This is amazing, another reason why WW2 Pilots, and glider pilots in particular, must have had nerves and balls of steel. I was doing a little research on building a particular Control line model aircraft (Whip powered U Control) at this site; http://www.modelairplanekit.net/modelairplanekit02.php
and I came across plans for Waco Glider that was designed to be hooked up from the ground and towed by a control line plane. Neat trick thinks I, and went looking for some pics of a control line model flier doing this. I was stunned to realise that in WW2 that they actually did this.
More info and a back story at http://atterburybakalarairmuseum.org/serv02.htm
From the page;
"June 1944 several gliders arrived at the air field and were the first reported at the field. Also, on June 19, 1944 a glider landed in a cow pasture east of the airfield on the Marr farm. The glider was snatched from the field the next day by a C-47 in an air-ground "close line snatch." An experienced C-47 pilot and glider pilot from Stout Field at Indianapolis were called upon to make the pick-up. A jeep pulled the glider to the corner of the field and a tow line was laid out in front of the glider and stretched across two vertical poles about 12 feet high. It took four tries for the C-47 pilot to pick up the glider. It became a common site around the area for gliders to make unscheduled stops in farm fields."
There is another reference at
from a manual which seems to indicate that it was not an isolated field expediency.
Crazy stuff. Anyone ever heard of this happening in a combat zone? One would think not, but history keeps on springing suprises on us all