From Nowhere to Normandy
by Richard Folkes OBE

Date: Thursday 3 March 2022

The rise of the British Assault Glider Force between 1940 and 1944 culminating in the coup de main at Pegasus Bridge on D-Day

From Nowhere to Normandy

The story of the extraordinary creation of the British assault glider-borne forces in only 3 years during World War 2.  This required the design, manufacture and development of thousands of gliders and the training of both specialist aircrew and soldiers to man them.  The story culminates in the highly successful capture, by gliders, of the strategic bridges across the Orne river and canal on D-Day – an operation of ingenuity, innovation and ultimate piloting skill.  

Mr Richard Folkes OBE FRAeS  

Richard Folkes is currently working at Leonardo Helicopters UK (previously AgustaWestland) having joined the company in 2007 following 31 years in the British Army. 

During his Army career he commanded an infantry platoon in Northern Ireland and Army Aviation units at all levels up to Director of the Army Air Corps.  His operational flying tours included Northern Ireland and the Middle East.  Outside aviation he completed 3 tours in the MoD and two as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and later the Army Staff College. 

His career within Leonardo Helicopters has moved from Senior Defence Advisor to Head of Corporate Affairs and since 2016 as Head of Aviation Safety. 

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