War Diaries of G Battery (Mercer's Troop), Royal Horse Artillery

1944

 

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January 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
At Sea 1-3   Continued voyage in the "Ormonde"  
  4 0516 Dropped anchor in the Clyde near the mouth  
    1400 Lecture by CO. informed that we would get 14 days disembarkation leave for overseas service up to 2 years.  
      21 days up to 4, & over 4 weeks. Our near station was to be BRANDON - full security measures were to be taken & "desert rat" signs removed  
      During the evening the "Ormonde" moved up and anchored off Gourock  
  5   Remained on board  
  6 1200 Disembarked & entrained at GOUROCK. Heavy Baggage was unloaded by Stevedores and considerable damage done by carelessness  
    1400 Train left  
  7 0020 A meal supplied at New NEWCASTLE  
Cranwich Camp 7 0530 Arrived BRANDON where we were met by the advance party under Major J.R. Kynaston & transported to CRANWICH CAMP. It was a tin hutted camp miles from anywhere - flesh lot as camps go not to bad  
  7-10   Settling in and getting ready to go on leave  
  10-13   Leave parties left by special trains leaving a rear party of some 20 men under BC.  
  20   2 x 15 cwt & 3 x 3 ton Class II vehicles issues  
  25-27   Leave parties started to return. Rear party on leave.  
  28   Lt Wilson, L/Sgt Walter T, L/Bdr (M/m) Alder, L/Bdr Spring & L/Bdr Hobbs went to RAM & Sherman courses at RHYL.  
      It is near certain that we are to be reequipped with "Rams" - 25 pdr SP  
  29   2/Lt, R.A. Wenham, 2/Lt T.C. Collins arrived from 123 OCTU  
      As no sign of equipment 30% privilege leave was authorised.  
  30-31   Bty strength so low due to leave that little here than fatigues were possible. Efforts were made to lay in a good stock of firewood.  

 

February 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Cranwich 1 0900 Rifle shooting on SWAFFENHAM Ranges  
    1400 Played football v. RAF at FELTWELL - We won 4-2  
  2-3   Trips to look over "Lancasters" at FELTWELL aerodrome.  
  3   Further leave parties dispatched to bring total of 50% away  
  7   Typhus inoculations  
  9   Rifle shooting at SWAFFENHAM  
  11 1100 G.O.C, 7th Armoured Dib addressed all officers in Desert Rat Theatre near Mundford  
  14   First two "Rams" arrived. A limited amount of individual training started  
  15   Rehearsal for General Montgomery's inspection  
  16   Training  
  17 0830 Parade for General Montgomery's inspection - by truck to DILLINGTON HALL & then a two & half hour wait in the cold.  
  18-20   Personnel Selection board visited the battery & classified all ORs  
  21   17 Reinforcements arrived, also 3 x 15 cwt GS App I.
  22   8        "                     "          "    1 x 15 cwt water, 3 x 15 cwt W/T and 8 x 3 Tons actually completing our W.E. of B Vehicles. Some in very moderate condition for an initial issue. Training now interrupted.  
  24 1400 Inspection by H.M. The King at HILLBOROUGH.  
  25   Normal training  
  26   Bdr Frost went on a B Vehicle waterproofing course at Southend.  
  28   Personnel returned from "Ram" courses at RHYL.  
      13 BSA M/Cs collected from Shrewsbury  
  28-29   Normal training. Lectures on Armd Reece Regt by O.C. 8th Hussars. L/Bdr Sharples posted to Y List  

 

"G" BATTERY (MERCER'S TROOP) 5 R.H.A.

WAR DIARY - FEBRUARY, 1944

Appendix I.    
     
14607423 Gnr. ALLISH W.
14428385 Gnr. BOLLARD R.
14650923 Gnr. D.O. BREWER E.
14423169 Gnr. BRETT F. A.
14571324 Gnr. D.O. CASSIDY L,
14583415 Gnr. D.O. CLARKSON. J
14615031 Gnr. COX G.E.
14610946 Gnr DELLAR T.
14655246 Gnr. D.O. DIXON N. P.
5047588 Gnr. FLETCHER A. J.
14646272 Gnr. D.O. HARRAGIN G.
14558027 Gnr. JENNINGS R.
1457 9822 Gnr. KASSELL P.N.
14583284 Gnr. LANGLEY R. G.
14579165 Gnr. D.O. MACTAVISH A
980758 Gnr. MACFARLANE N. R.
14397977 Gnr. MEREDITH J.
14617245 Gnr. D.O. MOSS L.L
14396633 Gnr. PHILLIPS W. G.
933721 Gnr. RICHARDS R.
5251090 Gnr. SMITH D. F.
14599489 Dr. IC. SMITH G.
14599488 Dr. IC. SMITH G. W.
14641852 Gnr. D.O. SHAW H.

 

March 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Cranwich Camp 2-4   Collected 6 Rams from WOOLWICH ARSENAL: - brought back by road in long stages as driving instruction  
Thetford 7   Baggage which had been left in CAIRO in July 1942 arrived have been well & truly looted in transit.  
  1-14   Individual training carried out including lecture on waterproofing A & B vehicles  
  15   One Sherman tank received  
  16   The M.G.R.A. Brig A Hornly visited the Regiment & watched the battery training.  
  20   Gun drill for C.O. marking the end of individual training - Good progress had been made on the new equipment.  
  22   First battery drill order - quite successful though handicapped by lack of W/T vehicles  
  23   Night operation scheme - an inky night  
  28   Sent 1 x 3 ton to Special Driving School at Lowestoft to practice driving off LCTs  
  26/27   BC and 2  OPs Capt Reid and Lt Jameson took part in an exercise with 5 R. Tanks.  
  29   Battle practice with 5 R. Tanks on STANDFORD battle area - first time we had fired the guns.  
      One training Cromwell received  
  30   4 White half tracks received  
      The following left or joined the battery during the month  
           933852 Dr. IC. Swift          to Y list         15th  
           6895619 Dr. IC. Wood F   "   "   "  
           5055581 Gnr Burnett rejoined from Almaza (ex-wounded)  

 

April 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Cranwich Camp 1   Capt. Noble attended AFC demonstration at LULWORTH.  
Thetford 2   L/Bdr Symms attended a five day anti typhus course  
  3   An attempt was made to put all B vehicle drivers through a watersplash but owing the "ropey" nature of the 15 cwt Ford which was used - it drowned at the first attempt. 1 x M/C disappeared into thin air - a court of inquiry failed to produce it or any lack of suitable guards  
  5   Lt. Kemerly & 4 drivers went on a two day driving course at the SCL at YARMOUTH.  
      Visit by the Col. Sorshen Col Commandant RHA  
      1 carrier received  
  6   Berets issued to all ORs - Officers had received them some weeks before  
      2 Carriers (AOP MKiii) received  
  7   A day's Regimental shooting & course shooting a Standford battle area  
  8   Visit by GL Gordon-Finlayson Col Commandant RA. He was due at 1430 on a Sat afternoon and arrived 50 minutes late - not a popular visit. He addressed the regiment afterwards - a depressing speech.  
      2 more carries received  
  9   4 x 3 Tonners received  
  10   Sgt Walter W, on a 14 days gun course at Winterbourne  
      One gun under 2/Lt Wenham went to THORNBURY for absolute calibration.  
         Address change to APO England & censorship regulations cane into use. All leave stopped - CRA's approval required for compassionate cases  
      2 more carriers received - 1 x 15 cwt WT to RHQ  
  11.12.13   Brigade Exercise on STANDFORD battle area - working with 5 R. Tanks throughout.  
  13 1500 Guns proceeded on transporters to THORNBURY for comparative calibration  
  14   Guns returned on tracks doing a night occupation on the way back.  
  14/15   B.C. attended a divisional tewt covering possible task of the division in future operations  
      4 short based 3 tonners returned to SHREWSBURY Ordnance Depot  
  16   2 AEC armoured 6 tonners received  
  18   Regimental shooting on the Standford battle area  
  21   The Russian Military Mission visited the Regiment & inspected men & equipment. They showed keen interest & asked many questions about equipment.  
  25   15 Drivers went to Div driving school at LOWESTOFT to practice driving off a L.C.T. into the sea  
  27   Full battery loading trial - most of the stuff seems to on. AFV Inspectorate inspected 2 Rams  
  28   4 International ½ tracks (personnel carriers) received, 2 Cromwells received  
      Equipment is now 100% less Jeeps. It seems adequate though does not bear very close relationship to W.E. - luckily !  
  29   Lt Cooke & 4 drivers to LOWESTOFT to Div driving school.  
      3442900 Gnr. Kershaw returned from hospital  
      1092511 Bde Pugh            "           "        "  
      784904 Sgt Riches             "           "        "  
     

1089258  Gnr Lawton         )

5251090   "     Smith D        )

1066300   "     Andrews      )

935538     L/Bdr Pritchard  } To Hospital

14646272 Gnr Harragin      )

791372     Pte Mongel        )

5047588   Gnr Fletcher      )

 
                 D/M Seagrave attached  30 T.D.S. Southampton  
      The following men were posted to home details  
                784826  GNR. Powell R.  
                797459  U/A/L/Bdr. Pescod F.  
                994781  GNR. Powell R.  
                784826  Dr. Davies N.C.  
                910394  P/A/L/Sgt Warren C.  
                3442900 GNR. Kershaw R.  

