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WACO CG-4A Glider Frame


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#26 all-bull

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 03:11 PM

You can see where the frame had been cut right through this point at one end

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#27 all-bull

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 03:12 PM

the fluid can on the other side has much better writing, but the sun was behind it, so I hope it's halfway visible.

That's it for now, hope this helps!

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#28 ww2_1943

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

This is great. Thanks for posting.

#29 Guest_brab101_*

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 01:08 PM

Great find.
I bough a frame 2 years ago in Holland but in much worse condition.
I know someone here in Belgium who is building one with parts he found in Holland and France.
Four years ago i was in a museum in Holland and that person had three wooden bottoms. I still have some pictures somewhere of it.

#30 all-bull

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 02:16 PM

I would love to see them if you can find them!

#31 Gregory

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:46 AM

Hello Greg,

My dad help land one in Holland.

Did your dad help then from pilot or co-pilot's seat? Was full crew on board then composed of two pilots or one only? Did your dad mention if his CG-4A had wheeled landing gear or it landed professionally, as designed by the Waco and sanctioned by aviation/military authorities, on the skids to avoid the problems described by your dad? Was this CG-4A equipped, as designed by the Waco and sanctioned by aviation/military authorities, with braking chute to avoid the problems during rough field landing, as mentioned by you?

Best regards

Gregory

My dad help land one in Holland. His had a jeep inside. The landing was so hard it jammed the hinge assembly on the nose and the pulley system would not work, (a cable was attached to the rear of the jeep and then connected to the nose of the glider. Under ideal circumstances, when the jeep was driven forward, the cable/pulley system would raise the whole pilot/co-pilot area up allowing the jeep to drive right out the front of the glider.) Dad said they had to get the axe off the jeep and chop a hole in the side of the glider, through the framework, and wrestle the jeep out the side of the glider. He added it was hard work and took some time but they finally got it out.

;)
"The nose section of the glider was designed to swing upward and lock in place to allow unloading of a Jeep. This was accomplished by a Rube Goldberg arrangement with a cable attached to the rear of the Jeep and the nose section of the glider through a series of pulleys. After landing, the pilots would get out of their seats, unlock the nose section and the Jeep would be driven forward. The nose section would pivot upward, lock in place and the Jeep would come out ready for action. There was one drawback to this arrangement; it didn’t work. The nose of the glider invariably would not lock in the up position and as the Jeep was driven forward it would come swinging down, demolishing the windshield of the Jeep and decapitating the driver and passenger."

Glider Pilot Maj. James M. McCloskey

#32 ww2vault

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:37 AM

Very nice find indeed sir!! :twothumbup:

I work at the Airborne and Special Operations museum here in Fayetteville, NC and we have a fully mint condition WACO glider which was found boxed up in a military warehouse years ago. If you need any pictures of it for reference don't hesitate to ask. ;)

- Jeff

#33 Greg Sebring

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 01:19 PM

Hello Greg,
Did your dad help then from pilot or co-pilot's seat? Was full crew on board then composed of two pilots or one only? Did your dad mention if his CG-4A had wheeled landing gear or it landed professionally, as designed by the Waco and sanctioned by aviation/military authorities, on the skids to avoid the problems described by your dad? Was this CG-4A equipped, as designed by the Waco and sanctioned by aviation/military authorities, with braking chute to avoid the problems during rough field landing, as mentioned by you?

Best regards

Gregory
*******************************************************
Gregory,

Dad said there was only one pilot and because of a shortage of qualified pilots, others were "volunteered" to fill the Co-Pilots side. There was no braking chute. In fact, when I asked dad about them and showed him a picture of one he said he had never seen one before and knew nothing about them. He added none of the CG4A's he rode or was around had them and it was new to him. Prior to dad getting drafted he worked at the Willow Run B-24 plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Dad worked on the hydraulic lines and did some internal wiring. When he got in the 82nd Airborne, 319th Glider Field Arty he was told for Market Garden that he spent more time in a plane than anyone else there so he was going to be Co-Pilot. Dad has trouble keeping a kite in the air let alone a fully loaded glider with no flight training. I will have to ask him if he remembers what kind of landing gear there was. I can add this,... Dad told me that approaching the landing field the pilot was not reacting to the very short space they were headed for. Dad kept glancing at the pilot then to the field knowing they would crash into the trees at the edge of the field. Dad told me rather than crashing into the trees, he was able to grab the wheel and pull back. this caused the glider to clear the trees and plop down in the adjacent field. The force of the "plop" caused giant ruts to be plowed in the soft ground which allowed the men to take cover from the Germans who were spraying the field with machine gun fire. The landing zone was hot as the Germans had counter attacked and taken the LZ over for a while. The paratroopers from an earlier drop were able to drive the Germans off so subsequent landings were without hostile gunfire. Dad doesn't know what happened to the pilot he will tell you to this day they would hit the trees had he not grabbed the wheel.

