Seal of WWII Glider Pilots Association



National Archives
A Douglas C-47 of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, wings its way at low level toward the upright standards where it will snatch up the nylon tow rope attached to the CG-4A glider, lower left, during glider snatch pickup after Operations in Wesel, Germany. 17 April 1945.

SNATCHING GLIDERS:

Glider Pulled Into the Air from a Standing Start

For ground tow, the normal CG-4A tow line was nylon, 11/16 inches diameter, 350 feet long. A glider snatch was accomplished by a C-47 tow plane flying just 25 feet or less above ground level with a hook trailing behind on a 3/8 diameter steel cable that payed out from a revolving drum. The hook snagged a 15/16 diameter nylon tow line suspended between two twelve foot tall vertical poles, 20 feet apart, sweeping the glider airborne from a dead standstill to 120 mph in 7 seconds with a G force of approximately 7/10 th of ONE G.

To learn more about the glider snatch pick-up procedure, refer to the following article at the Silent Wings Museum, written WWII Glider Pilots and historian, Leon Spencer WWII USAAF Glider Retrieval System



Glider snatch pickup by C-47

Used effectively in Burma! After unloading equipment loaded up with stretcher and walking wounded and then snatched out. Returned to Hospital in about 2 hours as opposed to two months by ambulance.



POLES AND NIYLON ROPE READY FOR SNATCH

Glider in the air

National Archives
Back caption: Two CG-4A gliders await a snatch pickup by a Douglas C-47 of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, At Wesel, Germany. 17 April 1945.

GLIDER READY AND WAITING


glider snatch process

National Archives
Back caption: A glider of the 9th Troopo Carrier Command loaded with litter patients prior to take off at Remagen, Germany. 22 March 1945.



C-47 IN THE LOWEST POINT OF THE APPROACH WITH PICKUP ARM READY TO SNAG THE NYLON ROPE SUPPORTED BY THE VERTICAL POLES.

glider snatch process

National Archives
Back caption: Part of the success in glider snatch pickups is the ground to plane teamwork. Here, a Douglas C-47 of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, is shown flying low over a glider it will snatch from the ground. The jeep in the fore-ground, equiped with radio, relays instructions to the plane pilot throughout the take off and glider snatch. 17 April 1945.





SNATCH IS MADE!

glider snatch process

National Archives



GLIDER MOVES FORWARD


Glider in the air

National Archives
Back caption: A CG-4A glider of the 9th Troop Carrier Command loaded with injured soldiers, takes off from a field at Remagen, Germany. 22 March 1945.



AS GLIDER LEAVES THE GROUND ANOTHER IS BROUGHT IN

Glider in the air

National Archives
Back caption: A CG-4A glider is about to leave the ground in tow of a Douglas C-47 of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, during a snatch pickup at a glider marshalling area in Wesel, Germany. 17 April 1945.





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