 

May 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Cranwich 2   1 Jeep & 1 Humber Scout Car received  
  3 1400 Instruction to send 1 troop (B) to FELIXSTOW to practice loading and unloading LCT - they were not to return to Cranwich  
  4   B Troop moved to FELIXSTOW   
  5   3 x 1 ton trailers received  
  7   Bulk of battery loaded up ready to move to concentration area for marshalling. Areas & destination in App I App I
  8   Parties for R & T moved off  
  9   Waterproofing commences. Major Kynaston & Capt Noble went to an investiture at Buckingham Palace.  
  9-12   Waterproofing continued.  
  13   Ram and tank drivers practiced driving in the sea near YARMOUTH.  
      Owing to the previous unit breaking the winch on the LCT we could not practice driving off the LCT.  
  14-17   Waterproofing  
  18   Rams & tanks tried out in water splash for sealing of body. Results satisfactory. The Rams are near virtually finished.  
  19-23   Final tasks given to waterproofing - day passes granted to London from R  - results bad as many absentees, most of whom returned after two days. Area T had scored being in London - nearly everyone got away till midnight every night.  
ORWELL PARK 23-7   Rather a dead period spent touching up waterproofing & waiting for marshalling. On 24th all passes were stopped * we were shut in the camp except for a few compassionate leaves.  
Nr IPSWICH 28   Rams X3 RA went to marshalling area a stable of the main IPSWICH - FELIXSTOW Rd one mile away.  
  29   X & RB marshalled, Vehicle area in their ship loads  
  28 pm B.C. Fully briefed for operation - other officers briefed without place being named.  
  30   Lecture by BC to battery on nature of operation - no details could be given until men were embarked.  
  31   Order to move personnel to marshalling area in 1 move & there to embark  
               3 Deserters from the battery, Dv Barnes, Smith H and Gnr Lee   
      App (II) shows how the Bty in R5 was loaded App II

.

31   4 Reinforcements received ex members of RHQ, CC & K  
      Gnr, Perry (ex RHQ). Gnr. Green. (ex CC Bty). Gnr Smith R (ex CC Bty) and Gnr Whale (ex K. Bty)  

 

  'G' Bty (Mercer's Tp) / 5 R.H.A.  

May, 1944   

 

War Diary - Appendix 1

 

  Area R.5. Orwell Park near Ipswich.
  Serial 4.      
  X - Sherman   Major Kynaston, Bdr Manley, Gnr Jennel. D/M. Spring, Gnr Dixon
  RA - Cromwell   Capt. Peal, L/Bdr Laing, Gnr Hobbs, Gnr Mogs, D/M. Grimshaw.
  RB - Cromwell   Capt. Noble, Cpl. Sadder, L/Bdr. Oldfield, Gnr. Mactavish, Bdr. O'Connor
         
  Serial 7.   }  
  X3 - Sherman Lt. Jamieson, D/M Mullfield, Gnr Lambert, Gnr  Dickem, Gnr Shaw H.
  A Sub. Ram Gnr Archer, D/M Beardmore, Gnr Brown, Gnr Ballard, Dv IC. Bowers
  B Sub.   " Gnr Burnikell, D/M Comley, Gnr Dean, Sgt Dryden, Bde Emery,
  C Sub.   " Gnr Fowls, Sgt Hodenham, Gnr Gee, Sgt Gibson, L/Bdr Guild,
  D Sub.   " Bdr Gwinnell, Gnr Hardman, Gnr Hewson, Gnr Horrocks, Gnr Hough,
  E Sub.   " Gnr Howden, V/M Ibbotson, D/M King, Gnr Langley, Gnr Lloyd
  F Sub.   " L/Bdr Meakin, L/Bdr Morgan, Bdr McKay, Gnr Mclean, Gnr Newby
  G Sub.   " Gnr O'Connell, D/M Pettit, Gnr Phillips, Bdr Pugh, Gnr Ronell, Sgt Rothwell
  H Sub.   " Sgt Shaw F, Gnr Sillito, Dv IC Smith H, Gnr Slack, Sgt Spence,
        L/Bdr Stacey, L/Sgt Stanier, Gnr Turner, L/Bdr Walker A,
        L/Sgt Walker F, Sgt Walby, Gnr Watts, Bde Whalley, D/M Whitcomb,
        L/Bdr Wilson F, Gnr Wood, Gnr Perry, Gnr Brett, Gnr Smith R.
        Lt. Rawson, Lt. Wilson                        Sgm Kitchen

  Area F4   West Ham Stadium
  Serial 19.      
  K1 Half-track. International Capt Lanyon, Lt Kennedy. 2/Lt Wenham
  H        do                 do Bdr Armitage, Gnr Beckwith, Gnr Benge
  GA        do                 do Bdr Belling, Gnr Brewer, Gnr Chapman
  GB        do                 do Dv. IC. Clarke, Gnr Davis J, L/Bdr Dick
  TLA ½ - track M14 Bde Fost, Gnr Gibson F, L/Bdr Golding,
  TLB        do   do Gnr Green. D/M Herman, Bdr Howard
  X2 Humber Scout Car Gnr Johnson E, Gnr Kyte, Gnr Macfarlane,
  M1 Carrier A.O.P   D/M Mollison, Bde McDonald, Dv Orme
  A1 6 tn      A.E.C   Dv Preece, Gnr Roach, Dv Shaw R, Dv Smith G.W.
  A2       do         Dv Smith JG, Bdr Taylor N, Sgt Thornburn
  A4 ½ - track M14 L/Bde Urquhart, L/Bdr Wray, Gnr Hennessey,
  A5        do   do Dv Ashun, W.O.II. Callum, W.O.II. Wright, Dv Morris.

  Area S5   Brentwood  
  Serial 44.      
  P1 Chev 3-tnr Gnr Cox, L/Bdr Dray, Gnr Fletcher, Sgm Drinkwater, L/Bdr French
  F     do do Cpl Gill, Gnr Knox, Gnr Kessell, Gnr Lawton,
        D/M Needle, Gnr O'Donnell, Dv Pearce
  J1 Jeep   Dv Stone, L/Sgt Wallace, D/M Warren
        Gnr Welime, Gnr Paterson
         

 

  G' Bty (Mercer's Tp) / 5 R.H.A.

May, 1944   

 

War Diary - Appendix 1

 

  Cranwich Camp  
  Serial 57.      
  Q5 Chev. 15 cwt WH. Gnr Allish, Gnr Brett, Gnr Cassidy, D/M Craig,
  P3 Ford 3-tnr Gnr Chiddicks, Gnr Dellar, Gnr Elliot, Gnr Hallgath
  Q3    do.  do. Pte Hancock, Dv Higgins, Dv Mason, L/Bdr Mychall
  M/C. 6. B.S.A Gnr Richards, BQMS Rowe, Bdr Stokoe, L/Bdr Symons,
  M/C. 1. B.S.A   Dv Thompson, Cpl Underwood, Sgt Weare
  M/C. 4. B.S.A   Gnr Jennings, Gnr Pannell, Pte Adams
  M/C. 5. B.S.A    

  Residue - Serial 88    
  Serial 44.      
  Y1 Ford 15 cwt G.S   Pte Adams, L/Bdr Alder, Sigm Barber, Gnr Barratt
  A3 Chev. 8 cwt W/T   Gnr Bibby, Gnr Clarkson, Dv Chatfield, Gnr Collins
  A6 Ford 3-tnr   Dv Dove, Sgm Duckham, Gnr  Dunlop, Gnr Edwards,
  C1 Carrier, T,S & C   Pte Eeley, Gnr Ellaby, Dv Ford, Gnr Foalgil
  K2 Chev. 8 cwt W/T   Gnr Gillman, Bdr Harrington, Gnr Harrop
  Q1 Chev. 3-tnr   Gnr Haynes, D/M Hopkins, Bdr Humphrey,
  Q4 Ford 3-tnr   Dv Kempson, Dv Kirkman, W.O.II. Lungley,
  P2 Chev. 3-tnr   Gnr Lloyd, Gnr Maskill, Gnr MacArthur,
  M2 Ford 15 cwt G.S   Bde Markhams, Gnr Meredith, Gnr Mortimer
  M4 Carrier Ford   D/M Mulhall, Dv Palmer, Gnr Pannell, Gnr Paterson,
  M3 Ford 15 cwt G.S   Dv Prescott, Bdr Reynolds, Gnr Ridley, Dv Saunders,
  M5 Carrier Ford   Gnr Smith J, Dv Toze, Sgt Walker, W, Gnr Yardy
  M/C. 2. B.S.A   Dv Young, Gnr Piggin, Dv Logley, Gnr Addison,
  M/C. 3. B.S.A   Gnr Brinkman, L/Bdr Wilson, L/Bdr Gammon
  M/C. 7. B.S.A   Gnr Whall

         
         
  N.B. There are not strictly tactical orders loads, but are as near as movement control will permit
         
  Serial X      
  A6 Ford 3-tnr   Bdr Markhan, Dv Bibby, Gnr Ridley, Gnr Green
  M4 Carrier Ford   Dv Mason, D/M Mulhall, L/Bdr Mychall, Gnr Jennings
  M5       "       "   Dv Kitcham, D/M Cherry, D/M Hopkins, Gnr Cassidy
         
         

 

 

June 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
ORWELL PK 2   Personnel started to join vehicles in the marshalling  
Nr Ipswich 3   park prior to moving down to the "hards". Loading on LSTs commenced that evening & continued with LCTs the next day.  
      LCTs when loaded moved some miles up the ORWELL while LSTs lay off the hards opposite HARWICH.  
  3-5   Laying up waiting - a strongish breeze blowing to the detriment of the barrage balloons on the craft - chief amusement was watching them blow away  
  5   Sailed - we are part of 'L' Force of the follow up due for "Jig" beach at LE HAMEL at H + 18½ hours. H is 0725 6 June.  
      A rough trip for the LCTs with a large percentage sea sick  
  5-6   LSTs not so bad. We left the coast of Britain and have a completely uneventful trip. The sea is flush with ships & craft in all directions  
At Sea 6 2100 Reach anchorage area off the beaches & having spent all night rolling unpleasantly. A fair amount of hostile air activity over the beaches but we are too far out to be involved.  

