In order to secure the eastern flank of the Normandy invasion, General Gale’s 6th Airborne Division was to stop the German counter-attacks from the east. These could be relieved during the day by the troops from the nearest beach only if the bridges over the Canal and over the River Orne were BOTH under control. Therefore, six gliders and less than 200 men were to secure them during the night.
Major Howard’s glider hit the ground at 00:16 a.m and stopped 47 yards away from objective! In about 20 minutes, this bridge became the first Allied objective taken on D-day. Around noon, reinforcements from Sword Beach (with Lord Lovat and his bagpiper Bill Millin) were arriving. Mission accomplished !