Second World War

The Parachute Regiment was formed in 1942 as part of the Army Air Corps. It constituted Parachute Battalions within which were formed Machine Gun Platoons which utilised the ‘Man Carry’ method of transport. The Parachute Battalions were originally formed without the MMG Platoon; however, after the Operations in North Africa, it was decided to include MMGs within the establishment as soon as practicable. This was to provide the Battalion with sustained fire support independent of divisional assets, which may be dropped some distance away.

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.

photo-abdiv

1st

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
15 September, 1941, to 09 December, 1941 1st Parachute Brigade GHQ Home Forces United Kingdom
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army United Kingdom
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army At Sea
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division North Africa
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 6 Armd Division North Africa
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 46 Inf Division North Africa
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Sicily
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Corps United Kingdom
08 May, 1945, to 30 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade SHAEF Mission Denmark NW Europe
30 May, 1945, to 31 July, 1945 Indepedent Command
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United 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

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
30 September, 1941, to 09 December, 1941 1st Parachute Brigade GHQ Home Forces United Kingdom
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army United Kingdom
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army At Sea
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division North Africa
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 6 Armd Division North Africa
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 46 Inf Division North Africa
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Sicily
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Corps United Kingdom
08 May, 1945, to 31 July, 1945 Indepedent Command
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom

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

3rd

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 October, 1941, to 09 December, 1941 1st Parachute Brigade GHQ Home Forces United Kingdom
10 December, 1941, to 22 September, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
23 September, 1942, to 01 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army United Kingdom
01 November, 1942, to 12 November, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army At Sea
12 November, 1942, to 06 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
07 December, 1942, to 11 December, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
11 December, 1942, to 08 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division North Africa
09 January, 1943, to 11 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Army North Africa
11 January, 1943, to 24 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
25 January, 1943, to 28 January, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
28 January, 1943, to 04 March, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 6 Armd Division North Africa
06 March, 1943, to 15 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 46 Inf Division North Africa
15 April, 1943, to 21 April, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 5 Corps North Africa
21 April, 1943, to 06 May, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade AFHQ North Africa
07 May, 1943, to 13 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
13 July, 1943, to 16 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Sicily
16 July, 1943, to 19 July, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
19 July, 1943, to 11 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
19 September, 1943, to 13 September, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
13 September, 1943, to 19 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
19 November, 1943, to 21 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
21 November, 1943, to 28 November, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division North Africa
28 November, 1943, to 09 December, 1943 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 December, 1943, to 17 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
17 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 17 September – 27 September: The Nederrijn
30 September, 1944, to 05 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
05 May, 1945, to 08 May, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Corps United Kingdom
08 May, 1945, to 07 August, 1945
07 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

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

4th

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division N Africa
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division Italy
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 1943 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Army Italy
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Ind Inf Division Italy
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 13 Corps Italy
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Armd Division Italy
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group No. 3 District Italy
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army Italy
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army NW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Force 140 (3 Corps) Italy
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Italy
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Greece
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Arkforce Greece
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ United Kingdom
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group WO Control United Kingdom
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

5th (Scots)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division N Africa
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division Italy
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 1943 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Army Italy
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Ind Inf Division Italy
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 13 Corps Italy
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Armd Division Italy
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group No. 3 District Italy
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army Italy
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army NW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Force 140 (3 Corps) Italy
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Italy
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Greece
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Arkforce Greece
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ United Kingdom
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group WO Control United Kingdom
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