Ref 1/25

        /50,000

         37/18

7 0830 X disembarked & swam safely ashore through about 5' of water - still rough water waves splashing into the turret. RB had landed a couple of hours before. No hostile shelling or air on the beach - must surprising. Directed to 22 Armd Bde D.P. 8582 where we dewaterproofed - joined by RB, M4, M5 & A6.   
819809   1030 Moved to 819809 where a battery area was raised & we waited for the remainder to arrive. CC was behind us & K on our left. 5 R. Tks were due to come in close round us.  
      BAYEUX was in our hands but North West was hostile  
    1700 RA, X3 & Rams arrived. Guns laid out in D.Fs to cover 50 Div.  
819809 7 1900 Warned to have one OP ready to go out to 2 SWB north west of BAYEAX. Capt Noble (RB) ready. DF fired during the night on SULLY 7682  
    2100 RB went & slept at Bn Hq. 779815.  
  8 0430 Stand to & RB at 771823. During the days concentrations were fired in to SULLY area covering an attack by 2 SWB - RB & Major Wells OC K controlling. The attack was successful & SULLY occupied about 1400 - Country close  & difficult for OPs. One 88mm finished out in SULLY probably by our DF. RB got a load off but this was fired by 16 ?????.  
    1600     2SWB & A Sqn 5 T Tks, continued across the stream at SULLY to clear up some enemy holding out in a fortified Chateau  
    1830 Calls for smoke from RB to extricate the party that had crossed the bridge at 764824 - a S.P. had maneuvered close up in their rear & was threatening their withdrawal. The infantry pulled back & owing to the close nature of the county the tanks could do nothing. The smoke followed by HE did the trick & all escaped but RB - to road over the bridge was under direct fire from the SP & on the way back closed down RB had to move toward some infantry on the bridge. It was to narrow and the tank went over the side - falling some 15 feet in to the stream landing on its turret. Capt Noble was killed instantly but the men escape through the co driver hatch.  
      A tragic end to a fine officer & first class OP.  
      Amm expenditure 633 HE. 197 Smoke  
    1930 K1, GA, GB, TLB arrived - A5 has arrived some hours before  
  9 100 H arrived - A1 & A2 (AEC 6 tonners) reported drowned - in actual fact they had been landed at low tide & stuck in soft sand.  
819809 9   Attempts to salvage RB but a job for heavy recovery & this was done the next day.  
    1300 M1, TLA, arrived. Lt Whitely posted from CC Bty to take over B Tp. X3 has taken over in lieu of RB.  
    1830 BC's Conference - plan to move at first light 5 T Tks Regtl group on right, 2 Armd Bde was leading & 56 Bde was under Cmd 7 A.D. as 131 Bde has not got fully ashore.   
      CL BAYEUX - BLARY 8076 - those by tracks rest of vehicles TILLY road to FOLLIOT 8171 then HOTTOT. Objective was line of main road JUVIGNY. 8576 - HOTTOT. Amm Ex - Nil.  
  10 0600 Started, but movement was almost nil for some time & then very slow  (just made POLs)  
809761   0900 Dropped into action 809761. Tanks were making very slow progress owing to thick county. At first little opposition except snipers  
808741   1100 Moved Bty to 808741. OP were with RB with B Sqn on right & RA in front with C Sqn, Opposition strengthen considerably in line FOLLIOT - BERNIERS BOCAGE - infantry, A/T guns & mortars being met also some tanks.  
      Very difficult to see any targets as Hun infantry were waiting until tanks were almost on top of them & then throwing grenades into the turret. Mortars & area of resistance were engaged. By night FOLLIOT was ours but BERNIERS BOCAGE was note though we had been in it. 56 Bde had come up & taken over area - we leaguered at 809741 - the guns remained in within. Amm Ex 387 HE 29 Smoke. 2 Hun ½  tracks captured by 5 R Tks were taken in by us.  
  11 0515 Advance continued - tanks reaching wood at 805690 but were forces to withdraw some 1000 yds by tanks, SPs & infantry.   
814714     Bty moved to 814714 & engaged suspected A/T guns - owing to the county they were extremely difficult to pin point.  
  11   During the morning it was noticed that trucks could not get on any further & an ambush was laid on by ESSEX a Bn of ESSEX Regt from 56 Bde. Capt Peel registers points for the fire plans involving 5RHA, 4 Medium and 1x155 btys. RB was working with the tanks in a watching role - RA had developed trouble with the brake & Capt Peel was in X2 - a Scout Car  
      The attack was in the wood 805690 & took hours to materialise starting at about 1800. The attack was success in that the infantry rushed their objective without much trouble and remained there all night in spite of considerable disturbance being caused by 2 MKVI & some flame throwers. BC remained with Bn HQ near BERNIER BOCAGE for the night.  
      Amm Ex. 741 HE 37 Smoke  
  12   B.C. remained with Essex Regt until rejoining 5 R Tks about 0630 hrs. Nominally our commitments both with ESSEX & 5 R Tks had ended at first light as 131 Bde with 1 R Tks had taken over the advance. Capt Whitely  met with C.O. to assist if required  
      A quiet morning for the OP Cmd though a lot of Regimental targets were engaged.  
    1500 Recall to Bty Cmd with both Ops. Orders received for 22 Armd Bde with 1/7 Queens & less 1 R Tks to move to VILLERS BOCAGE 5174, 4 CLY Group leading. C.L. FOLLIOT 813719 - X rds 775722 - rd Junc 749735 – LABUTTE 7469 - LA MOULETIERE 7363 - LA PAUMERIES 7362 - BRIQUESSARD 7460  - VILLERS BOCAGE - Pt 213 834591.  
    1630 Moved off & steady progress until leaguering at last light at 729667. 4 CLY were in tight contact with 8 Hus & 11 Hussar recces out in front & flanks. Amm Ex 702 HE 140 Smoke  
  13 0700 Advance continued - almost unopposed to VILLERS BOCAGE. Part of  CLY got through the town but RHQ was ambushed. OC K and one K OP having their tanks brewed up. Capt Whitely who was with CLY managed to withdraw to the West of the town although almost hemmed in by damaged tanks.  
785576   1130 Bty dropped into action 785576 & laid out in D.Fs around Villers Bocage. 5 R TKs took up battle positions in South and East of position with Capt Peal as OP. The rear was guarded by I Coy 1 RB. K was N.E. of us. There was a certain amount of Company in the area.. The situation in Villers remained obscure for some time - mixed fighting by CLY and 1/7 Queens who followed them up.  
    1400 RB at 803791 trying to register D.Fs & watch out N.E. - trouble from snipers & little protection  
      RA at 792573 engaged some enemy movement & odd tanks & AT guns  
    1430 Tigers & MKV reported South of us & moving up - our protective squadron of 5 Tks was forces to withdraw & the battery was left with no protection on its right flank. A Troop faced right & prepared to engage tanks a 400y field of fire. The attack did not develop though the troop remained in an uncomfortable position all day - snipes were a nuisance & two men per hun had to help flush them out to prevent infiltration through the long grass.  
    1800 RB at 788587 with B Sqn 5 R Tks. By now we were virtually surround though vehicles still came along the C.L . The remainder of the Div Arty, AGR and some American 155mms were available for DFs. Each troop had its own D.F - all change I. The whole perimeter was ringed by D.Fs.  
      1/5 Queens came up before dark & formed a perimeter though they required encouragement to make it in front & not behind the guns  
      Amm Ex 188HE 117 Smoke 1 A.P.  
  14   A peaceful night strange to say - RB as before - RA with 1/7 Queens who had evacuated Villers the previous evening at 794578  
      Infantry and mortars engaged during the morning but only owing to the short ranges most of the shooting was done from guns located behind the FDLS  
    1130 Bty area shelled - Gnr Smith killed - Dv Morrison & Gnr McLean wounded.  
      1/5 Queens had a platoon on A Troop right flanks as local protection - a doubtful asset as their own and enemy mortars kept ?????ing back behind the guns. Two men per Ram kept steady watch for enemy infantry.  
    1700 Orders to B.C. that we were to withdraw to main FDLs north of BRIQUESSARD 7459 - head of Bde to move at 2300hrs.  
      ORs were not to be told unit last moment as in the event  
    1800 of an attack we should have to stand & fight. Orders for move to officers K1 and lead A Troop, Bty HQ, B Tp X whipping in - officers evenly spread. In the event if the road being cut orders give to pull off the road into tight leaguer & see what the light would bring South & then try & continue - at the last resort to burn the vehicles.  
    1900 An attack started - learned later by wt at least 1Bn supported by Tigers - on our right rear. Some infantry were seen on A Tp's right & were engaged over open sights at about 400y using fuse 222 - tanks assisted with their "besas". The effect was devastating & nothing more was seen of the Hun. Meanwhile I Coy 1RB had been fight hard at our rear - the command post of A1 Echelon personnel manning a hedge as an extension of their line with brens & rifles. B Troop turned through 180º & prepared to engage over open sights, though they were never actually call upon to do so.  
    2100 Attach broken up by fire power - the DFs produced were terrific. Through this period & all day Capt Peal had been doing and excellent job OP with the 1/7 Queens deal with several attempt of infiltration.  
    2300 Plan had returned & the withdrawal was to commence at 0030 hrs. Amm Ex 244 HE (224 222 fuse) 89 Smoke   
  15 0130 Started back along the C.L. - everyone keyed up for a fight but very tired. However, after an then start & several halts the move was completed without incident except A1 which had been destroyed shellfire & was on tow caught fire & had to be abandoned. While trying to restart the 3 tonner D/M Warren was hit by A2 and killed.   
    0430 Pulled into leaguer at 745634 & dropped into action then half an hour later guns laid on D.Fs covering 131 Bde. Everyone without exception went to sleep. Capt Lanyon posted to command K as Major Wells evacuated wounded. Amm Ex Nil.  
                    Sitrep of Villers Bocage fight App I
                    Sitrep of  the Regt Regimental part App II
715636 16 1030 Rest & maintenance. Visit by Div Cmdr & Bde leader - general pats on the back. A present of 10 Cigarettes a man from General Montgomery. Some D.Fs firing during the afternoon  
    1800 Bty stood down for 24 hours.             Amm Ex 133 HE.  
  17   Rest & maintenance. Lt Cooke flown out from England - he was part of the residue.  
    1800 Slight flap as 1/6 Queens were attached & 5 R Tks moved up to support. RA joined tanks & ????led command posts with them until about 2300 when they returned to leaguer as the situation was restored.  Amm Ex 160 HE - Regtl targets & D.Fs.  
  18   Rest - some firing during the afternoon. 3 x 3 Ton received to replace A4 & A1 & A2  
  19 0800 Taken over responsibility for 1/5 Queens from D Bty 3 RHA. X moved to Bn HQ at 741619 & RB to 745613 with forward Coy  
      A very wet day with very poor visibility.  
715636 19   Mortar Suspected area of mortar & infantry engaged during the day.  
      Amm Ex 584 HE.  
  20   Continued with 1/5 Queens - RP O.P. - visibility improved but mortars & overhead guns active but impossible to spot - harassing at intervals all days. Amm expenditure limited to 20 rpg  
      Actual expenditure 438 HE.!  
  21   Same again. RB O.P. relieved for two permits of 3 hrs during the day by Lt Kennedy, Targets & activity as before, Amm Ex 452 HE - some Regtl targets engaged. A1 returned after being recovered & de waterproofed.  
  22   Same again - RA OP relieved at intervals by Lt Cooke.  
712640   1500 Bty moved to alternative position 712640 as we had been firing from our position for rather a long time.  
    1730 Bn HQ & X moved to 741611 as 1/7 Queens were taken over the right hand Coy front.  
      Targets as usual except 2 88 seen & bagged at extreme range after a bombing attack. Amm Ex 58 HE   
  23   RA at 750615  
    0900 Relieved by CC Bty. X returned to Bty position with RA.  
    1800 TLB with Lt Wilson & G Sub Ram moved to 719612 for harassing role during the night in ANCTONVILLE 7760 area  
      Amm Ex 15 HE  
  24 0600 G Sub returned. Some "Mike" targets engaged during the day morning.  
    1200 H & G Parties to recce area 7469.  
769699   1500 Bty moved to 769699 arriving 1610. OP remained with RHQ in old area. Role of battery was to support by fire an attack SE of TILLY SUR SEULLES 8368 by 49 Div. CC also moved w/s.  
      Amm Ex 100 HE. 4 Smoke.  
  25 0615- Fired fire plan consisting of about 6 Stonks & Murders.  
    0715    
769699 25   One "Victor" target engaged during the afternoon and one "Uncle" target in evening on 49 Div Front. i.e. Agra on demand concentrations.  
      Not further activity. Attack was successful. Amm Ex 200 HE  
  26 0600 Further fire plan for 49 Div - attack proceeding successfully  
    0700 No more firing or activity today. Amm Ex 160HE  
  27 1030 B.C. Summed to RHQ to take over support of 1 RB from K Bty  
    1500 Take over completed. X at Bn HQ 746632, RA with I Coy 734637. RB with 8 Hussars 754644, TLB Lt Wenhan 754632. We were working on K Bty net as our guns were still supporting 49 Div. Some mortars & gun areas engaged with K's guns.  
      The battery engaged some "Mike" and "Uncle" Targets on 49 Div front. Amm Ex 381. I Smoke.  
  28   OPs. RB as before, RA & TLB changed places.  
736676   1000 Bty moved to 736676 - all DFs etc were taken over K Bty - X & OPs closed down on K Bty net at 1315hrs.  
    1400 Lt Kennedy (TLA) came to X & was used to rest RB for a few hours  
    1800 Plan made for a section to move to a position to sniping fire on harassing tasks about midnight to cover hand over if 1 RB to 2 Glosters  
    2230 GA, A Sub & C Sub moved to 725666 & fired harassing fire from 2315 - 0015 & then returned to Bty position.  
      Lt Wenham returned to Bty position at last light.  
      2 Glosters had taken over without incident by midnight.  
      We remained to support them. Amm Ex 64 H.E.  
  29   OPs as before TLA in place of TLB.  
    0900 Lt Cooke (K1) to X to take over from Capt Peak for a few hours. Very little shooting.  
    1600 3 x 88mm engaged by RA with airburst - they had been engaging our planes - only one gun fired again. Amm Ex 66 HE.  
  30   OP as before Lt Cooke relieved Lt Kennedy.  
    0800 Capt Whitley relieved by K Bty, returned to Bty position.  
    0900 Lt Wenham to X to relieve RA for a bit.  
    1100 BC attended demonstration of tanks working with infantry at 746648.  
      Local D.Fs laid on to cover fighting patrols during afternoon.  
      Some targets during the day - guns & mortars & enemy infantry posts.  
    2000 A ringside seat at a 1000 tom raid by RAF heavies (250) on Villers Bocage - a most inspiring sight - the Pathfinders & others came in remarkably low.  
    2130 BC Summoned to RHQ - plan the 2 US Armd Div to take over from 7AD which was to go into Corps reserve less 5 RHA who were to support 56 Bde. Guns to move to LA BELLE EPINE area in morning.  
    2230 Lt Rawson returned to battery position. Amm Ex 360 HE.  
                      Amm Ex for June 6278 HE 621 Smoke 1 AP  
                      Causalities    1 Officer Killed  
                                           2 ORs        "       2 Wounded. 2 Men sick  

