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Timeline Formation and Early Airborne Forces

On 22 June 1940 Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote to the British Chief of Staff directing the setting up of a Corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops.

He had been impressed by the successes of German parachute and glider-borne troops who had secured vital objectives ahead of the armoured 'Blitzkrieg' in Western Europe.

Churchill's call galvanised present tentative plans. An experimental and training centre, the Central Landing School RAF, was set up at Ringway Airport Manchester.  Soon men of No 2 Commando arrived to begin parachute training, making their first descents on 21 July 1940.

On 21 November 1940, the unit name was changed to No 11 Special Air Service Battalion, and by the end of 1940 it had qualified 500 officers and men as parachutists. The unit title was changed again on 15 September 1941 to the 1st Parachute Battalion as the future 1st Parachute Brigade began to form.

When the 1st Airborne Division was set up under the command of Lt Gen Frederick Browning, the War Office grouped parachute battalions together on 1st August 1942 to form The Parachute Regiment, established as part of a newly created Army Air Corps.

by Paradata Editor

No 2 Commando and 11 SAS Battalion Roll of Honour

A list of personnel who died in parachute training accidents while serving with No 2 Commando and 11 SAS Battalion in the UK, with links to further information.

Find out more about No 2 Commando and 11 SAS Battalion Roll of Honour

by Bob Hilton

Other articles connected with 11 SAS Battalion

Links to other articles on ParaData about 11 SAS Battalion.

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by ParaData Editor

No Car for a Prince

A short account, by Peter Cleasby-Thompson, of how Prince Olaf of Norway's car was commandeered during the first massed parachute demonstration in front of Commander in Chief Home Forces, other senior officers , and various dignitaries in 1940.

Find out more about No Car for a Prince

Reproduced from Pegasus Journal Volume 1 Number 4 January 1947

Account from John Timothy of Experimental Jump Training

Read this short article reproduced from the book 'Tim's Tale' (2008: self-published) by Harvey Grenville containing some of John Timothy's recollections of the experimental jump training carried out by A Coy, 2 Para in Summer 1942.

Find out more about Account from John Timothy of Experimental Jump Training

Reproduced for ParaData by kind permission of Harvey Grenville


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