11th Battalion Parachute regiment

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by wtid45, May 25, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO 169/10353 11 Para Mar Dec 1943

    WO 171/1244 11 Para Jan-July and Sept-Oct 1944.

    Anyone know the Pre March 1943 diaries (Home Forces WO 166?) and I assume that 11 Para ceased to exist after Oct 1944?

    Cheers
    Andy

    EDIT:

    OK-No diary after 1944 as what was left after OMG was put in 3 Para. So just looking for 1942 to Feb 1943 diary which I assume is Africa/Palestine/Kos.

    Tar
     
    wtid45 likes this.
  2. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Drew

    As per our discussion at the Archives this morning - 11 Para was formed 4th March 1943 at Kabrit. The first entry in the 1943 War Diary shows the formation of the battalion and the appointment of principal officers.

    John
     
  3. Bobs grandson

    Bobs grandson Member

    Ok just to throw something in the ring about 11 paras movements on the 19th of september . now you will have to excuse me here as i have very little knowledge of the battle having only read cornelious ryans a bridge too far but having spoken to my uncle and mother recently about their father it appears that my grandfather (sergeant Robert Thompson)and his best friend Lance Sergeant George Bowers may have been one of the most advanced groups of the 11th battalion on the 19th . It appears that they both lost there lives (or were severely wounded) trying to take out 2 machine gun posts covering a bridge of some sort across a railway line . The address as i understand it is Heijenoordseweg on the corner of callunastraat opposite house number 100 . now this information comes to me via my family who have been in contact with the dutch family who buried my grandfather and L sergeant Bowers shortly after the battle so im assuming it is correct and they seem to be of the understanding that this was the furthest 11 para got . Now im under no illusion that this is ultimatly the truth as far as the battalion is concerned but i hope that this maybe of some help to anyone studying the battalions movements and obviously would like to hear if this helps and other such stories
    as for this particular part of the battle i do not know what strength of unit my grandfather and sergeant Bowers were commanding at the time or if indeed there was an officer present but as i understand the situation they tried to cross the bridge and came under fire from a mg42 or such like directly in front of them so therefore they dispersed to the left of the bridge into the railway sidings and then came under fire from another machine gun post to the left hand side of them . this as i understand was dispatched by sergeant Bowers and one other trooper and 2 german prisoners were taken . Subsequently this machine gun post came under fire from the germans and Bowers and the other trooper were both hit and then the 2 german prisoners tried to make a run for it and were cut down by the rest of the paras from the sidings. From a witness (a private who was in my grandfathers platoon i need to confirm his name) stated that my grandfather could hear George(Bowers) calling out and despite others sying it was not him my grandfather tried to make a run to where he heard the calls and at this point he was cut down by enemy fire and rolled back down the sidings . at this point it is understood that the group withdrew under sustained enemy fire . As i say i have no idea of the strength in numbers for either the British or german positions and sadly both of the key witnesess are no longer with us .
    As for my grandfather i have yet to find out his full military history but i do know that he was a early volunteer for the army as he served in the BEF in 39/40 and managed to escape from dunkirk and was a dispatch rider but as yet i have no knowledge as to which regiment he was attached too . Also i know that he was in North Afica and Italy as his war medals are the 39/45 star the africa star , the italy star , the france and germany star , the defence medal and also the 39/45 war medal.
    On another note My uncle said that he believed that my grandfather was parachuted into somewhere possibly Kos or a similar greek island that we liberated but then the germans retook ? is ther any possibility of this ? anyway many thanks for your time for reading this and if you do have any info it will be gratefully recevied and im sorry if i have gone slightly of the topic of the thread . many thanks phil
     
  4. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Phil

    "My uncle said that he believed that my grandfather was parachuted into somewhere possibly Kos or a similar greek island that we liberated but then the germans retook ? is ther any possibility of this ?"

    You're correct - Operation Accolade. On 14th September 1943 110 men from "A" Company of 11 Para, under command of Major David Gilchrist, and landed on Kos. They captured their objectives and handed over to other troops that landed by Sea. They departed on 24th September.
    The occupation was short lived as the island was retaken by the Germans on 4th October.

    John
     
  5. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Fantastic post Phil, thanks very much for sharing it with us. I think you're right about the 11th and Kos. If I remember correctly one Company did go there. I'm sure Jason (wtid45) will be able to confirm this.

    All the best mate...........:)
     
  6. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Phil

    "My uncle said that he believed that my grandfather was parachuted into somewhere possibly Kos or a similar greek island that we liberated but then the germans retook ? is ther any possibility of this ?"

    You're correct - Operation Accolade. On 14th September 1943 110 men from "A" Company of 11 Para, under command of Major David Gilchrist, and landed on Kos. They captured their objectives and handed over to other troops that landed by Sea. They departed on 24th September.
    The occupation was short lived as the island was retaken by the Germans on 4th October.

    John

    You must have pressed the "return" key as I was still typing!! :lol:.........
     
