In may 1942, he developed plans for the organization of five airborne divisions. At first I wanted to shape them like normal infantry, but trained for delivery through the air. Soon, however, he changed his mind and created a new structure. American airborne division consisted of one parachute regiment and two glider with auxiliary units. But first, the ratio was different: two parachute and one glider regiment. The increase in the proportion of gliders was due to the need of the air of heavy weapons. The airborne division was smaller than an infantry. The staff consisted of 504 officers and 8321 soldier. The division included, in addition to these three regiments, the division light artillery (howitzers and anti-tank guns), a battalion of sappers, sanitary squad, a squad of quartermasters (quartermasters) and some others.
The first parachute battalion (501) created in the US in late 1940, following (550-y) in July, 1941 in the Panama canal zone. The first division, landed not on parachutes, and gliders, has become a private of the 88th airborne battalion. In fact, it was an experienced unit, which practiced methods of transporting, landing, resources, training, and so on. Soon was formed following two battalion 502 and 504. They became the basis for the organization of the first parachute regiment.
In August 1942 on the basis of the 82nd infantry division formed two airborne divisions – the 82nd and 101st. The process is continued.
At the then prevailing concepts as the vanguard landed parachutists, which was to capture and to prepare sites suitable for landing gliders. Then landed division of gliders, which are using heavy weapons, perform basic combat tasks.
For training glider pilots ‘ Aviation corps US army used several types of two – and multi-seat gliders
A group of students in front of the glider CG-3A, base of Wickenburg, AZ
Soldiers for parachute regiments were recruited, for the most part, of volunteers. But if we were talking about gliders, that enthusiasm was not observed. The service was dangerous, there were frequent injuries at training. From may 1943 until February 1944, when disasters gliders 17 people were killed and 162 were wounded. At this time, there was a poster in the US depicting the five wrecked gliders with the inscription: “the Joint glider troop. No flight pay. No jump pay. But – never a dull moment” -“Join the glider part. You will not receive compensation for no flying, no jumping. But it will not be boring”. Then introduced extra glider – $ 100 for officers and 50 soldiers. But it did not increase the number of hunters to serve in the glider troops. General M. Ridgway, commander of the 82nd division (the commander of the 101st was General W. Lee), trying to reverse this trend, gathered the whole division at the airport, sat in the glider СG-4A with a known pilot-glider M. Murom. They carried out various shapes of complex aerobatics, including loops and turns, and put the glider in a designated place. This demonstration has changed the attitude of the glider in the division.
When the United States launched the production of transport gliders, was that they need a large number of pilots. By the end of the year expected to prepare 12,000 glider, which, of course, was unreal. The first 12 officers began to teach in June 1941, in Elmira. The program resembled adopted for glider pilots-sportsmen, but the fly tow more. Trained officers were to become the instructors and leaders of military training courses.
Initially, the glider assumed a four-week training and 25 – 30 hours flying time (1 hour introductory flight, 9 study with the launch vehicle or winch, 2 hours of flight on a single tow, 5 hours on a double tow, the two-hour flights, and from 5.5 to 15 hours of planning). Ground course included the aerodynamics, the design of the gliders, the mechanics and technique of flying towed and gliding flight. The flights were carried out on 2 – 4 seater gliders, the types which were a great many. Most of them were versions of civilian cars.
On 21 August 1941 the army chief of staff ordered the training of 150 officers-pilots. School Twenty-nine palms in California was the main training centre. Training began in March 1942, among other things, there were carried out training flights with the use of ascending currents, which, as it turned out, it was not mandatory for pilots landing gliders.
Candidates for training were the pilots of light aircraft. The advantage given to those who completed military or civilian flight school or courses. With the release of the glider pilots had the plaque on the glider 50 hours. Then the rate was reduced to 30. The need for pilots of gliders has increased the requirements for candidates is gradually reduced.
In may 1942 released 6000 pilots. By this time, the program included 30 hours of flight on a training aircraft, 8 o’clock – double gliders, and 8 on the eight – or pyatnadcatiletnij gliders.
The basic data of a glider CG-3A
Created 18 glider schools that were 80 to 212 students. The most difficult was to organize the final stage of training on the large gliders. At the end of 1942 2754 expected of a cadet of flying them, the total throughput of the four divisions that had these devices was 600 students.
The American pilots of the gliders were not prepared for ground combat. They were to be used in the preparation of landing sites and landing of other sailplanes and, where possible, to evacuate. This led to the fact that the loss of the American pilots was less than their British colleagues who after landing he participated in battles on a par with the rest of the Marines.
Although the glider СG not used in combat operations, he made a significant contribution to the training of airborne forces of the US and left a good memory in the hearts of veterans of the Second world war.