Fred Glover, 92, who served in the parachute regiment during World War II, stands on the airstrip at Imperial War Museum Duxford with a limited edition Royal Enfield 'Classic 500cc Pegasus' motorbike
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Limited Release Motorbike Tribute To Paratroopers' 'Flying Flea'

A motorbike used by British paratroopers and dropped behind enemy lines during World War Two has been commemorated with the launch of a new...

Fred Glover, 92, who served in the parachute regiment during World War II, stands on the airstrip at Imperial War Museum Duxford with a limited edition Royal Enfield 'Classic 500cc Pegasus' motorbike

Picture: PA.

A motorcycle used by British paratroopers and dropped behind enemy lines during the Second World War has been commemorated with the launch of a new limited edition model.

Royal Enfield manufactured the RE/WD 125 'Flying Flea' during the conflict, with the War Department ordering more than 4,000 of them.

The lightweight bikes were dropped in by parachute within protective cages, boosting the mobility of elite troops and allowing them to relay messages more rapidly.

They were used in the Second World War’s largest airborne landings, both D-Day and during Operation Market Garden in 1944 – an Allied attempt to shorten the war by entering Germany from Holland over a series of captured bridges.

Now Royal Enfield has produced a limited edition Classic 500 Pegasus motorcycle in tribute to the Flying Flea.

The motorcycle was launched with an aerial display from the Army's Red Devils parachute display team.

The 10 paratroopers jumped from a Dakota C47 military transport plane above Imperial War Museum Duxford near Cambridge on Monday, before posing for photos with an original Flying Flea and a new Classic 500 Pegasus.

Second World War veterans Fred Glover, 92, (centre) and John Jeffries, 95 (right), who served in the parachute regiment during World War II. (Credit: PA)

Ninety-two-year-old Fred Glover, who was 17 when he joined the 9th Parachute Battalion during the Second World War, was at the event.

He was wounded while in a glider landing in Normandy and was taken as a prisoner of war until he managed to escape from a hospital.

The veteran returned to the battalion and later saw action in the Battle of the Bulge, fighting against the last major German offensive of the war on the Western Front, and the Rhine crossing.

Looking at the Dakota C47 plane, Mr Glover said: "I wish I was in there, actually.

"Of course I've done parachuting before but of course the 'chutes these days are much more elaborate.

"All you could do then was move left and right-hand turns."

Siddhartha Lal, chief executive of Royal Enfield, said: "The story of the Flying Flea is both remarkable and inspiring, and it has a history like no other motorcycle."