Original British WWII Airborne Glider Pilot Regiment Battledress Jacket - 1942 Dated

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. This is a fantastic rare World War Two British Airborne Glider Pilot Regiment 1940 Pattern Battledress Blouse. It bears original data label to the interior is dated 1942 with Broad Arrow and manufactured by The Rigo Clothiers LTD and dated 1942. It is marked size No. 15. It is also stamped with a broad arrow by the war department and again dated 1942. Features Glider Pilot Patches on both shoulders, Airborne Forces Formation badges (Pegasus), and glider pilot wings to left chest. The jacket is in excellent condition and complete with all buttons.

The Glider Pilot Regiment was a British airborne forces unit of the Second World War, which was responsible for crewing the British Army's military gliders and saw action in the European theatre in support of Allied airborne operations. Established in 1942, the regiment was disbanded in 1957.

The German military was one of the pioneers of the use of airborne formations, conducting several successful airborne operations during the Battle of France in 1940, including the Battle of Fort Eben-Emael.

On 21 June 1941, the Central Landing Establishment was formed at Ringway airfield near Manchester; although tasked primarily with training parachute troops, it was also directed to investigate the possibilities of using gliders to transport troops into battle.

The two officers and their newly formed unit were provided with four obsolescent Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers and a small number of Tiger Moth and Avro 504 biplanes, for towing purposes. Around this time the War Office and Air Ministry began to draw up specifications for several types of military gliders to be used by the unit. The resulting gliders were the General Aircraft Hotspur, General Aircraft Hamilcar, Airspeed Horsa and the Slingsby Hengist. These designs would take some time to be implemented and produced, however, and for the time being the fledgling unit was forced to improvise.

A Glider Training Squadron was formed, and the first test-flights were conducted using Swallow light aircraft which had their propellers removed to simulate the flight characteristics of a glider; they were towed by the Whitleys using tow-ropes of varying number and length for experimentation purposes.

There was a certain carefree atmosphere in the squadron in the first few months of its existence; new recruits were not obliged to pass a medical test to join the squadron, and it attracted a number of adventurous-minded men with a passion for flying, including a sergeant who had flown a Messerschmitt during the Spanish Civil War.

Volunteers were sought from the Army and had to be passed by RAF selection procedures before entering training. Once qualified as light aircraft pilots after a 12-week course, they were given further training on gliders: another 12-week course to qualify on the General Aircraft Hotspur. After a while they would then go to a Heavy Glider Conversion Unit for a six-week course so they were qualified for the Airspeed Horsa.

The regiment was awarded the following battle honors for its service during the Second World War:

Landing in Sicily
Sicily 1943
Normandy Landing
Pegasus Bridge
Merville Battery
Southern France
Arnhem 1944
North-West Europe 1944-45
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