Original Operation Varsity Aerial photo of Landing Zone O and U at Hamminkeln, March 24, 1945
This is an original Aerial photo of Operation Varsity made by the 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (8th US Air Force) on March 24, 1945 just after de gliders landed.
On the photo you see the southern part of LZ-O and the Eastern part of LZ-U with a large number of gliders on it. (LZ = Landing Zone)
These gliders transported troops of the 6th Airlanding Brigade. This brigade consisted of:
- The 2nd Battalion The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, should land on LZ-O,
- 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles, on LZ-U.
- The 12th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment, on LZ-R.
- The 3rd Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, No.1 Troop of the 591st Parachute Squadron (Attached to the 1st Airlanding Brigade).
- The 195th Airlanding Field Ambulance (Attached to the 1st Airlanding Brigade).
There are two indications written by hand on this picture: 'FLAK' and 'ENEMY ARMD CARS'. Both were eliminated after landing.
At the bottom of the photo is the city of Hamminkeln, it is not visible.
Hamminkeln station is visible, see indication on the second photo. This was one of the goals of 1st R.U.R.
Not all gliders ended up on the planned LZ. Many ended up in between LZ-O and LZ-U as you can see in the picture.