SGT. SIDNEY WALTER GARLAND – ‘Marauder Belly Gunner’

Sergeant S.W. Garland – “Marauders”, Radio/Belly Gunner 

24 Squadron S.A.A.F. Basutoland Sqdn.  Final Italy Campaign & Yugoslavia.

Wireless Operator/Observer and Belly Gunner ‘PEEL OFF PAM’

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Medals /Italy STAR / 39-45 STAR / BRITISH WAR MEDAL, Un-mounted Mint as issued with original packets.
Original Award Box, Secretary of State Printed Document & his Service Cap badge.

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Various letters from Garland, typed summary of Career. Handwritten list of all Operational Missions SAAF Pescara & Jesi. Paperwork on the Martin B-26 Marauder – documents on ‘bombing’ /Maps – operation records & his FLYING LOGBOOK – detailing his service from sign-up to the end (a really amazing and inspiring read of those last days of the Italy Campaign.
IN ADDITION – 30 + Photographs taken by Garland from his ‘belly gun position’ of bombing runs, destruction of railway sidings etc(each annotated).

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and a photograph of the last SAAF Casualty aircraft , on its way down with its wing blown off. (A real museum photograph – Marauder HD 481 ‘S’).

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(for additional pictures.. please move to pictures page extension/note we do not illustrate all the pictures available.. this is a representative sample.)

War Career..

Enlisted 1942/early 43 aged 17 ¼ years old @ Lords Cricket ground – 6 weeks there.
Bridgewater, Salop – basic training.
Yatesbury, Wilts, Wireless/Radio Training flying on Ansons.
Egypt. Gunnery course No.13 AGS Heliopolis, near Cairo.
Radio refresher course Jurusalem.
Joined No.24 Sqdn. SAAF Sqdn. Based at Pescara flying Marauders.
Daylight bombing,continuous Army support,leaflet dropping and supply drops to Yugoslavia.
Did 78 ops.
Moved to Jesi, manned radio and looked after 2 belly guns and took photos with hand-held camera, especially on bomb runs.
After finishing tour went to RAF Comm.Sqdrn based at Marsionesse flying converted Baltimore aircraft.
Main job transporting Senir Legal branch officers to Courts marshalls in the med Area.
Short spell with 324 Group in Australia and stores work RAF Locking prior demob. In Blackpool 1946.

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24 Sqdn. SAAF –

In December 1943, the squadron was relocated to Algeria and re-equipped with the B-26 Marauders and in 1944 flew to a new base at Pescara, Italy, before later advancing to Jesi, Italy. At the end of the war the squadron used its Marauders as transport aircraft, before moving to Egypt in October 1945 and disbanding on 6 November 1945.

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