Reginald Burton joined the Army in December 1940 with the Leicester Regiment. After two years he transferred to the Sherwood Foresters and and served as part of 1st Army in Tunisia in 1942-3.
He originally transferred to the Army Air Corps in late-October 1943 'lured by the extra 2 bob a week'. Records indicate then-Private Burton joined HQ Coy, 8th (Midlands) Parachute Battalion. He subsequently took part in the 6th Airborne Division action of Operation Overlord, jumping into Normandy on D-Day, 5-6th June 1944. Like many that day, he later recounted coming under groundfire from Germans alerted to the descending parachutists.
Records indicate he suffered illness in Normandy and was withdrawn from combat, but remained in France. After returning to the UK, he later took part in the Winter deployment to the Ardennes as part of the Allied response to halt the German counter attack, returning back to the UK with the rest of the Battalion in late-February 1945.
Later, in March 1945 he returned to action to take part in the Rhine Crossing (Op Varsity), and the subsequent advance across Germany in March to the Baltic, returning to the UK in late May 1945 after VE Day. His Airborne service was not yet complete however and he took part in the deployment to Palestine as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, serving a further 103 days before being demobbed in late-January 1946 to join the Territorial Reserve.
After leaving the Army he had a short spell in the Prison service and lived in Nottinghamshire before rejoining the Army with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, with whom he served as a Lance Corporal (with a new Army No: 22563066) and deployed as part of the Far East Land Force (FARELF) to take part in the Korean War in 1952. Returning from the Far East in August 1952, he went on to undertake over two years deployed as part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) until early 1955, having become a Corporal. Later that year he was redeployed to Cyprus, which coincided with the growing Greek Cypriot EOKA terrorist campaign, finally returning for the UK in late-May 1956. After spells in Reserve forces he finally left the Army in Summer 1963.
He subsequently worked and brought up a family in civilian life. He died in February 1975.