JUST ORDINARY MEN. HQ Troop, 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st British Airborne Division (WW2) - HQ Trp. 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Sqn
' Just Ordinary Men '
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Pathfinder Parachute Group (Europe)

Troop in Action



How We Operate Once Deployed in the Field



HQ Troop's task is to reconnoitre ahead of the main advance line.  Checking routes, advance enemy locations and terrain for Allied infantry and armoured movements.  Also to harass jerry as much as possible!

Once we have obtained all the information and intelligence we have been briefed to obtain, we report back to Squadron or Divisional Headquarters to update the Intelligence Officers of any potential threat ahead of them.



It's then time to move off as a troop for phase two of our remit ... The Harass!



In the event of contact with enemy forces; wherever possible the Troop will retire to a defensive position however; sometimes this is not always practical and the section will stand and fight!






When not on patrol.  The Troop will operate from a static field headquarters.  This can be set up and operational in less than thirty minutes.  During World War Two; Troop headquarters were predominantly set up ahead of the main advance line.  This enabled the Troop to act as forward defence for Brigade or Divisional HQ's and also enabled the Troop to move off for forward reconnaissance patrols and intelligence gathering.



Being also the first processing point for captured enemy troops.  It is vital that initial processing and intelligence gathering is undertaken as quickly as possible so that any relevant tactical information can be passed back down the line.  Enemy P.O.W's are then handed over to Brigade Intelligence Officers for more in depth interrogation.



Due to the forward positioning of Headquarters.  Defence is of paramount importance.  Subsequently; once a location has been chosen, Stand too points will be selected with all troopers being allocated an area and field of fire.  Each stand too point will not only cover all approaches to the HQ, they will also provide an effective cross fire in the event of an attack.

Troopers, at all times,  carry their personal weapons with a full magazine so as to rapidly respond to any threat.  Headquarters can then be completely set up whilst being afforded full defence.


The Troop can then settle into it's routine and prepare for reconnaissance patrols.

Our thanks to Stuart Gould and Nick Halling Photography for their kind permission to use some of their fine work on this page.  All images pertaining to Stuart and Nick's work remain their copyright.




Recruiting OfficeAttached Units Photo TV Event InfoAirborne HistoryOperations 1941-1945Armoury & Transport