Greg

#34 Gregory

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:23 AM

Dear Greg,

Thanks a lot for your detailed reply. My hat is off a hundred times to your father.

The US Army American Glider Program has very complicated and not so good history and your dad is an integral part of those hard times. What you wrote is hair-raising and I mean various contexts. What your dad described would be impossible in the other USAAF aerial crafts certified for two pilots as the CG-4A was.

Before I will reply you also in detailed form I would like to do two things. First of all wish your dad from me all the best and good health for his veteran's life. He is much greater war hero than all the people think today. Such soldiers, as your father, and many others who "piloted" the CG-4As to land relatively safely without even the smallest pilot training ought to be the MOH awarded -- unfortunately they remained entirely anonymous and forgotten after the war. What life in fact is everybody knows -- the officials are decorated, war heroes have their patches, badges, photographs and it must be enough. I can imagine what your dad felt during approach because I have in my log book 74 flights done at the controls of archaic wooden glider representing 1930s/1940s design and technology. Nobody is able to land by aerial craft safely without earlier pilot training. The fact that your dad did it worse or better is like a miracle.

The second thing, of two mentioned at the beginning, is quotation from the American aviation law of 1941 or 1943, if somebody wants it, because nothing changed then in basic flight rules and flight safety procedures. It is not a random that the USAAF hired the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) inspectors, lawyers, instructors and other experts to teach USAAF glider pilots in US-based glider schools the American aviation law. This law was taught by civilians and no wonder. In democratic countries aviation law is only one for both civil and military sectors. Let's look what American aviation law told during WWII about pilotage of aerial craft designed with two pilot seats, two control columns and two rudder pedals sets, i.e. designed for two pilots according to aviation law.

Below is Paragraph 20.616 of the American aviation law of 1941 or Paragraph 20.724 of 1943 law -- they are the same and only numeration is a little other from year to year. This is wartime law prepared also for the USAAF/USN War Training Service (WTS). The title of this Paragraph is "Dual Control Airplanes" although, as always in aviation, it concerns all possible aerial crafts with dual controls. There were no separate laws for gliders, airships, balloons, autogiros or helicopters -- all of them are aerial crafts with the same air traffic and safety standards as for the airplanes. The Paragraph mentioned sounds as follows:

Airplanes equipped with fully or partially functioning dual controls may not be operated with both control seats occupied unless one of such control seats is occupied:
a] by a person possessing at least a valid private commercial pilot certificate, or
b] by a person possessing at least a valid private pilot certificate and a valid instructor rating, or
c] by a person possessing at least a valid private pilot certificate and whose Airman Rating Record has been endorsed by a duly authorized representative of the Administrator to the effect that such person has logged at least 200 hours of solo flight time and is competent to exercise the privilege granted by this section.
Provided, That two persons may occupy such control seats if each such person possesses at least a valid private pilot certificate: Provided further, That where more than one passenger is carried for hire neither control seat may be occupied by any person other than a properly certificated commercial pilot.


