Merville Battery on D-Day (Part one)

On D-Day, two Dakotas crashed in the Merville area.

The first was the KG 426 of 48 Squadron Royal Air Force. It was a tug for a Horsa glider on Operation MALLARD, a resupply mission to drop zones NOVEMBER and WHISKEY in the Ranville-Benouville area.

Its crew comprised:
F/O J Le Huray – Pilot
F/O HA Farrel – Co-pilot
F/O JM Woodcock – Navigator
Sgt R Carr – Radio operator.

The Dakota released its glider a 2107 hours and two minutes later it was hit by flak in the starboard engine. The aircraft began to lose height and the pilot ordered F/O Woodcock and Sgt Carr to bale out

Both landed near the River Orne where Sgt Carr drowned before assistance could be rendered.

The pilot and co-pilot successfully crash-landed the aircraft in a field to the west of Merville. They got clear of the wreckage and hid in a nearby home. They were shaken but not injured.

On 12th June 1944, Sgt Carr’s body was found in marshy land at the mouth of the River Orne. He was buried at the spot. His body was exhumed on 2nd August 1945 and taken to Banneville War Cemetery.

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