Chindits landing at Broadway, Burma, 5th / 6th March 1944 by David Rowlands. (XX)
During the Second World War, a division of troops was specially trained in Commando methods to infiltrate behind the Japanese lines in Burma. They became known as Chindits, the name given to them by their leader, Major-General Orde Wingate. In March 1944, a plan was formed to land them by air in the jungle. Two landing sites were identified, but immediately before take-off one was reported to be obstructed by logs, and therefore the expedition landed at the site code-named Broadway. 26 C47 Dakota transport aircraft of the US 1st Air Commando took off in the evening, each one towing two Waco gliders. 37 of these arrived at Broadway. 30 men were killed and 33 injured as the gliders bumped and swerved in the jungle clearing that first night. Almost all the gliders were damaged or destroyed as they hit obstacles or crashed into each other in the darkness. Men were running all over the field, shouting instructions and trying to clear the runway of wreckage. Often, those trying to help wounded men off the field would have to duck out of the path of a landing glider. The Chindits disembarked from the side doors of the gliders, ready for action, and fanned out to form a perimeter at the edge of the jungle all round the landing site. Four bulldozers were also landed, and their task was to improve the landing site for the C47 transports to follow. Colonel WP Scott, commanding the 1st Battalion of The King's Regiment (Liverpool), was in the first glider. His task was to rake the surrounding jungle with his Tommy gun and if he received answering fire, he was to fire a red Verey flare to warn the rest not to land on Target 1. Eight hours before take-off he said, +I've got that flare so deep in my pocket that I doubt if anyone else can find it if I'm killed.+ There being no Target 2, or no way of getting back from Target 1, he chose that casual way of announcing that the Chindits would fight for the airstrip site even if they found a Japanese Division sitting on it when the gliders started to come down. The Broadway landing paved the way for the retaking of Burma.
|Item Code : DHM0611XX||Chindits landing at Broadway, Burma, 5th / 6th March 1944 by David Rowlands. (XX) - This Edition|
|Open edition print. |
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