“I set down doing about 85 or 90 mph on wet grass with no brakes and the hedgerows were coming up pretty damn fast.”
OF THE 17,000 American airborne troops to touch down in Normandy on D-Day, nearly 4,000 arrived by way of gliders. Unfortunately for the soldiers aboard, these engineless, wood and canvas transports were as flimsy as kites. In fact, the 1,400 Airspeed Horsas and Waco CG-4s that took part in the Allied invasion of France were just as likely to crumple on landing as they were to be brought down by enemy fire. In this latest podcast from our friends at AudioBurst.com, World War Two veteran Mel Pliner of the 436th Troop Carrier Squadron recalls his white-knuckle ride into Nazi Occupied Europe at the controls of an overloaded glider packed with infantrymen. Listen below.