A - AIR OPERATION
This operation was planned to land 1 PARACHUTE BDE GP consisting of Bde H.Q. 1, 2, and 3 Bns Parachute Regt. with under comd dets 1 Airborne A. Tk Bty, 1 Parachute Fd Sqn, R.E., 16 Parachute Fd Amb, R.A.M.C., 21 Indep Parachute Coy and 4 Army Film and Photographic Section by parachute and glider on night 12/13 or any subsequent night to carry out task of capturing rd bridge over R. SIMETO on the main road AUGUSTA - CATANIA to assist the advance of Eighth Army northwards.
The Bde Group was to land on 4 D.Z.s and 2 L.Z.s in the area close to the br.
The Bde Group was prepared to depart on night 12/13 July, but the operation was postponed for 24 hrs; it took place on the night 13/14.
2. Availability of A/C
For this operation one additional Troop Carrier Group - 64 Group - was made available for 51 Wing. The whole Group was not used as such, but individual A/C were taken from the Group to replace deficiencies in the 60th and 62nd Groups.
Containers were painted white and fitted with lighting sets by R.E.M.E. personnel and the direction of C.R.E.M.E. some 600 containerss of various types were requiered. Those containers were delivered to 1 Parachute Bde approx three days prior to the operation, and loaded in unit lines the day prior.
Parachutes, both X Type and container chutes, were delivered to unit lines by the M.P.S.U. at 1800 hrs the evening prior to the operation.
4. Move to Airfields
One three-ton lorry was provided from Div R.A.S.C. on the morning of take off for each A/C load, each lorry bore the serial number or letter of the A/C/ These lorries were loaded in unit lines with the stick, their own parachutes and containers. Lorries moved to Airfields according to a simple march table from 1345 hrs onwards. On arrival at Airfields lorries were routed direct to their respective A/C in their dispersal areas, where container loading commenced at approx 1630 hrs. Containers were loaded on A/C in accordance with the standard procedure, i.e. by each stick themselves, under Air Corps and R.A.F. supervision. The Air side being responsible for the correct loading of the A/C.
Glider loading was carried out the day prior to the operation, in the same manner as outlined for 1 Air Landing Bde operation.
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