16th Airborne Division

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16th Airborne Division
16th Airborne Division 1953.jpg
Divisional parachute drop during Exercise King's Joker at the Stanford Parachute Training Area in Kent
Active 1947–1956
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Role Airborne forces
Size Division
Garrison/HQ London [1]
Nickname Red Devils
Insignia
Emblem of the British Airborne Forces British Airborne Units.png

The 16th Airborne Division was an airborne infantry division of the British Territorial Army. It was first commanded by Major-General Roy Urquhart, and had its divisional headquarters in London.[1]

It was raised in 1947, to compensate for the loss of the 1st Airborne Division, which had been disbanded in 1945 and the 6th Airborne Division which was to be disbanded in 1948. The number "16" was used in recognition of the two wartime airborne divisions.

The division had three parachute brigades, the 4th, 5th and the 6th, each with three Territorial battalions of the Parachute Regiment. The brigades were renumbered the 44th, 45th and 46th in 1950. Then in December 1955, the British Secretary of State for War in an announcement on the future of the Territorial Army, proposed cutting the Territorial parachute battalions by five. The reduction in strength led to the disbandment of the division in 1956, leaving the 44th Independent Parachute Group (TA) as the only British reserve parachute formation.[2]

Commanders[edit]

Units pre-1950[edit]

  • 16th Airborne Division Artillery (TA)
  • 880 Forward Observation Battery RA (TA)
  • 285 Airborne Field Regiment RA (TA)
  • 291 Airborne Field Regiment RA (TA)
  • 292 Airborne Field Regiment RA (TA)
  • 629 (The Cambridgeshire Regiment) Airborne Light Regiment RA (TA)
  • 446 (Royal Welch) Airborne Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA (TA)
  • 16 Airborne Division Royal Engineers (TA)
  • HQ 16 Airborne Divisional Royal Engineers (TA)
  • 131 Airborne Engineer Regiment (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Division RAMC (TA)
  • 4th Parachute Field Ambulance (TA) (44th Parachute Field Ambulance from 1950)
  • 5th Parachute Field Ambulance (TA) (45th Parachute Field Ambulance from 1950)
  • 6th Parachute Field Ambulance (TA) (46th Parachute Field Ambulance from 1950)
  • 1 Reserve Medical Section 16 Airborne Division (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Divisional Column RASC (TA)
  • HQ 16 Airborne Divisional Column RASC (TA)
  • 1560 Company RASC (TA)
  • 1561 Company RASC (TA)
  • 1562 Company RASC (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Division REME (TA)
  • 4th Airborne Workshop REME (TA) (44th Airborne Workshop REME from 1950)
  • 5th Airborne Workshop REME (TA) (45th Airborne Workshop REME from 1950)
  • 6th Airborne Workshop REME (TA) (46th Airborne Workshop REME from 1950)
  • 21st Special Air Service Regiment (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Division Royal Signal Regiment (Middlesex Yeomanry) (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Division Ordnance Field Park (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Division Provost Company (TA)
  • 16th Airborne Divisional (Lincoln) Independent Company (TA)
  • North Somerset Yeomanry (RAC) (TA)
  • 16 Airborne Division Field Security Section (TA)[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.orbat.com/site/history/library-new/1946-1990/britishempire/ta47.html
  2. ^ a b c d e "16th Airborne Division (TA)". Paradata. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "16th Airborne Division". Paradata. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]