16 Para Brigade's Air Contact Teams
When 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group was sent to Cyprus in preparation for the Suez operation (Op Musketeer), it was realised that 33rd Parachute Field Regiment would not be able to provid
The 33rd (Airborne) Light Regiment, RA, was redesignated as the 33rd Parachute Field Regiment RA in March 1953, and its two batteries (96 and 97) requipped with 25 Pounder artillery.
The Regiment accompanied the Parachute Brigade to Cyprus in 1956, under the command of 'Guy' Fawkes, at the time of the Suez crisis and took part in the subsequent operations in Egypt, using 25 Pounders. It returned to Cyprus in December 1956.
Having left the guns in Cyprus, it was without armament when it reassembled in Lille Barracks, Aldershot, in early 1957. It was redesignated as 33rd Parachute Light Regiment RA and requipped with 4.2 inch mortars.
Several battery changes took place during 1957 and 1958. 82 Battery rejoined the Regiment late in 1957 and on 29 January 1958, 29 (Corunna) Parachute Light Battery RA and 41 Parachute Light Battery joined the Regiment at the expense of 82 and 96 Batteries.
In 1957 the Regiment was ordered to send one troop to the Aden Protectorate. C Troop, 97 (Lawson’s Company) Para Bty, was issued with 5 x 75mm Pack Howitzers and moved to Aden. For nearly two years the Regiment was equipped with mortars in the UK and 75mm Howitzers in Aden, in support of 16th Parachute Brigade.
In June 1961 the unit was redesignated as the 7th Parachute Light Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, and later renamed as 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.
Compiled with the assistance of Lt Col Derek Reavill.Read More
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