Tooting resident and last World War Two glider pilot hero who took part in every mission dies at 100

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Tooting resident and last World War Two glider pilot hero who took part in every mission dies at 100

Postby Community Editor » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:10 am

Staff Sgt Ralph Norbury took part in all of the major airborne operations during the war but didn't like to talk about what had happened.

The last surviving glider pilot to participate in all of the major airborne operations of the Second World War has died aged 100.

Staff Sgt Ralph Norbury, enlisted with the Lancashire Regiment in 1939 before transferring to the Glider Pilot Regiment.His first operation was the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, where more than half the gliders landed in the sea and many pilots drowned.

On D-Day, June 6 1944 Sgt Norbury was part of the 6th Airborne Division which landed near Ranville and was one of the first Allied servicemen to land in Nazi-occupied France.

He also fought in the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 and Operation Varsity over the Rhine, western Germany in March 1945.
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Staff Sgt Ralph Norbury took part in every major airborn mission of the war (Image: MargaretNorbury/BNPS)

SSgt Norbury, who was born in Manchester but lived in Tooting, South West London, died in hospital last week.

His daughter Maggie, 67, said: “My father didn’t like to talk about the war but he was a true hero. A real gentleman.

“It is remarkable to think what he did during the war.”

Sgt Norbury, whose wife Kath died in 1989, leaves three children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Staff Sgt Ralph Norbury, we salute you!

Photo credit: MargaretNorbury/BNPS
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