249 Field Company RE was part of 54 Division (JP) and stationed at Bungay Mettisham Castle in Suffolk early in 1943 when it was recruited to join the 6th Airborne Division.
On May 21st 1943, the Company converted to airborne duties and on June 7th 1943, under the command of Major Sandy Rutherford, 249 Field Company RE (Airborne) became the gliderborne Engineer Company of the 6th Airlanding Brigade as part of the 6th Airborne Division.
It supported the Division in the Normandy landings and one of its Platoons was attached to the Oxford and Bucks LI for the assault on the Caen Canal and the Orne River Bridges.
Shortly before September 1944 the Company returned to England for re-training and leave. On 24 December 24 1944, along with other units of the 6th Airborne Division, 249 Company made a rapid return to the continent to help stem the unexpected German attack in the Ardennes.
In March 1945 the Company moved to the west side of the Rhine opposite the town of Wesel from where it crossed the river by means of a folding boat bridge, built by another Sapper company, to join up with the remainder of the Division which had crossed by glider or landed by parachute the previous day.
Throughout the remainder of the war the Company continued to support the Divison, finally reaching Wismar on the Baltic coast on May 2nd 1945.
At the end of the war 249 returned to Bulford and there it split up, with some of its men going to Norway and others to 289 Airborne Park Squadron supporting 6th Airborne Division in Palestine.
1943 Maj S RutherfordRead More
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