|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|1 Jul||Dominion Day in the 1st. Cdn. Parachute Battalion was begun by a series of mortar exchanges. Several heavy artillery shells landed in the Battalion area at approx. 0400 hours. They landed in twos and threes at approx. one-half hour intervals. Stand to was called at 0430 hours. At 0510 hours what was believed to be a 75mm A/Tk. gun opened fire on the house in "A" Company postion. A.P. Shot was used and between fifteen and twenty rounds were fired piercing the building. Mortar bombs were dropped by the enemy in hopes that men might be caught escaping. The unit mortar battery soon replied and brought fire to bear on the enemy gun until artillery support fire forced the gun to withdraw. No casualties were caused among our troops but a Vickers gun was damaged.|
|2 Jul||At 0200 hours several mortar bombs fell in the area of Battalion Headquarters. No casualties were caused but an R.E. stores was set on fire. Quick work by Battalion Headquarters personnel prevented further explosions and damage to nearby buildings. The ever alert cable crews repaired major lines in the darkness and the remainder of the morning. From stand to in the morning throughout the whole day proved to be the quietest since landing. An unfortunate and careless accident resulted in PTE. SPISAK of the Vickers Platoon receiving a rifle shot through both knees.|
|3 Jul||Companies continued to occupy their new positions without opposition from the enemy. Slight mortaring and shelling along the Battalion front occured during the afternoon. Rain stopped and the weather improved.|
|4 Jul||Weather cloudy with slight rain. The Battalion was relieved at 1100 hours by he 13th Para Battalion and marched back to the Divisional Rest Area on the RIVER ORNE.|
|5-11 Jul||The Battalion spent this week in cleaning up and resting after the tour of duty in the line. The weather was fine and full advantage was taken of the bathing facilities in the river, and in the CAEN canal. There were facilities for the men to see the landing beaches at OUISTREHAM and cinema shows were provided in the nearby town of LUC-SUR-MER. There was no enemy activity in the rest area apart from sporadic shelling and occasional air raids at night. On the two or three occasions when enemy aircraft appeared during the daytime in attempts to ground strafe they were quickly driven off by the fire of the A.A. guns that were heavily concentrated around the crossings of the river and canal. A Spitfire, damaged in a dog-fight, crash landed in the area narrowly missing a mine field on 10th July, 1944. The pilot was rescued with slight injuries by member of the Battalion.|
The Battalion strength was increased by seven Officers and one hundred O.R.'s who were sent from the C.B.R. Battalion. Although non-parachutists, these Officers and O.R.'s were an exceedingly welcome addition to the fighting strength of the Battalion.
|12-19 Jul||The weather continued to be very fine and the Battalion enjoyed a thorough rest and its progress toward a complete mental and physical recovery was aided by rumors that the Division was shortly to return to England to reform and refit.|
During this period enemy shelling and air raids continued without causing any casualties. The pilot of an American Thunderbolt which crashed in the mudflats in the mouth of the river ORNE was rescued by SGT. R.H.MORGAN of this Battalion and a Pte. from the Commandos. The pilot who had bailed out of his plane and broken his leg on landing was at the time of his rescue under heavy mortar and M.G. fire from the isolated German strong point at the mouth of the river ORNE.
During this period extra pontoon bridges were placed across the River and the Canal and as the new approaches to these bridges led through the Battalion Headquarters area, it was found necessary to move and dig fresh slit trenches. The slight annoyance caused by the extra digging was dissipated when the masses of armour and troops began to pour across the River and Canal in the big push south.
|20 Jul||Rained heavily all day, flooding slit trenches and soaking all equipment. At 1530 hours the Battalion was informed that it would be returning to the line.|
|21 Jul||Battalion moved to new position in BOIS DE BAVENT 1471. Heavy rain continued and all fields and roads were covered in deep mud. This Battalion relieved the 12th DEVONS in the new area and as all slit trenches were flooded new ones had to be dug. Heavy shelling by artillery on both sides continued all evening and night. Battalion was issued with its first rum ration.|
|22 Jul||Rain continued. Two soldiers from 858 Grenadier Regiment deserted and came through Battalion lines. One was killed by fire from our forward positions and the other passed happily rearwards towards captivity. Remainder of the day was quiet. Battalion M.O. was assigned the task of Brigade C.M.O..|
|23 Jul||Rain ceased although the sky continued to be overcast. The counter Mortar work proved successful in the first day of operation, retaliatory fire being brought to bear on enemy mortars on an average of three minutes after firing on our position.|
Second in command of this Battalion, MAJOR J.A.NICKLIN and one O.R. were evacuated with wounds.
|24 Jul||No rain and weather clearing. Occasional enemy mortar and shellfire came over with the usual reply from our artillery and mortars. Enemy aircraft raided the Brigade area during the night dropping A/P bombs but causing no casualties in the Battalion.|
G.O.C Division paid a visit of inspection to the Battalion Area.
|25 Jul||Weather clear and sun shining. Usual enemy mortar and shellfire and occasional M.G. fire on fixed lines. Our rocket Aircraft were active during the evening apparently strafing targets in the vicinity of BURES.|
|26 Jul||Enemy aircraft attacked the Battalion Area and vicinity in the early hours of the morning dropping heavy and A/P bombs. No casualties were suffered although several close misses were registered. Fires were started in dumps to our rear. The weather was again clear with a strong wind. Enemy shelling and mortaring was at a minimum.|
|27 Jul||Battalion was relieved by the 8th Para Battalion and returned to the RIVER ORNE rest area, arriving at 1300 hours. Remainder of the day was spent cleaning.|
|28 Jul||A dull sky cleared around noon. Unit spent the day removing mud from clothing and equipment. Slight enemy air activity over the area during the night but no bombs were dropped.|
|29 Jul||Weather very warm. Battalion occupied itself washing and resting. A rumour again spread abroad that the Division was to return to England to reform and refit, and at that within the next two or three days.|
|30 Jul||Sky overcast but weather warm. Church parades were held in the morning and bathing parties in the afternoon.|
|31 Jul||At 0430 hours orders were received for the Unit to return to the line. At 0900 hours that Battalion moved off along track FIR to area triangle 148705 in the BOIS DE BAVENT relieving the ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS of the 51st HIGHLAND DIVISION. The enemy opposite were our old acquaintances of the 858 and 857 GRENADIER REGIMENTS of the 346th INFANTRY DIVISION. Enemy Aircraft dropped A/P bombs in the Brigade area during the night causing no casualties in the Battalion.|