fire, as the invasion had been on some time by then What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing? (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in).

There were rumours that the fields where the gliders were to land were planted with steel poles, and also that the luftwaffe had been saving aircraft and fuel for such an invasion attempt and that these albemarle aircraft towing gliders would be sitting ducks. (the [crossed out] ara [end crossed out] area of visibility from an Albemarle is very limited) The crew {where} were also a little worried over the fact that we had a new navigator with us (our regular navigator being injured in a crash we had on 27th May) No crew likes flying on operations with a strange member and lots of crews were lost under these circumstances. The previons op we had been detailed for prior to D day had been cancelled at the last minute

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f53_03
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f53_03

- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? Yes but not detailed, I kept a diary of my entire service life Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? Yes a Flight Sgt Jones an air gunner was killed. I had spent several months with him whilst training Just prior to joining the Squadron.

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became Casualties? I did not have any conversation with the above Flight Sgt [crossd out] to [end crossed out] as he was posted to another squadron prior to D day

Were you wounded? No

Do you remember what it was like--that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were you so surprised that you felt nothing? N/A Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it did not, of course, seem amusing at the time? When we had released the glider and turned for home we dived down low and headed for the coast flying out across the huge fleet of ships anchored off the shore. Suddenly I spotted a white puff away above us and remarked that if that was A A fire they were lousy shots when looking a little harder I realized it was a balloon and then noticed others, shouted to the pilot to watch out for cables and the rest of the crew and I spent an anxious few minutes looking out for balloon cables which attached the balloons to the ships below.

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic, or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? Firstly I remember how all the ground staff of the squadron gathered along the airfield prior to our takeoff and waved to the crew of each aircraft as we climbed away into the sky I had the feeling that their thoughts would be with us till we returned. Secondly, I heard after the invasion that two of the glider pilots who took off from our station changed seats in their gliders before landing (they were 1st & 2nd pilot of the same glider). On landing in France the[sic] collided with one of the poles in the field and the 1st pilot, who was quite a popular fellow in the Squadron was crushed to death, the 2nd pilot survived.

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f53_04
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f53_04

- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either?

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? I was on the airfield of Harwell watching the navigation lights of hundreds of paratroop carrying aircraft forming up prior to setting course for France. Previously several Albemandes had taken off at 11 oclock [sic] from this station to land the first Paratroops on a special Job.

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? I was in the Sgts Mess having an operational supper of eggs and bacon having been previously debriefed. Everyone was discussing how they thought things were going on the beachhead. Do you know of anybody else who landed within those 24 hours (midnight June 5 to midnight June 6) as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations; whom we should write to?

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM. FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW; YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

Please excuse different ink but it was written at different times with different pens.

Cornelius Ryan

Frances Ward Research, The Reader's Digest

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f53_05
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f53_05

Mr H D Cherrington 564 Rang St Francois St Therese de Blainville, Quebec, Canada

Dear Mr Ryan. Being an employee of Canadair Ltd of Montreal I read in this months "Canadair News", a message. from General Dynamics Head office. It slated that you were interested in contacting any employees who participated in the Invasion of Normandy with any unit of the armed forces. The following is a brief resume of my participation in that operation. In June 1944 I was a Sergant Air Bomber (Bombardier) with 570 Squadron stationed at RAF Station Harwell England. My crew comprised of a Canadian pilot three other Englishmen, Navigator, Wireless Operator and gunner, the aircraft we flew was the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle. The part we played on that day June 6th was to take a glider loaded with jeep and gun also personnel to a point beyond the beachhead. We took off from Harwell at 19.20 and we released the glider at approx 2100 hrs in the designated area, we then returned to base.

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
Displaying pages 1 - 5 of 8 in total