Cdn Airborne Units

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1942-1944 shoulder title as worn in Canada and overseas. The 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion issued their "1 Canadian Parachute Battalion" shoulder titles before D-Day June 1944.

The British airborne formation patch for 1 Airborne Division and 6 Airborne Division. This was also worn by Canadians with 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion. It depicts the first "airborne warrior" - Bellerophon riding the flying horse Pegasus. This symbol was also used as a formation sign on their vehicles.

Dakota and parachutist.jpg (59372 bytes)
C47 Dakota and parachutist. No this is not a war-time photo. I took it at the Abbotsford Air Show in 1991 and the jumper is a sport parachutist. It does illustrate however a typical war time scene however where the brave British, Canadian and American, and other nationality aircrews would hold their course, in spite of heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire, and even if their aircraft was on fire, so as to give their passenger parachutists time to jump. 

Canadian parachutists - The Canadian, Canadian-USA or British Units in which they served.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN UNPAID AD FOR THE BOOK. I saw the book in a local bookstore the other day, retailing at $40 Canadian for soft cover. A better deal is the $29.95 hardcover through the publisher. Information AS supplied is shown following with yellow background (The photo of the cover did not reproduce, and I have changed "we" to "they".) I am NOT affiliated or associated with the author or publisher. 


by Bernd Horn

"In a rapidly changing world, where the unpredictable shape of conflict will continue to be the order of the day, can our country further risk its beliefs, honour and very existence by excluding the Canadian Airborne Regiment, whose identity naturally harnesses some of the most versatile committed and inspired soldiers our nation has to offer?"

-Colonel. Peter G. Kenward, Last Commanding Officer, The Canadian Airborne Regiment

Bastard Sons is the long awaited examination of the legendary Canadian Airborne Regiment. In this important new book, Lieutenant-Colonel Horn brings the reader through the whole of the Airborne experience, by offering a detailed and thoroughly researched account of its history. With the current international circumstances, this book should appeal to all Canadians, through its consideration of homeland defence, the need for an elite military unit, and the relationship between the political and military establishments of Canada.

Throughout its pages, Bastard Sons also offers a revealing and controversial assessment of why the Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded by government order in 1995. It is a rare look into the decision making process in Ottawa, with its personalities and motives, heroes and villains, causes and betrayals. Lt-Col. Horn expertly captures the “schizophrenic” attitude of Canadian governments, the military and public towards the Airborne. From the creation of the postwar Mobile Striking Force and Defence of Canada Force, to the demise of the Airborne Regiment, the Army’s key problem remained its inability to find a viable, long-term role that made airborne forces “indispensable.” This dilemma stemmed from the fact that Canadian political and military leaders never believed that any justifiable, strategic role existed for airborne forces; the existence of the latter was instead the fulfillment of political requirements.

Lt-Col. Horn does more than just analyze the politics behind the birth, development and demise of the airborne forces. He pays tribute to those who served in or supported the Regiment and its predecessors during the 53 years of the “Canadian airborne experience.” His impressive research and documentary evidence proves that the vast majority of Canada's paratroopers did their duty faithfully and honourably.

Bernd Horn is a serving officer with the Canadian Armed Forces and is a former member (1993-95) of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. He holds a PhD in War Studies from Royal Military College, Kingston, where he is an adjunct professor of history. Lieutenant-Colonel Horn is currently the Commanding Officer of 1 RCR in Petawawa, Ontario.$29.99 CDN. HC 288pp 6X9" b/w photos & illustrations 1-55125-078-0


Visa or Master
Card orders may be made by

PHONE 1-800-661-6136
FAX 905-937-1760

Cheque, Money Order, Visa and Master
Card orders may also be made via MAIL

Vanwell Publishing Limited
P.O. B
ox 2131 - 1 Northrup Crescent
St. Catharines,  ON  L2R 7S2


A good book was recently published about the overall history of Canadian Airborne Forces. It is called:  IN SEARCH OF PEGASUS by Bernd Horn and Michel Wyczynski. Published 2001 by Vanwell Publishing Ltd. , St. Catharines, Ontario.  ISBN 1-55125-039-X  It sells for about CDN$45 and was in most Canadian book stores in Jan 2001.