Now you can see Greg what happened to your dad's glider. The CG-4A equipped with dual controls has never been an except from above rules and law. If an aviation company designs, researches, develops, legally certifies and manufactures an aerial craft with doubled control system and two seats for two certified pilots then it means only one thing -- such an aerial craft has no right to be airborne with single pilot at the controls. To meet those law requirements in the period we discuss about the USA had the system of three grades for both civil and military pilots (excluding student pilots). In the civil sector they were (from the lowest to highest grade):
• Private Pilot
• Commercial Pilot
• Airline Transport Pilot
…and the USAAF had respectively:
• Pilot
• Senior Pilot
• Command Pilot

The CG-4A with your father on board had no right to take-off with only one pilot at the controls. It was a case for the US Army JAG only but not for taking-off. Such cases were hundreds of course then and all of them are taboo today without any wider description and analyze why USAAF had to do it, although it is known why. What the USAAF did against his own glider pilots and gliderborne troops was unimaginable even in totalitarian countries. Even such dictator and criminal as Joseph Stalin, for whom human's life, including own nation, was worth less than nothing, treated his combat glider pilots and gliderborne troops much better than in the case of USAAF. The Soviets never landed in such conditions as the American glider pilots and GIRs had to do it. As I wrote above -- such men, as your father, are much greater heroes than everybody thinks today but nobody wants to tell publicly why because it would be necessary to ruin and re-write entire official history of the USAAF in the part dedicated to American Glider Program. Not only Paragraph 20.724 was permanently broken by the USAAF in its glider fleet.

During Sicily invasion USAAF broke against its glider pilots Paragraph 20.64 under the title of "Night Flying". Nobody tells about it in the USA up to this time. One more time § 20.64 was broken drastically on D-Day. Imagine Greg that before Normandy assault this Paragraph was deleted from aviation law handbooks for student pilots of the WTS. This Paragraph can be seen in 1941 edition of American aviation law but after catastrophic fiasco of Sicilian night gliderborne assault § 20.64 was no longer layouted and printed in 1943 edition of aviation law handbooks for student pilots. It is hard to believe -- the most important Paragraph containing night flying safety procedures remained secret for the glider pilots trained for Normandy invasion. In 1943 edition there are § 20.61, § 20.62, § 20.63 and suddenly -- like a rabbit from magician's hat -- there is § 20.650. Not printed then § 20.64 could paralyze totally and stop gliderborne assault of D-Day. It was very good and wise Paragraph related to flight safety standards. Also about § 20.64 nobody tells in the USA to show how great heroes the glider pilots and gliderborne troops were. That's big taboo today to avoid writing the USAAF history from the beginning.

I discussed about it many times with the British -- for them it would be unimaginable scandal and criminal affair if British cargo glider with dual controls would take-off with only one pilot. Nobody knows such a case in UK. When was a shortage of the glider pilots in the British Glider Pilot Regiment then the RAF was forced to delegate his experienced transport and bomber pilots to the GPR. Every time the RAF was furious and protested against it but they had an order to delegate their pilots to GPR without discussion. As opposed to its British counterpart the USAAF have never wanted to delegate bomber pilots and planes for glider needs, for towing for instance. Nobody other, but the USAAF only, killed the best cargo glider in the world -- the CG-10A because USAAF did not want to tow CG-10As by the bombers as the RAF did it without any problems and within the framework of very good cooperation with the British Army.

In the Paragraph 20.724 quoted above we may change at will civil and military terminology ("Commercial Pilot" into "Senior Pilot" and vice versa, and create all the other combinations) but the basic law still remains the same law and nothing changes it. Nobody heard that the B-17s or B-24s in their combat missions were piloted from left (commander) seats by the pilots and from right (co-pilot) seats by the USAAF's cooks. That is this law and organizational tragedy your dad collided with. The American aviation law was permanently broken against glider pilots and GIRs but never against all the other USAAF sub-branches using aerial crafts certified for two pilots.

Today nobody in the USA wants to research US Army American Glider Program professionally. The AGP is big taboo -- sorry, but the newest DVD on AGP or a few books on it are not real history of that Program. The real history know such heroes as your dad who knows how American aviation law operated in battlefield practice. What is written about the AGP are simple stories "who" and "where" landed, but never "how" landed from aviation law point of view -- how took-off (with or without skid-type Tactical Landing Gear as designed by the Waco), how flew (with or without full crew of two qualified pilots) and how landed (on the skids and with braking chute as sanctioned by the Waco and USAAF or totally unprofessionally on the wheels and without a chute). Such men, as your dad, are the last silent eyewitnesses how the AGP really looked like -- against literature which tells nothing about it. The glider pilots and gliderborne troops are the only one professional group in the USAAF community against which the USAAF officials broke the law hundreds, if not thousands, times and nobody knows about it. I have never seen in-depth analyze of the AGP through the prism of general rules of aviation, aviation law, flight safety standards, USAAF officials' activities. These are big secrets up to this day. The AGP still waits for such a historian as Dr Stephen E. Ambrose -- a man with big civil courage to tell Pentagon and the nation how the AGP really looked like in all possible aspects.

The best evidence what the USAAF did against your father and thousands of his colleagues-gliderborne troops, but also against its own glider pilots, are aerial photographs of the LZs after Allied gliderborne assaults. What can be seen from the air on the British LZs is big professionalism and aviation discipline. Majority of the British cargo gliders have always landed in one direction which means professional upwind landing. What can be seen from aerial views on the American LZs is total chaos and crashes, turnovers ("capotages") as well as upwind, downwind and crosswind landings against all possible flight safety standards. Total chaos despite the fact that the USAAF glider pilots had better training infrastructure and were better educated and trained than any other WWII-era combat glider pilots, maybe with exception of the Luftwaffers. But no wonder, that such chaos occurred, if many times amateurs had to land when single USAAF glider pilot on board of CG-4A was killed, wounded or was overtired and too busy to check and do all before professional upwind landing. In the midst of US Army amateur "co-pilots" nobody had the right to know what is, and how much deadly dangerous, rough field downwind landing for instance. The USAAF glider pilots were top class men but the system in which they had to fly was the worst possible but it was not their fault of course. I may repeat only one thing -- my hat is off a hundred times to your father.

Dad said there was only one pilot and because of a shortage of qualified pilots, others were "volunteered" to fill the Co-Pilots side.

I can imagine -- "volunteers" like Major John Reisman from "The Dirty Dozen" novel and movie.

There was no braking chute.

The chute ought to be installed if the USAAF would treat gliderborne troops and glider pilots professionally and with concern of their lives. The braking chutes for the CG-4As were positively tested between third quarter of 1942 and first quarter of 1944. Immediately they ought to be ordered and delivered to frontline glider squadrons because those chutes were not "high-tech" gear. They could be manufactured also in the UK.

In fact, when I asked dad about them and showed him a picture of one he said he had never seen one before and knew nothing about them. He added none of the CG4A's he rode or was around had them and it was new to him.

The CG-4A was not the best possible cargo glider of WWII and due to short nose section it was receptive to turnover aka "capotage" during rough field landing -- i.e. rotation by 180° around Lateral aka Pitch Axis (see here). The British Horsa, with much longer nose section, was better in this respect. For not so good glider, as CG-4A, braking chute was not only braking device but also, or even mainly, anti-turnover gear. That's very sad what your dad told because since Normandy assault the CG-4As ought to be equipped with those chutes. Nobody of the USAAF officials ordered sufficient number of those chutes however because it would be hard to believe that such industrialized country, as the USA, was unable to manufacture and deliver to frontline squadrons the simplest possible chutes to protect soldiers life during assault landings.

When he got in the 82nd Airborne, 319th Glider Field Arty he was told for Market Garden that he spent more time in a plane than anyone else there so he was going to be Co-Pilot. Dad has trouble keeping a kite in the air let alone a fully loaded glider with no flight training.

That is too long story to write it here and now. What your dad could observe in his GFAB, when it comes to glider pilots dramatic shortage, was big revenge of the USAAC mentality. Wise American aviation community with various famous pilots appealed many times to the USAAC officials to change military negative opinion about soaring, gliding, gliders and glidermen. Without avail.

I will have to ask him if he remembers what kind of landing gear there was.

I would be very thankful for this information.

Dad told me that approaching the landing field the pilot was not reacting to the very short space they were headed for. […]Dad doesn't know what happened to the pilot…

That's the reason I wrote that your dad ought to be MOH awarded. In fact during approach he captained this glider and he, not glider pilot (maybe dead or seriously wounded then), took on the responsibility for surviving all the people on board. Was your dad awarded for that landing?

Be proud of your father. Tell him from me that the European sport glider pilot admires him very much. Best regards for your father and you.

