Make your own free website on

The paratroopers landed between 0100 and 0130 hours on June 6th. Due to primitive navigation aids, dead reckoning, and anti-aircraft fire, the groups were dispersed over a somewhat wider area than had been anticipated. The dispersal on the drop resulted in the loss of most of the Battalion's heavy equipment along with 80 men who were taken prisoner. The First Canadian Parachute Battalion was the first Canadian unit on the ground in France.

In spite of those handicaps, all objectives were rapidly attained; a tribute to the hardiness of the men, the excellence of their training, and the thoroughness of the briefing they had received. The battalion continued to fight, with great success in France seeing action in the following places: La Vallee Tantot (August 21), La Haie Tondue, Bonneville sur Tonques, Vauville and Beuzeville, where the enemy had again withdrawn leaving the town to the Allies. The Battalion rested there for the next few days until the remainder of the Brigade moved into the area. They returned to England on 7 September, 1944.

On Christmas Day, 1944, the battalion departed
Folkestone for Ostend, Belgium, on the S.S.Canterbury.
On January 2, 1945, they arrived in Rochefort, where the battalion made preparation for battle, only to later realize with great disappointment, that the enemy had decided to retreat. They moved to Pondrome on January 18th, for a four day rest, before moving to the Dutch Village of Roggel. Upon arrival, the Battalion moved up to its assigned sector in order to set up defensive
positions as patrolling began immediately.

The particular type of patrol activity was a favorite among the men, as it required the battalion to harry and alarm the enemy by means of patrols, raids, etc., and to establish bridgeheads where and when suitable. The Allied Forces had gathered to push south and destroy German resistance in preparation for the Rhine Crossing. The heavy shelling of battalion positions resulted in very few casualties considering the length of time they were there and the strength of the enemy positions. The battalion maintained an active defense as well as considerable patrol activity until its return to the United Kingdom on February 23rd, 1945.

On March 7, 1945, the battalion returned from leave to start training for what would be the last major airborne operation of the war: Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine.