Regiments Main Page


Cavalry/Armoured Regiments
1900-13 | 1914-39 | 1940-63 | 1964-99


Infantry Regiments
1900-20 | 1921-36 | 1937-50 | 1951-99

Cavalry/Armoured Regiments
1st Hussars
1st APC Regiment
1st British Columbia Horse
2nd Dragoons
2nd/10th Dragoons
3rd Prince of Wales' Cdn Dragoons
4th Hussars
4th Hussars of Canada
IV PLDG
5th Dragoons
5th Princess Louise Drag. Gds
6th Duke of Connaught's R.C.H.
7th Hussars
7th/11th Hussars
8th Princess Louise's NB Hussars
8th Cdn Hussars (Princess Louise's)
9th (Grey's) Horse
9th Toronto Light Horse
9th Mississauga Horse
10th Brant Dragoons
10th Queen's Own Cdn Hussars
11th Hussars
12th Manitoba Dragoons

12e Régiment Blindé du Canada

13th Scottish Light Dragoons
14th Canadian Hussars
14th King's Canadian Hussars
15th Light Horse
16th Light Horse
17th Duke of York's Royal Can. H.
17th PEI Recce
18th Mounted Rifles
19th Alberta Dragoons
19th The Alberta Mounted Rifles
20th Border Horse
21st Alberta Hussars
22nd Saskatchewan Horse
22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse
23rd Alberta Rangers
24th Grey's Horse
25th Brant Dragoons
26th Canadian Dragoons
27th Light Horse
28th New Brunswick Dragoons
29th Light Horse
30th Regiment (BC Horse)
31st Regiment (BC Horse)
32nd Light Horse
32nd Manitoba Horse
33rd Vaudreuil & Soulanges Huss.
34th Fort Garry Horse
35th Central Alberta Horse
36th PEI Light Horse
Algonquin Regiment
British Columbia Dragoons
British Columbia Mounted Rifles
British Columbia Regiment
Border Horse
Calgary Regiment
Canadian Mounted Rifles
Duke of York's Royal Cdn Hussars
Elgin Regiment
Fort Garry Horse
Grey & Simcoe Foresters
Governor General's Body Guard
Governor General's Horse Guards
Halifax Rifles
King's Own Calgary Regt.
Lord Strathcona's Horse
Manitoba Dragoons
Manitoba Horse
Mississauga Horse
Ontario Mounted Rifles
Princess Louise Dragoon Guards
Queen's Own Canadian Hussars
Queen's York Rangers (1st Am. R.)
Régt de Hull
Régt de Trois-Riviéres
Royal Canadian Dragoons
Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles
Saskatchewan Dragoons
Sherbrooke Regiment
South Alberta Light Horse
Strathcona's Horse
Toronto Light Horse
Toronto Mounted Rifles
Windsor Regiment

Infantry Regiments 1900-1919
Dawson Rifles
GGFG
Kootenay Rifles
PPCLI
Royal Canadian Regiment
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CEF Battalions 1914-1920

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Infantry Regiments 1920-2000
1st British Columbia Regiment
1st BC Regt (D. of Conn.'s Own)
Algonquin Regiment
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Black Watch (RHR) of Canada
BC Regt (D. of Conn's Own Rifles)
Calgary Highlanders
Calgary Regiment
Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Canadian Airborne Regiment
Canadian Scottish Regiment
 Canadian Fusiliers (C of L Regt)
Canadian Guards
Canadian Grenadier Guards
Cape Breton Highlanders
Carleton and York Regiment
Elgin Regiment
Essex Scottish
Essex & Kent Scottish
 Fusiliers de Sherbrooke
Fusiliers Mont Royal
Fusiliers du St. Laurent
48th Highlanders of Canada
Gov Gen Foot Guards
Grey & Simcoe Foresters
Halifax Rifles
Hastings and Prince Edward Regt
Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Highland Light Infantry of Canada
Irish Fusiliers
Irish Fusiliers of Can (Vancouver R.)
Irish Regiment
Irish Regiment of Canada
Kent Regiment
King's Own Rifles of Canada
Lake Superior Regiment
Lincoln and Welland Regiment
Loyal Edmonton Regiment
Lorne Scots
Midland Regiment
Mississauga Regiment
New Brunswick Rangers
New Brunswick Scottish
North Nova Scotia Highlanders
North Shore (New Brunswick) Regt
North Waterloo Regiment
Oxford Rifles
Perth Regiment
Peterborough Rangers
Pictou Highlanders
PPCLI
Prince Albert and Battleford Voltrs
Princess Louise Fusiliers (MG)
Prince Rupert Regiment
Princess of Wales' Own Regiment
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Queen's Rangers (1st Am. Regt.)
Queen's York Rangers (1st Am. R.)
 Régiment de la Chaudière
 Régiment de Chateauguay
Régiment de Levis
 Régiment de Maisonneuve
Régiment de Montmagmy
 Régiment de Saguenay
Régiment de St. Hyacinthe
 Régiment de Québec
Regina Rifle Regiment
Rocky Mountain Rangers
Royal 22e Regt
Royal Canadian Regiment
Royal Highlanders of Canada
Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Royal Regiment of Canada
Royal Regina Rifles
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
Royal Montreal Regiment
Royal New Brunswick Regiment
Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Royal Rifles of Canada
Royal Scots of Canada
Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Saskatoon Light Infantry
Scots Fusiliers of Canada
S, D and G Highlanders
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
South Alberta Regiment
South New Brunswick Regiment
South Saskatchewan Regiment
Toronto Regiment
Toronto Scottish Regiment
Vancouver Regiment
Victoria Rifles of Canada
Voltigeurs de Quebec
Waterloo Regiment
Westminster Regiment
West Nova Scotia Regiment
West Toronto Regiment
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Winnipeg Light Infantry
York Rangers
 Yukon Regiment

The Canadian Airborne Regiment

The Canadian Airborne Regiment was an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that briefly belonged to the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps from 1968 to 1995.

Lineage

  • The Canadian Airborne Regiment formed on 8 April 1968

  • Disbanded 5 March 1995

History

 

The Canadian Airborne Regiment traced its origin to two units formed during the Second World War, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, which was the administrative name for the Canadian-American First Special Service Force.

The Canadian Airborne Regiment

Headquarters: Edmonton, AB (To Petawawa 1977)
Predecessor: None
Perpetuates: 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, First Special Service Force
Raised: 8 Apr 1968
Disbanded: 5 Mar 1995


In 1947, a Canadian Special Air Service (SAS) Company was created with former members of the wartime parachute units at its core; various reorganizations were made over the twenty years subsequent, including being renamed the "Mobile Strike Force" and the "Defence of Canada Force." In 1968, these troops were brought together as The Canadian Airborne Regiment, based at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton.

The regiment was founded as an independent brigade command with two infantry commandos, one artillery battery, one engineer field squadron, one signal squadron, and a service company. In the 1970s a mechanized infantry battalion was added to the Regiment, known as 3 Canadian Mechanized Commando, but this unit was later retasked as 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. At that time, the regiment became the core of the Airborne Battle Group within the new Special Service Force based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, while its artillery and engineer elements were reassigned to other CF units. The total peacetime strength of the regiment was 750 all ranks. The Airborne deployed twice at home in the 1970s; during the "October Crisis" in Quebec in 1970, then in 1976 to provide counter-terrorist support at the Montreal Olympics.

 

Nicosia - 1974

On 1 Apr 1974, 1 Commando Group (1 Commando and 1 Airborne Field Squadron, Canadian Military Engineers), were sent on the Regiment's first peacekeeping mission, a 9-month tour of duty on Cyprus as the Canadian contingent of United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). On 6 Apr the Group was tasked with the Nicosia sector. In Canada, 2 Commando and 3 Mechanized Commando continued normal training.

On 15 Jul, the Greek Cypriot National Guard staged a coup and overthrowing president Archbishop Makarios III; UNFICYP forces were placed on alert. Five days later, on 20 Jul 1964, the Turkish army invaded in response to the overthrow, officially claiming they wished to protect the Turkish minority on the island. Airborne and amphibious operations (including 1,000 Turkish paratroopers) landed Turk soldiers near Nicosia and Kyrenia; Greek forces used the positions of the United Nations peacekeepers to shield themselves while conducting defensive operations, and UN observation posts were necessarily abandoned as Turkish forces opened fire on them.

