The Glider Pilot Regiment officially formed in 1942 as an elite regiment of the British Army. It was made up of volunteers from other parts of the Army. Only those who achieved the highest standards were selected for flying training, initially training on powered aircraft before learning to fly gliders.
No 102 (Glider) Operational Training Unit was formed on the 10th Feb 1942 within No 70 Group, though it was disbanded and was re-designated as 5 Glider Training School on the 30th June 1942 at Kidlington. From July 1942 and 18th October 1945 RAF Shobdon, Herefordshire become the home of No.5 Glider Training School. It was there that a number of the glider pilots trained on the GAL Hotspur glider before moving on to the larger Airspeed Horsa.
Some 1,345 glider pilots, 291 Instructors and 218 tug pilots were trained at RAF Shobdon between 1942 and 1945. They saw action in the major airborne operations, including the landings on Sicily and the Normandy beaches (D-Day) and the battles of Arnhem and the Rhine. No.5 Glider Training School also holds the record for the greatest number of day and night glider training missions, with 96,925 separate glider launches up to 1945.