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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. 

 

                   Greenham 1942 

                   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

       four bolts.

 

                   

                    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.