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Re(4): WW2 glider pilots
IP: 1.129.96.61


Colin,I wonder how many trained here.What heroes,put ourselves in there boots.


,


A LASTING tribute is to be paid to more than 1,300 pilots and instructors who trained at Shobdon airfield during the Second World War.

A memorial is set to be unveiled this autum in honour of the 1,345 pilots, 291 gliding instructors and 218 tug pilots who trained at the North Herefordshire site.

They saw action in all of the major airborne operations, including the landings on Sicily and the Normandy beaches on D-Day as well as the battles of Arnhem and the Rhine.

Nigel Tonks, who has been a member of Herefordshire Aero Club for 14 years and is one of the people behind the project, said: "I was surprised there was little information about the history of the airfield and when I looked into it I was amazed there was no memorial here or recognition of the important role Shobdon played.


"We have been trying to raise the profile of the airfield over the last two or three years and a war memorial is something I have always thought the club should have.

"A lot of people came here during the war and gave their lives for our freedom and I just feel that should be recognised."

RAF Shobdon was opened in 1942 as No.5 Glider Training School. Over the next three years, a record 96,000 glider launches were made from the airfield.

The glider pilots trained on the Hotspur glider and then went on to train on the much larger Horsa and Hamilcar gliders and the American Waco CG-4A.

The pilots took part in operations in Norway, Sicily, D-Day, Arnhem and the crossing of the River Rhine into Germany. They also flew glider support operations for the Chindits in the Far East.

Such were the army pilot losses at Arnhem that the RAF was obliged to provide 1,500 trained pilots from its pilot pool. Despite being trained on powered aircraft, the RAF pilots quickly retrained as glider pilots and also in infantry skills.

RAF Shobdon closed as a glider training school in 1945. It is thought 19 people died while training at the school and their names will be listed on the memorial.

It's a while ago,but well worth a mention,what do you think?
Regards. William.
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