The Parachute Regiment
is the main airborne regiment
of the Indian Army
The first Indian airborne formation was the 50 Independent Parachute Brigade
raised on 29 October 1941 with 151 British, 152 Indian, and 153 Gurkha Parachute Battalions and other support units.
Lt (later Col Retd) AG Rangaraj of the Indian Medical Service and the RMO of the 152 Indian Para Bn, became the first Indian along with Hav Maj Mathura Singh to perform a parachute jump. In 1942-43, the formation saw limited action at Nara against the Pathan tribals in NWFP and some intelligence-gathering missions in Burma, utilizing their somewhat-limited airborne capabilities. Later, in 1944, less the British battalion (which was transferred to Britain and renamed the 156th Para Bn and formed part of the 4th Parachute Brigade
of the 1st Airborne Division
), the brigade with two battalions, saw extensive action during World War 2 at Sangshak and later in the Imphal Plains on the Burma border against two reinforced advancing Japanese divisions. The third battalion, 154 Gurkha Para Bn, had not completed its air training, stayed back to achieve the airborne status.
During the Battle of Sangshak
, which lasted six days, the brigade suffered extremely heavy casualties totalling 40 officers and VCOs and 545 other ranks, winning the appreciation of Lt Gen William Slim
, the commander of British Fourteenth Army
. The breakout on the night of 26 March, 1944 saw the remnants of the once-proud parachute brigade fight... Read More