 

App I

COPY

CMD RA 7 Armd Div

SECRET(.) SITREP(.) 151900 hrs(.) enemy(.) attached the forward posn of 4 CLY, 5 RTKS, 1/5 Q, 1/7Q, 5 RHA with utmost vigour on evening 14 Jun inf sp by tks and armd cars (.) at least two attacks by bns known to be over _800 strong(.) attacks slackened off from 2200 hrs and enemy has remained extremely quiet throughout the day, the only noteworthy report being a party of about 300 reported by 8H in AMAYE 770580 1900 hrs(.) own tps repelled all attacks in evening 15 with considerable slaughter (.) at 2330 hrs approx tps in island withdrew undetected to line of firm base, 7360 - 7463, 131 Bde now holding this with 22 Armd Be to NORTH in div reserve (.) patrols 131 Bde have contact patrols 231 Bde, area GRANVILLE 7664 (.) arty activity (.) 3 RHA, 5 RHA, arty of 1 US inf div and certain regts of AGRA fired frequent concs, on call from 5 RHA, on enemy attacks and were very successful in breaking them up (.) 5 RHA engaged inf over open sights and with all available small arms, bag not confirmed but rough estimate suggests that combination of our arty concs, inf and tks accounted for 1000 enemy (.) CANAGNES 7356 shelled today by 3 RHA and US Arty and AMAYE 770580 shelled evening by 3 RHA - enemy reported active in both (.) otherwise little to report (.) extensive recces by AOP (.) NMS (.) locns HQRA did not move 15 Jun and is at 739694 (.) 3 RHA 726635 (.) 5 RHA 712636 (.) NY 741624 (.) 15 LAA 743700

 

 

 

 

 

 

App II

REPORT ON THE ACTION 5 REGT R.H.A. 12/15 JUNE 44.

            On 12 June part of 7 Armd Div was engaged with enemy in area of Lingevres, Tilly Sur Seulles, but progress was difficult and costly. At 1300 hrs Comd 7 AD gave instructions for 22 Armd Bde to capture and secure VILLERS BOCAGE.

Route.  X Rds 821717 – FOLLICT 8171 – rd Junc 749735 – BRIQUESSARD 7459  - VILLERS BOCAGE  5157

Composition of 22 Armd Bde -      5 RHA, A&B Sqn 8 Hussars, 1 Sqn 11 Hussars, 1 RTR, 4 CLY, 260 A/Tk NY, 4 Fd Sqn RE, 1 RB, 1/7 Queens.

            At this time 5 RHA was in action supporting 1/6 Queens in an attack on VERRIER, but a smooth handover effected to 86 Fd. Regt during the action and 5 RHA pass the start point 810717  at 1600 hrs with 22n Armd Bde.

Order of March. 11 Hussars, 8 Hussars, 4 CLY, Regtl. 1 Gp., TAC Bde, RE Recce, 5 RHA less one bty, 1/7 Queens, 1 RB less 2 Coys,  5 RTR plus 1 Coy 1 RB, 260 Bty NY,

                    The march continued smoothly , contact being gained with the American forces up to X Rds 736634, 712630, 704626. No opposition was encountered until an A/Tk. Gun blocked the rd 726600. This was cleared towards last light and the Bde leaguered in area 726730. The Americans advanced on our right, attacking CAUMONT on night 12/13 June finally capturing the twon next day.

13 June.

            At 0500 hrs the march on VILLERS BOCAGE was resumed. Rds were narrow, and high banked and very enclosed and the risk of taking such a vast column nose to tail through enemy country can well be imagined. However, quick progress was made and 4 CLY entered VILLERS BOCAGE with A Sqn passing through the twon and on t the high ground at 836590. A HQ 4 CLY with Major Wells of K Bty and one of his Ops entered the town behind the leading sqn, enemy tanks appeared. The column was knocked out at short range by Mk Vs in the narrow streets, heavy casualties being inflicted on our troops.

           Meanwhile the sqn which has passed on to the high ground at 836590 was engaged on very thick and unfavourable ground by enemy tanks and infantry. Capt Dunlop’s  OP reported that his visibility was only 40 Yds that the situation was deteriorating and enemy infantry were closing in. Concentrations  were fired on the woods at 835594. Comd 4 CLY Lt. Col. the Viscount Cranley, who was with his leading sqn, reported the situation to Bde Comd and called for a smoke screen to assist with the withdrawal of the sqn. To date no news has been heard of anyone with this forward sqn, but it though that some may be prisoners of way.

  5 RHA had by this time deployed, Btys going into action, G at 786576,  K at 788579 and CC at 773579 and Comd 22 Armd Bde had ordered 1/7 Queens to occupy VILLERS BOCAGE.

Severe fighting followed but B sqn 4 CLY with 1/7 Queens in very close fighting knocked out eight tanks and succeeded in gaining a somewhat precarious hold on the town. The enemy were not slow to react. He started to probe the town from North, South and East with tanks and infantry of Lehr Div, and towards evening he was probing the main Bde position at 773577 with elements of 2 Pz Div., which had arrived in the area at 0730 hrs that morning. Comd 7 AD place 1/5 Queens at the disposal of the Bde Comd., who gave them orders to occupy  and secure VILLERS BOCAGE. Tanks and Infantry, while this Bn was coming up started to attack the S corner of the island position, and CC Bty which was slightly outside the proposed perimeter, was ordered to take up a new position inside. Capt. DL Benke engaged the infantry at 700 yds, keeping the road open for 1/5 Queens. Directly,  that had passed he moved the battery steadily into the new area, until the last gun was left on the position, and this fired its own smoke screen to cover its own withdrawal. At this stage Comd 22 AB realised he could no longer hold VILLERS BOCAGE and protect the island position which was very unfavourable and thickly wooded ground.1/5 Queens were allotted the West half of the perimeter and 1/7 Queens were ordered to withdraw and cover the Eastern half of the position. Major Cooke of CC Bty supported Lt. Col. Gordon of 1/7 Queens and covered this withdrawal with a smoke screen.

Artillery Support

           The only mobile artillery with 22 AB was 5 RHA, from whom support could be given, as a Regiment, until the final occupation of the island position. Owing to the short perimeter and to enemy thrusts from al directions it then became necessary to face troops around the clock, each to deal with its own sector. Outside support was furnished by 3 RHA, 5 AGRA, 64 Mediums from the beachhead position and six bns of American 155 mms from the US front, which together with the mediums had a representative with OC 5 RHA. In all some 160 guns were at the call of OC 5 RHA.

   In addition an FOB was allotted, and also an AOP was at call from CRA. The former was unable to give support own to the range, and it was considered to dangerous to send up the AOP, which would almost certainly have been shot down. Seven DF tasks were arranged round the entire perimeter of the island and these were passed to all the outside supporting artillery.

14 June.

         After unpleasant night, during which it was well known that an enterprising enemy hem us in, the North side of the position was entended by an A/Tk. Screen and the day position was shown on the trace. Probing attacks started almost immediately from the valley to the NE of the 1/7 Queens, but Capt. Peal of G Bty did some excellent work in repelling these with outside artillery. Enemy snipers were active throughout the day, from outside and also inside the perimeter. A Gnr from G Bty accounted  for one in a tree at 400 yds.

           During the day 1 RTR had pushed out from the beachhead and taken up position one mile West of the island position, but higher command realised that 22 AB might well be cut off and destroyed by a determined assault. Orders were accordingly issued that tps in the island position would withdraw at midnight.

          Shortly after this order had come through,  at 1900 hrs a determined enemy assault started from the Southern perimeter, and a lesser attack from the East. G Bty were immediately engaging infantry over open sights with air burst at 400 yds. K was firing to the East in support of 1/7 Queens, CC Bty to the South at 700 yds range on the main assault, the latter expending some 1400 rds in three hours. The artillery of the beachhead was called in to fire DFs to the SE and SW and S. The artillery support was magnificent, and there is little doubt that without this support the German attack might well have succeeded. It is known that the Germans attacked in one place with three companies each supported by three Marl Vi tanks, and that in all probability another bn was employed. Prisoners testify to the devastating effect of our artillery fire and it was estimated that some 700 to 800 casualties were inflicted on the enemy before he was forced to withdraw. Also eight tanks were known to have been destroyed.

        Rocket firing Typhoons were sent to our assistance, but arrived when the light was poor for them spot the red smoke put on the target by 5 RHA.

      Fighting died down at 2200 hrs, after the enemy had received a heavy defeat, and the withdrawal commenced at 0030 hrs on the 15th. 5 RTR 5 RTR and elements of 1/7 Queens providing the rearguard. The RAF bombed ODON SUR SEULLES and provided excellent noise cover. In addition harassing programme from the beachhead artillery helped to silence the noise of tracks on the road. The Germans were slow to appreciate that our position was being evacuated, and miraculously the whole force withdrew without mishap.

      There is little doubt that the German Commander was slow and displayed great lack of initiative, since one tank ditched across the L of C supported by light forces to cover the block, might well have allowed 2 Pz at daybreak to account for a whole armoured brigade.

 

Signed   GP  Gregson.  Lt. Col.

 Cmanding 5 Regiment R.H.A.

 

 

 

July 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
736676 1   RB at 734638. RA at 744632.  
762690.   1000 Guns moved to 762690  
      During afternoon D.Fs laid on to cover fighting patrols  
      Lt Rawson (GA) up to relieve RA at last light.  
    1600 C.O. informed BC that 4RHA would be relieving us in harassing.  
      Some mortars & guns engaged. Amm Ex 188 HE  
  2 0900 Relieved by D Bty 3RHA.  
    1000 Returned to battery position.  
    1300 Bty moved into Corps reserve at 788724 & dropped into action.  
    1900 Informed that there were to be no calls for fire.  
      Residue landed less C1 & C2 which broke down on the way to the port.  
           Guns pulled at of action.  
  3 1135 Rest & maintenance. Residue reached Bty area.  
788724   1900 Recce of position for counter attack role carried out with 5 R Tks.  
  4 0700 Bty at 2 hrs notice in counter attack role. Guns out of action.  
      100 hr checks on Rams commenced.  
  5 1400 CPO recced gun position in 8376 for counter attack role.  
  6 0100 Bty on 4 hours notice. Maintenance continued.  
    1730 Corps Cmdr Gen Bucknall met with Officers  
  7   Maintenance continues. Dv Morris evacuated sick.  
  8   22 Armd Bde TEWT for B.C. - study of battle position " MILK"  App I
  9 0410 Stand to - counter attach expected in 50 Div front - materialised but beaten off.  
    0530 Stand down & reverted to 2 hrs notice.  
  10 0800 Recce area 8772 for positions for "Whisky"  
  10 1000 Now at 4 hours notice  
    1400 BC & Tp leaders watched demonstration of infantry working with tanks. Gnr Green evacuated sick.  
788724 11 0900 BC on recce for new leaguer area 8672.  
      D/M Fisher H.A. & D/M Bullen H.G. posted to the Bty.  
  12 0900 Further recce of new area down to troops  
    1115 Visit by Div Cmdr - he spoke to all ranks in B Troop  
      A general sitrep  
    1600 Orders for guns to be in action by first light to cover 50 D.Fs & at call for concentrations.  
  14   Practice Command Post exercise  
    0815 Armd Bde TEWT for B.C.  
  15 2100 BC's conference at RHQ - orders for coming party  
  16 0830 CPOs recce of positions for coming battle - area 100753 between R.Orne & CAEN CANAL  
    1030 TLA complete to new area as advance party to control dumping of 400 rpg during the night.  
    1900 Further conference at RHQ.  
    1930 Fired 7 "Mike" targets on mortars for 50 Div. Amm Ex   
    2100 OPs joined 5 R Tanks.  
             The coming plot is a break through East of CAEN by 11, Guards & 7 AD. Supported by a very heavy bombing programme & a barrage. 7AD was to the last Armd Div to go though & were to be led by 5 R Tanks.  
  17 0130 Wheel vehicles moved to Div Concentration area 904796 & there Regtl Concentration area & bty positions arriving 1430. Bty position 104750.  
104750   0500 Trucks moved direct to Bty position via diversions  
      last trucks  - a bloody trip as a lot of dust & scotch mist. Result everyone coated with liquid mud.  
    1100 Arrived in posn  
    1400 Briefing by G.O.C. for BC.  
104750     OPs remained with tanks about CREUILLY - BC to join up as Tanks crossed the ORNE.  
  18 0530 Fire programme commenced by anti-flak concentrations followed by a barrage at 0740 - 0845  
    0900 BC joined tanks at "LONDON BRIDGE" halt a mile south of battery position. CL. CUVERVILLE 1069 - DEMOUVILLE 1067 - MESNIL - FREMENTEZ 1064 - FOURD 0960 - LA HOGUE 0960 - AUPAN - DE - CRAMESNIL 0856.  
      Slow but steady progress to DEMOUVILLE - Capt Whitley with leading squadron.  
    1130 Battery moved to 118714 - Little observed shooting by 11 AD  
      Guards armoured in front - moving concentrations.  
    1400 Some shelling around battery area L/Sgt MacKay wounded & evacuated.  
113687   1700 Bty moved to 113687.        Amm Ex 1736 HE 7 Smoke  
113687 19   Tanks moved from leaguer to GRENTHEVILLE area with RB - X & RA remaining with 5 Tank RHQ at 093649.  
      An unpleasant morning with heavy & consistent shelling of some forward areas,  Cpl Sadler (RB driver) slightly wounded but not evacuated.  
    1100 RA replaced RB at 079631. Various targets incl nebelwerfers & guns engaged in support of 5 RTks.  
    1600 X & RB moved to 085641 - an even more unpleasant area - one fire-fly was engaged & hit by AP alongside X - Tk RHQ moved 300y to a better concealed area. RA now SOLOERS 0762 with leading squadron.  
    1815 Attack by some 30 FW190 - no damage. A successful day for 5 R Tks who brewed 3 or 4 tanks for loss of 1.  
      Last light leaguered with both OP at 084638.  
           The battery positions was not shelled all day though  mortars falling in the vicinity. Amm EX 788 HE. Laid on DFs for 5 R Tanks  
113687 20   RA to 075615 & RB to 078627 - X 084638. Tanks working slowly forward diverted to BOURGEBUS area. RA reaching BOURGEBUS area later in the day - an unhealthy village - tanks, inf mortars 7 guns engaged in support of 5 R Tanks. News received that BC had received immediate DSO & Sgt Rothwell MM for VILLIER BOCAGE party. Amm Ex 684 HE 9 Smoke.  
    2030 8 Hussars & 1/7 Queens took over from 5 R Tanks - we remained in support if 8H leaguering with their RHQ at 085653.  
      Bty laid of DF for Queens.  
113687 21   RA to BOURGEBUS 075615 & RB to 093626 FOUR. Some observed shooting on enemy locations and concentrations were also made by mediums with excellent results. 8 Hussars were in a holding role. Steady shelling continued in BOURGEBUS  OPs leaguered at 8H RHQ - DFs as per previous night. Amm Ex 439 HE. Dv Saunders evacuated sick. Gnr Beckwith & Gnr Clarke walked off. A soaking wet day.  
113687 22   OPs to same areas with 8 Hussars - a similar day to yesterday  
    2200 Relieved by CC Battery - most welcome as OPs had had a hard spell under constant shelling. Amm Ex 634 HE 60 Smoke  
      X & OPs returned to Bty after dark - a muddy & difficult drive.  
      Dv Op Dixon evacuated sick  
113687 23   A quiet day for OP end resting & maintaining - several regimental targets engaged. Amm Ex 284 HE  
  24 0530 Ready to move to new area.  
    1400 Conference foe BC and Tp leaders - plan to move to support 22 Bde who were now U/C Canadians. Canadian were attacking in VERRIERES area & 22 AB was to go through.  
    1400 CPO move to 045647  
    1645 Bty moved to new area RA joining 1 R Tanks, X & RB 5 R Tks at 085655  
      5 Tks were bombed during the night  
      Gnr Harry, Donohue, Bdr Fair , Gnr Russell joined the battery, Smith H and Pritchard rejoined.  
045647 25 0530 5 R Tanks (in reserve) moved to 042622 - RA with 1 R Tanks to 047619. "Mike" & "Uncle" targets engaged - RA being largely used for shell reps on Regimental net. Consistent shelling  in 5 Tks area.  
    1800 AP began to arrive unpleasantly close to RHQ 5 Tks were moved to 031628. Canadians had been having a tough tome & failed to gain most of their objectives. X & OPs leaguered with 5 TKs at 036633 - some lovely day out. Were not welcome due to shelling & bombing. Amm Ex 1440 HE, 13 smoke, D/M Mollinson evacuated sick. No shelling in battery area though plenty all around,  
  26 0230 Fired DFs for Queens until 0530  
    0530 RB to 030612 with A Sqn 5 TKs, X & RA to 047619 - a somewhat hot area.  
    1100 Moved to 048620 - RA to 047625.  
    1400 RA at 053603 VERRIERES - Some excellent shooting in support of 2 Tps 5 Tks & Canadians unloading a "Yoke" target on 8 guns after recognition.  
    2130 8 Hussars took over from 5 Tks, X & Ops leaguered with 5 Tks at 042642. Amm Ex 1250 HE 2 Smoke  
  27   RB to VERRIERES  with 1Sqn 5 R Thanks - consider observed shooting & some VLP by using Red Smoke for the Typhoons. Sgt Frodeham & L/Sgt Foot burnet by a charge catching fire in their Ram - evacuated. Amm Ex 1324 HE 2 Smoke & 12 Red smoke.  
  28   CC Bty took over OP at VERRIERES with 5 R Tanks. OPs resting.  
      Many concentrations fired. Bdr Vigars, Gnrs Black & Chandler attached from RHQ as relief gunners. Amm Ex 211 HE 16 Red Smoke.  
  29   Same place - no OPs out.  
    1530 Bty ready to move to BAYEUX area.  
    1715 Moved to 791710 via CAEN and devious tank tracks.   
    2230 All in after a quick journey. Out of action at 30 minutes orders to move. Amm Ex 40 HE.  
791710 30   Rest & Maintenance  