NA_020635

6th (Royal Welch)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 January, 1942, to 31 July, 1942 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
01 August, 1942, to 13 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
13 April, 1943, to 23 April, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
23 April, 1943, to 08 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division N Africa
08 September, 1943, to 09 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
09 September, 1943, to 28 September, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
28 September, 1943, to 01 October, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 78 Inf Division Italy
02 October, 1943, to 16 November, 1943 2nd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
17 November, 1943, to 02 December, 1943 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Army Italy
03, December 1943, to 15 January, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
16 January, 1944, to 25 March, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 8 Ind Inf Division Italy
26 March, 1944, to 03 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 13 Corps Italy
04 April, 1944, to 07 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
08 April, 1944, to 16 April, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Armd Division Italy
17 April, 1944, to 26 May, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 2 NZ Division Italy
  • 11 May – 18 May: Cassino II
27 May, 1944, to 26 July, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group No. 3 District Italy
27 July, 1944, to 15 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army Italy
15 August, 1944, to 26 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 7 US Army NW Europe
  • 15 August – 28 August: Southern France
26 August, 1944, to 29 August, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
29 August, 1944, to 17 September, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
18 September, 1944, to 06 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Force 140 (3 Corps) Italy
07 October, 1944, to 14 October, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Italy
14 October, 1944, to 03 December, 1944 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 3 Corps Greece
04 December, 1944, to 27 January, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Arkforce Greece
28 January, 1945, to 01 February, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
01 February, 1945, to 16 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ Italy
16 June, 1945, to 25 June, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ At Sea
25 June, 1945, to 16 July, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group AFHQ United Kingdom
16 July, 1945, to 28 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group WO Control United Kingdom
29 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

7th (Light Infantry)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
07 November, 1942, to 12 November, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
13 November, 1942, to 11 April, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
15 May, 1943, to 08 August, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division At Sea
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group WO Control By 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, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group GHQ India India

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

8th (Midland Counties)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
07 November, 1942, to 12 November, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
13 November, 1942, to 11 April, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
15 May, 1943, to 05 June, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division At Sea
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 March, 1945, to 24 May, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
24 May, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

9th (Home Counties)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
05 December, 1942, to 11 April, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
12 April, 1943, to 14 May, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
15 May, 1943, to 05 June, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 1944 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division At Sea
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 March, 1945, to 24 May, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
24 May, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom

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

10th

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
23 February, 1943, to 13 March, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Egypt
14 March, 1943, to 20 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Palestine
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Egypt
25 May, 1943, to 30 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF At Sea
30 May, 1943, to 06 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Libya
06 June, 1943, to 08 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF N Africa
09 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Italy
10 June, 1943, to 22 November, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
22 November, 1943, to 10 December, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
10 December, 1943, to 18 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW 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

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
30 April, 1943, to 20 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Palestine
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 1943 Independent Command
07 January, 1944, to 18 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW 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)

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 June, 1943, to 08 August, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division At Sea
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group WO Control By 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, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group GHQ India India

B_005349

13th (Lancashire) Battalion

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
01 June, 1943, to 08 August, 1943 3rd Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
09 August, 1943, to 05 June, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
06 June, 1944, to 04 September, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 6 June: Normandy Landing
05 September, 1944, to 24 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 December, 1944, to 26 December, 1944 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division At Sea
26 December, 1944, to 22 February, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
23 February, 1945, to 24 March, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
24 March, 1945, to 20 May, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division NW Europe
  • 23 March – 01 April: The Rhine
20 May, 1945, to 20 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade 6 Airborne Division United Kingdom
20 July, 1945, to 28 July, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group WO Control By 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, 1945 5th Parachute Brigade Group GHQ India India

15th Battalion

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

16th Battalion

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

17th Battalion

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
14 May, 1945, to 10 July, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade SHAEF Mission Denmark NW Europe
11 July, 1945, to 25 July, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 8 Corps NW Europe
26 July, 1945, to 29 July, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 21 Army Group Nw Europe
30 July, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 21 Army Group United Kingdom
31 July, 1945, to 24 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade WO Control United Kingdom
25 August, 1945, to 31 August, 1945 1st Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom

156th Battalion

Formation to which attached
Dates Brigade Division Theatres Battles
14 February, 1943, to 13 March, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Egypt
14 March, 1943, to 20 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Palestine
21 May, 1943, to 25 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Egypt
25 May, 1943, to 30 May, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF At Sea
30 May, 1943, to 06 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Libya
06 June, 1943, to 08 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF N Africa
09 June, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade GHQ MEF Italy
10 June, 1943, to 22 November, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division Italy
22 November, 1943, to 10 December, 1943 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division At Sea
10 December, 1943, to 18 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division United Kingdom
18 September, 1944, to 30 September, 1944 4th Parachute Brigade 1 Airborne Division NW 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.

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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.

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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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