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Allied Combat Glider, Belgium: March 1945

Allied Combat Glider, Belgium: March 1945

This is a found photo. Written on back: "March 1945. Dexter Nunley, T5 and myself on guard at a disabled glider that put down near our camp at Lasne-Chapelle - Saint Lambert, Belgium. No one injured."

Allied combat gliders were towed behind modified bombers or transport aircraft and used in some of the riskiest missions of World War II.

Lasne-Chapelle-Saint-Lambert in Province du Brabant Wallon (Wallonia) is a city located in Belgium about 13 miles south-east of Brussels, the country's capital. General Courtney Hodges' U.S. First Army liberated the region south of Brussels and Maastricht in early September 1944. On February 4, 1945, the country was reported to be free of German troops. Following liberation Belgian towns were widely targeted by unpiloted German V-Bombs, particularity centered on the Port of Antwerp. German crews fired more than 4,000 V-1s and more than 1,700 V-2s at greater Antwerp. Lasne-Chapelle-Saint-Lambert is located approximately 57 miles south of Antwerp.

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Operation Varsity

This is a Waco CG-4A glider. Operation Varsity, the biggest single day airborne operation of the war, was on March 24, 1944, with the goal to get across the Rhine and into Germany. A total of 1350 gliders, including 900 Wacos, were used. Perhaps this is one of the 900 that didn't make it across the Rhine. That the GIs are not wearing steel helmets but their helmet liners painted white suggests a very safe, behind the US lines location.

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