Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in the United Kingdom, Airspeed Horsa, GAL Hamilcar, GAL Hotspur, Slingsby and WACO Hadrian gliders

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in the United Kingdom, 

Airspeed Horsa, GAL Hamilcar, GAL Hotspur, Slingsby and WACO Hadrian gliders

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in the United Kingdom.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in the United Kingdom would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com. 

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in the UK, including captured German and Japanese warplanes, are listed on separate pages on this web site.

Data current to 21 May 2019.

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in the United Kingdom by aircraft type, serial number, registration number and location:

Airspeed Horsa, GAL Hamilcar, GAL Hotspur, Slingsby and WACO Hadrian gliders

 (RAF Photo)

Airspeed AS.51 Horsa troop carrying Glider (Serial No. DP726) in flight, ca 1944.  The type was named after Horsa, a legendary 5th-century conqueror of southern Britain.  The type was used to perform an unsuccessful attack on the German Heavy Water Plant at Rjukan in Norway, known as Operation Freshman, and during the invasion of Sicily, known as Operation Husky.  Large numbers of Horsa were subsequently used during the opening stages of the Battle of Normandy, being used in the British Operation Tonga and American operations.  It was also deployed in quantity during Operation Dragoon, Operation Market Garden and Operation Varsity.

 (Happy Days Photos)

Airspeed Horsa Mk. II glider (Serial No. KJ351), Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hampshire.  The museum holds the substantial remains of three Airspeed Horsa Mk. IIs.

 (IWM Photo CH 10228)

Airspeed Horsa Mk. I (Serial No. HS103), Heavy Glider Conversion Unit, night operations at Brize Norton.

Airspeed Horsa glider, Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

Colditz Cock, a replica of a glider built by British prisoners of war for an escape attempt from Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle) in Germany during the Second World War.  (IWM Photo)

Photo of the original "Cock" glider taken on 15 April 1945 by Lee Carson, one of two American newspaper correspondents assigned to the task force which captured the castle.

 (IWM Photo BU216 Photo)

General Aircraft Limited GAL. 49 Hamilcar with a Universal carrier unloaded fduring the Rhine crossing, 24-25 March 1945.  Hamilcars were only used on three occasions, and only in support of British airborne forces.  They first saw action in June 1944, when approximately thirty were used to carry 17-pounder anti-tank guns, transport vehicles and Tetrarch light tanks into Normandy in support of British airborne forces during Operation Tonga.  In September 1944 a similar number of Hamilcars were used to transport anti-tank guns, transport vehicles and supplies for airborne troops as part of Operation Market Garden.  They were used a third and final time in March 1945 during Operation Varsity, when they transported M22 Locust light tanks and other supplies.  The gliders proved to be successful in all three operations, although their slow speed and large size made them easy targets for anti-aircraft fire, which resulted in a number of gliders being damaged or destroyed. 

General Aircraft Limited GAL. 49 Hamilcar  unloading an M22 Locust light tank.  (RAF Photo)

 (Happy Days Photos)

General Aircraft Limited GAL. 49 Hamilcar glider (Serial No. TK777), fuselage and replica, Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hampshire.

 (Simon Q Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

General Aircraft Limited GAL. 49 Hamilcar glider (Serial No. TK718), rear fuselage frame with an M22 Locust light tank, in the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset.

  (IWM Photo CH6030)

General Aviation GAL.48 Hotspur Mk. IIs (Serial No. BT551), "L" nearest, of No. 2 Glider Training Unit based at Weston-on-the-Green, in free flight over the Oxfordshire countryside, 1 Jan 1943.   The Hotspur was conceived as an "assault" glider which necessitated a compact design carrying no more than eight troops.  Tactical philosophy soon favoured larger numbers of troops being sent into battle aboard gliders.  Due to this, the Hotspur was mainly relegated to training where it did excel and it became the basic trainer for the glider schools that were formed.  The Hotspur was named after Sir Henry Percy, a significant captain during the Anglo-Scottish who was also known as "Hotspur".

Paratroopers serving with theAirborne Division beside a General Aircraft Hotspur Mk. II glider, 12 Nov 1942.  (IWM Photo TR276)

 

Paratroopers serving with theAirborne Division beside a General Aircraft Hotspur Mk. II glider, 12 Nov 1942.  (IWM Photo TR279)

 (Happy Days Photos)

 (Geni Photo)

General Aircraft Hotspur Mk. II (Serial No. HH368), replica, Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hamsphire.

 (Happy Days Photos)

Slingsby Kirby Kite glider (Serial No. G285), Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hampshire.

 (NMUSAF Photo)

 (RAF Photo)

Waco CG-4A-WO Hadrian glider, USAAF (Serial No. 42-79211, 31 Dec 1942.  The CG-4A could carry 13 troops and their equipment. Cargo loads could be a 14ton truck (i.e. a Jeep), a 75-mm pack howitzer, or a 14ton trailer, loaded through the upward-hinged nose section.  Douglas C-47 Skytrains were usually used as tow aircraft.

 (Roland Turner Photo)

 (Paul Hermans Photo)

 (Nilfanion Photos)

WACO CG-4A Hadrian glider (Serial No. 319764), Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, Yorkshire.

WACO CG-4A Hadrian glider fuselage (Serial No. 237123), Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, Yorkshire.