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The National World War II Glider Pilots Association - For All Things Glider Pilot

Updated: Feb 27, 2023


There are some great resources that now exist for those wanting to do more research or

locate more information on a particular glider pilot or the glider pilot program and

missions in general. The National World War II Glider Pilot Association is a wealth of

resources with knowledgeable researchers available. It was started in an effort of glider

pilots wanting to connect with other glider pilots about 15 years after WWII ended.

Starting in 1966 their true grassroots effort began. Without internet and social media, it

was a huge endeavor to reach out and through contacts try and locate their war buddy's

whereabouts. The first meeting only had about nine glider pilots attend and annually, as

word got out contacts were made, and attendance grew.

In 1971 the first reunion was held at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and the Association’s

charter was established and officers appointed. In 1972 more positions were

established as needed and in 1973 an emblem designed by Dale Oliver was adopted as

the official emblem of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association. In 1975 the

Association Seal or Coat of Arms was created by the U.S. Army of Heraldry for the

Association.

In 1973 more than 223 glider pilots and spouses attended reunions and a more formal

organization was started. In 1975 the membership expanded to over 1000 members

and both British and German glider pilots attended in the following years. It was now an

international organization. The following year a restored CG-4A cockpit was on display

for the reunion in San Francisco and collections of all things connected to the glider pilot

missions for the War Room began in earnest. in 1980 the formation of the Military Glider

Pilots Association was begun for the sole purpose of raising money for the museum in

Terrell, Texas. In 2012 membership was open to all troop carrier veterans to become

associate members as Troop Carrier Group Associations were dissolving. When the

museum at Terrell out grew its location with the CG-4A glider a search for a new

museum began. In October 2002 the old terminal at the air field in Lubbock Texas

became the new “Silent Wings Museum” and is owned by the City of Lubbock. This is

the only museum in the world dedicated to the American Glider Pilot.

Today the NWWII Combat Glider Pilots Association accepts new members which are

comprised of family and friends of WWII glider pilots, researchers, prior military, and

people with interest in the story of the glider pilots. They have a formal research team

with its own database compiled by members of the Glider Pilot Association. This was

accomplished through multiple visits to the National Archives at College Park, Maxwell

AFB, Carlisle barracks, Presidential Libraries and Colleges. The result is an extensive

collection of data that allows them to find information such as when a military member

entered a Unit, their position and duty within the Unit, as well as casualties and more.

They encourage families of veterans and those that knew them to partner with them to

help continue the story of these remarkable men alive for future generations and share

letters, journals, orders and photos. This will help fill gaps in data due destruction of

records due to fires etc. after WWII.


In addition, members of the research team such as Mark Vlahos USAF, Ret., and Hans

den Brok, the International Director. As a side note others with an affiliation with or

interest in glider pilots or Troop Carrier Groups also have books soon to be published.

They include Scott McGaugh, William Wright and myself. This is a great help to

researchers now versus those of us in the 1990s which could only access what the

archivists could discover in WWII boxes and had no idea of the contents when we

opened them although I must admit there was satisfaction in the hunt.

If you have a chance to read back issues from the Association from its beginning, I

believe the first formalized newsletters were called "On Tow or The Angle of the

Dangle" which has now evolved into "The Briefing" which is produced quarterly by the

Association it gives some fascinating accounts. This is one of the best places to begin

your research or make contacts in this field.

You can find them at this link: https://www.ww2gp.org/

As a side note others with an affiliation with or interest in glider pilots or Troop Carrier

Groups also have books soon to be published. In addition to mine Scott McGaugh and

William Wright also have books which are being released this year so there is plenty to

immerse yourself in!

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