A short course to familiarize the personnel with British methods, equipment and aircraft, which included getting used to jumping with one parachute instead of two and through a hole in the floor of the aircraft instead of through a door of the C-47 Dakota used by the Americans, was needed before the battalion joined the 6th Airborne Division at Salisbury Plain, and became a unit of the 3rd Parachute Brigade under the command of Brigadier S.J.L. Hill.
The inspection of the 1st Canadian Parachute Bn at Bulford by the King and Queen, 15 May, 1944.
The Battalion's first taste of combat was the Normandy invasion. Late on June 5th, 1944 they took off with fifty aircraft carrying the troops and equipment heading for France. In addition to the troop's fighting equipment each man carried a knife, toggle rope, escape kit, with French currency, and two 24 ration packs totalling 70 pounds.
Following a massive bombardment of the invasion area, the British forces were to land in the eastern sector on the beaches west of Ouistreham, their objective was Caen. The 6th Airborne Division's mission was to protect the left flank of the British sector. The First Canadian Parachute Battalion was to protect the flanks of the 3rd Brigade's operational area. Their tasks were as follows:
- Secure and protect the 3rd Parachute Brigade Drop Zone by destruction of an enemy Headquarters at Varaville and any other enemy in the area;
- Destroy bridge at Varaville by H plus two hours and cover demolition until relieved by 1 SS Bde not before H plus five hours;
- Destroy bridges at Robehomme by H plus two hours and cover demolition;
- Cover move to and assault on battery (at Merville) by 9 Para Bn from interference from south; and
- Seize and hold area road junction (where the 3rd Para HQ would be).