Second World War

The Parachute Regiment was formed in 1942 as part of the Army Air Corps. It initially wore the Army Air Corps cap badge before introducing their own.

Parachute Battalions formed the key component of Airborne Divisions. The make-up of a Battalion remained the same, with regards to Vickers usage, even after the Second World War.

Upon completion of their preliminary training, recruits were posted to the Airborne Forces Depot where they received their parachute training and there was also a battle school.

Battalions

1st

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
15 September, 1941, to 09 December, 19411st Parachute BrigadeGHQ Home ForcesUnited Kingdom 
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyUnited Kingdom 
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyAt Sea 
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 19431st Parachute Brigade6 Armd DivisionNorth Africa 
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade46 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionSicily 
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne CorpsUnited Kingdom 
08 May, 1945, to 30 May, 19451st Parachute BrigadeSHAEF Mission DenmarkNW Europe 
30 May, 1945, to 31 July, 1945Indepedent Command   
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 19451st Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September 1944) was Lt. J. Gardiner MiD.

One of the members of the Platoon was Andrew Milbourne.During Operation MARKET GARDEN, he recalls:

I was with the machine-gun platoon, with our guns strapped to our legs, and led No. 1 section aboard the C.47. Being No. 1, my part of the gun was the tripod: No. 2 carried the gun, whilst No. 3 and the remaining numbers the ammunition. What with our personal arms, rations and a mass of other kit, the whole bunch of us must have looked like overburdened Christmas trees. Believe me, we felt like it too. Even to reach for a cigarette was an effort.

The first action of the 1st Bn took place in woods at the junction of Wolfhezerweg and the Amsterdam-Ede Road. He recalls:

‘Shells began to burst amongst us. Yells and whistles filled the air and machine-guns opened fire. I noticed before I hugged the ground that one of the enemy guns was about 200 yards in front and to our left flank. My officer asked if I had seen anything and when I pointed the gun out to him ordered my gun section into action. Grasping the tripod I ran across the road, diving headlong into a very convenient ditch. Cautiously I raised my head looking for a position for my gun. Before having completed my look round No. 2 landed on top of me. “You bloody awkward elephant”, I began to curse, then stopped. A burst of fire was spraying the ditch… Finally I reached my position and slowly spread-eagled the tripod legs. Then, raising it slightly to the required height for a low mounting, I clamped the legs tight. Shuffling round I yelled for No. 2. Slowly he approached us and as he did so I ordered No. 3 to get near enough to supply us with ammunition. At last, after what seemed an age, No. 2 reached my side and mounted the gun… We were swept by withering fire. Dead lay all around, wounded were crying for water. Groans and shrieks of pain filled the air. Time and again they overran our positions and had to be driven out with the bayonet. My gun was never out of action.’

Andrew Milbourne was badly injured, including the loss of both arms and an eye, and became a Prisoner of War. He passed away, aged 86, 2009. He was originally a member of the 2nd Bn., Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

2nd

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
30 September, 1941, to 09 December, 19411st Parachute BrigadeGHQ Home ForcesUnited Kingdom 
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyUnited Kingdom 
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyAt Sea 
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 19431st Parachute Brigade6 Armd DivisionNorth Africa 
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade46 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionSicily 
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne CorpsUnited Kingdom 
08 May, 1945, to 31 July, 1945Indepedent Command   
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 19451st Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September 1944) was Lt. J.H.A. Monsell.

3rd

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 October, 1941, to 09 December, 19411st Parachute BrigadeGHQ Home ForcesUnited Kingdom 
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyUnited Kingdom 
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyAt Sea 
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 19421st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 ArmyNorth Africa 
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 19431st Parachute Brigade6 Armd DivisionNorth Africa 
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade46 Inf DivisionNorth Africa 
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 19431st Parachute Brigade5 CorpsNorth Africa 
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 19431st Parachute BrigadeAFHQNorth Africa 
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionSicily 
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNorth Africa 
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 19431st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19441st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne CorpsUnited Kingdom 
08 May, 1945, to 07 August, 1945
07 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September 1944) was Lt. M.J. Dickson.

