A letter to Col Barlow's wife from Brigadier Hicks, October 1944.
H.Q. 1 Air Landing Bde. A.P.O. England Oct 4.
HQ 1st Airlanding Brigade provided the Headquarters for operations of 1st Airlanding Brigade.
In late 1941 the War Office decided to form an airlanding brigade of glider borne troops in addition to the 1st Parachute Brigade. On 10th October 1941 the 31st Independent Brigade recently returned from India and mountain-trained was selected for conversion to the air land role and redesignated the 1st Air Landing Brigade and became part of the 1st Airborne Division. Brigadier GF Hopkinson took command on 31st October.
On 9th July 1943 the Brigade captured the Ponte Grande Bridge by air assault spear- heading the amphibious invasion of Sicily and two months later particpated in the Italian landings. It returned to the UK with the 1st Airborne Division in preparation for D-Day but was not used until Operation MARKET-GARDEN when it was virtually wiped out in the battles around Arnhem and Oosterbeek in September 1944. It subsequently participated in the Liberation of Norway in May 1945 before the 1st Airborne Division was disbanded in November.
See also: 1st Airlanding Brigade
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