CG4A Gliders Stationed at Peterson AAF ???????
The “Special Collections” function is in the process of cataloging every photograph that has found its way to the museum. For the older volunteers, many of the 1940s photos have a personal meaning as “they were there.” Fortunately, many of these photos have recorded the hectic activity going on in the early days at the Peterson Army Air Field. One such photo shows two WACO GC4A gliders parked on the Peterson flight line.
Gliders were used for many years (and may still be) as part
of a nation’s military arsenal. Unarmed
gliders were used in WWII major invasions, landing behind enemy lines in
The war machine industry of WWII,
included the production of gliders produced by many contractors. Unfortunately
the gliders developed a reputation as being unsafe. One contractor was having their first public
The Weaver Aircraft Co of Ohio (WACO) was a glider contractor who built an excellent product. Tubing was used in its construction which provided a stronger frame. Many of these gliders were retrieved from their landing sites using the “snatch” technique. Two poles were set up with the tow rope fixed across the top. The tow aircraft, with a hook device would make the approach, hook the rope and the glider was airborne.
The photo of the gliders parked on our ramp has a note affixed that reads:
“Although these gliders were not part of the Peterson AAF training program, they were pertinent to the history of the installation at that time. These gliders were stationed at Peterson AAF and were serviced by the Peterson aircraft mechanics. The gliders were used in conjunction with the US Army’s training program at Camp Hale, Pando, CO. “
Well, that note has created a
number of questions and telephone calls.
With the assistance of the US Air Force Academy Museum, and the 10th
Mountain Division Historian at the Denver Public Library, they were able to
determine that the 10th Mountain Division did not have any record of
their ski troops being involved with gliders.
The next query was to the US Army Aviation Museum at Ft Rucker, AL., and
they too had no record of gliders being associated with
This author made contact with two
of the Glider Pilots Association officials and received quite an education on
WWII glider activity. There were many
glider training locations around the country, two being,
Now, this is where you, the reader comes in. If you have ANY information why these gliders were on Peterson AAF, please pass it along to the Special Collections at email@example.com.
Contributors for this article are:
Mr. Paul D. Martin, Museum Specialist, Civ,
USAFA/CMA; R.S. Maxham, Director, US Army Aviation
Museum; George Theis, Natl
Treasurer, Natl WWII Glider Pilots Assn and Dennis Hagen, 10th
Mtn Div Historian,