The Glider Pilot Remembrance Project commenced in May 2016 and now the first phase has been completed. The concept of the project was simple. Glider Pilot Family members, who were willing, were invited to pick a name from the roll of honour for Glider Pilots who were killed in action on Operation Market Garden. The pilot could be a relative, someone in a relative's squadron, or someone picked randomly. The member would then apply for that Glider Pilot's service records from the MOD and combine it with other research, to write up a ‘Portrait of a Pilot’. The aim is that each man will be remembered by more than just a name, rank and number, especially since many had no children to remember them.
Twenty seven Glider Pilots were included in the first phase covering all squadrons which took part in Operation Market Garden. Two of these were the very first casualties of Operation Market Garden; the two pilots who crashed at Double Hills in Somerset. During the Double Hills remembrance service both men’s profiles were displayed on a series of posters. Abridged versions of the remaining 25 profiles were printed on cards and these were placed at the relevant headstones during the anniversary of the operation on 17th and 18th September. The longer, final profiles will be produced in a booklet and presented to all participants.
Following the success of this first phase, the second is now underway covering Glider Pilots who were killed in action during Operation Varsity. With more and more volunteers stepping forward it is hoped that the entire roll of honour will be covered within a few years.
To participate in this project or to find out more, contact us by clicking here.