BSA Airborne Bicycle Photos

This page has photos of the BSA Airborne Bicycle in the factory, in service etc.

TEMPORARY NOTICE RE: PHOTOS: Due to my closing down my old website (1999-2016 March) and moving the content over to this new web site, I have to reload many of the photos and delete obsolete tables. I am working my way through the website replacing missing photos. Thank you for your patience. 2016-03-14

IN THE FACTORY

1943 Pathe news film showing the manufacture of BSA Airborne Bicycles (Second Model) and Excelsior Welbikes Mark II. 

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Lady worker on the BSA assembly line

IN MANUALS

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Bicycle rigged for parachuting on its own, with a 12′ diameter parachute.

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Bicycle rigged for parachuting with parachutist.
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Position for jumping from a Stirling bomber.
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Position for jumping from a C-47 Dakota.
 

IN TRAINING

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Folded BSA airborne bicycle at an RAOC display of Commando and Airborne equipment, 1943. 

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Open BSA airborne bicycle at an RAOC display of Commando and Airborne equipment, 1943. 

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The Queen examining a BSA airborne bicycle while the King, Queen and Princesses were inspecting the 6th Airborne Division, probably in May 1944. 

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British airborne soldier riding an early (twin seat tube) BSA airborne bicycle off the drop zone or landing zone. His Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk. I  rifle is simply slung over the handlebars and seat and is not in clips. 

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British airborne troops on exercise crossing a fence and road. A BSA airborne bicycle has just been handed over the fence – on the left. 

 
Canadian paratrooper on a BSA airborne bicycle 1944, in England.
Canadian paratrooper on a BSA airborne bicycle 1944, in England.
Private Tom Phelan, 1 Canadian Parachute battalion posed on a BSA airborne bicycle at their reinforcement camp in England. Pte. Phelan had been wounded at Le Mesnil, in Normandy on June 16. The photo looks dramatic, but he would have great trouble riding the bicycle this way, especially across country with one hand. Library and Archives Canada photo PA 204971. 

INTO ACTION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

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1943 – A BSA airborne bicycle folded and on the back of a Sherman tank of the Three Rivers Regiment (Canadian Army) in Regalbuto.

 
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No. 9 Commando soldiers loading on board an MTB for the Cherso raid in August 1944. Note the folded BSA airborne bicycles, and the British torch (flashlight) hooked ion their belts.  Note that this lamp does NOT have the drop down lens blackout cover.

PREPARING FOR D-DAY

COMMANDOS PREPARING FOR D-DAY

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Royal Marine Commando troops doing a kit inspection just prior to D-Day, about May or early June 1944. The carrier on the front of the bike is an Everest Carrier.

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Everest Carriers mounted on Commando BSA airborne bicycles in June 1944. The men are heading off to load onto their ship. Note the loading control tags on the men. The men have fitted a Bergen rucksack onto the Everest Carrier. Some men are also carrying the large coils of rope (third bike from left), and some carried 3-INCH mortar bombs (2nd bike from left). IWM photo.
 

CANADIANS PREPARING FOR D-DAY IN NORMANDY

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“3rd Canadian Division Assault Troops” painting by Tom Wood. Canadian War Museum collection CWM10618.

INTO ACTION

ENROUTE TO NORMANDY

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Canadian troops on board ship enroute to Normandy, 1944 June 06.

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British Commando soldiers or marines lounge on rear deck of what appears to be a Landing Ship, Infantry (large). Note the BSA airborne bicycles leaning against the railings at the stern. The one on the far left has an Everest Carrier mounted, but not the load of the rucksack, rope, motar bombs etc.
 

COMMANDOS LANDING

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Commandos disembarking with BSA airborne bicycles.

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Commandos on the beach passing a Universal Carrier and Beach Control party (white bands on helmets).
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Commando troops waiting on the beach before moving inland.

BRITISH INFANTRY LANDING

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2nd East Yorkshire Battalion moving towards Colleville-sur-Mer. D-Day 1944 June 6. 

CANADIANS LANDING

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Canadian troops landing in second wave with BSA airborne bicycles  from Landing Craft Infantry (Large) # 299

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Canadian troops landing in second wave with BSA airborne bicycles  from Landing Craft Infantry (Large) # 299 Left half of picture.

 
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Troops carrying bicycles landing  on beach. Viewed from beach looking South West.
 
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North Nova Scotia Highlanders and Highland Light Infantry of Canada landing on 1944 June 6 at Bernieres.

PUSHING INLAND

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Commando soldiers or marines pushing inland. BSA bikes visible on far left and partially in the middle. 
 
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BSA airborne bicycle in beside a German 50mm anti-tank gun emplacement at Asnelles, Normandy, 1944 June 7.  The soldiers are with the British 50th Division. 
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Advancing. A British soldier riding a BSA airborne bicycle.
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4 Commando Brigade under fire on road near St. Aubin. BSA bicycle in centre. 
 
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1 Commando Brigade with BSA bicycle on right and a German (or French) horse and wagon put into use. 
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German prisoners. What MAY be a BSA airborne bicycle.