TRIBUTE TO THE AMERICAN COMBAT GLIDER PILOTS OF WORLD WAR II
ANNUAL REUNION Welcome Page Site Entrance Resolution - 110th Congress Senate Resolution - National Airborne Day Dedication Dedication 2 Dedication 3 Roll of Honor Children of The Netherlands Adopt GI Graves Combat Glider Pilots Virtual Memorial Virtual Memorial Page 2 Silent Wings Museum Waco CG-4A Waco CG-4A - 2 Waco Drawings by David Eckert Later U.S. Glider Designs Airspeed Horsa Hamilcar Tow Ships Glider Pilot Training A Glider Pilot's Log Book Bowman Field Kentucky South Plains Army Air Field, Lubbock, Texas Wright Field, Ohio "The Snatch" Glider Infantry Sicily - "Operation Husky" Burma - "Operation Thursday" Normandy - "Operation Neptune" Southern France - "Operation Dragoon" Holland - " Operation Market Garden" Holland - Page 2 Holland - Page 3 Bastogne - "Operation Repulse" Germany - Operation "Varsity" Philippines - "Mission Appari" Special Missions Between Missions Glider Operations in England Glider Assembly at RAF Greenham Common Photos from Jan Bos - Holland September 7, 1942 "Life" Magazine "War Glider" Article "Yank" Magazine "Liberation Edition" - June 11, 1944 "Yank" Magazine "Airborne Operations in France" - July 2, 1944 Glider Insignia America's Latest Glider - The Space Shuttle Space Shuttle COLUMBIA A Glider Pilot's Day of WWII - Original Art Work by Dale Oliver Glider Pilot Humor GP Photos Letters, Wit, and Wisdom Unusual Glider Designs Interesting Photos & Stories About WWII Gliders Memorabilia German Appraisal of Airborne Operations Earlier Glider Designs WWII Posters Books on Gliders Attributions Links Page Airborne Research Resources Where to Find Books Currently in Print on WWII Glider, and Glider-Related Programs Glider Pilot Contacts Page of Emails and Addresses of People Who Would Like to Network on the Subject of WWII Glider Pilots Military Reunions in Dayton, Ohio
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by David Eckert
These beautiful CG-4A drawings are by David Eckert. Additional aviation drawings and photos by Mr. Eckert may be seen at his website at www.Daviator.Com.
Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures.
"The Fighting Falcon," a gift of the Greenville, Michigan Schools to the U.S. Army Air Corps. Funded by a drive by Greenville students to raise $17,000 for one glider. The drive was so successful that they raised enough money for four gliders. Manufactured by the Gibson Refrigerator Company, Greenville, Michigan (Gibson made wooden refrigerators - and caskets - before WWII). This glider was the first CG-4A into Normandy on D-Day. (Silent Wings - Pages 184-185)
"The Fighting Falcon," flown into Normandy "Landing Zone 'W'" by Lieutenant Colonel Mike Murphy, the Senior Glider Officer in 9th Troop Carrier Command.
Brigadier General Don F. Pratt, Assistant Division Commander, 101st Airborne Division, and LTC Murphy's co-pilot, Lieutenant John M. Butler, were killed when The Fighting Falcon, piloted by LTC Murphy, landed in a field of wet, tall grass at 03:45 AM (a few seconds after 4:00 AM by other accounts), June 6, 1944. Lieutenant John L. May, the general's aide, was slightly injured. The glider's wheels locked when Murphy applied the brakes but the grass did not provide the friction needed to stop. The glider hit a tree-lined hedgerow at between 60-80 mph . LTC Murphy survived but both of his legs were broken, one severely with a compound fracture. (Silent Wings - Pages 183-186; LTC Murphy in a conversation with George Brennan after the war; and, Glider Pilot Leon Spencer). A variation on LTC Murphy's landing was part of the story in the movie "Saving Private Ryan."
The actual "Fighting Falcon." Photo taken at Greenham Common in 1944. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Sayers firstname.lastname@example.org. Can anyone identify the men in the photo? It is possible that LTC Murphy and LT. Butler are among them.
Lt. May, BG Pratt, Colonel Murphy, and Lt. Butler with the original Fighting Falcon
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