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Unit 156 Parachute Battalion

The 156 Parachute Battalion was the previous 151st Parachute Battalion (that formed in Delhi) changing its title in November 1942. It became part of the UK 4th Parachute Brigade at Kabrit in Egypt in 1943.

The Battalion trained in Palestine before joining the 4th Brigade in North Africa and Tunisia. It landed in Italy with the 1st Airborne Division in September 1943 and spearheaded the advance from Taranto to Bari. It left Italy in November to return to the UK to prepare for the invasion of Europe.

After the frustration of numerous cancelled operations between D-Day and Operation MARKET-GARDEN, it arrived with the second lift at Arnhem on 18th September 1944, landing under heavy fire. Blocked to the north-west of Arnhem and suffering heavy casualties during the withdrawal to the Oosterbeek perimeter, the battalion was virtually destroyed alongside the other units in the 1st Airborne Division. Only a few survivors escaped across the Lower Rhine.

The under-strength Battalion was disbanded shortly after the battle in September 1944.

Commanding Officers:

1942            Lt Col MCR Hose, DSO
1943-4        Lt Col R de B Voeux

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