Something that has been troubling what year did the Airborne denison smock be phased out. I've seen pictures of 3 Para serving in N ireland in 78 wearing them. Did 1 para wear them on there 78 tour of South Armagh?
The Denison was finished within Airborne Forces by 1980. I remember still having one on my back during 3 Paras 78 Belfast Tour and I had the new issue Para Smock on by the time I did my SCBC at Brecon the following year. No doubt there were a few odds and sods around still wearing them but the Regiment were all in the new version by 1980. F**k off long porn star taches were still in though and I would have had no problem auditioning for the line up of the "Village People" or chasing John Inman around a few soho bars. Err had I been that way inclined....
My sect cdr at Shornecliffe wore one when in the field, he was 2LI and when we did our Otterburn Battle Camp with Jnr Soldiers company from Para depot he got some pointed remarks. He was seriously hard I suspect still is and no one had the nerve to tell him to remove it!
To answer Rumrunner's query. Prince Charles did a couple of courses at No1 PTS , two at Abingdon and one at Brize Norton.
The Abingdon course was referred to in those days as a DCI course available to potential aircrew pilots/navs. The Prince was at Cranwell at the time undergoing pilot training. It was a 4 jump course, based around the requirement for aircrew to 'appreciate' the technicalities of a parachute should they need to bail out/eject.
He returned at a later date with a nervous group of equerries and Buck House staff to undertake a water jump into Studland Bay.
His 'airborne' course was in 1977 at Brize. He completed the 8 descent course including the night jump at Weston. An apocryphal story from this couse centres around Buck House ringing the PTS ops room to check on his progress and bring him to the phone. A voice boomed across the training hangar " Charles, your mum's on the phone!"
The PCAU collection of Denissons for airborne trainees were being used to 1981.
For what it's worth I did SCBC No. 9 at Brecon in 1977 and all the Paras (and there were f**kin' loads as they had only just got rid of the Para syndicate) were wearing the DPM smock, I managed to get hold of one in fact. They'd only just come in and were not all that popular as: