Airborne Engineers Association

Lt Col (Ret'd) Tom March

 

 

Lt Col (Ret'd) Tom March

 

Tom March

Lt Col (Ret'd) Tom March of Colwall, one of the last surviving paratroopers to land in Normandy on D-Day, has died at the age of 93.

He joined the army in 1943 and was later posted to 3 Para Sqn RE, part of 6th Airborne Division preparing to drop into Normandy on D-Day.

He later recalled, "I was the youngest of 15 officers within 150 all ranks. Last out of the Dakota on D-Day at 1am carrying well over 80lbs apart from my chute, I landed in a flooded area on the roof of an isolated cottage, one of many that landed out of our planned landing zones."

He fought against the German Ardennes offensive and was dropped over the Rhine, advancing to meet the Red Army. His squadron travelled the last 25 miles to meet the Russians in a captured train driven by a Sgt who was a driver with the Great Western Railway.

After the war ended he saw service in Palestine and in 1948 became a regular Royal Engineer officer with the rank of Captain. he served in intelligence, visiting the Soviet zone of Germany. This involved being arrested and held by the occupying Soviets on a number of occasions. He also served in Malta where he was the last commander of the Royal Engineers before the British withdrew from the island and served in the Ministry of Defence before leaving the army in 1978.

His funeral was held on 18th November at Colwall Church.

 

 

 

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