Airspeed Horsa Mk I & Short Stirling Mk IV
Glider 443 ‘MARJI’ L9-K.
Operation ‘Market Garden’ took place in September 1944 and was intended to capture and secure a route for the advancing allies from Normandy preventing the Germans from destrorying bridges and roads in their retreat. It was at Arnhem that the Glider Pilot Regiment’s members made their greatest sacrifice. Major General Roy Urquhart, O/C 1st Airborne Division, wrote to Chatterton, ‘they (the glider pilots) played all kinds of parts but everything they were asked to do they did wholeheartedly. I’m afraid your losses were rather heavy.’ Over 1300 pilots landed in Holland and of these 229 were killed and 469 wounded or taken prisoner.
The story of Lt. Michael Dauncey is eminently suitable as an example of the exploits of the Glider Pilots at Arnhem. Dauncey flew as second Pilot to S/Sgt. Alan Murdoch. Their ‘load’ was a contingent of the 1st Air Landing Light Regiment, R.A. Waved off from RAF Fairford the flight was, on the whole, uneventful and the landing straight out of the text-book. Mike Dauncey’s role was in support of the Light Regiment.
On Saturday, 23rd September, Lt. Dauncey and two paratroopers raced over to the German line, some thirty yards away, and brought back eight prisoners, a machine gun and a collection of Luger pistols. Sadly, his luck was not to hold out much longer. The following day, in an attempt to view enemy positions more clearly, he was hit in the eye by a piece of shrapnel. A paratrooper tried to remove the metal out of his eye with a couple of matches, but without success. It was not until the evening that he was able to be led down to the Regimental Aid Post. He could not be helped so slept the night away and left the next morning on a tank-hunting mission. He narrowly escaped being driven down by a tank and then found himself in a fire-fight with a German armed with a Bren Gun. Dauncey replied with his Luger and received a bullet in the thigh. His leg was dressed by a couple of Airborne soldiers and the three took shelter in a slit-trench. Looking round to see what had landed on his blind side, Lt. Dauncey was hit in the face by the explosion from the object, a German grenade. His jaw was broken in two places and, although he could think clearly, he was very weak. He returned to the R.A.P. and was, eventually, treated.
Evacuated to the Eye Hospital in Utrecht, Dauncey received excellent treatment. From here he was moved to the St Antonious German Prison Hospital where he made a daring escape. With a Major from the Black Watch, he climbed down knotted sheets, scaled a barbed wire fence and headed into the darkened streets. Aided by brave civilians, the two men stayed with a doctor and his family until February. They were then helped to reach the Allied lines. Mike Dauncey returned to the U.K. where he continued to pursue his army career until retirement as a Brigadier in 1976.
Scale 1:144 Base size 23.5″ x 14.5″ (600mm x 370mm)
Limited Edition of 50 only