 

Subject= Battle Positions

O.C. "G" Bty. (Mercer's Trp) RHA

O.C. "K" Bty. RHA

O.C. "CC" Bty. RHA

R.S.O                                                       

TOP SECRET

RHQ 5 RHA

0/36

7 JUL 44

 

Herewith location of battle positions.

Codewords

BRANDY

 

 

 

 

COFFEE I

 

COFFEE II

 

CORK

 

 

 

MILK

 

 

 

WHISKY I

WHISKY II

WHISKY III

WINECELLAR

 

 

Meaning

Battle posns

DUOY S MARGUERITE

ST LEGER

RUCQUEVILLE

 

Battle Posns

Area X tracks

Track 766581 to pt 110

 

Battle Posns

S BAZIRE

BUCEELS

Church

Battle Posns

Area BERNIERS BOCAGE

FOLLIOT

CHOUAIN

Battle Posn 8373

Battle Posn 8470 - 8671

Battle Posn 8669 - 8769

Div comes to immediate notice 

 

 

 

8574

8675

8777

 

 

 

7772

7768

 

 

8271

8270

8370

 

7970

8171

8372

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action by

22 Armd Bde

 

 

 

 

22 Armd Bde

 

22 Armd Bde

 

131 Inf Bde

 

 

 

22 Armd Bde

 

 

 

22 Armd Bde

22 Armd Bde

22 Armd Bde

All

 

 

NRV 

                    V.M. Hill

Capt RHA

Adjt. 5th Regiment RHA

 

August 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
791701 1 0530 Moved off in a thick mist & had a clear run until 698624  
    0820 where we pulled off the road  
698624   1140 Came into action in same area - RA at 715602 having trouble with indicator. RB 715605  
    1200 BC started to join 5 Tks - a difficult operation owning to traffic  
    1500 on the road - arriving 711585 though BC in Dingo had arrived some hours before.  
733535   2200 Bty moved to 733535 - RA returned to X for night. RB remaining with C Sqn 755529. No shooting during the day.  
      Gnr Winston J, Taylor J, Williams J, Ashby D joined the Battery.  
  2   First light RA relieved RB who returned to Battery.  
    0700 5 Tks RHQ and X moved to 739557 where we moved up the harassing of a Bn of Germans   
    0900 RA to 758533   
    1935 Bty - to 744535. RB joined X. RA relieved X for the night.  
733555 2   Some observed shooting during the day on Infantry & A/Tk guns. Amm Ex 510 HE. 12 Smoke.  
      A number of targets prepared for the next day's advance on AUNAY-SUR-ODON. Opposition reported to be light but the ground is in few view from MT PINCON area.  
      L/Bdr Walker evacuated sick with a crushed hand. Sgt Fordsham and D/M Mollison rejoined.  
  3 0300 -0330 Barrage for Queens attack.  
    0530

5 R Tks moved to 785519 - RB leading with A Sqn 785518

 
    0700 Some 35 PW taken by X when pulling in behind a hedge  
      The morning stated slowly with light enemy shelling but turned up during the day until towards evening mortaring & shelling was heavy & consistent  
    1400 Cpl Sadler (RB Driver) wounded - a hour later Capt Whitely was killed by a sniper & his tank brewed up by a Tiger on the way back - the crew managed to bale out and walk back  
733555 3   A heavy morning shooting at all lines of targets including quantities of MT which were turning up for a counter attack on the 1/6 Queens at LE MANOIR - this developed & drove the Queens some 1000x back isolating A & B Sqns 5 TKs. During the afternoon & evening repeated efforts were made to get to the Sqns back with the help of smoke & HE - in addition the VCP was used several time for turning the TYPHOONS on to LA LANDE  
    1500 X with 5 Tks at 780525 - RA at 783520 - a good view point but mortaring & shelling made the OP work difficult.  
      Leaguered night at 785528 & by morning all except 12 of the tanks had been accounted for. Several target were engaged during the day through the Air OP. Amm Ex 2618 HE, 47 Rd Smoke.  
  4   Front taken over by 8 Hussars & Queens.  
    1100 A thick mist. 1 Tp C Sqn deployed with RA in area 784527  
      Little shooting at first except smoke screen for Queens. During the evening Capt Peal had some excellent observed shooting at MT pulling out getting 5 brew ups. Harassing fire laid on there targets by mediums during the night  
  5 0600 Moved with 5 TKs to 768574 not in contact.  
788556   0900 Bty moved to 788556 - plan was for 7AD to go to THURY-HARCOURT 9446.  
      We went to VILLERS BOCAGE to 812546 where we remains in reserve  
    1700 Bty to 857515. No Ops out but "Mike" Targets engaged during the evening. Amm Ex 473 HE.  
      Lt P.A.L. Wilson promoted to Capt & tool over B Tp. Lt Kennedy cross-posted from A to be GPO B Troop. Gnr Ellaby and Lee rejoined  
  6   No change a quiet day. "Uncle" Targets engaged. Amm ex 412 HE.  
  7   No change. Capt Lanyon took over battery as BC moved RHQ as 2 i/c while CO was commanding 22 Armd Bde  
      "Mike" Targets and harassing tasks engaged.  
    1715 5 TKs moved to CL COURVADON 8652 - AUNAY 8251 - 836473 - 874458 - 875385 - 893356 - CONDE-SUR-NOIREAU  
      Leaguered night at 838472 - RA with C Sqn at 859462. Amm Ex 2653 HE  
  8   5 TKs moved u/c 131 Bde - RA with A Sqn at 841545 - X & RB at 131 Bde HQ 837473 - held up by A/T guns - slow progress  
860477   1330 Bty to 860477 - fired "Mike" Targets on guns Sps & infantry.  
      Leaguered at 837473 plus RA. Amm Ex 886 HE.  
  9   First light  RB to 843454  
    1100 Bty to alternative posn at 843487. Attack by 5 R TKs, 1/6 Queens, 5 IDG, 1/5 Queens to secure area S of PLESSIS-BREMAULT arranged for evening 8 Aug was cancelled as the attacked was now to be made by 50 Div. Instead 1/5 Queens & 1 Sqn 5 TKs attacked feature on left of main advance after which 1/5 Queens & 5IDG passed through to secure the next feature 1000x south.  
      Both attacks were made under a barrage, but the battery was kept free for observed shooting. RB covered there attacks with BC in close liaison with CO 5 RTR.  
    1400 Attack started & by 2030 hrs all objectives had been reached  
      Leaguered night at 848465 plus RB. Amm Ex 979 HE 59 Smoke.  
  10   First light RB to 848454. 5 R TKs pulling out. X & RA returned to Bty.  
    1500 Maj J.R. Kynaston resumed command of the battery  
    1600 RB returned to Bty  
    1900 Regt on 1 hours notice to move to U/C 43 Div while 7AD rested.  
855454   2100 Bty moved to 855454 - OPs remaining with A1 in old area.  
      This is a the beginning of a period of AGRA service.  
      Concentrations and smoke screen fired.  
      Amm ex 678HE 186 Smoke. Dv Toze sent to England on compassionate leave.  
  11 0705 Fire plan engaged  
    1100 Capt Peal to 59 div as LO at 873456  
    1400 B.C, took over again as 2 i/c again as C.O. was CRA. A period of change - not for the better - in the higher command of the Division. First the General followed by Brig Hinde & then Brig Mews - moved not likely to improve the efficiency or spirit with the division. Capt. Lanyon took over the battery  
    1800 Bty ordered to be ready to move late in evening - nice parting at short notice  
    1815 New that H.Hour for the fire plan for 50 Div attack formally scheduled for morning was 1845.  
    1830 Move not probable. A fair example of some of the changes of plan & moving them taking place.  
      Last light RA returned having had nothing to do all day. Amm Ex 886 HE 11 Smoke  
  12   13 men to BAYEUX rest camp for 48 hours.  
    1005 Smoke screen for 43 Div  
    1200 Fire plan for 43 Div.  
    1830 CPO moved new area at 862427  
    2200 Spare vehicles moved to new area  
862427   2330 Guns & remainder to new area - ready by 0040 hrs. Amm Ex 176 HE 240 Smoke.  
  13   Fired various concentrations  
    1400 Smoke screen for 50 Div                   Amm Ex 343 HE 369 Smoke.  
  14 0805 Barraged for 43 Div                    1 Off & 3 ORs to rest camp.  
    1130 Maj Kynaston took over again.  
    1415 Visit from new CRA Brig T, Lyon-Smith DSO.    Fired concentrations.  
    2130 Recce parties to 889384 & then recalled before they arrived there.  
      Amm Ex 1826 HE  
  15 0030 Harassing tasks  
   

