Maurice Beach's Headquarters for the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing was set up at Greenham Common, England which was near London. It was from there that he commanded his troops in training for the upcoming invasion of Normandy, France on D-Day-June 6, 1944. One of his groups, the 438th under the command of Col. Donaldson, led the paratroop's aircraft. Approximately 350 loads of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions headed for France starting at 12:20 am. Maurice Beach left England at 4:00 am in the lead glider "tug" plane. He took the first group of gliders into France. General Eisenhower was at their headquarters in England to see them off.
During the invasion of Normandy and for many months after, the troops of the 53rd took part in many actions. These included Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. The 53rd Wing under the command of Lt. Col. Beach carried over 206 million pounds of supplies, moved over 149 thousand airborne troops, and evacuated 114 thousand casualties during WWII. Maurice and his boys delivered over 3 million pounds of gasoline to General Patton while he was stranded near Chartres, France. Maurice was promoted to Brig. General in early 1945.
Military site : airfield
Built for the RAF in 1942 as an Operational Training Unit, it was handed over to the Eighth Air Force in 1942, and was the 51st Troop Carrier Wing's HQ in 1942. Greenham Common became a Ninth Air Force base in 1943, and was then home to a series of...
|20 January 2021 15:13:21||Hotelie1970||Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations, place associations and media associations|