Douglas Markham served with Airborne Forces during the Second World War, initially enlisting with the Leicestershire Regiment and primarily carrying out plane guard duty for downed Luftwaffe aircraft in the UK.
He transferred to Airborne Forces in 1942, completing Parachute Course 40 at RAF Ringway in mid-December 1942 and went on to serve as Colour Sergeant with the Mortar Platoon, 6th (Royal Welch) Parachute Battalion.
Douglas deployed to North Africa in 1943 (where he was unfortunate to contract dysentry soon after arrival), and served in Italy following the seaborne landings at Taranto in September 1943. He was one of those fortunate to escape the sinking of his transport ship, the HMS Abdiel in Taranto Harbour. Later in the Italian campaign, where 6th Parachute Battalion had remained after much of 1st Airborne Division returned to the UK in December 1943 as part of the 2nd (Independent) Parachute Brigade, he took part in the fighting at Cassino.
In August 1944, he took part in Op Dragoon to Le Muy, in Southern France, before returning to Italy. Later, during the Winter of 1944-5, he took part in Op Manna to Greece.
After the end of the War in Europe, he remained in the Army, deploying with 6th Airborne Division to Palestine before he was finally demobbed back to the UK.
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