  7. Bobs grandson

    Bobs grandson Member

    Wow , so another twist to the story and more questions than answers remain . I had never heard of the invasion of cos/kos and i do know more than the average chap of my generation about the war (obviously nothing compared to most on this forum)
    I still have to research his army records as i still have no idea when he joined the Paras and what units he was in prior to this . many thanks for your replies .phil
     
  8. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Just to add to the above, from a link in a earlier post on this thread. On September 13, 1943 a composite company, made up from a rifle platoon from each company and a mortar and a machine-gun section, jumped above the island of Kos to occupy it. Private Pat Gorman was one of the Para’s who were selected for the jump:

    “I jumped on Kos in 1943. The [composed] Company consisted mainly of troops from A Company, but there were several other chaps there from other Companies. I was in a group led by CSM “Smudger” Smith. I served in both A and B Company but at the time of Arnhem I was in 4 Platoon, B Company.”

    On the ground there was no opposition, so it wasn’t a combat jump after all. Some local civilians had even spread out straw and hay on the dropping zone, which had been marked by a detachment of the Special Boat Service. The composite company stayed on the island and patrolled the coastline together with the 1st Battalion Durham Light Infantry of Lieutenant Colonel R.F. Kirby and a detachment of the Royal Air Force Regiment, until they were withdrawn on the 25th of September, 1943. The Germans launched a counterattack on the 3rd of October, 1944 and captured about 3000 Italian and 900 allied soldiers. The men of the 11th Parachute Battalion had been pulled out just in time.

    Additional pages to Airbornetroops
     
  9. Bobs grandson

    Bobs grandson Member

    Just a wee update the witness to the action in which my grandfather and lance sergeant Bowers were killed was a young 20 year old private in his company called Joe Berry who unfortunatly died either last year or 2009 . phil
     
  10. Dre

    Dre Member

    I have recently added a Dutch documentary from the NOS to my DVD collection "Arnhem Operation Market Garden", in this documentary the NOS have added bits from the film to their documentary.
    I must say this made me curious about the rest of the film.

    Some other news has passed me by when speaking to a good friend of mine, it appears that a small booklet written by a veteran of the 11th Parachute Battalion is going to be published.
    I stress once more that this is hear say and has not yet been confirmed.

    Dre
     
  11. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    I have recently added a Dutch documentary from the NOS to my DVD collection "Arnhem Operation Market Garden", in this documentary the NOS have added bits from the film to their documentary.
    I must say this made me curious about the rest of the film.

    Some other news has passed me by when speaking to a good friend of mine, it appears that a small booklet written by a veteran of the 11th Parachute Battalion is going to be published.
    I stress once more that this is hear say and has not yet been confirmed.

    Dre

    Thanks for the info Dre..........:)
     
  12. Dre

    Dre Member

    Your welcome Paul ;p
     
  13. Ramon

    Ramon Senior Member

    I have recently added a Dutch documentary from the NOS to my DVD collection "Arnhem Operation Market Garden", in this documentary the NOS have added bits from the film to their documentary.
    I must say this made me curious about the rest of the film.

    Some other news has passed me by when speaking to a good friend of mine, it appears that a small booklet written by a veteran of the 11th Parachute Battalion is going to be published.
    I stress once more that this is hear say and has not yet been confirmed.

    Dre

    I have the docu also but can't remember the part of the film in it. I have no time to watch it for a couple of weeks. Can you tell me more about the film you mentioned??
     
  14. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I have recently added a Dutch documentary from the NOS to my DVD collection "Arnhem Operation Market Garden", in this documentary the NOS have added bits from the film to their documentary.
    I must say this made me curious about the rest of the film.

    Some other news has passed me by when speaking to a good friend of mine, it appears that a small booklet written by a veteran of the 11th Parachute Battalion is going to be published.
    I stress once more that this is hear say and has not yet been confirmed.

    Dre
    Hi Dre, just to add to Paul's comment, thanks for that it seems finally with the inclusion of a 11 para vets story in 'We Fought At Arnhem' that this year could be the year for the 11th to have there voice heard!
     
  15. Dre

    Dre Member

    Hi Dre, just to add to Paul's comment, thanks for that it seems finally with the inclusion of a 11 para vets story in 'We Fought At Arnhem' that this year could be the year for the 11th to have there voice heard!
    I have also added his account to my manuscript.

    Cheers,
    Dre
     
  16. Dre

    Dre Member

  17. Dre

    Dre Member

    We fought at Arnhem by Mike Rossiter
    Pat Gorman from the 11th Parachute Battalion is featured in this book.

    Dre
     
  18. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    I've also found out recently that Stuart M did a bit in a 1980's SSVC film on the airborne medical services at Arnhem......filmed apparently in Arnhem...currently negotiating to try and get a copy of the film......

    No doubt the forum will be pleased to hear I now have a copy of this film, watched it and as I'm off to Holland next week am going to look for the house the good doctor says was his RAP...he did a few shots in the street outside and on the drive........
     
  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    No doubt the forum will be pleased to hear I now have a copy of this film, watched it and as I'm off to Holland next week am going to look for the house the good doctor says was his RAP...he did a few shots in the street outside and on the drive........
    Medic, have a good trip and I look forward to hearing about it especially the what you find ref Mawsons RAP.
     
  20. Dre

    Dre Member

    Medic, enjoy your visit and could you make some photographs of the house/garden, that would be great.

    Cheers,
    Dre
     

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