Operation Galveston

This was the US gliderborne delivery of reinforcements for Major General Matthew B. Ridgway’s 82nd Airborne Division following its ‘Boston’ (ii) assault and ‘Detroit’ reinforcement landings in ‘Overlord’ (6 June 1944).

After the following ‘Elmira’ and ‘Keokuk’ gliderborne reinforcement operations for the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions respectively, two more glider missions were flown as ‘Galveston’ and ‘Hackensack’ shortly after daybreak on 7 June to deliver Colonel Harry L. Lewis’s 325th Glider Infantry to the 82nd Airborne Division.

The hazards and results of the preceding ‘Elmira’ resulted in a route change over the Douve river valley to avoid the Germans’ heavy Flak fire of the previous evening, and changed the landing zone to LZ E, that of the 101st Airborne Division. The first mission was ‘Galveston’, which comprised two serials of tug/glider combinations carrying Lieutenant Colonel R. Kleman Boyd’s 1/325th Glider Infantry and the remainder of the division’s artillery. Consisting of 100 Douglas C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft towing 18 Airspeed Horsa and 82 Waco CG-4A gliders (excluding two combinations which turned back), the operation delivered 927 men, 20 pieces of artillery and 41 vehicles, and the gliders were released at 06.55. Small arms fire harried the first serial but did not seriously endanger it, though 26 aircraft were damaged. Low releases resulted in a number of accidents and 100 injuries (17 of them fatal) in the 325th Glider Infantry. The second serial landed on LZ W accurately and the men suffered few injuries.