Hometown Patriot - April 2, 2014: George Horton - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hometown Patriot - April 2, 2014: George Horton

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

While you don't hear much about the use of gliders in World War II, Army Air Corps veteran George Horton says they were very much a part of the Allies battle plan. In those pre-helicopter days, gliders were America's first stealth aircraft. 

"The glider was made to get into small places," said Horton. "It was also made for being quiet at night.  You couldn't hear them until they were right on you."

Horton taught glider pilots during the war. His job was to make sure the candidates knew all about the plane sometimes called "flying coffins" or "tow targets."

"I think I took my job seriously. If I had a student not capable of flying a glider, or didn't make a combat pilot, we had to get rid of them." 

The 48-foot-long fuselage was made of steel tubing and canvas skin. They were towed by C-47s and were a vital part of the invasion of Normandy.

"The gliders were never mentioned as far as I know in the history books. I don't know why. The gliders were used in every major battle of the war."

After World War II, Horton stayed in the Air Force and served in Korea.

Copyright KPLC 2014.  All rights reserved

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