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15 October 2014
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How I got The Aircrew over Europe Staricon for Recommended story

by Lancshomeguard

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mr Ken Rose
Location of story: 
Ringway airfield Manchester and Arnhem
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
12 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War website by Terence and Susan Sedgwick of the Lancshomeguard on behalf of Mr Ken Rose and has been added to the website with his permission. Mr Rose fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was based at Ringway (now Manchester Airport). I’d just been made up to Sergeant in the RAF. One day we knew that something was happening and we heard a whisper about “Market Garden” but we didn’t know what it was.
We were fitting winches on an Albermal aircraft used for towing Hotspur gliders training paratroopers when all hell let loose. Everyone was in a flap and we didn’t know what was happening.
We found out that one of the larger Sterling aircraft had an engine failure. It should have been towing 2 Hauser gliders. Because this meant the Hausers couldn’t take off the troops were redistributed into smaller Hotspur gliders.
We hooked up to take them round the perimeter of the airfield thinking it was a training exercise. We were fully suited up for high altitude flying and the paratroopers were fully equipped but we were a bit slow and the penny hadn’t dropped! We found ourselves at the tail end of the Arnhem drop! We were only on training aircraft and we had no defence weapons.
When we came back the aircraft looked like a lace curtain and the 4 of us were awarded a big meal!
Later we received the Aircrew over Europe Star and I didn’t really know what it was for as I was in the Fleet Air Arm by then. It took a while for it to sink in.

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Royal Air Force Category
Arnhem 1944 Category
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