Passing of Jan de Vries

Jan de Vries, President of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association passed away on 27 May 2012, after a fall in which he suffered a serious head injury.
Jan and his wife Joanne were planning to be in attendance in Normandy this year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 3rd Parachute Brigade and 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
Jan’s battalion was seconded to the  3rd Parachute Brigade of the 6th Airborne Division, commanded by Brigadier Stanley James Ledger Hill DSO, MC.   At 0010 hours on 6th June, as a member of “C” Company, Jan 20 years old at the time jumped in to Normandy.
Jan was wounded by a sniper in July 1944 and evacuated to England but in September after treatment, rather than convalesce, he returned directly to the battalion. He continued the fight with his battalion in the Belgian Ardennes, fought in Holland on the River Maas and jumped into Germany on Operation Varsity in March 1945.
Our sincere condolences go out to Jan’s wife Joanne and his family.
R.I.P. Jumper. Fair winds and soft landings.

7 Responses to “Passing of Jan de Vries”

  1. on 31 May 2012 at 6:11 pmGB

    R.I.P. Jan….

  2. on 31 May 2012 at 8:50 pmblaster

    Rest in Peace, Jan.

  3. on 05 Jun 2012 at 1:58 amDarrel Connick

    Thank you for setting the example!
    You will be missed!
    Soft Winds!
    Stand Easy Jumper!
    Mission Complete

  4. on 10 Jun 2012 at 8:49 pmDwayne DeVries

    His memories will live on forever and he will never be forgotten.

  5. on 01 Jul 2012 at 12:43 amJanice Hamilton-Dicker (de Vries)

    Jan de Vries is my Dad. He was dedicated to the task of making sure that the history books and people knew what the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion did during the war. He always asked why he was spared during the war and he was humbled by people coming up to him and thanking him for what he did for our country. My last visit with my Dad was the weekend before he passed. I watched from the hallway as he was reading one of his many books. He loved to read. He stressed the importance of a good education and to get involved. He loved the outdoors. He enjoyed going for long walks. He was a true renaissance man. He could build anything. He was a loving Father. I will miss his hugs, his smile and his advice. I will look at my son and see his Grandfather in him and I hope to guide him well so that my Dad would be proud.

  6. on 27 Jul 2012 at 11:43 pmCameron MacCuspic

    I never met Jan de Vries, but my father Malcolm MacCuspic and my brothers Donald and Robert have. My father and Jan knew each other well from WWII and all the reunions they attended together. As I look at Jan’s signature and the many others my father collected in his copy of “Out of the Clouds” the chronicle of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, I wonder how many of these fine men are still with us. I personally will be making plans to go the Europe in 2014 for the 70 year anniversary of D-day. I’ll do my best to retrace the units eploits in country and honor them all where every the markers of One Can-para are located…and there are many that are documented in the documentary “Victory From Above”. I extend an invitation to anyone that may be making the same plan, to join me in the retracing of the units missions and monuments. Please feel free to contact me at And my condolences to the de Vries family. My father, thought very highly of Jan. A very easy man to respect that I wish I could have met.

  7. on 05 Aug 2012 at 5:20 pmLloyd Jensen

    I’m so sorry to hear of Jan’s passing. I spoke with Jan after my father’s passing to purchase a Battalion flag to display at his funeral. I often think of this group of men when I see this flag or Dad’s blazer and beret. I wish I could have known more of these great men.

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