The D-Day landing has not yet revealed all his stories.

The Great Bunker, museum of the Atlantic Wall and his team have updated the remains of 7 gliders HORSA, they had landed June 6, 1944 in the town of Saint Aubin d’Arquenay. Very attentive to events related to the landing, Fabrice CORBIN, curator of the museum located in Ouistreham had in his possession aerial photos showing an impressive amount of gliders, which landed, not on Ranville or Bénouville, but on Saint Aubin d’Arquenay.

Lieutenant Geoffrey Sneezum, British veteran of the 12th battalion “The Devonshire regiment” confirmed all these facts, being himself. 104 gliders took off on June 6, 1944 at 18:40. They settled between Rommel asparagus around 8:52 pm and 9:20 pm on Landing Zone W.
A few years later, “in the years 46-47”, the owners of the fields, anxious to be able to use their lands, have buried remains of these gliders. Roger Mallet, 12 years old at the time, remembers that an airstrip had been made in the plain so that all these gliders, which had been repaired, could go back to England. Another, testifies: child, I was going to play on gliders abandoned in the plain. I was even imprudent because I was playing with plastic or with strips of machine gun cartridges lying on the ground.

Fabrice CORBIN with the agreement of the owners and helped of his team, undertook digs in search of these gliders. In holes 20 meters long, 4 meters wide and 2.50 meters deep, they pulled various objects out of the ground: glider wing supports, landing gear complete, shock absorbers, shells containers, crates of ammunition etc …

Other parts found


  1. I would love to get involved in these digs. I’m a Regt Curator of the museum of the QDG and RWELSH. Served 24 hrs regular Army and last 10 as a reservist on FTRS and recently as a reservist.
    I also run battlefield tours.

  2. Hello,
    I am Gary Allin, the son of Lt
    Orlando “Bill” Allin. My father was a C-47/Dakota pilot with the 87th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 438th Troop Carrier Group. On D-Day he flew as a co-pilot on his friend’s C-47 and dropped paratroopers of the 101st Airborne in Normandy. After D-Day he flew his own C-47 equipped to retrieve gliders out of the drop zones. His plane was named Drag ’em Oot and it is now flying paratroopers for many reenactments in France and Holland. My father probably retrieved gliders from the field where the glider parts were found.
    Gary Allin

    1. Gary i seem to think it was this dakota drag em out that was refubished in the hangar at Church Fenton several years ago i have photos of this refurbishment if i can find them one had bullet hole in back of pilots seat

      1. Hi there John,
        How are you?
        We are just finishing up a film about Normandy 75th which includes a lot of footage about c-47s, including drag em oot, would you have any photos of the restoration of this bird that we could you please. we have exhausted budget, but will give credits and mention….we focus a lot on the effort of people who restore operate and keep these machines flying and the trucks rolling, as an owner of dodges and jeeps in the past I know the pain that comes with them…would love to hear from you..

    2. Gary i seem to think it was this dakota drag em out that was refubished in the hangar at Church Fenton several years ago i have photos of this refurbishment if i can find them one had bullet hole in back of pilots seat i will try and put them o this site or e/mail them to you if address is sent to me

  3. James ONEILL Reply
    October 5, 2019

    Fabulous…what you think of these?? Bunker 3D Tour of WN62 I also have WN65

    1. Heather Montgomery Reply
      October 15, 2019

      Fantastic! Thank you for sharing

  4. John Cooper Reply
    October 5, 2019

    Thank you for posting the story. My father, Stephen Cooper Navigator RAF 297 Squadron and colleagues flew an Albemarle aircraft (V.1773) towing a Horsa glider, they left Brize Norton, Oxfordshire 19.02hrs. on 6 June 1944 as part pf ‘Operation Mallard’. They were successful in dropping the glider on the ‘landing zone’ but unfortunately the aircraft was hit by flak from a German placement near the Caen Canal. Sadly the entire crew lost their lives and they are buried together in the village of Bieville-Beuville. The remaining aircraft from 297 Squadron returned to Brize Norton around 22.30hrs. ++ I have made many visits to Normandy to honour my father and his colleagues, I feel it so important that we remember those that gave so much in the liberation of France and freedom in Europe.
    Although I know a great deal about my father’s last hours I didn’t know exactly where the Horsa gliders ‘landing-zone’ was, perhaps there’s a likelihood that Saint Aubin d’ Arquenay was the intended destination that day?

  5. Guy Massey Reply
    June 13, 2020

    This is fascinating! I have just completed a model of my Father’s 299 Squadron Short Stirling “P” Peter (The full story of this build is on the Stirling Aircraft Society Forum) which departed Keevil at 1917hrs GMT towing a Horsa chalk number 161 to LZW. The glider was released at 2106 and was seen to land successfully although two others were seen to crash on the DZ. Glider 161 carried 14 troops. I have been trying to find out the serial number of 161 so that I can model it too. So far with no success. Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if any of your recovered parts came from 161? Please do get in touch, I am the editor of the Stirling Aircraft Society magazine “The Stirling Times” and would like to include a piece about your discovery.

  6. RITA Blackman Reply
    April 12, 2021

    My Husband is a D-Day Veteran he is now 96years old, he trained in Gliders but they ran out of gliders, so he went in by sea landing on Sword Beach had to jump ashore and landed in the water someone pulled him up and said now run he said you must be joking they said look up and there were snipers on the beach.
    He was in the 12th Devonshires / 6th Airborne. if there is anyone around that could send him an e mail it would make his day. Thanks Rita Blackman

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