A glider that never made it to Holland
437th Troop Carrier Group - 17 September 1944
Airborne Troop Carrier - Holland
The above photo is among one of the best well known photos related to the lift of the 101st Airborne Division to Holland during Operation Market Garden. It has often be published, in later years with names of some of the men in this photo.
The photo was taken at Ramsbury airfield on 17 September 1944. The four men on the left are the photo and film press men who would record the operation with their driver. The driver is squatting in front. He’s from Division HQ Co. His name is unknown. Behind him are the two motion-picture camera men, Gerald and Sothern. And standing  at the right is T/5 George R. Jones.
Standing alone on the right is the glider pilot. His name was unknown for a long time.
The photo on the left is less known. It shows the same glider pilot as in the above photo. Note the small bandage underneath his eye. This is F/O Clement M. Lancaster, 83rd Troop Carrier Squadron. He flew glider chalk number A4. This number is visible in the above photo on the glider. Also in the photo is Capt. Lee Gillette, 83rd TCS Flight Surgeon.

After take-off, F/O Lancaster noticed tail flutter after take off and the passengers informed him that the fuselage was ripping off.. By the time he cut-off, 2/3 was ripped off. F/O Lancaster was able to cut-off and land back on the field. The jeep was driven out and was loaded into another glider. They took off again (most probably towed by a spare tow plane) and were able to catch up with the formation and land in the fields near Son, Holland.

The glider in the well known picture above, never made it to Holland.


Photo left published with permission from Carolyn Gillette, kindly provided by  Neil Stevens