Category Archives: Glider Stories

waco-glider-29-sicily-from-www_operation-ladbroke_comThe “Glider Stories” category comprises stories of specific, individual gliders identified by their number. A comprehensive look at all the known details, concentrating on the flight to Sicily, the release from the towing plane, and what happened to the men in the glider.

The Story of Glider 50 – Hemmed In By Fire

The men of Glider 50 found themselves surrounded by Italian positions until they were rescued by the SAS troopers of the Special Raiding Squadron (SRS). Glider: CG-4A Waco 50, serial 277213. Tug: C-47, 41-18471, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 107 – Escape and Evasion

Glider 107 landed near an Italian garrison who shot at it the instant it landed, and then patrolled for survivors. Glider: Waco CG-4A number 107, name “Rocket”, serial no. 277177. Tug: Albemarle Mk I [photo], letter G, number P1434, 296 Squadron, 38 … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 46 – Kicking the Hornets’ Nest

Glider 46 landed in a hornets’ nest of Italian defences. For good measure it kicked the nest first by trying to land on the roof of a pillbox. Glider: CG-4A Waco 46, serial 246587. Tug: C-47, 41-38705, Nose (Sqn) No. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 8 – Calm Before the Storm

The C-47 towing Glider 8 had an easy run in Operation Ladbroke. For its captain and his crew, it was the calm before the storm. Glider: CG4-A Waco 11, serial no. 73602. Tug: C-47, serial no. 42-68714, Sqn (Nose) No. 8, 10 … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 52a – Out of the Firestorm

Glider 52a landed close to its LZ, descending out of a firestorm of searchlights and anti-aircraft fire. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52a, serial 42-73623. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, Nose (Sqn) No. 82, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 29 – A Tough Nut to Crack

Unlike most of the glider troops in Operation Ladbroke, the men in Glider 29 reached their objective and attacked it. Glider: CG-4A Waco 29, serial 277232. Tug: C-47, 42-23473, 11 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier Wing USAAF. Lead aircraft … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider Z – No Business Being There

Glider Z only flew in Operation Ladbroke because a senior officer wangled an extra tug plane. More than one commentator thought he had no business being there. Glider: CG4-A Waco Z, serial no. 277185. Tug: C-47, “Boy’s Boys”, serial no. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 124 – A Life and Death Decision

The pilots of Glider 124 staked everything on reaching land. A few inches of height either way meant the difference between life and death. Glider: Waco 124, serial no. 277233. Tug: Albemarle [photo], letter Z, number P1525, 296 Squadron, 38 Wing RAF. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 57 – The Cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco

Waco glider 57 landed in the sea off Sicily, near the forbidding cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco. As the men floundered onto the wing, they came under fire. Glider: Waco 57 Tug: C-47, 41-18446, 7 Squadron, 62 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider Y – Bayonets & Threats of Execution

Waco glider Y was posted missing in Operation Ladbroke. A recently discovered Italian report has the details: Y’s men were captured and interrogated. Bayonets were brandished, executions threatened. Glider: CG-4A Waco Y. Tug: Albemarle AC, P1557, 296 Squadron, 38 Wing … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 52 & Gozo in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 52 had one of the more unusual stories of navigation failure in Operation Ladbroke. Uniquely, it landed on the tiny island of Gozo. Glider: CG-4A Waco 52, serial 245690. Tug: C-47, 41-18334, 28 Squadron, 60 Troop Carrier Group, 51 Troop Carrier … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 70 – Disaster for Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 70 landed in the sea off Sicily. So did the other two gliders full of medical men attached to 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This was a disaster not just for the medics, but also the men … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 26 – Combat Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Glider 26 carried a surgical team in the invasion of Sicily. According to contemporary reports, the medics not only saved lives, but they also fought to do so. Glider: CG4-A Waco 26, serial no. 243811. Tug: C-47 or C-53, serial 41-18418, nose (squadron) … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 126 – A Rare Good Landing

Glider 126 made a good landing not far from the LZs, a rare occurrence in Operation Ladbroke. This is the story of the men who flew in her and fought for the Ponte Grande bridge. Glider: Waco 126, “Lil Miss-Take”, serial no. … Continue reading

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Galpin’s Glider – New photo of Operation Ladbroke’s star landing

Staff Sergeant Dennis Galpin’s glider landing during Operation Ladbroke was famously perfect. But where was it exactly? And is that his glider in the well-known photo? There is a well-known photograph of a Horsa glider taken in Sicily after Operation Ladbroke (left) (or … Continue reading

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