Glider Pilot Regiment

Glider Pilot Regiment

1940 to 1957

On 5 September 1940 volunteers from No 2 Commando were selected for pilot training and attached to RAF Army Cooperation Squadrons. There were only a few single seat civilian gliders in early 1940. The first Hotspur training glider flew in November and a prototype Horsa assault glider in September 1941.

In September 1941 it was decided that all glider pilots would conform to RAF selection procedures and undertake standard RAF elementary flying training in powered aircraft before converting to gliders. When the Army Air Corps was formed on  21 December, the Glider Pilot Regiment was included within it.

The initial 40 volunteers completed training in March 1942, beginning a number of small scale glider exercises with troops providing valuable experience in evolving basic techniques.

The War Office decided the glider pilots were to train and fight as soldiers once they were on the ground. They were trained to fight with any weapon used by airborne troops. All were either officers or NCOs. An extremely high degree of intelligence, initiative and discipline was required. Once qualified pilots wore the Army Flying Badge, their numbers reached a peak of 2,500 pilots in 1945.

Personnel of The Glider Pilot Regiment performed distinguished service in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Southern France, Holland, Rhine Crossing and in the Far East during the Second World War.

Gliders were not used in action after the war, but the pilots served in Palestine, Korea, Malaya and elsewhere until they were disbanded in 1957.

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Photos_26

Official accounts_3

Group photos_21

  • Group photograph of Glider Pilots, including pilots of the Double Hills crash

    Group photograph of Glider Pilots, including pilots of the Double Hills crash

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  • Officers of B Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment briefing before an operation

    Officers of B Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment briefing before an operation

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  • No.10 Glider Pilot Course, RAF Booker, Buckinghamshire, 1942-43.

    No.10 Glider Pilot Course, RAF Booker, Buckinghamshire, 1942-43.

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  • Glider pilots pose for a group photo at Harwell.

    Glider pilots pose for a group photo at Harwell.

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  • Group photograph of Heavy Glider Conversion Unit course, Brize Norton, 1942

    Group photograph of Heavy Glider Conversion Unit course, Brize Norton, 1942

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  • Group portrait of glider pilot training course, probably 1942

    Group portrait of glider pilot training course, probably 1942

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  • Group photograph of No 102 Glider Development Trial Unit (GDTU), Course 4, c. 1942

    Group photograph of No 102 Glider Development Trial Unit (GDTU), Course 4, c. 1942

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  • Group photograph of B Flight on training course at 16 EFTS RAF Burnaston, 1942

    Group photograph of B Flight on training course at 16 EFTS RAF Burnaston, 1942

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  • Group photograph of pilots course at Booker EFTS, July 1942

    Group photograph of pilots course at Booker EFTS, July 1942

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  • Group photo of No 7 Course at Glider Training School, RAF Kiddlington, 1943

    Group photo of No 7 Course at Glider Training School, RAF Kiddlington, 1943

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  • Members of E Sqn No 2 Wing Glider Pilot Regiment return from Normandy, 1944.

    Members of E Sqn No 2 Wing Glider Pilot Regiment return from Normandy, 1944.

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  • Glider Pilots from B Squadron receive a briefing, 1945

    Glider Pilots from B Squadron receive a briefing, 1945

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Insignia_3

Cap Badge_4

  •  Army Air Corps Cap Badge - wartime economy version

    Army Air Corps Cap Badge - wartime economy version

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  • Army Air Corps Cap Badge - wartime metal version

    Army Air Corps Cap Badge - wartime metal version

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Personal accounts_2

Documents_7

Medal Citations_2

  • Citation for Distinguished Service Order awarded to Lt Dauncey for his actions at Arnhem, 1945.

    Citation for Distinguished Service Order awarded to Lt Dauncey for his actions at Arnhem, 1945.

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  • Dutch Bronze Lion medal citation for RSM Briody, Arnhem

    Dutch Bronze Lion medal citation for RSM Briody, Arnhem

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Post-combat reports_4

Pre-combat reports_1

Newspaper extracts_2

  • Newspaper cutting about the death of Lt Col John Rock, October 1942

    Newspaper cutting about the death of Lt Col John Rock, October 1942

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  • Newspaper cutting about Richard Wilson from the Fife Free Press, 1994.

    Newspaper cutting about Richard Wilson from the Fife Free Press, 1994.

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Official documents_1

Maps_1

  • Photo of D-Day training map titled 'Oslo', 1944

    Photo of D-Day training map titled 'Oslo', 1944

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Book extracts_1

  • Extract from 'When Dragons Flew' of 3-inch Mortar Platoon members, 1st Battalion Border Regiment, September 1944

    Extract from 'When Dragons Flew' of 3-inch Mortar Platoon members, 1st Battalion Border Regiment, September 1944

    2 Items

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