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Memories of World War Two
This very rare collection of photos has been kindly sent to me by Bob Brown of Thatcham, Matt Sanders, World War Two Greenham veterans Sam Mitchell and Eric Smith, Bob Gates and others. My many thanks for your help. In looking at these images, we should remember that many of these men made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting freedom. They lived in cold, basic conditions, far from home.
Many went on to fight on the front and behind enemy lines in France, Holland and Germany, fighting the first axis of evil. This page is a tribute to those heroes.
Looking west at Greenham Common in 1942.
Note the three much shorter runways.
Crookham Common, just east of Greenham was where many gliders
were assembled in 1943-1945.
A number of cranes were used to move the glider box crates.
Each glider was assembled from the contents of four crates
which were used as accommodation when empty.
Crookham Common, probably looking west. Note horse and cart.
The crate unpacking area.
An N-2 Tractor pulls a glider section out for assembly.
Men of the 26th Mobile Reclamation and Repair Sqn (Heavy) get to work
on assembling a CG-4A Waco glider. Here the tail section is secured with
Glider bodies await wings, tail sections and cockpits.
A cockpit is attached.
Vertical stabilizer and dorsal fin are attached.
The elevator is attached.
Ed Lampe (left) and Ray Campo install the landing gear.
Finished gliders undergo final checks.
A completed Waco glider.
Gen. Eisenhower lived at Bowden House at Greenham
Gen. Eisenhower talks to Eisenhower talks to a Corporal on June 5th
Lt. Strobel at Greenham on June 5th 1944.
Lt Strobel returned to the base in June 1990
with Eisenhower's son, John Eisenhower.
Paratroops prepare to fly to Normandy on June 6th 1944 at Greenham
The C-47s tow paratroops in their Wacos to the battlefield to achieve their mission, June 1944.
Sam Mitchell right and his friend in 1944
In 1945, the RAF moved in to Greenham also and used the base to train young
RAF entrants on 8 week courses. My thanks to Eric Smith.
The men in this accident tragically died when the tail section
of their Horsa glider fell off. The men are buried at a military
cementary in Aldershot. The accident was kept secret for many
years. This memorial at Greenham was put up in Dec 1994.
A book on Crookham/Greenham Common in 1943-1945 has been written by Leon Spencer.