Skip Navigation

Unit Glider Pilot Regiment

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.

by Paradata Editor

S/Sgt David Brook's account of the Rhine Crossing April 1945.

This story is extracted from a letter dated from David Brook to Herr Nitrowski, who has written an excellent account of the British and Airborne actions of Operation Varsity. Herr Johann Nitrowski was 17 years old in March 1945, and became a schoolmaster in Hamminkeln.

Find out more about S/Sgt David Brook's account of the Rhine Crossing April 1945.

by Wendy George

'My War', Richard G Wilson's account of his wartime service, 1986.

My War was written in 1986, by Richard Wilson for his granddaughter Vanessa's primary school project. Notes added by his daugther Lynne.

Find out more about 'My War', Richard G Wilson's account of his wartime service, 1986.

Lynne Copping

S/Sgt Jim Wallwork DFM, pilot of the first glider to land at Pegasus Bridge, recounts his personal story

Read the account of Staff Sergeant Wallwork, Glider Pilot Regiment, who landed the first glider to reach Pegasus Bridge, recalling the training in Spring 1944 through to his recollections of the operation itself on the night of 5/6th June 1944.

Find out more about S/Sgt Jim Wallwork DFM, pilot of the first glider to land at Pegasus Bridge, recounts his personal story

Compiled and reproduced by kind permission of Jim Wallwork DFM, with thanks to Keith Petvin-Scudamore of www.britisharmedforces.org


Paradata Survey

Close