82nd Airborne Jump School England 1944

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Guy Hudson, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Does anyone know if there was an 82nd Airborne jump school located in England PRIOR to the D-Day landings?

    Many thanks in advance

    Guy
     
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Guy,

    I don't know about England but the Americans had a jump school in Morocco in 1943 that later moved to Trapani, Sicily, followed by the Rome vicinity for Operation Dragoon

    The Fifth Army Airborne Training Center
     
  3. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    The 82nd Parachute Maintenance Company - Unit History


    The 82nd Parachute Maintenance Company was composed of Riggers from the 504th PIR, 505th PIR, 376th PFAB, 456th PFAB and the 307th Airborne Engineers under the command of Captain Marin.
    By mid-February 1944, the company moved to Cottesmore, Rutland County, England and assigned "A" hangar at the Cottesmore Airdrome as a packing shed. The line riggers (504th & 505th PIRs) were stationed at Quorn near Leicester. Captain Marin was eventually reassigned to Division and Captain Griffin assumed command.
    Captain Marin's reassignment was short-lived when Captain Griffin, Captain Wylie Cooper (picture left) and Lieutenant Anderson were injured in a jeep accident near Leicester.
    After D-Day a parachute jump school was initiated by the 82nd Airborne Division at Ashwell to qualify jumpers in order to replace the losses suffered during the Normandy campaign. Experience riggers were assigned to instruct the new recruits and a training course similar to Fort Benning was established. From mid-summer until October, Ashwell was never without the sight and sound of yelling instructors, sullen students, rumbling transports and a sky filled with parachutes.
    Eventually, Captain Griffin returned to command after his release from the hospital. The Riggers, meanwhile, were preparing to move to France from Ashwell. However, the German offensive in the Ardennes cancelled the move temporarily and the Riggers were sent back to southern England and attached to various airfields around Reading and Oxford to pack equipment parachutes.
     
  4. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Nothing prior to Ashwell, post D-Day. Many thanks for the replies. Guy
     
  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Guy,

    I did find a couple of quick mentions of an 82nd jump school existing prior to D-Day but they were unsourced and lacked the accuracy of David's reference above. It's interesting that the Americans created their jump schools on a divisional basis rather than across the board like the Brits at Ringway and Hardwick. I'm thinking here also of the 101st school at Chilton Foliat.

    I'll add out of interest a PDF by a local of memories of the 82nd in Cottesmore.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    ^ Are you saying the British did not set-up jump schools in the Middle East and Far East?

    I seem to recall some.
     
  7. williams46

    williams46 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Some years ago I met a Para that had been trained in India, he had been assigned to retrieve strayed bundles dropped to units supplied by air.
     
  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Earthican,

    Did the Brits have more than one jump school in England during WW2? Off the top of my head in other areas I can think of Kabrit in Egypt and I believe the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade had one in southern Italy. If I can find the one for India I'll get back to you ... :)
     
  9. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Cee, There was definately a British Airborne jump school in North Africa prior to the Sicily jump. I also heard an interesting account from a ex Commando. 3 Troop of 3 Commando were designated for parachute training. Rather than being posted to Hardwick Hall and Ringway, the training staff and equipment were taken to Worthing where 3 Troop were billeted. I wonder if this was a one off?
    Guy
     
  10. Smac02

    Smac02 Junior Member

    Definately one in Kabrit, dad trained there!
     
  11. Smac02

    Smac02 Junior Member

    Wow!, all the times I went to Ashwell when it was a prison (to work, not as a client) I never realised it was a Airborne Jump School. I recall it when it was an opened prison based around the old wooden army billets. Then it was flattened to make way for a newer prison, now that to is to be flattened.
    Oh, the shame of the loss of the wartime history.
     
  12. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    Smac,
    This pic was taken at Ashwell in the spring of 1945.

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

  13. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member

    Hi,

    See RAF Regiment History -  Overview

    Quote

    "The first RAF Regiment parachute sqn was formed during operations against the Japanese in South East Asia and Regiment sqns were soon involved in the heavy fighting on the Imphal plain in 1944 as part of the "forgotten" army."


    No place named as the parachute school.


    Regards, Mick D.
     
  14. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Guy,

    It's interesting that the Americans created their jump schools on a divisional basis rather than across the board like the Brits at Ringway and Hardwick.



    The main US parachute school was at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Once the airborne divisions were trained up and shipped overseas, they created their own jump schools to qualify their own replacements. Not an expedient method, but that's the way they did it back then.
     
  15. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    Rockape 252,
    It was probably Chakalaka, which i think was no3 PTS.

    Per Ardua

    Steve
     
  16. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member

    Hi Steve,

    Many thanks for that reply.


    By the way, that name would be a bit difficult to pronounce after a few :)


    Per Ardua

    Regards, Mick D.
     
  17. 504PIR

    504PIR New Member

    Captain John F. Gray was in charge of the 82nd Airborne Division jump school in Ashwell in the Summer of 1944. Several graduates of this jump school, like 1st Lieutenant James Kiernan and 2nd Lieutenant Harry Rollins, ended up in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The first book I have written on the 504th, titled "Battle of the Bridges", will be in print later this year.
     
  18. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Sounds good! Can you tell us something about it?
     
  19. ABN82

    ABN82 New Member

    I need some help on this for an inquiry - parts of it do not make sense. Please take a look at the attached 82nd Abn Div parachute school certificate, dated 11 March 1943. Signed by school Commandant CPT J.E. Griffin and CDR MG Gavin.
    (Sorry - I had to block out the awardee's name)
    1. Where was this jump school? France or England? The APO is 469 if that helps.
    2. The Commandant is CPT J. E. Griffen. Does anyone know his first name or anything beyond this?
    3. You will see the year on the certificate is 1943 but I suspect that is wrong because the CDR is MG Gavin - who did not make that rank until 1944. The last digit is bank on the form and left for the admin to type in. You will see a "3" typed in but because it is different in appearance that the month and day also typed in. I hope I am wrong but , I suspect it was altered with a different typewriter. I suspect it was originally 1945 for various reasons I can not get into here.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
    1945-03-11 Airborne School Certificate-name omitted.jpg
     
  20. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    What is his name Sma?

    Steve
     

Share This Page