The Airborne Memoirs
The Airborne Memoirs - Book I
ARNHEM ON THE HORIZON
The Story of WWII Glider Pilot Sgt Johnny Wetherall
In September 1944, almost 1,300 men piloted military gliders from England to the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden. Among them was Sgt Johnny Wetherall, a 19 year old Glider Pilot from Oxford. During the battle which ensued Johnny was wounded and captured, taking him on a journey across war torn Europe.
This true story follows his time training as a Glider Pilot, fighting in the Battle of Arnhem, lingering in prisoner of war camps and his eventual, unconventional journey home to England. It has been pieced together using letters and accounts from Johnny and fellow pilots from his Squadron, and is combined with an overview of wider events of the time to tell the real story of what these men went through.
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The Airborne Memoirs - Book II
I JUST WANTED TO FLY
The Story of WWII Glider Pilot Bernard Osborn
Growing up in the 1930’s, Bernard Osborn developed a fascination with flying. He would visit nearby airfields and peer through the boundary fences just to catch a glimpse of aircraft. It was on a visit to an Empire Air Day display and seeing a Hawker Hurricane for the first time that spurred his dream to become a fighter pilot. When Bernard turned 18 he went to volunteer with the RAF to become a fighter pilot, only to realise that almost every other young man in the country shared his ambition to fly. Instead, Bernard was called up and eventually ended up training as a member of a tank crew. It was while serving with an armoured unit that he spotted a notice calling for volunteers for the Glider Pilot Regiment. Determined to become a pilot, he volunteered and began a journey that would see him take part in D-Day and Operation Market Garden, and serve in post-war Palestine.
I Just Wanted to Fly combines Bernard’s own words with a narrative of wider events of the time, to tell a humble yet charming story of one man achieving his dream to become a pilot. .
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The Airborne Memoirs - Book III
A SPIRIT FOR ADVENTURE
Authored by Royal Corps of Signals and WWII veteran John Jeffries, this very personal story tracks his extraordinary life.
Orphaned at the age of two, John and his four year old sister were sent to live in a home run by the Sisters of Charity. His early childhood and formative years were spent under the supervision of the religious order, which saw him overcome adversity in finding lost family and building a life for himself. With the outbreak of WWII, John did his part on the home front before being called up to the army in 1941. While serving with the Royal Corps of Signals in Africa he volunteered for parachute training. Following his return to England to prepare for forthcoming operations, John eventually had his chance for his first operational parachute drop as part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden. Dropping near the Dutch town of Arnhem, John was wounded immediately and spent the battle being treated in an aid station before being taken as a prisoner of war.
In this memoir, John Jeffries recalls his childhood, military service and time spent in WWII prisoner of war camps, to tell a touching and heart-warming story.
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