4th

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionN Africa 
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 19432nd Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionItaly 
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 19432nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 ArmyItaly 
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 Ind Inf DivisionItaly 
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group13 CorpsItaly 
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Armd DivisionItaly 
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupNo. 3 DistrictItaly 
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyItaly 
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyNW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupForce 140 (3 Corps)Italy 
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsItaly 
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsGreece 
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupArkforceGreece 
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQUnited Kingdom 
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

5th (Scots)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionN Africa 
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 19432nd Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionItaly 
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 19432nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 ArmyItaly 
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 Ind Inf DivisionItaly 
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group13 CorpsItaly 
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Armd DivisionItaly 
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupNo. 3 DistrictItaly 
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyItaly 
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyNW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupForce 140 (3 Corps)Italy 
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsItaly 
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsGreece 
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupArkforceGreece 
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQUnited Kingdom 
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
NA_020635

6th (Royal Welch)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 19421st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionN Africa 
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 19432nd Parachute Brigade78 Inf DivisionItaly 
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 19432nd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 19432nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 ArmyItaly 
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group8 Ind Inf DivisionItaly 
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group13 CorpsItaly 
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly 
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Armd DivisionItaly 
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group2 NZ DivisionItaly
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupNo. 3 DistrictItaly 
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyItaly 
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group7 US ArmyNW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupForce 140 (3 Corps)Italy 
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsItaly 
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 19442nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group3 CorpsGreece 
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupArkforceGreece 
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQItaly 
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQAt Sea 
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupAFHQUnited Kingdom 
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19452nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

7th (Light Infantry)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
07 November, 1942, to 12 November, 19433rd Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
13 November, 1942, to 11 April, 19433rd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 19433rd Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
15 May, 1943, to 08 August, 19433rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe 
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlBy Air (Bde HQ and some units moved by air and the remainder of the Bde Group by sea. The Group was finally concentrated in India by the middle of August, 1945) 
28 July, 1945, to 31 August, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupGHQ IndiaIndia 

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation OVERLORD (June 1944) was Lt. Hill.

8th (Midland Counties)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
07 November, 1942, to 12 November, 19433rd Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
13 November, 1942, to 11 April, 19433rd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 19433rd Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
15 May, 1943, to 05 June, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe 
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 March, 1945, to 24 May, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
24 May, 1945, to 31 August, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

9th (Home Counties)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
05 December, 1942, to 11 April, 19433rd Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 19433rd Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
15 May, 1943, to 05 June, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 19443rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe 
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 March, 1945, to 24 May, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
24 May, 1945, to 31 August, 19453rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation OVERLORD (June 1944) was Lt. Dennis Slade.

10th

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
23 February, 1943, to 13 March, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFEgypt 
14 March, 1943, to 20 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFPalestine 
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFEgypt 
25 May, 1943, to 30 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFAt Sea 
30 May, 1943, to 06 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFLibya 
06 June, 1943, to 08 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFN Africa 
09 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFItaly 
10 June, 1943, to 22 November, 19434th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
22 November, 1943, to 10 December, 19434th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
10 December, 1943, to 18 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe: The Bde suffered heavy casualties in the Arnhem Battle. Details of the Bde were integrated with the 1 Para Bde in return to the United Kingdom. The Bde never functioned again and HQ was finally disbanded on 10 December, 1944.
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September 1944) was Lt. H.C.N. Radcliff. He was sadly Killed-in-Action on the 19th September 1944.

11th

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
30 April, 1943, to 20 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFPalestine 
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 1943Independent Command   
07 January, 1944, to 18 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe: The Bde suffered heavy casualties in the Arnhem Battle. Details of the Bde were integrated with the 1 Para Bde in return to the United Kingdom. The Bde never functioned again and HQ was finally disbanded on 10 December, 1944.
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn

The MG Platoon Commander at the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September 1944) was Lt. J.F. Rogerson. He was sadly Killed-in-Action on the 24th September 1944.

