Online Exhibition

The Glider Pilot Regiment - 75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Glider Pilot Regiment.

During the early stages of the Second World War, Germany used paratroopers and gliders with great success during operations in Belgium, Holland and Norway. This prompted Prime Minister Winston Churchill to call for the formation of a similar British airborne force, including a glider unit.   

The Glider Pilot Regiment was formed on 24 February 1942 and served with distinction in all the major airborne assaults of the Second World War. The Regiment’s motto was ‘Nothing is Impossible’.

The Gliders

Over the course of the Second World War, gliders were used to carry a variety of loads including troops, artillery, vehicles and supplies.

Making the Gliders

Most British gliders were made from wood (usually plywood, birch or spruce) covered with a fabric skin.

Towing the Gliders

The powered aircraft which towed gliders into the battle area were called tugs.

Glider flying training

Glider pilots were trained to fly gliders into battle and to fight as soldiers once they had landed.

Operation TONGA

Operation TONGA was part of the ‘D-Day’ Allied invasion of German-occupied France in June 1944.

Gliders post-war

The Glider Pilot Regiment members who remained, following a post-war reduction in numbers, were re-trained as light aircraft pilots