Gregory

Edited by Gregory, 04 December 2009 - 02:30 AM.


#35 Jeeper704

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:41 AM

Very interesting information.

Small question; in the glider (WACO) that crashed in my area on 17.09.1944, there was a British Signals Corporal with the men of the 101st Airborne Signal Company.
Could it be that he sat next to the Glider Pilot as "co-pilot"?

I'm asking because both men were found in the field next to the one the glider crashed on (after hitting some tress). The British Corporal did show signs of life but died due to his injuries lateron. He was the only one not killed instantly.
The others were found in the trees and wreckage.

Thanks.
Erwin

#36 Gregory

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:59 AM

Could it be that he sat next to the Glider Pilot as "co-pilot"?

That's more complicated case study. Theoretically the British soldier could not be under the US jurisdiction and nobody from the USAAF could force the British citizen never trained in pilotage to risk his life in aerial craft belonged to the US Administration. Theoretically. Practically? Heaven knows... all was possible during WWII.

Best regards

Greg

#37 Greg Sebring

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 05:44 AM

Gregory,

Thanks for the interesting response. Dad landed in the twilight hours of 6/6/44 near Ste Mere Eglise riding in a British Horsa. To this day he curses them. It broke apart on landing and he remembers sliding down a road riding a piece of plywood. He told me he was lucky getting only splinters and bruises. No one in his outfit liked the British craft.

There is a book in the works you will really enjoy when it's finished. It is being written by a son of a 82nd ABN/319th GFA vet that was an NCO in my dad's outfit. If fact, they were good friends. The book is about 3/4+ completed and is titled: "BATTERY" Charles L. Sartain Jr. and the men of the 319th Glider Field Artillery". The author is Joseph Covais. He is a college instructor in Vermont and he is totally blind. He has worked on this project for years, interviewing every surviving veteran of the outfit he could find and amassing a large collection of photographs submitted by the vets. He has talked to dad for hours and I have supplied him with many copies of dad wartime pictures. I have a a rough draft of the work and have proof read it to this point. It is very well done and reads like you are right there in the action. Joe's biggest concern now is that some publisher will want him to cut it down and eliminate some of the pictures which would be a shame if that were to happen. It is full of veteran accounts and eyewitness stories. I will keep you in mind and let you know when the book hits the stands.

I found a picture dad took of some buddies of his standing by one of their CG4As

Thanks again for the response...if you want any more glider pix, e-mail me at: [email protected]

I'd be happy to send them on,

Greg

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#38 all-bull

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:01 AM

Guys, this is really amazing. I have immensely enjoyed reading every post, and hope you can continue to write your stories and information about the glider! I am keeping all of this information in hard copy with my frame. Thank you so much to everyone, and especially to your father!

#39 Greg Sebring

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 07:35 AM

Guys, this is really amazing. I have immensely enjoyed reading every post, and hope you can continue to write your stories and information about the glider! I am keeping all of this information in hard copy with my frame. Thank you so much to everyone, and especially to your father!



all-bull,

Where in VA are you from,... Mom and Dad live in Bristol, VA.

Greg

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#40 all-bull

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 09:06 AM

I'm from Amelia, about 30 miles from Richmond....I wish I had known all this about your father when I was at Virginia Tech...I would have loved to have met him!

#41 Greg Sebring

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:01 AM

I'm from Amelia, about 30 miles from Richmond....I wish I had known all this about your father when I was at Virginia Tech...I would have loved to have met him!


Funny thing,... they go there often as my brother attended VT and his wife still works there. My brother now lives in Christiansburg.

#42 QED4

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:56 PM

I meet a guy at a show once that was restoring a Waco, he said he found it on a farm behind a building much like your was. He said is was common for farmers to buy them as surplus after the war still in the original crate. It was the crate they wanted, they would pull the glider out and have a ready made chicken coop, the glider then just sat in some out of the way place and was forgotten about. I would not be surprised if that is why yours was there, someone wanted the crate and didn't care about the brand new glider inside and just left it there.

#43 Gregory

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:33 AM

Hello Greg,

Thanks a lot for all you post here.

