Joseph (Joe) Norris Smith was an ex-glider pilot trainee who was recruited for the newly formed 21 Independent Parachute Company by Major Lander in 1942.
He qualified as a military parachutist on course 23, which ran at RAF Ringway from 17 to 23 August 1942, and was later promoted to Sergeant of No 3 Platoon.
Joe deployed on operations with the pathfinder company in Sicily, Italy and Arnhem, where he was one of the few company members who made it back to the safety of Allied lines south of the Rhine after the nine day battle.
He was granted an immediate emergency commission from the ranks on 11 January 1945 and transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers the following year on the disbandment of 21st Ind Para Coy.
Promoted to Captain in 1951, Joe later transferred to the Royal Army Pay Corps and eventually relinquished his commission on 1 October 1962.
He was granted the honorary rank of Major on his retirement.
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