0330

0630

Recce parties to 889384  
889384   0830 Bty to new area.  
    1200 RB to 902341 as floating OP. Concentration fired  - No observed shooting.   
    2200 BC to 129 Bde as L.O.  
    2230 Recce parties to RHQ to sleep there and move at first light Amm Ex 318 HE.  
  16 0445 Recce to 913329  
    0600 X to 903365  
    0700 Bty 913939  
    0830 X to 892366.       Fired Concentrations.  
    1900 X left 129 Bde as Regt returning to 22 Armd Bde - The period of penance was over in which a great deal of shooting had been done & nobody had the slightest idea of what was happening  
    1930 Bty moved off - tracks to LA LANDE 8051 to be transported across the ORNE - Wheels to 817550. Amm Ex 690 HE 92 Smoke  
  17 0530 Transport party moved off to 113557 via CAEN - wheels to same area.  
      Rest camp party recalled.  
113557    1300 Tracks arrived & leaguered with wheels.  
    1400 C.O. Conference. Capt Lanyon to command CC Bty. Ops to 5R TKs  
    1615 Recce to 257492  
257492   1800 Bty moved to new area arriving 2015hrs. No firing during the day. L/Cpl Major rejoined Bty  
  18th 0930 Recce parties at short notice.  
    1000 B.C. to RHQ to confirm  
    1030 Recce parties to 378761  
378761   1130 Bty moved arriving 378761 1210 hrs - fairly close up in support of 131 Bde in contact with a somewhat shaken enemy.  
    1245 X to join 5 T TKs who were firing on  CL to the East.  
      Landed up at ST PIERRE-SUR-DIVES 2649 & moved with 5 R TKs. to 267485.  
      Remained at 20 minutes notice & received some close attention fro RAF - no damage.  
      Luftwaffe bombed during the night - close but harmless. 2 "VICTOR" targets during the day. - Ex 42 HE.  
      Lt. V. Syborn joined the battery  
  19 0730 At 1 hours notice.  
425475   1430 Bty move to 425475 - still in support of 131 Bde - X OPs waiting with 5 R TKs. D.F. for Queens. Bombing during the night. Amm Ex 635 HE.  
  20 0930 5 R TKs moved to 323495  
    1330 Moved along CL BOISE 3249 - X Rds 410477 - X Rds 413742 - X Rds 447744 - Rd join 500753 - Rd join 520760 - Rd join 518742 to 5274,  
      Slow progress along CL to 473736  
      RA with C Sqn at 476740. RB with A Sqn at 506459  
472748   1730 Bty moved under Regtl Control to 472748  
    1955 RA with B Sqn & I Coy who were to get into FERVAQUES 5476 that night. X & RB leaguered at 51755. B Sqn party was successful the bridge & several MET & PW. D.Fs for I Coy. Various tgts engaged during the day. Amm Ex 503 HE.  
  21   Morning spent in consolidating FERVAQUES  with tank patrols to the high ground beyond. RA at 833785. RB to FERVAQUES  to assist in an attack by 1 Coy Queens &  A Sqn. This cancelled during the afternoon.  
    1800 Beginning of a counter attack which drove in the patrols & gradually developed at FERVAQUES  - D.Fs & counter battery fire.   with help from 3RHA & Mediums - at the period we down to 50 rpg but we soon replenished   
      Attack  beaten off with no loss of ground around FERVAQUES  & only 2  RB Casualties   
    2000 Moved to823786 and 5 TKs HQ joining 1 RB HQ at next place. DFs for RBs. Amm Ex 2586 HE.  
  22 0600 DFs fired at sounds of movement beyond FERVAQUES  - this proved to be the enemy pulling out. RB at 851748  
506822   0930 Bty to 506822- 3RHA OPs netted to RA - X & Ops netted to M Bty as the troop were out of range and firing the wrong way in support of a crossing at LISEUX. A quiet day at the OP Cmd - Canadians took over from 1RD & 5RTKs during the afternoon & evening. Tgts engaged on LISEUX front Ex 636HE  
  23   RA to LAD. RB to Bty  
    1500 RA returns - barrage for attacks by Queens timing went round & no attack materialised - barrage repeated. Various Tgts engaged in support of Queens attack. Amm Ex 2199 HE  
  24 0900 10 minutes notice to move.  
    1100 Orders to move with 5 R TKs as a regimental Group for the first time in France - things beginning to open up.  
      CL LISEUX 5387 - 579901 - 591917 - MOYAYX 6392 - 642922 - LES VERETS 6892.  
    1130 Moved off - Slow progress due to mines leaguered at 749917 after making some progress though out of contact until last light  
749917      Not in action during the day or night.  
  25   No contact at first light but battery dropped into action as a precautionary move.  
833938   1200 Bty to 833938 under regimental control to support a crossing of  R. RISLE at MONTFORT-SUR-RISLE, by Queens.  
    1530 5 R TKs to 846959.  
875950   1600 Bty to 875950. The crossing was found to be free & a bridge was found over some lock gates & new fire plan was required.  
    1800 5RTs along ST GREGIORE 8495 - 882952 - br 884954 - 918946 - TOUVILLE 9301. Steady progress behind 1R TKs.  
      Leaguering the night at 804962. No firing during the day.  
  26   First light, Continued this advance  Crumbling opposition at TOUVILLE - this was soon cleared but the trenches beyond proved to be firmly held. A plan was made to clear this with a Coy of Queens, but Brigade decided to swing to the left after 1RTKs & the plan was cancelled.  
919971   1300 Bty moved to 919971.  
    1700 5RTs moved to SP 9248984 where bty found them & dropped into action. CL. Xrds 922987 - 857032 - 879082.  
    1800 Tanks moved off followed by battery, but halted with head at 866037 owning to 1RTKs being held up by stiff resistance. Bty in action 862022.  
      Tanks leaguered with a Coy of 1/6 Queens protecting them - an uncomfortable night as woods around were full of enemy  
      Have no trouble. No Firing.  
  27 0700 Harassing fire for 1RTKs   
    1300 Moved back the way we had come as Brigade had changed their mind again. It was a pleasant change when the Brigadier was changed instead of the CL though this did not happen for several weeks.  
929001     Bty moved to 929001 under B.C.  
    1300 This moved to TOUVILLE to 940078. Held up by an A/T gun - this was taken by means of an attack by one Coy 1/6 Queens with TK support & a smoke fire plan.  
      TKs leaguered at 935943. RB with C Sqn at 934067.  
      D.Fs. laid in. Amm Ex 646 HE. Gnr Meredith evacuated sick.  
  28 0630 Bty at 944034. RB at 934074. RA at 945093. Pushed on a few thousand yards until we were in sight of the SEINE,  
      County in front was entirely woods & no place for armour.  
    1400 Orders from RHQ to move with 5 RTKs to LEVRY area 7495 & the rest of 5RHA  
    1730 Moved arriving new area 2030 & leaguered. Amm Ex 288 HE 29 Smoke.  
756943 29 1100 Orders for a move during the afternoon to a concentration area for crossing the SEINE & a drive to GHENT.  
    1700 Moved to 074776 arriving 1900 after a quick drive - somewhat hard on bogies & idlers  
  30   Maintenance - be ready to move from 2100 hrs. 2 Guns in LAD for new engines, No move that night.  
  31 0445 Moved - CL GRAVERON 0777 - NEWBORG 0384 - LOUVIERS 2188 - ST CYER DE VAUDREVIL 2593 - Br 268905 - HERQUEVILLE 2991 - HOUVILLE 3197 - ELUARS 4298 - LYONS 4608 - AIRAINES 8567 - 849682 - br 887734.  
      Steady progress - leaguered at 612352 - 74 miles - started with 6 Rams & ended up with 4  

 

