15th Battalion (V) and 4th Battalion (V) The Parachute Regiment


Exercise Bold Guard

Kiel Canal - Germany Wednesday  11th September 1974

On the night of the 11th September 1974, The 15th Battalion (V) and 4th Battalion (V) of the Parachute Regiment had the rare privilege of being part of the biggest United Kingdom Joint Airborne Task Force deployment of the year along with the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment as part of 16 Parachute Brigade group, on Exercise Bold Guard. This was a large-scale NATO exercise involving UK, German and Danish Forces.

It involved parachuting at night on a drop zone bounded in the north by the Kiel Canal.

The airlift from the UK comprised of 35 Hercules Aircraft (C130ís) carrying around 600 troops and their heavy drop vehicles. Owing to a freak temperature inversion the winds at between 800feet and 600feet changed direction, causing 16 of the Parachute Regiment soldiers to land in the canal, causing the death by drowning of 6 Paratroopers. On the 27th June 1975. A large rock with a brass plaque, flanked by six trees was consecrated on the bank of the Kiel Canal in memory of the six soldiers who had died on that tragic night on the 11th September 1974.

This photo opposite was sent by a German, the name of Wolfgang and was forwarded to me by our old friend Jimmy ...

[ Ted Dalton M.B.E. ((ex 10 PARA (v)) ...]

Ted Dalton and his wife took a cruise in the Baltic last June 2007 which took us through the Kiel Canal. I (he) took part in the Exercise Bold Guard in 1974 on which 8 members of the Regiment lost their lives. I (he) thought this would be a great opportunity to remember our fallen comrades who died that day. We had purchased a small wreath prior to the cruise and with the Captain's permission we held a simple remembrance service on the aft deck. A fellow passenger in Holy Orders kindly said some prayers and the Captain ordered the flag to be flown at half mast as we travelled through the canal. May they rest in peace Ted Dalton M.B.E. ((ex 10 PARA (v)) Aylesbury Bucks


 A Coy

Captain Gerry Muir

15 Para Scotland


C Coy 

Officer Cadet James Cooper

15 Para Scotland


B Coy 

Sgt Richard Tompkins

15 Para Scotland


Sp Coy 

Sgt Elliot Leask

15 Para Scotland


Sp Coy 

L/Cpl Brian Bett

15 Para Scotland


A Coy 

Pte Edward Beach

4 Para Liverpool

[ Pte Edward Beach ]