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Unit 6th (Royal Welch) Parachute Battalion

The 6th (Royal Welch) Parachute Battalion was formed from the 10th Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers in August 1942 and became part of the 2nd Parachute Brigade.

It embarked for North Africa in April 1943 and later took part in the amphibious landings into Italy in September 1943.

Although the landing was unopposed the transport ship HMS Abdiel carrying the 6th Parachute Battalion struck a landmine in Taranto Harbour on 10 September killing over 50 members of the Battalion. (57 officers and men are commemorated on the memorial in the Free Church at Taranto.)

The Battalion remained behind in Italy with the re-designated 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade.

The 6th Parachute Battalion formed the nucleus of a small task force 60-strong under command of Captain LA Fitzroy-Smith, which parachuted behind German lines during Operation HASTY in June 1944 near Torricella, to harass lines of communication. The Battalion subsequently jumped into Southern France in August 1944 and was part of the Athens occupation force in the winter of 1944-5.

The 2nd Parachute Brigade, including the 6th Battalion, came under the command of 6th Airborne Division in Palestine from 3 September 1945 where it served until 24 January 1947. The Battalion sailed from Haifa, as part of the 2nd Parachute Brigade Group, for the United Kingdom where it amalgamated with the 4th Parachute Battalion in December 1947.

The 4/6th Parachute Battalion was posted to Germany in February 1948 and re-designated as 1 PARA in 1948.

Commanding Officers:


1942-3        Lt Col CHV Pritchard
1943            Lt Col JR Goodwin
1943-5        Lt Col VW Barlow
1945-6        Lt Col A Tilly
1946-7        Lt Col JH Cubbon, DSO

by Paradata Editor

The Sinking of HMS Abdiel September 1943

An account by Cliff Meredith, Platoon Sergeant of 12 Platoon, C Coy 6th (Royal Welch) Parachute Battalion)

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Courtesy of the Journal of The Royal Welch Fusiliers.

GENERAL FARRAR-HOCKLEYS SHORT ACCOUNT OF HIS EXPERIENCE DURING OPERATION DRAGOON

General Farrar-Hockley's short account of the parachute assault into Southern France timed to coincide with the breakout from the Normandy bridgehead in 1944. Reproduced by kind permission of Max Arthur.

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GENERAL FARRAR-HOCKLEY'S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF SERVING WITH 6TH PARACHUTE BATTALION DURING OPERATION MANNA 1944

General Farrar-Hockley's experiences of clearing up remnants of the German Forces in Greece, restoring civil order and fighting ELAS (the military wing of the Greek Communist Party). Reproduced by kind permission of Max Arthur.

Find out more about GENERAL FARRAR-HOCKLEY'S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF SERVING WITH 6TH PARACHUTE BATTALION DURING OPERATION MANNA 1944

by ParaData Editor


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