Airborne Engineers

**under construction**

Airborne Bridges





Airborne Engineer Units

1 Airborne Troop 1952 -1958
1 Airborne Field Squadron - 1968 - 1977
Airborne Grouping, 2 CER 1977 - 1993
Airborne Engineer Platoon, Canadian Airborne Regiment 1993 - 1995

Brief History

Engineers have been an integral part of the Airborne Forces in Canada since the beginning.

Former military engineer, Colonel (later Major General) E. L. M. Burns championed the Airborne cause in the Canadian military with several proposals to the Chief of the General Staff during the later part of 1940. He cited the success Germany was having with it airborne operations and the efforts of  the United States and Britain to establish their own airborne forces. However his efforts were not immediately successful.

The success of German airborne troops, especially with the invasion of Crete in May 1941 - spurred the American and British military to build up their Airborne forces. This renewed Canadian reconsideration of similar forces.

On 1 July 1942,  the War Cabinet approved the formation of a parachute battalion. On 25 July 1942, Camp Shilo, Manitoba was selected as the site for the parachuting centre.

Twenty seven volunteers from all Military Districts across Canada assemble in Lansdowne Park, Ottawa in mid August 1942. This group deployed to Fort Benning Georgia for their American parachute training

A second group of 96 soldiers, was selected from troops already in England. Their training occurred at the Parachute Training School, Royal Air Force Station Ringway, in Cheshire England.

Lieutenant-Colonel G. F. P. Bradbrooke was appointed Commanding Officer of 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion (1 Can Para Bn), late September 1942.

2 Canadian Parachute Battalion (2 Can Para Bn) was established in July 1942. It was later re-designated the First Canadian Special Service Force Battalion, 25 May 1943.

The Special Service Force, was the joint US/Canada unit which became known as "The Devil's Brigade"


Several Engineers joined the Special Service Force. One of these soldiers was Sergeant Tommy Price

Operation Market Garden - was a massive parachute drop by the allied forces in the Second World War. The airborne forces were attempting to capture bridges across the main rivers of the Netherlands. Unfortunately the operation was not a success. 23 (Canadian) Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, was the engineer unit which successfully used boats to withdraw, under fire, over 2,000 paratroopers of the 1st British Airborne Division across the Njeder Rhine River near Arnhem in 1944.

A successor unit to 23 Field Company, became the parent unit to 1 Airborne Field Troop in the 1950's

Operation Market Garden is best known as "A Bridge Too Far", from the book written by Cornelius Ryan.

Engineers have also been a part of the airborne family in other capacities whether as a member of the Sky Hawks Parachuting Team, or with the Canadian Parachute Centre

 


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