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Old 17th December 2020, 05:00
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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James D Hammett, 436th TCG, glider pilot, DDay, Holland, Rhine

From the Facebook page of National WWII Glider Pilots Committee

JAMES D HAMMETT 22 March 1920 - 26 November 2020
WWII History: Joined the 79th Troop Carrier Squadron (S6) July 17, 1944, 436th Troop Carrier Group.
Sent on detached service for Normandy to the 86th Troop Carrier Squadron (5K) 437th Troop Carrier Group
NORMANDY: Then Flight Officer Hammett flew a glider on 7 June 1944. His serial, #34, flew in the 82nd Airborne, 1st half of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, Company A of the 307th and
Company A 307th Airborne Engineering Battalion. The mission was code named Galveston. He flew CG-4A Glider 42-56564 built by Pratt Read & Co. and his chalk number was 28. The pilot was Edwin J O’Donnell and FO Hammett flew co-pilot. Tow plane and Crew: Pilot: 1st Lt Thomas A CHESHER, Jr, Co-pilot: 2nd Lt Arthur FREEDMAN, Crew Chief: S/Sgt Pasquale P Caso, Radio Op: Cpl James M McHugh.
Serial #34 was flown with 32 WACO CG-4A gliders and 18 Horsa Gliders. FO Hammett flew one of the CG-4A gliders.
"All Planes in this First Serial were flying at very low altitudes, due to bad weather when starting out. Altitudes ranged between 100 to 200 feet and at these heights the gliders could glide only half a mile or remain in the airborne more than 30 seconds. All but six of the gliders released too soon and landed between the two southern causeways leading inland from Utah Beach toward LZ E. The gliders landing east of LZ E encountered minor sniper fire, but suffered numerous landing accidents. Nine WACOs and 10 Horsas were destroyed, while 22 gliders were damaged. Personnel losses were heavy. Seventeen troops were killed and 85 more were injured". -World War II Glider Pilots pg24
The 436th flew Holland on the 18th, 19th and 23rd and we believe Flight Officer Hammett would have flown one of those days with his parent Group the 436th.
Promoted to Second Lieutenant on November 11, 1944.
RHINE CROSSING (Varsity, 24 March 1945), Serial No.: A-11; CG-4A Glider No. 45-6170 a nice Ford Motor Co. Product. Chalk N0. 86. Pilot: 2nd Lt. James D Hammett; Co-Pilot: Power Glider Pilot, 2nd Lt Clifford Underwood.
Their glider was loaded with Troopers from Company M, 3rd Battalion of the 194 Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne. At 0815 hours their Serial took–off from Advance Landing Ground A–55 at Melun/Villaroache, France, and joined the other seventy two gliders and thirty six C–47 tugs of the 436th Troop Carrier Group heading to Landing Zone S, northwest of Wesel Germany.
Lt Hammett wrote, "Good take-off at 0815. Communications broke during take–off. Good tow throughout entire course. Used Lt. Underwood (as co-pilot) who flew very good on tow. Made large 270 degree and landed without damage to glider or crew. Remained with airborne until relieved (Sunday) March 25, 1945 at 1799. Returned to home station March 26, 1945 at 1900."
After cutting loose over LZ-S James and Clifford’s glider received light and heavy flak causing a 10 ” hole in the right side of the glider as they were landing. Fortunately none of the “glider riders” were hit. They then received rifle and 20mm fire after landing but they “landed without damage to glider or crew.” Due to heavy enemy activity they were ordered to stay with the airborne and dig in for the night. They remained with the airborne until relieved the next day.
Three months later 2nd Lt. Hammett, with his Troop Carrier Group, left for The U.S.

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Old 17th December 2020, 23:35
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Teresa Maria Teresa Maria is offline
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Re: James D Hammett, 436th TCG, glider pilot, DDay, Holland, Rhine

Rest in peace.
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