Norway (Operation Freshman)
Quite early in the war the Germans were known to be working towards the production of an atomic bomb; it was thought they had made considerable progress in the production of Heavy Water, an essential component.
261 Field Park Company RE was formed from 204 (Wessex) Field Company in 1939, and became part of the newly formed 45th (West Country) Division.
The company joined the Airborne Division (later the 1st Airborne Division) in January 1942. It was trained for a glider-borne role with the division and re-designated as 261 Field Park Company RE (Airborne).
In November 1942, ten sappers (with 20 from 9 Company) set off for the heavy water plant in the Telemark District of Norway with the objective of destroying it. Both gliders crashed and there were no survivors.
261 Company supported the 1st Airborne Division throughout the war in North Africa, Italy, Sicily, NW Europe and a detachment of 21 sappers landed in Arnhem.
1944 Maj JN Chivers
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