Norman Swift enlisted into the Royal Engineers and volunteered for airborne forces, at the formation of 1st Parachute Brigade late in 1941, to serve with 1st Air Troop RE.
He attended parachute training course 4 for 1st Para Bde personnel, which ran at RAF Ringway from 17 to 23 December 1941. The course intake contained approximately fifteen Royal Engineers including Lt Vernon, 1st Air Troop's 2ic.
The airborne engineers unit was expanded in early 1942 and redesignated as 1st Parachute Squadron RE. Norman served with A Troop which was attached to the 1st Parachute Battalion and fought with them through North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
At Arnhem, A Troop was attached to the 2nd Parachute Battalion and tasked with clearing any explosives from the bridge. In the absence of any support and supplies the 2nd Battalion's position in the bridge area eventually became untenable and Norman was captured with the remnants of the battalion while trying to withdraw to 1st Airborne Division's defensive pocket at Oosterbeek.
He was held as a prisoner of war in Germany until the camp was liberated in spring 1945.
Norman sadly died on 17 April 2011.
Compiled by Harvey Grenville with the kind assistance of Tim SwiftRead More