The Glider Pilot Regiment 1942-1945

 

 

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 This site began as a tribute to the men of the Glider Pilot Regiment. It was relaunched on 24 February 2009 (the 67th Anniversary of the founding of the GPR) as the official website of the GPR Association. By no means comprehensive, the website's pages are intended to give the reader an insight into the 'world' of the British Glider Pilot and a means of contacting, and supporting, the GPRA. Since its creation, the website has attracted, and continues to attract, many requests for information from relatives of former members of the GPR and from those whose interest lies in the exploits of the GPR.

Although this website is a tribute to all members of the GPR, I dedicate it especially to my Uncle, Staff Sergeant 'Billy' Marfleet, and his friend and Second Pilot, Sergeant Vic Haines. They flew from Harwell on the night of 5/6 June 1944 but failed to make landfall. Although buried in cemeteries many miles apart they are joined in the esprit de corps of the Glider Pilot Regiment.

The following words are by Field Marshall Montgomery and are in praise of the men of the Parachute Regiment. They could as easily be used for the members of the Glider Pilot Regiment:

'What manner of men are those who wear the maroon beret? They are, firstly, all volunteers and are then toughened by physical training. As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well-being. They have jumped from the air and by doing so have conquered fear. Their duty lies in the van of battle they are proud of their honour and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in things, whether it be skill in battle or smartness in execution of all peace-time duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack. They are, in fact, men apart. 'Every man an emperor'

The men of the GPR also wore the maroon beret, were all volunteers and were toughened by physical training. In 1944 they were joined by RAF pilots, who flew operationally on Operation Varsity. All these men conquered fear, not by jumping from the air, but by landing wooden, engineless aircraft filled with a variety of loads. In all things they had the highest standards. After demobilisation they took up the challenge of peacetime occupations where their tenacity and determination continued to shine through and their character reflected their regiment's motto:

   Nihil Impossibilis Est  


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This site was first launched on 6 June 1999 - relaunched on 24 February 2009 and updated on 15 April 2013

Update 15 April: Links: Airborne Forces: 'Ils étaient les premiers' ('They were The First')


 Thanks to Andy Bellwood for the Pegasus image