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Today marks the 75th Anniversary of Operation Dingson 35A. The operation was carried out by crews from the Regiment’s ‘X’ Flight which was based at RAF Tarrant Rushton.

On 4th August, 35 French SAS soldiers and ten jeeps arrived at the airfield. Each jeep was armed with twin Vickers K machine guns, mounted fore and aft. The soldiers’ personal weapons included Sten guns, explosives and a PIAT anti-tank weapon. The Flight was finally briefed on its mission. Their destination was the Vannes area, 170 miles behind German lines. Their passengers were part of a force of 150 men from the French 4th Parachute Battalion. The paratroops had already arrived in the operational area from RAF Keevil. Together, these men would join up with 3000 French resistance fighters (Maquis).

The ten Hadrians set off for France at 20:00 hours on the evening of 5th August. Nine landed safely in a small field about ten miles from Auray. The tenth, piloted by S/Sgt Harry Rossdale and Sgt Hugh Martin, crashed into a tree and both pilots and passengers were injured (Hugh’s story is told in Issue 1 of Glider Pilot’s Notes). The Resistance were waiting and all the occupants were taken in convoy to a small coastal village. Here, the pilots and their passengers parted company. At dawn, the pilots were rowed across an inlet to the Resistance HQ.

Passed through the American lines, the glider crews arrived at Rennes where they were flown back to Netheravon. (Pictured: local French civilians with two of the Waco gliders after landing).


Today marks the 75th Anniversary of Operation Dingson 35A. The operation was carried out by crews from the Regiment’s ‘X’ Flight which was based at RAF Tarrant Rushton.

On 4th August, 35 French SAS soldiers and ten jeeps arrived at the airfield. Each jeep was armed with twin Vickers K machine guns, mounted fore and aft. The soldiers’ personal weapons included Sten guns, explosives and a PIAT anti-tank weapon. The Flight was finally briefed on its mission. Their destination was the Vannes area, 170 miles behind German lines. Their passengers were part of a force of 150 men from the French 4th Parachute Battalion. The paratroops had already arrived in the operational area from RAF Keevil. Together, these men would join up with 3000 French resistance fighters (Maquis).

The ten Hadrians set off for France at 20:00 hours on the evening of 5th August. Nine landed safely in a small field about ten miles from Auray. The tenth, piloted by S/Sgt Harry Rossdale and Sgt Hugh Martin, crashed into a tree and both pilots and passengers were injured (Hugh’s story is told in Issue 1 of Glider Pilot’s Notes). The Resistance were waiting and all the occupants were taken in convoy to a small coastal village. Here, the pilots and their passengers parted company. At dawn, the pilots were rowed across an inlet to the Resistance HQ.

Passed through the American lines, the glider crews arrived at Rennes where they were flown back to Netheravon. (Pictured: local French civilians with two of the Waco gliders after landing).

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