The Airborne soldiers, with British support, took command of the international airport to deny further troop movement, then intervened with patrols to prevent escalation of the conflict. The remainder of the Canadian Airborne were deployed to Cyprus as the UN forces tried to establish a cease-fire. On 2 Aug 1974, Colonel Lessard, the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, established a heavy patrol schedule, along with re-establishment of UN observation posts and where necessary the removal of both Greek and Turkish roadblocks.

On 14 Aug 1974, a new invasion by the Turks began to actively target the UN soldiers; after two days a ceasefire was established with both Greeks and Turks preparing defensive positions. The Airborne continued their patrols, between the soldiers of both sides, as well as assisting with aid to civilian refugees and the prisoner of war exchanges between the two sides.

During the hostilities, Private Lionel Gilbert Perron, age 20, and Private Joseph Jean Claude Berger, age 21 both of 1 Commando, were killed and 30 Airborne soldiers were wounded. Perron was killed on 6 Aug 1974 and Berger on 10 Sep 1974. They were the first combat casualties suffered by the Canadian Army since the Korean War but unfortunately not the last Canadian soldiers to die on operations in the 20th Century.

Eventually, two Stars of Courage and six Medals of Bravery were awarded for actions during this operation. Five members of 1 Airborne Field Squadron were also made Members of the Order of Military Merit. Their work had involved reconstruction and repair duties, as well as the clearance of mines and creation of safe lanes through minefields. The last members of 1 Commando returned to Canada on 12 Dec 1974.

Post-Cyprus

The Airborne continued its peacekeeping rotations in Cyprus through the 1980s.

Regimental Alliance

In 1986, the Regiment formed a Regimental Alliance with The Parachute Regiment of the British Army. The official ceremony related to the alliance was conducted on Cyprus, with a Guard of Honour under Lieutenant David J. Marshall being reviewed by the Colonel-in-Chief of the British Parachute Regiment, His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

1990s

In 1991, the regiment was in Western Sahara to monitor the cease-fire and enforce agreements between guerrilla forces and the Moroccan army.

In 1992, the Airborne was reorganized again, downsized to battalion strength with a Commando (or company) provided by each of the three regular force infantry regiments (RCR, PPCLI, and R22eR).

Somalia

The Canadian Airborne Regiment deployed for the last time in 1993 as part of the United Nations' Unified Task Force, an International Mission in Somalia. The Regiment deployed as a battalion-group, organized as:

  • Canadian Airborne Regiment Battle Group Headquarters

  • Command Group

  • Headquarters Commando

  • 1 Commando

  • 2 Commando

  • 3 Commando

  • Service Commando

  • "A" Squadron, Royal Canadian Dragoons

  • First Airborne Field Squadron (Canadian Military Engineers)

Objectively examined, the Airborne's actual contribution to the amelioration of the suffering in Somalia was extremely laudable...Their unremitting physical presence, achieved through a combination of dialogue and military operations, soon created an atmosphere of control, dominance and security. The Airborne programme was so successful that Belet Huen HRS was declared 'secure' by UNITAF Headquarters in a period of less than three months. As remarkable as the (Battle) Group's pacification programme was, its humanitarian effort was even more praiseworthy.1

Corporal Michael David Abel, age 27, of the Canadian Airborne Regiment died on 3 May 1993 in Somalia.

The battalion became embroiled in controversy over the Somalia Affair wherein a civilian prisoner in custody was brutally beaten and murdered. The incident led to public scrutiny of the unit and other information came to light involving hazing rituals, questionable discipline and other shooting incidents in Somalia. The Regiment was disbanded, and the final parade of The Canadian Airborne Regiment was held at CFB Petawawa on 5 Mar 1995. Several farewell ceremonies were conducted, including:

  • 1 Mar 1995 - Special Service Force "Farewell to the Regiment" parade

  • 4 Mar 1995 - Canadian Airborne Regiment Disbandment Ceremony (mass parachute drop, Trooping of the Colours, and signing of disbandment documents).

  • 5 Mar 1995 - Church parade, laying up of Colours in the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum, final dismissal on Nicklin Parade Square. The Chief of the Defence Staff ordered that the Regiment be struck from the order of battle of the Canadian Forces with effect that date, in accordance with Ministerial Order 95003.

3 Commando was redesignated 3 Commando Group, and other personnel from the Airborne Regiment not yet reposted became known as the Canadian Airborne Holding Unit. All RCR members of the holding unit went to 3 Commando as augmentation, and 3 Commando Group became the only operationally active and tasked parachute-capable force in the CF. They were redesignated as RCR Parachute Company on 1 Sep 1995.

