By the 19th September 1944, Operation Market Garden, an attempt to secure bridges leading to and crossing the River Rhine, was not going well. The British Paratroops who had landed near the Dutch town of Arnhem three days before were now surrounded and their supplies were running low. That afternoon 164 aircraft of the RAF made a concerted effort to resupply the troops and amongst them was a Dakota of No. 271 Squadron flown by Flight Lieutenant David Samuel Anthony Lord. As Lord’s aircraft neared Arnhem it was hit by anti-aircraft fire setting the starboard engine on fire. Continuing to the drop zone the crew pushed the supplies out of the cargo door but couldn’t deliver the last two containers. With the blaze spreading and under heavy fire, Flight Lieutenant Lord circled the Dakota round to make a second pass. After delivering the containers Lord ordered his crew to bail out but seconds later the starboard wing collapsed and the aircraft crashed to the ground with the loss of seven of the eight crew. For his actions on that day Flight Lieutenant Lord was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross sighting his ‘supreme valour and self-sacrifice’.
Supreme valour and self-sacrifice