Another typical cold, damp and gloomy night when we geared up and boarded the waiting C-47’s for yet another combat jump, this time the dropzone is near Market Harborough. While in flight I could barely make out the boys’ faces, they all are still so young, with weary eye from the years of war they had seen. Noone looked scared, war has become such a routine anymore, it’s almost like they were all indifferent.
We greenlight popped at 02:15am, we all had a pretty uneventful jump. After a short two click hump we got to the Rhine and could see the Nijmegen Bridge still intact about 150 meters away. We quickly set up perimeter security and settled in to report enemy activities at the bridge. Finally, after a couple of hours the faint, distant rumble of tanks could be heard approaching the other side of the bridge. I hit Mike’s arm and just nodded towards the bridge. Mike had alrady raised the binoculars and after several seconds, lowered them in horror. He quietly whispered: “Looks like 5 Tiger Tanks and at least 2 companies of infantry. I think I saw one of the Tank commanders point right into our direction.” I barely muttered “Oh crap”, when an eithy-eight opened up from somewere behind the tanks.
Only the seagulls know what happened next …….