Green On! Go!
The history of those Members of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, known as the Airborne Gunners, who volunteered and risked all, in parachute, and glider operations, in peace and war. With extensive photographs, maps and illustrations, this book details who they were, what they did and why, when, where and how they did it. The title refers to the colour of the golf ball size warning light inside the aircraft which, when lit, warns the paratroopers that it is time to exit the aircraft. This signal coincides with the dispatching Jump Master’s shouted “Go!”
Authors Brian Reid and Dai Chaplin tell the story of members of The Royal Canadian Artillery who chose to become paratroopers and, in the process, become members of the Airborne family. The authors delve skillfully into the early days of the Second World War through to the demise of the Artillery Airborne role in the mid 1990s. This highly readable book deals with aspects largely unknown to most Canadians and few military historians.
The intriguing adventures of artillery paratroopers during the Second World War and the continuing role of Airborne Gunners in the 1950s and 60s established a unique foundation that reached a zenith when the Artillery Battery became a vital component of the Canadian Airborne Regiment.
Airborne Gunners were always soldiers first, and everything else flowed from that. Because of their dedication to basic soldiering, they not only maintained extraordinarily high technical skills but also, when the operation demanded it, they were able to skillfully convert to what was essentially an infantry role. They proved that during the FLQ Crisis and during the Montreal Olympics but especially during the deployment of the Battery in Cyprus when they were plunged into the midst of the fighting, following the Turkish invasion. Simply put, they proved to be every bit as good or better than any Infantry unit that served on the island.
The other aspect that is very clear when you read through this history is the very simple fact that universally, the leaders at every level in the Airborne Battery put their profession ahead of everything else. They made the assumption that by providing high professional standards, their career would take care of itself. The result was reflected in the operational efficiency of the Battery and the very high morale of all ranks that essentially became the standard for the other members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. Every Canadian should read this book.