Posting out of airborne personnel was completed in Jun 1995, though the holding unit remained designated as such until renamed 2 CMBG Light Infantry Battalion (Advance Group) on 14 Dec 1995. During the months after disbandment, members of the holding group continued to serve; several members placed well in the 2 CMGB Iron Man Competition on 23 Jun 1995 and 17 members earned German jump wings on a course from 18-23 Dec 1995.

Inquiry

On 20 Mar 1995, Order in Council PC 1995-445 established a three-member Commission to study the deployment of the regiment to Somalia. Art Eggleton, Minister of National Defence, released the Somalia Inquiry Report on 2 Jul 1997.

The traditions of the regiment were carried forward by independent parachute companies belonging to the three remaining regular force infantry regiments.

Battle Honours

The Regiment inherited the Battle Honours of both the wartime 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion (the Canadian contingent of the First Special Service Force).

  • Normandy Landing

  • Dives Crossing

  • The Rhine

  • Monte Camino

  • Monte La Difensa-Monte Remetanea

  • Monte Majo

  • Advance to the Tiber

  • Anzio

  • Rome

  • Southern France

  • Ardennes

  • North-West Europe, 1944-45

Regimental Motto

Ex Coelis (Latin: From the Clouds)

Regimental Association

After the relocation of The Canadian Airborne Regiment from Edmonton to Petawawa in 1977, the Commanding Officer formed the Airborne Regiment Association of Canada (ARAC) as a national association, the former Airborne Regiment Association in Alberta (ARBA) was an Association only legally valid in Alberta. All members posted to the Airborne Regiment, on in clearance, became members of either ARAC or CAFA, depending on the Commander of the Regiment at the time of their posting. ARAC continued to exist after the disbandment of the CAR in the 1990s. The Association held an Annual General Meeting as well as annual social events.

Insignia

Airborne soldiers around the world traditionally enjoy distinctive uniform components that set them apart, as well as serve specific functions appropriate to their role. The Canadian Airborne Regiment was no exception.

Cap Badge

The official Armorial Description of the badge is thus:

An open parachute between two vertical wings with shroud lines issuant from a cloud resting between the bases of the wings. At the junction of the shroud lines and superimposed on the cloud, a single large maple leaf flanked by two smaller maple leaves on each side; the whole resting upon a riband scroll inscribed, AIRBORNE - CANADA - AEROPORTE. Wings of scroll in gold coloured finish. Parachute, clouds and maple leaves in silver colour finish.

Headdress

The maroon beret was adopted by Airborne soldiers of the British (and Canadian) Army in the Second World War.

Notes

1. Horn, Bernd and Michel Wyczynski Canadian Airborne Forces since 1942 (Osprey Publishing Ltd., Botley, Oxford, UK, 2006) ISBN 1841769851 p.47

Further Reading

  • Amaral, Rui. Eat Your Weakest Man - Inside the Canadian Airborne Regiment (Bunker to Bunker Publishing, Calgary, 2000). ISBN 189425597 160pp.

  • Bercuson, David Jay. Significant Incident: Canada's Army, the Airborne, and the Murder in Somalia. (Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1996). ISBN 077101113X

  • Clark, Thomas and Harry Pugh. Canadian Airborne Insignia, 1942-Present. (Arlington, VA, C&D Enterprises, 1994). ISBN 096332313X

  • Grimshaw, Louis E. "Ex coelis": the Badges and Insignia of the Canadian Airborne Forces. (Edmonton, Lone Pine, 1981). ISBN 0919433014

  • Horn, Bernd and Michel Wyczynski Hook-Up! The Canadian Airborne Compendium: A Summary of Major Airborne Activities, Exercises and Operations, 1940-2000. (Vanwell Publishing Ltd., St. Catharine's ON, 2003) ISBN 1551250713 252pp.

  • Pupetz, Ron (Editor). Canadian Joint Forces Somalia: In The Line of Duty 1992-1993 (National Defence, 1994).

  • Worthington, Peter and Kyle Brown. Scapegoat: How the Army Betrayed Kyle Brown (Toronto, Seal Books, 1997). ISBN 0770427553

 


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