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Bruce MacBenn

Servicenumber : 4270139
Rank : Staff-Sergeant
Regiment : The Glider Pilot Regiment
Unit : No 2 Wing
Date of Death : 1990
Age : 72
Bruce MacBenn was born near Newcastle on 14 february 1918. Because he was registered on the 15th his official date of birth is 15 february. When he was 16 he lied about his age, saying he was 17, to join the army. He served with the Northumberland Fusiliers and was posted in the Middel East when war broke out.
MacBenn volunteeered for the Glider Pilot Regiment and was posted at Tarrant Rushton. He served with C Squadron, probably No 7 Flight. 
He married his girlfriend in 1943. They had a daughter, but he didn't see her before he left for Arnhem.
On 17 september 1944 MacBenn flew a Horsa glider (Chalknumber 370) to Arnhem. He landed on Landingzone-Z. His Horsa was loaded with two jeeps of the Reconnaissance Squadron. After landing C Squadron acted as a reserve unit for No 2 Wing. They moved to positions on the southern end of Wolfheze. They stayed there till after the arrival of the 2nd lift. At about 1900hrs on 18 september they moved to new positions in the nothern end of Oosterbeek. The next morning at 0900hrs they moved to the woods between the River Rhine and Hartenstein to protect the Headquarters of the 1st Airlanding Brigade. In the evening some 30 men of C Squadron were ordered to hold an area in the northern end of Oosterbeek. 
During the fighting at Arnhem and Oosterbeek MacBenn and a group of men had to dive behind a hedge when a German tank came down the road. The tank stopped right next to the men and they had to hold their breath and be silent while the Germans got out of the tank an relieved themselves on the other side of the hedge and smoked cigarettes. 
He escaped across the Rhine in the night of 25/26 september 1944 when the 1st Airborne Division was evacuated from Oosterbeek.
After the war MacBenn left the army and went living in the Manchester area. He became a medical representative who sold supplies to hospitals. Beside the daughter he and his wife also had two sons. He rarely spoke about his years in the army. 
Bruce MacBenn died of cancer at the age of 72. 
MacBenn standing on the left. 
Positions of C Squadron and dates when they moved to an area
Sources: J. Daines (Granddaughter of Bruce MacBenn) and Glider Pilots at Arnhem


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