Along with the hazardous landing itself they were then expected to fight alongside the infantry afterwards until they could be relieved.
British airborne operations included the ill-fated Market Garden at Arnhem in 1944, but earlier actions that year supporting the Normandy landings were far more effective.
Operation Mallard on D-Day involved gliders flying in infantry of the 6th Airlanding Brigade and divisional troops to reinforce the 6th Airborne Division on the left flank of the invasion beaches. It proved successful, with 246 of the 256 gliders landing safely.
A medal group awarded to one of the glider pilots who took part in Mallard, Sgt Allan Barr Lindsay, came up for auction at Gloucestershire saleroom Tayler & Fletcher (18% buyer’s premium) on August 14.
Estimated at £100-200, it was offered as a father and son group also including his father’s First World War medals (he was twice wounded in 1918 serving with the Royal Highlanders in France).
Lindsay Jr’s War Medal 1939-45 featured an oak leaves clasp on the ribbon bar, denoting a Mentioned In Despatches - presumably awarded for his part as one of the 74 glider pilots of E Squadron (2nd Wing) during Mallard, said the saleroom.
Having survived the landing, his luck ran out by September when he was captured and kept in Stalag 4b, Muhlberg (Elbe) until the end of the war it seems.
The medal groups and various badges sold for £3200.