The 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
British Airborne Forces originated at Ringway Airport Manchester with the opening of the "Central Landing School" on 21 June 1940. The Royal Air Force was in charge of parachute training, the Army, of the military requirements of airborne warfare. No 2 Commando was transferred to parachute duties to become No 11 Special Air Service Battalion.
Parachute units were made up of volunteers from infantry regiments. Their first operation was against the Tragino Aqueduct in southern Italy which supplied water to the ports of the Italian armies. The men assembled at Malta and left to disrupt the aqueduct on 10 February 1941.
The 3rd Parachute Battalion was formed in Sept 1941 at Hardwick Derbyshire. It was disbanded in June 1948, but reformed a month later from the 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion.
The 3rd/The Parachute Regiment
1968 3 Para
1968 3 Para deployed to Malta with its families to cover the withdrawal of British Forces from Libya. This was the first time families accompanied a parachute battalion overseas. While in Malta, the men trained in Cyprus, Sicily and Greece. A company was based at Cyprus.
1969 3 Para
1969 The 3rd Parachute Battalion took part in NATO exercises in Greece. In May and June it deployed on Ex Astronomer in Cyprus when it co-operated with the Strike Carrier HMS Eagle. The battalion occupied St Andrew's Barracks.
Baptisms in 1969:
- 2 Aug 1969 Robert James Wells son of Maureen June and Pte Allan James Wells 3 Para, of 3 Isabella Flats, Pieta Wharf Pieta, born 1 Aug 1969, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
1970 3 Para
11 Sep 1970 600 officers and men bid farewell to Malta when the battalion trooped its Colours at St Andrew's Barracks. The Governor General Sir Maurice Dorman took the salute.
26 Sep 1970 3 Para returned to Aldershot after a tour of 20 months at Malta.
- Norton, G. G., The Red Devils. Great Britain 1971.