In November, Jack Braithwaite, G3PWK celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the parachute landing at El Gamil in Egypt during the suez crisis, by opening up Two Special Event Stations, GB6EG (El Gamil) and GB6OM (Operation Musketeer).
“I was 3 Troop 9 Para Squadron Wireless Operator. I dropped at El Gamil with a No 31 Set Plus lots of other gear. My load weighed 125 lbs that did not include the parachute and Kit weapons container. Quite a few lads had 30 lbs of Plastic explosive . Others had 3.5” Rockets, the first time they had been dropped by parachute. The 31 Set and the 3.5” Rocket launcher did not last long. We were shelled just after I reached the RV and both were written off”.
Branch Members worked both special event stations in Harrogate during our regular Saturday Morning Net and congratulated Jack on his participation.
Jack also tells us fewer than a dozen men from the troop attended the re-union this year.
See also here
At the time of Suez I was ten years old and lived at D block Corruna barracks opposite the drill hall. D block no longer exists. My father was in Third battalion the Parachute regiment in the HQ group. His batman was a man called ‘Roberts’. I remember seeing an Austin Champ that had been flattened as its chute had not opened. I watched my father drill 600 men on the vast parade ground behind the barracks. In 1956 he went into Action at Suez on the El Gamil drop. Before he left Aldershot for Suez he dropped in on us and I was playing with my toys on the pavement outside d block. I hardly looked up and this uoset him. Dad was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Third Battalion. His name was RSM John Alcock. I sometimes wonder if any of you who served with him knew he had won the Croix de Guerre at Silver Star level when with 2 SAS in WW2. He had blown up a German troop train when 80 kilometers behind the lines in Alsace Lorraine. He also shot and killed five German soldiers who had entered a cottage that he and his three men were hiding in. He broke through the American lines in General Patton’s Fourth Armoured Division’s positions by capturing an outpost. I have retrieved American intelligence reports that tell of his entry to their lines. Something happened at Suez that had an effect on his life. My father is the man who is shown putting on his beret behind Colonel Crook. He identified himself as such. I have an original chemical based print of this photograph as well as others he owned. I think they are from Major Norman’s collection. I am currently writing a book about his SAS mission called Operation Pistol – he and I went to his operational area before his death. He never told me that two girls had been shot for helping him in France – but his report states this. A local French woman has told me that when he destroyed the train he killed two German officers. he never knew this.