X and Y Vigilant Platoons

X and Y Vigilant Platoons

The two Vigilant Platoons, X and Y, were formed in 1966 to provide anti tank support to the 16th Parachute Brigade utilising the Vigilant wire guided missile.

The two platoons each had about twenty troops, from all three parachute battalions, and were barracked at brigade headquarters, along with elements of 9 Parachute Squadron RE and 216 (Parachute) Signals Squadron. Additionally, time was also spent training with the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

The Vigilant Platoons were also called upon to provide additional manpower for battalions serving on operations, including Northern Ireland.

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Latest Comments

John McCormack said:
I was with 3 PARA in British Guiana early 1966: I came home a few weeks earlier than the battalion to attend a Heavy Drop Checkers course. I won the first checking competition at Watchfield later that year but by then I was in HQ Coy, Bde HQ, with X Vigilant Pl, so the platoon must have been formed between April and say Oct/Nov 1966.
The first Pl Commander, Lt Julian Herbert, came a little later but if memory serves me the first people there were Cpl McCormack (me), Cpl Tony Gynne, Pte Jim Nourse and L/Cpl Gerry Gilmore, all from 3 PARA. The Pl Sgt, Derek Clowes (can't guarantee the surname is correct) came from 1 PARA along with Ken Mulley and a few others. Later additions included Harvey Cammack, Chris Aslett, Syd Davidson, Tony Dunn, Ron Jordan and Alan (Scouse) Hague. Y Pl formed very soon thereafter with a Sgt Newbold (?). The only other member I can remember was Seamus Flannagan, ex 3 PARA. The O/C HQ Coy initially was Major Jack Crane, followed by Major Tom Duffy. Thats about it......too many years and too much Vin Rouge don't do the little grey cells any good!
Not much as I said but maybe a little to go on with. Rgards
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