Dad landed in the twilight hours of 6/6/44 near Ste Mere Eglise riding in a British Horsa. To this day he curses them. It broke apart on landing and he remembers sliding down a road riding a piece of plywood. He told me he was lucky getting only splinters and bruises. No one in his outfit liked the British craft.

That is very interesting because your dad's memoirs confirm a part of American opinions about the Horsa. It was one of the most controversial glider from American point of view although it is very interesting why? Neither the British, nor Polish gliderborne troops told badly about the Horsa. From aerodynamics and flight mechanics points of view Horsa was better than CG-4A. Serious weak point of this glider was rear section and its ramp possible or impossible to open after hard landing -- it was the same "Rube Goldberg arrangement" as mentioned in my earlier post #31. Your dad seems to confirm what Michel De Trez wrote in his "At The Point of No Return" book (page 23): "Horsa gliders have crash landed on their LZ. After Normandy, it was declared that this type of glider was unacceptable. No American combat unit would ever go into battle again in a Horsa glider." Of the two evils I would prefer to fly and land off-field in the Horsa. It was almost impossible to turnover by the Horsa (I know one case) whereas it was very easy to do it by CG-4A (more cases known). I mentioned above why -- short nose and wrong landing systems installed by the USAAF although very good professional systems were researched, developed and manufactured. With all due respect for Michel, the argument mentioned in his book that "Horsa gliders have crash landed" is not an argument because all, or almost all, CG-4As in Normandy also crash landed.

There is very interesting Braxton Eisel's article "One-Way Ticket To War" published in the Flight Journal Vol 10, No. 1, February 2005. The article is dedicated to USAAF glider pilot FO S. Tipton Randolph assigned to 80th TCS, 436th TCG. In Normandy he piloted Horsa for 82nd AB and he landed also, as your dad, near Sainte-Mère-Église. There is not one bad word in this article against Horsa. I think that American opinions about the Horsa are unjust. FO Randolph mentioned fundamental factor – he had 60 flying hours at the Horsa controls before Normandy but (quotation) "some guys had only four or five hours of training in the Horsa before they faced gunfire." And that is this American problem with the Horsas. When I was student pilot and had "four or five flying hours" I also hated my glider which was so stupid that blocked my "huge talent" to fly and my "valuable initiatives" to hit the ground and convert my glider into soil miller to dig out the relics of nazi gliders (I learnt to fly in former 3rd Reich glider base where the Luftwaffers learnt to fly by the SG 38 gliders)… :lol:

There is a book in the works you will really enjoy when it's finished. It is being written by a son of a 82nd ABN/319th GFA vet that was an NCO in my dad's outfit. If fact, they were good friends. The book is about 3/4+ completed and is titled: "BATTERY" Charles L. Sartain Jr. and the men of the 319th Glider Field Artillery". The author is Joseph Covais.

The news of the day! Very good! I am happy to see it.

He has worked on this project for years, interviewing every surviving veteran of the outfit he could find and amassing a large collection of photographs submitted by the vets. He has talked to dad for hours and I have supplied him with many copies of dad wartime pictures. I have a rough draft of the work and have proof read it to this point. It is very well done and reads like you are right there in the action.

Very good! Frankly speaking after more than 30 years long observation what and how is written about the AGP and USAAF assault gliders I lost my patience and hope that before removing to the better world I will see the truth about US Army wartime gliding. What uniformed, i.e. USAF, historians write on this subject is a mixture of half-truths, quarter-truths, selective truths and immediately it is clearly seen that they do not feel gliding and they have never piloted any gliders and never landed off-field. Moreover corporationism has always been more powerful than objectivism and the USAF historians are organically unable to write about the AGP honestly because nobody of them will criticize USAAF. Elementary rule "Nemo iudex in causa sua" ("No man shall be a judge in his own cause") operates equally well in the field of history. Loyalty towards corporation above all else and this is the end of objective writing about the AGP by the historians wearing the USAF uniforms. If somebody wants to see relatively real history of wartime American military gliding he must read "Air Classics" magazines. They have ever done their best to present as much truth about it as possible. And they are objective. If something was bad in the AGP they have no mercy for Pentagon; if something was good then they write that it was good. And they have always interviewed gliderborne vets and vets also tell the truth without seeing if it is nice for Pentagon or not.