12th (Yorkshire)

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 June, 1943, to 08 August, 19433rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe 
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlBy Air (Bde HQ and some units moved by air and the remainder of the Bde Group by sea. The Group was finally concentrated in India by the middle of August, 1945) 
28 July, 1945, to 31 August, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupGHQ IndiaIndia 
B_005349

13th (Lancashire) Battalion

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
01 June, 1943, to 08 August, 19433rd Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 19445th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe 
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionNW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade6 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupWO ControlBy Air (Bde HQ and some units moved by air and the remainder of the Bde Group by sea. The Group was finally concentrated in India by the middle of August, 1945) 
28 July, 1945, to 31 August, 19455th Parachute Brigade GroupGHQ IndiaIndia 

15th Battalion

01 March, 1945Formed as 15 (Kings) Para Regt from volunteers of 1 Kings in Rawlpindi under command 77 Ind Inf Bde
18 June, 1945Moved to Bilaspur with Bde
21 June, 1945Designated 15 Para Regt

16th Battalion

01 March, 1945On arrival in Rawalpindi with 77 Ind Inf Bde, 1 S Staffords started to form 16 (Staffords) Para Regt from volunteers
18 April, 1945Assumed title of 16 Para Regt
16 June, 1945Moved to Bilaspur with Bde

17th Battalion

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
14 May, 1945, to 10 July, 19451st Parachute BrigadeSHAEF Mission DenmarkNW Europe 
11 July, 1945, to 25 July, 19451st Parachute Brigade8 CorpsNW Europe 
26 July, 1945, to 29 July, 19451st Parachute Brigade21 Army GroupNw Europe 
30 July, 19451st Parachute Brigade21 Army GroupUnited Kingdom 
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 19451st Parachute BrigadeWO ControlUnited Kingdom 
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 19451st Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 

156th Battalion

DatesBrigadeDivisionTheatresBattles
14 February, 1943, to 13 March, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFEgypt 
14 March, 1943, to 20 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFPalestine 
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFEgypt 
25 May, 1943, to 30 May, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFAt Sea 
30 May, 1943, to 06 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFLibya 
06 June, 1943, to 08 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFN Africa 
09 June, 19434th Parachute BrigadeGHQ MEFItaly 
10 June, 1943, to 22 November, 19434th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionItaly 
22 November, 1943, to 10 December, 19434th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionAt Sea 
10 December, 1943, to 18 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionUnited Kingdom 
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 19444th Parachute Brigade1 Airborne DivisionNW Europe: The Bde suffered heavy casualties in the Arnhem Battle. Details of the Bde were integrated with the 1 Para Bde in return to the United Kingdom. The Bde never functioned again and HQ was finally disbanded on 10 December, 1944.
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn

The MMG Platoon was formed without warning and preparation on route to Bigerta, to embark for Taranto, Italy (September, 1943).

At the time of Operation MARKET GARDEN (September, 1944), the structure of the MG Platoon was as shown in the organisation chart below.

parabn-mgpl156bn

During the flight to Operation MARKET GARDEN, the whole of No. 2 Section, and the Platoon Sergeant and Platoon Orderley, were on Chalk 619, a Dakota of 52nd Troop Carrer Wing, 314 Troop Carrier Command, US Army Air Force. This plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Holland and crash landed approximately 20km south-west of the landing zone. Only one member of the platoon, Pte. Stevens, managed to get out of the plane alive but later died of wounds. All other members of the section were killed as part of the crash or in the fire immediately after. They are now buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen and photos of their resting places are shown below.


Post-Second World War

The establishment of Machine Gun Platoons within a Parachute Battalion didn’t change after the Second World War. The Vickers remained in service for many years with the Parachute Battalions.


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