Famous Varsity Photo – 437th Troop Carrier Group – 83rd Troop Carrier Squadron


The Photo above is one of the famous photos of the glider landings/crashes in the Varsity operation.

The background of the photo is not clear. Seeing such photo raises questions. Who flew the glider? Where did it depart? What happened to the pilots and passengers?


The only thing helpful is the number on the tail. It says: 341084.

That makes this glider # 43-41084

With that little information, it needs a search and the luck to find any information. And following information surfaced:


The glider was part of the 437th Troop Carrier Group that flew the Varsity operation. It flew on the short tow and the chalk number was # 17.

The glider was towed by C-47 # 42-100572 that was flown by:

Capt. Thomas F. Rataiczak (P)

1st Lt. James R. Youngs Jr. (CP)

1st Lt. William J. Lowe (N)

T/Sgt. Weber L. Ackman (CC)

S/Sgt. Donald E. Kransky (RO)


The glider was piloted by:

F/O Arthur R. Johnson (P)

F/O Carl E. Jones (CP)


The glider on the long tow, chalk # 18, was # 43-36751 and was flown by:

F/O Douglas Campbell (P)

F/O Irvil Rogers (CP)


Records reveal that F/O Johnson and Jones were killed in action. They probably did not survive the crash..

The photo was taken near the farm at the X-roads of Molkereiweg and An Der Lackfabrik.


Airborne Troop Carrier - Varsity

Another view of the same glider. The damaged left wing is visible. The side door is open. (D. Johnson)