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Corps Memorials

The Army Air Corps (AAC) has a number of memorials situated in the United Kingdom and abroad to commemorate fallen Corps personnel.

Dedication of the Army Air Corps Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

On Wednesday 2 October 2013 the dedication of the AAC Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum took place presided by the Dean of Salisbury. The memorial was created in Portland stone featuring an obelisk mounted on a plinth. The obelisk is surmounted by a bronze eagle and lower faces incorporate the carved badges of the Army Air Corps, the Glider Pilot Regiment, the Air Observation Post Squadrons and the eagle and crown representing Army Aviation. The front of the plinth simply features ARMY AIR CORPS with the Corps Collect carved into the rear plate. The memorial is set on a disc of flagstones with a cross of darker stones set within it. There is a short approach path from The Beat. 

The saplings to the rear of the plot will mature in time to provide a dark backdrop to the light stone with the intention of placing benches here so that it may become a place of quiet reflection. The memorial will not feature the names of those who have been lost in Service as their names are recorded on the Armed Forces Memorial if they died whilst on duty. Those who died during operations in Iraq have their names recorded on the Basra Wall.

The principal AAC memorial was created in 2007 at the School of Army Aviation, Middle Wallop, Hampshire (renamed the Army Aviation Centre in 2010) to mark the Corps' Golden Jubilee. It is a historical tableau of etchings, set in black marble, depicting AAC deployments around the world during the first 50 years of the modern Corps.

This historical tableau forms a backdrop to the Army Aviation memorial of bronze eagle on a Portland limestone column and plinth that was erected during the 1970s. The Army Aviation memorial carries a dedication plaque to the Glider Pilot Regiment.

Salisbury Cathedral features an AAC stained glass window, which was installed in 2007 as part of the Corps' Golden Jubilee celebrations. It sits alongside the stained glass window that commemorates the Glider Pilot Regiment, which was disbanded in 1957 as the new AAC was formed. Many of its members joined the AAC at this time. The Battle Honours of the World War II Glider Pilot Regiment, Normandy Landing, Pegasus Bridge, Merville Battery, Arnhem 1944, Rhine, Southern France, North-West Europe 1944-1945, Landing in Sicily, Sicily 1943, were passed on to the AAC in 2007.

The AAC also has the following additional memorials:

Croatia - Otocic Pucenjak Island, off the coast of Ploce, has a small cairn originally constructed by sappers from 34 the Royal Engineers to commemorate Sgt MC Osborne AAC, Cpl ID MacDonald AAC, Airtpr R Willingale AAC and Airtpr GS Witherstone AAC from 663 Sqn AAC who were lost on 20 August 1995 when their Lynx crashed into the sea near the island. The cairn also now commemorates the loss of Capt P Jarvis AAC, Sgt D Kinsley REME and Cpl C Addis from 669 Sqn AAC on 22 December 1998 as their memorial, originally erected in Gornji Vakuf, was co-located on the island as British Forces withdrew.

France - Pegasus Bridge and Merville Battery. Both these sites in Normandy recall glider borne assaults and parades, supported by the AAC, are held there each year.

Germany - near Koblenz where there is a small memorial tribute to the crew of an aircraft that crashed nearby.

Holland - The memorial on the green in front of the Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek is the site of the Glider Pilot Regiment remembrance parade, supported by the AAC, for Operation MARKET GARDEN.

United Kingdom - Double Hills, Devon. There is a memorial stone marking the crash site of a glider carrying Royal Engineers personnel en route to Arnhem. A parade is held here each year, organised by local people traditionally supported by AAC.

United Kingdom - Kingscott near Great Torrington, Devon. The memorial, a stone bench made by a local stonemason, overlooks the valley where the Squirrel aircraft went down on 29 May 2008. The bench back, made of local Devon slate, has been engraved with a dedication to Lt MM Reynolds AAC and WO2 VP Hussell along with the AAC Collect. The memorial is a result of the villagers' efforts and was dedicated on 30 May 2009 in the presence of family, friends and comrades as well as members of the emergency services and the people of the village.

United Kingdom - East Colne, East Anglia. This memorial marks the site where many of the gliders allocated to Operation VARSITY launched. A parade is held here each year supported by AAC personnel.

United Kingdom - Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hampshire. The Museum of Army Flying's memorial garden was officially opened on 13 April 2011. Details of how to record an entry on the memorial wall can be obtained from the Museum. This memorial garden is also home to a monument in memory of Captain Julian Pooley AAC that was relocated from Belize due to the draw down of the Corps from this country during the summer of 2011. Captain Pooley's monument was previously located in Belize City near to an orphanage that receives funding in his memory from his family.

United Kingdom - National Memorial Arboretum. In 1995 the AAC established two trees at the Arboretum to commemorate the antecedent organisations of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the Air Observation Post Squadrons.

United Kingdom - North of Tilshead, Salisbury Plain - There is a memorial stone marking the location of the GPR Depot No 1 in World War II. The stone was erected by the villagers of Tilshead in 2004.

United Kingdom - Tilton on the Hill where there is a memorial to a 657 Sqn AAC Lynx that crashed en route from Dishforth, North Yorkshire, to RAF Odiham on 18 May 1999.

Northern Ireland - Aldergrove Station Church features a stained glass window in memory of Capt A Nicoll AAC and Sgt S Bennett AAC who lost their lives in a Gazelle on 22 December 2003.