From the port at Caen, the British attack on Pegasus Bridge in the early hours of June 6th was crucial to the success of Operation Overlord –
On the night of 5 June 1944, a force of 181 men, led by Major J Howard, took off from
RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, England in six Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus Bridge, and also Horsa Bridge.
The bridge spanned the Caen Canal, it was a vital supply for the communications route which had to be secured by the Allies using no less then gliders in the dead of night.
The bridge was replaced in 93 by something more suited to modern traffic and the original now has a permanent home at the Pegasus Memorial.
There is a visitor’s centre to see archive footage and artefacts when I went I can remember looking all over the bridge and seeing bullet scares all over Pegasus Bridge and it kind of gives you the sence of the battle that was fort and won on that tiny peace of metal, no where to run or hide.
I have only skipped over the history and the RAF involvement of that great night but I will never forget seeing the tight piece of land and how the pilot landed that glider in such a small area he was with out dout a hero in my mind and showed such skill and honour as did all of our RAF service men and women..
Location and contact details
Rue Major John Howard