First In - The Airborne Pathfinders
The subtitle of this book is 'A History of the 21st Independant Parachute Company, 1942 - 1946'. The 21st Independant Parachute Company were the Pathfinders, the first troops to drop, often 30 minutes or more before the main body in daylight and an hour or more on night drops. Their task, to mark the Drop Zones (DZ's) for the following Paratroops and the Landing Zones (LZ's) for the Gliders, and then defend them against any opposition, no matter what that may be. The author was uniquely qualified to tell this story having joined the Company at it's inception and stayed with them until his demob in 1946, rising to the rank of Company Sergeant Major.
Members of the Company were all volunteers, who were required to pass exacting physical and psychological testing before they could join the force.
The book follows the Company from being raised, through campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Norway and France as well as Arnhem. The author contacted many men of his old Company in writing the book and the result is highly readable and thorough account of the unit and the actions in which it took part.
First published in 1979, this edition was published in 2015 by Frontline Books. Hard back with dust jacket, the book contains 218 pages including 8 pages of black & white photographs. Maps and diagrams are scattered thoughout the book to illustrate the areas of operations.
Cover price; £19.99
ISBN; 978 1 84832 946 1
Stock No; AIRBORNE0003