At 22:56 on 5 June, 1944, the six gliders towed by Halifax bombers took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton. Horsa number one, the first of the three headed for the Caen Canal, carried Howard with Lieutenant Den Brotheridge's platoon, number two bore Lieutenant David Wood's platoon, and number three carried Lieutenant Smith's platoon. Priday with Lieutenant Hooper's platoon made for the river bridge aboard number four. Horsa number five carrying Lieutenant Fox's platoon was followed by number six bearing Tod Sweeney's platoon. Each glider also carried five Royal Engineers. Flying over the English Channel at 7,000 feet (2,100 m), the bombers crossed the Normandy coast at 00:07 on 6 June, 1944 and released their towed gliders. With Wallwork at the controls, the number one glider crashed into the barbed wire surrounding the canal bridge defences at 00:16. The other two gliders followed at one-minute intervals. The number two glider broke in half and came to halt at the edge of a large pond. One of the men fell into the water and drowned, becoming the first casualty of the operation.Brotheridge and Smith's platoons headed for the bridge, while Wood's platoon moved towards the trenches on its north east side.
Attacker: German (Panzer Pionier Kompanie1, 716th Infantry Division)
Defender: British (2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry)