Celebrating 80 years of the UK’s Army Air Corps

Today marks the 80th year since the Army Air Corps was established. It was Prime Minister Winston Churchill who announced, in 1942, the creation of a new branch of the British Army, initially comprising of the Glider Pilot Regiment, Parachute Battalions, and the Air Observation Post Squadron, to support military operations during the Second World War.

One of the corps’ most famous exploits during its history was the attack on Pegasus Bridge, which occurred on 6 June 1944, prior to the landings on Normandy. Three gliders carrying troops from the Oxfordshire & Bucks Light Infantry landed alongside the road crossing over the Caen Canal, between Caen and Ouistreham in Normandy. The bridge was taken within ten minutes of the battle commencing and the men there, including the glider pilots, withheld numerous attempts to re-capture the location. They were soon reinforced and relieved by soldiers from Lord Lovat’s 1 Special Service Brigade.

In the years since its inception, the Army Air Corps has provided extensive air support to military operations throughout the globe and Draken Europe has been proud to contribute to their success. Our specialist engineers currently support and maintains a fleet of Bell 212 Rotary-Wing aircraft in Brunei for the Corps, keeping important jungle training capabilities alive.

We congratulate the Army Air Corps on this significant and historic service milestone.