Joe's biggest concern now is that some publisher will want him to cut it down and eliminate some of the pictures which would be a shame if that were to happen.

I know this pain very well because last quarter of century I have worked for aerospace and military history media. Last month one of the Editor's Offices rejected my article on the USAAF's XTG-7 Orlik II glider. I also heard -- "too long, too long, cut it down…". Sorry, impossible.
I wish Joe all the best and finding good publisher who will understand what he has in his hands.

It is full of veteran accounts and eyewitness stories. I will keep you in mind and let you know when the book hits the stands.

Thanks a lot in advance! It must be the book I am waiting for. Only the veterans know entire truth how the AGP really looked like.

I found a picture dad took of some buddies of his standing by one of their CG4As

Now it is clearly seen that the 319th GFAB had bad luck and used totally unmodified the oldest possible variants of the CG-4As. What you posted Greg are excellent and valuable photos but simultaneously we do have an evidence what the 319th used and how much it represented older American concept of gliderborne assault. Those CG-4As from your dad's pictures look like from the US-based glider school but not from second half of 1944 frontline squadron. Because M1943 field uniform can be seen I guess the images are from Market Garden period. In that time the CG-4As ought to look much better if… etc., etc., etc. -- if the Pentagon officials would treat its own glidermen in other manner than written-off people even before their take-off to combat action. As we already know from your post the 319th GFAB gliders did not have braking chutes. What is more, as can be seen, they did not have also Ludington-Griswold crash protection devices and Corey skids. The fourth element which eliminates those gliders from the group of relatively modern ones then and prepared for rough field assaults is landing gear as can be seen in those CG-4As. This is Training Gear only as designed by the Waco not for combat operations but exclusively for student pilots for their landings on hardened airstrips or concrete runways. And I do not write any new "revelations" from other continent because it is well described, showed and called in wartime manuals as shown, for instance, below (T.O. No. 09-40CA-2 Erection and Maintenance Instructions for Army Model CG-4A Glider):

EDIT: Picture is lost

Forgive me, or not American friends, but it was big shame and scandal that the USAAF decision makers ruined enthusiasm, professionalism, huge practice and knowledge, even patriotism of so many Waco engineers, technologists and test pilots who researched and developed such a landing system for the CG-4A to protect as much as possible soldiers on board against crash landings and turnovers aka "capotages".

I have collected maybe not a hundred, but certainly 70-80 percent of the US WWII era press where American Glider Program-related articles and ads were published. Imagine that throughout the war the Waco company advertised CG-4A and popularized knowledge about correct assault landings by their gliders. It was done, of course, under the Office of War Information control. How much wartime media are censored and manipulated in every country I think that I do not have to add. But in the context of permanent breaking the law by the USAAF during all gliderborne operations then those press materials are very valuable. They show, because they had to, how correct assault landing by the CG-4A ought to look like. Assault landing of course according to American aviation law and the USAAF flight manuals. Below is graphic part of Waco ad published in March 1943.

EDIT: Picture is lost

What can be seen above is not abstract picture for children because it also existed in mentioned above "T.O. No. 09-40CA-2 Erection and Maintenance Instructions for Army Model CG-4A Glider" -- see below:

EDIT: Picture is lost

Shown above is the only one correct and acceptable off-field aka rough field landing system. Since the beginning of aeronautics history if a pilot has at his disposal an aerial craft with retractable landing gear and he is forced to land off-field then he must to choose the only one acceptable emergency procedure for such a situation -- belly landing. In the American wartime media in the period of 1941-1943 big USAAF fascination can be seen by German and Russian assault gliders. For totally inexperienced in military gliding USAAF the Gurus were the Germans and Russians. But the USAAF never wanted to learn itself how the Germans and Russians landed in their mid-size (as CG-4A) gliders. They landed on the skids only, like in the German DFS 230 and Russian G-11 and A-7 assault gliders. The USAAF opinion leaders and decision makers responsible for changing the original (very good) Waco concept of landing system for off-field landings ought to be court-martialed, never decorated, for their activity against flight safety standards in the US Army AGP.

Thanks again for the response...if you want any more glider pix, e-mail me at: [email protected] I'd be happy to send them on.

