The Airborne Assault Museum is housed within the IWM Duxford complex and visitors have to buy an entry ticket to the Imperial War Museum Duxford to gain entry to Airborne Assault.
Yamaha Quad All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Afghanistan 2010. The ATV’s with attached trailers deliver food, water and ammunition to troops in difficult to access areas or where larger vehicles are not suitable. Photo: Julian Tennant
Horsa Glider nose cone and exhibit displays in the Airborne Assault Museum.
The Airborne Assault Museum traces the history of British Airborne Forces since their beginning in 1940 to the present day. The museum was originally established by the Committee of the Parachute Regiment Association in October 1946 and relocated from its former home in Browning Barracks, Aldershot to Hangar no.1 (Building 213) of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in 2008.
Service Dress Jacket based on a WW1 Royal Flying Corps “maternity” tunic, worn by Lt-Gen Frederick Browning GCVO KBE CB DSO, the father of the British Airborne Forces. This uniform, designed by Browning was made of barathea with a false Uhlan-style front, incorporating a zip opening at the neck to reveal regulation shirt and tie. It was worn with medal ribbons, collar patches and rank badges, capped off with grey kid gloves, a Guards Sam Browne belt and swagger stick. Above the medal ribbons you can also see the Army Air Corps wings which he also had a hand in designing and qualified as a pilot himself in 1942.
Some of the weapons and uniforms on display at Airborne Assault Duxford
Early WW2 era parachutist during training at Ringway. He wears the early smock and training helmet made by by SL & M Feathers Ltd and used between 1940-43.
Horsa Glider Pilot
WW2 Parachute Regiment soldier kitted up with equipment and parachute.
Horsa Glider cockpit nose cone.
Whilst relatively small and tucked away in the back corner of the hangar, the museum is extremely well done. The outside the entrance some of the heavy equipment used by the Airborne Forces is on display, but the really interesting stuff, for a collector like me, was inside. Lots of uniforms, weapons, personal kit and artifacts related to the Parachute Regiment and other Airborne soldiers from the time of their formation in 1940 through the various campaigns of WW2 to post war operations in the Suez crisis, Borneo, Aden, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Kosovo, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
To visit Airborne Assault you have to buy an entry ticket to the Imperial War Museum Duxford, which will also give you entry to the other exhibition spaces, including the Land Warfare Display and the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum both of which are also worth a visit along with the other air warfare related displays. I’ll do a review and show some pictures of those exhibits in a future post.
Parachute Regiment crowd control duties, Op ‘Banner’, Northern Ireland 1960’s to early 70’s.
Para Sig wearing a 1959 pattern Denison smock. Note the claymore in front of his radio.
Glider Pilot Regiment battledress blouse with M.R.C. (Medical Research Council) body armour, consisting of three 1mm thick manganese steel plates, covering the chest, lower belly and lower back. They were usually worn under the denison smock.
Parachute Regiment circa 1944
Parachutist undertaking a static line jump with equipment.
Pathfinder of 16 Air Assault Brigade kitted out for a High Altitude parachute insertion. Photo: Julian Tennant
Parachute Regiment ‘Red Devils’ parachute display team display.
Subdued Parachutist wing and DZ flash worn by members of the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.
Op ‘Corporate’ 1982 – Falkand Islands display.
“Crow” from 1 Para, Operation Agricola, Kosovo, 1999.
Paratrooper Operation Herrick, Afghanistan 2010-2011
Osprey Assault Body Armour worn by Sgt Jim Kilbride, 2 Para on Operation Herrick XIII
‘Bing’ the ParaDog. ParaDogs were trained to parachute with the troops and subsequently undertake guard, mine-detecting and patrol duties. ‘Bing’, war dog 2720/6871, was assigned to the recce platoon of 13 Para. His first operational jump was in Normandy on 6 June 1944 and served in France until September 1944 and on 24 March 1945 he parachuted over the Rhine. ‘Bing’ remained in Germany until the war’s end, before being returned to his original owner. On 29 March 1947, ‘Bing’ was awarded the Dickin Medal which is given to animals for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while serving in conflict.
The original Royal Army Clothing Department sealed pattern card for the Parachute Regiment cap badge from March 1943.
Reverse of the original sealed pattern card for the Parachute Regiment cap badge.
Imperial War Museum Duxford
CB22 4QR United Kingdom
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.paradata.org.uk/article/airborne-assault-museum-iwm-duxford
Open every day from 10am, including Bank Holidays Opening times for the Winter (October to March) are:
10am – 5pm Opening times for the Summer (March to October) are:
10am – 6pm Closed 24, 25 and 26 December.
Airborne Assault – The Museum of the Parachute Regiment & Airborne Forces. © Julian Tennant