The following lists many but not all of the units:

bullet   Airborne Canada title on white background.jpg (15487 bytes)  1 Canadian Parachute Battalion 1942-45
bullet2 Canadian Parachute Battalion (see First Special Service Force as this was one name for the Canadian component of the FSSF)
bullet Airborne Canada title on white background.jpg (15487 bytes)  Canadian Parachute Training Company (in England 1943-45)
bullet Airborne Canada title on white background.jpg (15487 bytes)  Canadian Parachute Centre 
bulletFirst Special Service Force (FSSF - "The Devil's Brigade") 1942-44  
bulletS.O.,E. (Special Operations, Executive) 1940-45 Sabotage organization in World War II  S.O.,E. had two training schools in Canada.  
bulletCamp X (aka Project J, and STS 103 - Special Training School 103) One of the S.O.,E. training camps in Canada. The other one was for Force 136 in B.C. Camp X was, contrary to the incorrect info in "A Man Called Intrepid" basically a basic training and screening school. The OSS (predecessor to the CIA) did some of its earliest training there. Town of Whitby Ontario including Camp X   
bulletForce 136 (see S.O.,E.) Far East Branch of S.O.,E. Many Chinese-Canadians, Japanese-Canadians and others served in it. Some Chinese-Canadians were sent by Force 136 to serve with the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA).
bullet SAS collar badges.jpg (30317 bytes)  S.A.S. (Special Air Service) World War II raiding unit. Some Canadians served in 1 & 2 SAS. 5 SAS (Belgian) originally trained in Canada. They used a maple leaf as a symbol as a result. Eddie Blondeel was the C.O.  (Post-WWII SAS collar badges shown).
bulletS.I.S. (Secret Intelligence Service, MI-6) British spy organization. The 'real' James Bond's organization.
bulletMI-9 (Military Intelligence 9) (British World War II Escape Organization) Canadian members included Lucien Dumais and Ray Labrosse. See "The Man Who Went Back".  
bulletCanadian Special Air Service Company - 1947-49    Raised and commanded by Guy d'Artois who had served in R22eR, F.S.S.F., S.O.,E. (F Section), and after the SAS Coy was disbanded, he served again with R22eR in Korea. I had the pleasure of meeting him and feel he was one of the ultimate Canadian airborne soldiers. Even his wife was a combat parachutist! She too served with S.O.,E. behind the German lines in France.
bulletMobile Strike Force  1948-58
bullet Airborne Canada crest decal.jpg (86473 bytes)  Canadian Airborne Regiment 1968 - 1995. This proud formation was disbanded by politicians in a very controversial and demoralizing action. 
bulletJoint Task Force II (aka JTF 2) c.1995 - Present   A secret SAS style unit based near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. See book "Tested Mettle" by Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan. This group was photographed delivering Afghan prisoners to US Forces. They were recognizable by their green camo uniforms in the desert environment.
bulletRoyal Westminster Regiment, airborne platoon  (AB Platoon is now defunct). A contact person is buryniuk.dh (at)[2002 March]
new-14.jpg (11575 bytes)
The Canadian Airborne Regiment in a mass jump. Happier times - at the "Colours Presentation" 1973 June 09

Note the bottom right corner, second man to left. His main chute has not deployed properly and he has started to deploy his reserve chute. 

Photo from "The Maroon Beret"   20th Anniversary Edition 1988 courtesy Don Thomas.

Comment from Guestbook: There is a picture of a mass drop on the page titled "Canadian Airborne Units". It was taken June 9, 1973. I was on that jump. The winds that day were about 20 knots, some say higher. If you look in the lower right corner of the picture, you will see a white canopy partially inflated and slightly below that what looks like a bundle of material. That was the jumpers vain attempt at trying to deploy his reserve. The jumper is Bill Tremain. He was a young Bdr in the Airborne Battery. He survived the jump and lived to tell the tale. jogden55 (at)

For airborne re-enactors, go to:

 LINK: Airborne Brotherhood  (Web master of that site asked for a link)

Copyright © Colin Stevens Updated: August 24, 2008
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