Thanks a lot! I am also writing a book on American glidermen and gliders of 1930-1945 period so I am very interested in your declaration. I will contact you soon.

Warm regards

Gregory

Edited by cutiger83, 31 July 2014 - 09:57 AM.
update dead photo link


#44 Jeeper704

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 06:09 AM

Here are a few photos of the men I mentioned earlier in this thread.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v230/Jeepdriver704/SgtMeekarbriefingII.jpg
Sgt. Meeker briefing the 101st Airborne Signal Company on 17.09.1944.

1st on the left = Thomas Vella
3rd = Stanley Zajelka
Next tot Zajelka is Joseph Dottavanio
All were KIA in that glider crash.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v230/Jeepdriver704/MarchingIII.jpg
Marching towards the gliders.

Here, you see the two British Signalmen; Harold Spence and Frederick Arthur Sellers.
Frederick (with Sten) was the one in the glider that came down near Mariekerke, Belgium.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v230/Jeepdriver704/MarchingI.jpg
In this photo, you can see Stanley Zajelka marching (big guy with sleeping bag under arm) and right in front of him is Joseph Dottavanio.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v230/Jeepdriver704/Bankjegemaaktvanski.jpg
Little working bench made from one of the skis of the glider.

Erwin

Edited by Jeeper704, 05 December 2009 - 06:14 AM.


#45 Gregory

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 06:33 AM

Erwin,

What the pics! I have ever thought (I do not know why) that you know this catastrophe post factum only, but as I can see now you researched it also before it happened. What is the source of these photos?

Stanley Zajelka

Looks Polish, perhaps with original name and surname Stanisław Zajełka.

#46 Gregory

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 06:56 AM

Here, you see the two British Signalmen; Harold Spence and Frederick Arthur Sellers.

For figure modellers (but I think not only for them) this is sensational picture. The British airborne troops have on their Denison Smocks... American flags!

#47 Jeeper704

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 06:58 AM

Gregory, yes he was of Polish origin.
These photos come from actual footage and somewhere this newsreel still exists.

Actually, I have written a book about this crash (in Dutch only).
I worked with a certain Walter Verstraeten.
The book has three stories of which "my story" is one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v230/Jeepdriver704/BookCover.jpg

I have most of the information on the Glider Pilot and occupants of this glider, except for Gustave O Gerwig.
And I am in contact with the sister of Thomas Vella who was also in that glider.
They had important communication material on board which - because it was lost - played a major role in the Operation Market Garden.
The other glider with Harold Spence on board was lost too, it crashed near Rethy - Gheel, Belgium.
Two glidermen were shot by the Germans, the others escaped.
Spence survived the war.

Erwin

#48 Jeeper704

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 07:01 AM

Sorry if I hijacked this thread ...

Erwin

#49 Gregory

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 04:34 AM

Greg,

Every time, when your dad was in action from the air, he ought to land with his two pilots such professionally as can be seen below. The USAAF of course knew that breaks every imaginable flight safety standards in the assault landings and when they could, when they had at their disposal tactical landing gear they used it.

Below is ultra rare case from Normandy when CG-4A lands as professionally as the Germans and Soviets did it. The CG-4A that can be seen took-off using jettisonable wheeled cart and then landed in Normandy on the skids as it was designed and researched by the Waco experts.

Best regards

Gregory

Attached Images

  • 1.jpg


#50 Greg Sebring

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:05 AM

Gregory,

Here is a snapshot dad took from the co-pilots seat on a training flight over Ludwigslust, Germany as the war was winding down or even over prior to his outfit (82nd ABN) being sent to Berlin for occupation duty. Dad said the upper command had to think up things to keep the men occupied so some mental giant ordered glider training flights. Dad added the men were none too happy about it but there were rumors the 82nd was going to be deployed to the Pacific Theater. When dad heard that, he went to jump school in Berlin. Dad told me he didn't want to make a glider landing on some island. I have dad's glider and paratrooper qualification certificates, the later signed by the commanding General of the 82nd, MG James Gavin.

Greg

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  • Mahlon_co_piloting_a_CG4A_over_Ludwigslust___Copy.JPG



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