Organization

Canadian Army

Domestic Military Organization

Headquarters

Militia HQ

Canadian Forces HQ

National Defence HQ (NDHQ)

Political Institutions

Dept. of Militia & Defence

►►Minister of Militia & Defence

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►►Minister of National Defence

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Reorganizations

1902-1904 Dundonald Reforms
1920 Otter Committee
1936 Reorganization
1954 Kennedy Board
1957 Anderson Report
1964 Suttie Commission
1968 Unification
1995 Special Commission

Organizational Corps/Branches

1900-1968 Organizational Corps
1968-2000 Branches

Field Forces

1914-1919  

Canadian Expeditionary Force
CEF Regional Affiliations

Territorial Reinforcement Regts.

1919

Canadian Siberian Exped Force

1939-1940 (1945) 

Canadian Active Service Force

1945

Canadian Army Pacific Force

1950-1953

Canadian Army Special Force

Field Force Formations

1914-1918  
Canadian Corps
1st Div | 2nd Div | 3rd Div | 4th Div 5th Div
1939-1945

1st Canadian Army

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

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1st Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Division

3rd Infantry Division

4th (Armoured) Division
5th (Armoured) Division
6th Division 

7th Division 

8th Division 
1st Armoured Brigade
2nd Armoured Brigade
3rd Armoured Brigade
3rd Tank Brigade

 1950-1953
1 Com Div | 25 Inf Bde

Foreign Headquarters

Allied Forces HQ (AFHQ)

►►15th Army Group

►►►8th Army

SHAEF

►►21st Army Group

►►►2nd British Army

Special Forces

1st Canadian Para Battalion

First Special Service Force

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers

Canadian Rangers

Special Air Service (SAS) Coy

The Canadian Airborne Regt

Organizational Formations

Reserve Bdes - 1941-1945

13 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

14 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

27th Canadian Brigade

1 CMBG

2 CMBG

3 CMBG

4 CMBG

5 CMBG

1st Cdn Division (1954-1958)

1st Cdn Division (1988-2000)

Special Service Force

Auxiliary Services
Alliances

1914-1918 Triple Alliance
1939-1945 Allies
1949-1999 NATO

Veteran's Organizations

Defence Associations

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Canadian Infantry Association
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National Defence Emp Assoc
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Veteran's Associations

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Supplementary Order of Battle

Unit Listings by year

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Unit Listings by Corps/Branch

Armoured Units 1940-1945

Cdn Dental Corps 1939-1945
Cdn Intelligence Corps 1942-45

Cdn Provost Corps 1940-1945

Infantry Battalions 1939-1945

RCOC 1939-1945

Special Air Service (SAS) Company

The Canadian Special Air Service (SAS) Company was an elite force created in 1947 and provides the historian with some continuity between the wartime parachute units and the later Canadian Airborne Regiment.

Prospective members were assembled in the spring and summer of 1947 at the Canadian Joint Air Training Centre (CJATC) at Rivers, Manitoba. The unit had its headquarters located there for administrative purposes but was considered an independent unit directly under control of Army Headquarters in Ottawa.

The Company was formed as a standard infantry company, with a company headquarters, three rifle platoons, and a total strength of approximately 140. (In late 1948, a "services" platoon was added as a fourth sub-unit). The Company was commanded throughout its existence by Captain Guy D'Artois of the Royal 22e Regiment (and also wartime member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA), and each platoon drew its strength from one of the three Active Army infantry regiments (RCR, PPCLI, and R22eR). Many members are reported to have served in the wartime Canadian parachute units, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force. Prerequisites for service with the Canadian SAS Company were "superb physical condition, and have demonstrated initiative, determination and self-reliance."2 As well, each soldier had to be unmarried.

The role of the SAS is unclear to historians, Grimshaw suggests it may have been patterned after the British SAS, formed during the Second World War and a special operations unit, carrying out tasks such as long range reconnaissance, deep penetration raids through enemy lines in conventional warfare situations, and liaison with and support of guerrilla or irregular forces in unconventional warfare situations. All members were taught a broad variety of disciplines, and each individual received instruction in packing parachutes and aspects of air supply and air portability to support Airborne operations, by both C47 aircraft and CG4A glider. All members were also taught the basics of a variety of weapons, vehicles, and skills such as unarmed combat, first aid, radio communications, "ropework", survival skills, mountaineering, improvised demolitions, physical fitness, skiing, and "some foreign language training."

Exercises were reportedly rigorous, with scenarios usually involving an airborne raid on a fixed enemy installation. At least one member of the Company was killed during a public parachute demonstration. These demonstrations were commonly held across Canada, and usually involved low-level jumps of between 500 and 700 feet.

The company only had two operational tasks during its short life, and arctic rescue mission in 1947, in which Capt D'Artois participated and was decorated, and flood relief efforts in 1948 in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia which involved the entire Company.

In Sep 1949, defence planners disbanded the Company in favour of the creations of the Mobile Striking Force, a much larger (and more conventional) airborne formation. Individual members of the Company were retained for their experience in an instructional role, augmenting existing training establishments until the MSF was formed. Some individuals not used in the instructional role returned to their parent regiments.

 

Insignia

The Canadian SAS Company had no distinctive insignia, and members of the unit seem to have retained their previous regimental insignia. The Denison Smock and maroon beret were worn.

The badges at right were posted at the wehrmacht-awards.com forum with the following post:

 

Well, I've finally got around to posting this fale material. I do not collect "special forces" stuff and when I ran accross this collection of stuff I thought I'd hit the jackpot. I spoke with Lou Grimshaw and he burst my bubble on my "score." Anyway, all this stuff is fake. There was a Canadian SAS, which existed for a very short time post WW2. This insignia was designed by a member of the Cdn SAS in the 1980's as a fund raiser for the regimental association. I've also included a white metal and bimetal Canadian Parachute Corps badge as these are now recognized as fakes from Gaunt.

Enjoy and collect what you know!

 

Lou Grimshaw wrote the book - literally - on The Badges and Insignia of the Canadian Airborne Forces. He reports that the Canadian Special Air Service (SAS) Company never had distinctive badges.

 

 Notes

  1. According to The Badges and Insignia of the Canadian Airborne Forces by Major Louis E. Grimshaw, CD, no specific date is known.

  2. Ibid, p. 23


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