The 15th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (15 PARA SV)

The 15th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (15 PARA SV)

The 15th (British) Parachute Battalion was formed in 1945 from the 1st Battalion the Kings Regiment in India. It belonged to the 77th Indian Brigade, part of the 44th Indian Airborne Division.

Following the Japanese surrender the Division was reorganised and relocated in October and November 1945. It was also renamed 2 Indian Airborne Division.

At the end of 1945 decisions were taken on the future of 2 Indian Airborne Division, which eventually resulted in its reorganisation and 'nationalisation' in preparation for the independence of India.

The effect of the reorganisation was to result in all British troops being withdrawn from 2 Indian Airborne Division, including the 15th Parachute Battalion, and formed into the 6th (British) Independent Parachute Brigade although it remained under Divisional command.

The unit was disbanded in 1947 as a result of Indian independence and reformed in the UK as the 15th (Scottish) Parachute Battalion (TA) under the command of Lt Col AS Pearson.

In 1967 it was re-designated 15 PARA (SV) and came under command of 44th Parachute Brigade (Volunteers).

15 PARA suffered the highest loss of TA soldiers during a major NATO exercise in September 1974 when a parachute mis-drop south of the Kiel Canal resulted in the drowning of six paratroopers. Much heavy-drop equipment and other soldiers parachuted into the canal, which was still open when the drop occurred. Ships lights may have been mistaken for DZ markers.

By 1989 the Battalion formed part of the Parachute Regiment Group (PRG), continuing a NATO reinforcement role for BAOR Germany.

The Battalion was amalgamated with 4 PARA(V) in April 1993, retaining a representative rifle company based in Scotland.

Commanding Officers:

15th (British) Parachute Battalion 

1945          Lt Col G Astell
1945          Lt Col TBH Otway, DSO
1945-6       Lt Col PGF Young
1946-7       Lt Col G Lea, DSO

15th (Scottish) Parachute Battalion (TA)

1947          Lt Col AS Pearson, DSO, MC

15th (Scottish) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (TA)

1948-53     Lt Col AS Pearson, DSO, MC
1953-6       Lt Col PS Sandilands, DSO
1956-9       Lt Col JS Cousland, TD
1959-62     Lt Col JH Graham, MBE,TD
1962-5       Lt Col RCV Stewart, TD
1965-7       Lt Col L Robertson, TD

15 PARA (SV)

1967-9        Lt Col L Robertson, TD
1969-71      Lt Col JG Starling, MBE, MC
1971-3        Lt Col JEN Giles, MBE
1973-6        Lt Col JUH Burke
1976-8        Lt Col HM Pollock
1978-81      Lt Col PE Wood, MBE
1981-4        Lt Col EAJ Gardener
1984-6        Lt Col CPB Keeble, DSO
1986-9        Lt Col WP Conn
1989-91      Lt Col MH Argue, MBE, MC
1991-3        Lt Col SD Cave, TD

Read More

Group photos_21

DZ Flash_1


Pegasus extracts_5


Newspaper extracts_1

  • Newspaper article on 15 PARA Colours presentation, 1952.

    Newspaper article on 15 PARA Colours presentation, 1952.

    1 Item

Solo photos_2

Medal Citations_1

  • Citation for the award of the Queen's Gallantry Medal to Pte Boyle, 15 PARA SV, Kiel Canal, 1975.

    Citation for the award of the Queen's Gallantry Medal to Pte Boyle, 15 PARA SV, Kiel Canal, 1975.

    2 Items

Latest Comments

Michael Jenkins said:
I’m getting nowhere fast with this part of my father’s WW2 history!! There seems nothing to be found on 16(S/Staffs) Para Btn. My Father was selected to join this Battalion on 01/03/1945 after surviving Operation Thursday as a Chindit with Bernard Ferguson’s 16 brigade. He was promoted to W/Sgt? during this time but what he did between 01/03/1945 and embarking aboard HT Strathnaver 20/01/46 I simply cannot find any information on. He gained his “red beret”, so presumably “qualified” as a Para.He was “selected” for a reason and purpose, but what seems a mystery.
Whatever it was he was clearly very proud of, although never spoke of, since he never seemed to keep any Chindit memories but had 2 hats with his Pegasus India flashes sewn on, which he always wore, and his beret badge and a photo to 16 Para in India.
Can anyone help throw a light on this?
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