Oudna is a battle honour of The Parachute Regiment and took place in North Africa, between 29 November and 3 December 1942, during Operation Torch. It is also known as the Battle of Depienne.
Shortly after arriving in North Africa, the 2nd Parachute Battalion was tasked to destroy enemy planes at the German airfields at Pont Du Fahs, Depienne and Oudna.
After receiving intelligence that enemy aircraft had moved from both Pont Du Fahs and Depienne, a drop was improvised near Depienne to be followed by a march to Oudna on 29 November 1942. Unfortunately the drop had been spotted by a German patrol as well as local Arabs who began to steal items from the various supply containers in and around the drop zone (DZ).
The bulk of the battalion, less one platoon left to gather the remaining supplies and parachutes, marched to the airfield at Oudna. Despite an absence of enemy aircraft, A Company moved towards the landing ground whilst C Company moved into high ground to provide fire support. A Company immediately came under fire from small arms, mortars and tanks, as well as being strafed by Messerschmitt fighters.
After fighting off the German attack, the battalion withdrew overnight to new positions to await the planned link up with the advancing 1st Army. However the 1st Army, halted by unexpected heavy opposition, left the battalion isolated 50 miles behind enemy lines.
Despite requests to surrender, Lt Col Frost ordered a move to high ground to the south on 1 December, where the battalion was subjected to intense artillery fire. That evening Frost again ordered a move and by morning the battalion was in defensive positions around El Fedja Farm. This position was encircled by German forces but all attacks were beaten off during the course of the day.
Moving again at night, the remnants of the battalion, after an epic fighting withdrawal, reached Allied lines at Medjez El Bab on 3 December, losing around 16 officers and 250 men en route.