Unit History: Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles (from 2008), and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando Qualified Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen.
3 Commando Brigade can trace its origins back to World War II, when it was formed as the 3rd Special Service Brigade. The Commandos were formed as forces to perform raids on occupied Europe. Many of these raids were relatively small affairs, but some were very large, such as the 1942 Dieppe Raid, and the attack on St Nazaire to cripple the dry dock there.
3 Commando Brigade was at the forefront of many actions over the next 25 years, acting as a strategic reserve for the Far East and Mediterranean areas. Its most high profile operation during this time was the Suez Crisis, when it took part in the amphibious assault against Egyptian targets. During Operation Musketeer, units of the Brigade made the first British helicopter borne assault in history.
1971 saw the withdrawal of British forces from the Far East and Persian Gulf. The Brigade returned to the UK with other British units. It moved to Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, where it remains to this day.
The Brigade is commanded by a Royal Marines Brigadier and contains Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Brigade headquarters staff are located at Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth, Devon with the majority of the subordinate formations in South West England.
Memories of Commando Brigade
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
Commando Brigade Air Squadron in 1973
Written by Neil MacQuarrie
I served with 3 Cdo BAS from July 1973 until Mar 1977. Fantastic Unit with great spirit and professionalism and the very best guys you could ever wish to meet. I was the Flt Art at 40 Cdo Dieppe Flight from Sept 1973 until Aug 1974 at Coypool and Bickleigh Barracks, and then from Aug 1974 until Mar 1977 the Flt Art of Salerno Flt 41 Cdo Air Tp based in Malta. I loved every minute of my time with 3 Cdo BAS especially the sea time on carriers etc and deployments all over the world. Royals are the best soldiers in the world.
Commando Brigade Air Squadron, in 1969
Written by John Hyde
My first flight in a large fixed wing Ac from Brize Norton to Singapore-Feb 1969. Watching the sun rise whilst somewhere over the Indian Ocean on route to Gan. Very memorable.
Commando Brigade Ordnance Field Park, Rowcroft Lines Singapore in 1966
Written by Keith Lovett(Butch)
Climbing on top of a water tower 70ft up to try and get the world cup final on radio at Rowcroft Lines on Bras Bashar Rd I think thats how you spell it
waking up in Boogis St, no watch no wallet and doing a runner from the taxis when arriving back at barracks the taxi driver knew what was going to happen when we told him to go in the back way 4 marines running in different direction through the rows of huts until we got to J6Left and met up again.
having a run ashore and finish up going to dances at BMH in Alexandria and not having a clue how we got home