MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – They played a key role in storming the beaches at Normandy, but they don’t always get the recognition in the history books.

On Saturday, dozens of World War II glider pilots from around the country met to share their stories at the Anoka County airport.

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This is an annual reunion, but the first time it was held in Minnesota.

Glider pilots were key to bringing in heavy machinery and supplies to troops during the war.

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Their silent aircraft allowed them to get behind enemy lines.

“You can’t drop paratroopers in there [without] guns and tanks and be opposed by artillery and tank guns. So, the gliders were very important,” veteran Jean Crawford said.

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Veterans and their families also got a chance to fly in WWII ear planes.