September 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston DSO. MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1   First light moved along C.L. OPs with 5 R Tks - steady progress  
612358   1100 'Ram State' three only  
    1400 Pulled into area 774496 at 2 hours notice  
774496   1830 1 hours notice - 'rams' now six. OPs at 781516 with 5 R Tks. K1 with C2 at 764455  
    2045 Moved off and joined up with 5 R Tks at 781516  
    2300 Started night march along south bank of R. SOMME to AMIENS 0958  
055655  2 0400 crossing this and north of 055655 where we leaguered until first light/  
      A good march by woke up to a soaking wet morning. 5 R Tks Group under 131 Bde - moved at first light after receiving orders in the dark an pouring again. C.L. ST VAUST 0366 - VIGNACOURT - 0372 ST LEGER 0976 - DOMART 0978 - 037826 - BERNAVILLE 0385 - VACQUERIE 0700 - ST POL 1613. Steady progress to VIGNACOURT - some shelling.  
    0930 Bty in action 005742. RA with A Sqn at 996772. RB with C Sqn 995760. Some infantry were engaged and column advances slowly with battery stepping up.  
    1400 RA at 077879, X & RB at 088889 - Bty in action. 044879. We had passed a flying bombs site and taken 300 PWs. 5 R Tks on R GY - battery ordered to support 8 Hussars who were attack ST POL.  
    1630 Capt. Wilson & B Tp. complete to 158082.  
    1830 Remainder moved, after support for 5 R Tks had been taken over by 3 RHA Via FREVENT 1200 - DOULLEN 1386 to 163074. X and OPS to 173076 with 8 Hussars. Amm Ex 74 HE.  
  3   Plan was for 8 Hussars ad Queens to capture ST POL  
    0900 Orders to rejoin 5 R Tks - no action was taken ad sure enough the orders were cancelled half an hour later.  
    1000 RB to 138108. RA to 119022.  
163074   1100 RA to 101024. RB to 142112. RA was now several thousand years to the left rear of the battery and engaging infantry with bazookas.  
    1630 Rejoined 5 R Tks leaving 8 Hussars to be gunned by 3 RHA - remained firing until last moment and then joined in column which was following up 5 DGs. Moved at a good pace to 473112 and leaguered with tanks. We were very need our old 1940 haunts. Amm Ex 94 HE  
  4 0730 5 R TKs came under 131 Bde  - Bty returned under Regtl control and moved into action at 443204 to assist 5 DGs.  
443204    1430 Rejoined 5 R Tks and moved along CL LENS 6114 - CARVIN 6121 - SECLIN 6627 - HEN 7937 - PECQ 8941 - AVELGHEY 9750 - AUDENARDE 0957 - GHENT 1878.  
    1430 Moved off, RB remaining behind with faulty steering. 1 Gun from CC Bty attached making us up to 7 in action. A very fast  run  - X Sherman stripped 4 bogies - we transferred to spare tank, a Cromwell.  
958488      Leaguered at 958488 in Belgium RB caught up. Bdr Harrington & Gnr Chiddicks reported missing after doing a recce in B Echelon.  
  5   Moved at first light to AUDENARDE where we turned left to make a strong point about CRUSNANTON 0464/ Bty dropped into action 050632. Ops out to north and west but no contact reported.  
    0630 Orders for 5 R Tks to return Via AUDENARDE to old CL directed on GHENT. Proceeded at once - light contact established soon after passing through AUDENARDE. Bty in action 101597.  
101597     An A/T screen materialised astride the X Rds at 1167, but some arty support for tanks and 11 Hussars this was outflanked and the CL cleared.  
153735   1500 Bty moved to 153735 - RA at 145763 with Sqn probing towards GHENT. RB at 182735 cutting roads SW from GHENT. X and 5 R Tks HQ at 161743.  
      Considerable numbers of PW were taken - during the evening 2 Tp C Sqn and 1 platoon of Queens entered GHENT which  was still held.  
      Negotiations were begun for its surrender and at 0100 hrs the NAZI commander Gen BRAUN came into our lines to discuss surrender but he decided that it was not compatible with his orders and honour. The party withdrew to the 5 R Tks leaguer at 161743 - Bty pulled into leaguer for the night. Capt Peal has some very successful shoot on an A/tk gun at very close range knocking it out during the evening. Amm Ex 565 HE.  
  6   Bty in action at first light 153735. RB in same place.  
    1100 RA with B sqn to 127693 as reports that our CL was being cut - A Tp faced rears  
      Little firing as enemy was disorganised with parties trying to escape from west to East.  
      GHENT evacuated except for the northern suburbs. Pulled into leaguer at last light.  
      A Tp. going into actions there 161743 with DFs for B Sqn. Amm Ex 43 HE. Bdr. Pugh evacuated sick.  
162744 7   First light pulled out of leaguer into action 162744 - close up as the situation in the rear was very fluid - Q5 on retuning from filling up with water drove past an 88 mm in action off the road - both sides were considerably started and Q5 by fast driving got away with it. RB same place - RA at 127693.  
220770   1600 Bty move through GHENT to 220770. RA to 172754 in GHENT with X with Tac Hq 5 R TKs to the CATHERDAL in GHENT. Bty fired on SPs and infantry. 5 TKs and 1/6 Queens were holding GHENT.  
      BC and OC 5 Tks lived in HOTEL BRITANNIA going out to fight each day !  
      D/M Mollinson evacuated as result of motor cycle smash. Amm Ex 684 HE  
  8   RA to 142799 - RB to 136763 - with Sqns probing out west  from GHENT.  
    1300 X and TK HQ to 167762.  
    1400 Bty moved to 168765 - fired on some 88 mm and infantry to the north. No contact west.  
220770   1800 Bty moved back to 220770 - X and Ops retired with 5 Tks to GHENT for the night. Amm Ex 546 HE.  
  9 0830 Battery back under Regt and moved with X & RA to leaguer at 260712. RB remaining in liason with 5 R Tks at 300746.  
    1900 Prepare to move. 5 R Tks had been ordered to move to OSSTACKER area 2285. X & RA rejoined tanks. Bty stood by to move but tanks only moved to leaguer at 225768 and bty did not move. Dr Prescott evacuated wounded.  
  10 0800 X & OPs with 5 Tanks to OSSTACKER area Via GHENT X & RB at 223837 - RA at 220854.  
227826   0830 Bty move to 227826 - role to relieve the pressure and gunning on troops pressing north from GHENT. Fired and recorded 21 bty targets on gun and infantry locations with Tanks and a Sqn of the Royals. Gnr Johnson E evacuated sick. Amm Ex 654 HE.  
  11   RB relieved RA.  
224842   1100 Bty to 224842 to increase range. Further battery targets engaged.  
      Counter batter arranged for night with tank observers for sound and flash - quire successful Amm Ex 214 HE.  
  12 0800 5 R Tks relieved by Polish Armd Div. X &Ops rejoined the battery and move to leaguer at 260712. Maintenance and rest.  
  13 1000 Orders to be ready to move at 1200 hrs. Route 3767 - ALOST4066 - TERMONDE 4576 - BOOM 6481 - WAERLOOS 7484 MALLINE 7174 - DP7275 a non operational movement to a concentration area where we expected to remain some days.  
809745 14 1200 Moved - location 809745 - fairly comfortable mess set up.  
      Maintenance and baths.  
  15   Maintenance and preparation for CRAs inspection on 16th  
    1600 Orders to be ready to move 0900 hrs 16th in support of 1 RTks and 131 Bde, who were holding a stretch of the ALBERT CANAL in the HERENTHALLS area  
  16 1000 Move route PUTTE 8277 - 870788 - 884797 ITEGHEN 8982 - 906861 - 958843  
973641   1200 Bty in action at 973841 RA with B Sqn 1 R Tks 974875 RB at 961877 in support of 1 RN. BC with 1 RB HQ at 971843. CC Bty were looking after 1 R Tks with our help. Lt. Woolmer joined Bty from RHQ as CPO .  
      Fired on SPs across canal. DFs for 1RB. Amm Ex 42 HE Urquhart & Gnr Hardman evacuated sick.  
  17   Same location - Lt. Col FD Moore R.H.A. took over from Lt. Col. G.P. Gregson DSO., MC., RHA who tool over 6 RHA.  
973841     Fired on AA guns and infantry. DFs for 1 RB Amm Ex 311 65 Fuze 222.  
      A grand view of the air invasion of Holland.  
  18   RA same area. RB to 908901 with I Coy.  
    0800 X with 1 RB HQ to 975849.  
    1100 RB to 913683.  Lt. Jamieson & Lt. Rawson relived OPs - no change in role. Bty moved to 978830 - a short move to better ground and shelter.  
      Fired on AA guns an 75 mms. Amm Ex 56 HE.  
  19   No change - one Op taken over by CC Bty. Amm Ex 108 HE.  
  20   No change - amm ex 288 HE. L/Bdr. Laing evacuated sick.  
  21 0900 X & OPs returned to Bty and joined 5 T Tks who were going off  
023814   1845 U/C 15 (S) Div). Moved to 023814 where we leaguered with 5 R Tks  
    1900 with orders to be ready to move 2230 hrs. Move cancelled.  
    2130 Move in at 2230 hrs  
    2200 No move before dawn.  
403125 22 0600 Moved -  route Br 061867 - GHEEL 0888 - MOLL 1791 - LOMMEL 3096 - Br 310078 - WESTERHIVEN 3706 - STEENSKI 3412 - VELDHIVEN 3714 - ZNEL 3717 - 403125 (the park at EINHOVEN) All ready to move 2100 hrs in support of 15 (S) Div attach on   
    1730 Move cancelled.  
  23   Same area awaiting orders.  
  24 1600 Reverted to command 22 Armd Bde on 3 hours notice in same location.  
  25 0530 Orders to move and tie in with 8 Hussars to 435301.  
    1100 Bty in action 435301. X with 8 Hussars HQ 426327. RA 482337. RB 400326.  
      Fired on various targets. DFs for 8 Hussars. Amm 489 HE.  
  26   Same locations  
    1100 RA to 5 R Tks at 419316  
    1230 X & RB to 5 R Tks - Bty to tie in group to move to VEGHEL area.  
402376     Moved to 402376 in action X & Ops with tanks at 488374 - no contact.  
    1600 RB to 11 H as Regtl liasion officer. Fired on infantry and guns for 8 H. in morning. Amm Ex 50 HE.  
  27 0600 X & RA with 5 R TKs to take NISTLERODE 4947 area. RA remaining with 11 Hussars and firing for them in the DINTHER area.  
499467    1300 A Tp moved to 499467 followed by B Tp  
    1400 X with Tk. HQ to 479453.  
    1600 RA to 453453.  
    2000 X & RA with Tks at NISTLERODE  RB still with 11 H/ Amm EX 209 HE.  
468450 28   0630 Bty move to 468450 in a sniping role to be fire by RB working with 11 H. B Sqn 5 R Tks was protection. Div role was to guard 30 Corps CL. Policy was to do this by patrol and arty fire. RB at 476464.  
    1200 X joined 5 TksHQ at LOEVRUCK 4645. RA to 467463. RB 458477  
    1400 RA 420475. Fired on infantry and A/T guns. Amm Ex 236 HE.  
      DFs round us by K & CC as the FDLS were 100 yds in front of guns.  
  29 0800 RB rejoined. RA to 424463 - RB 448472 working with 5 R Tks.  
    1430 RA to 421489 - RB 468498. Various targets engaged Amm EX 365 HE.  
  30   No change. Amm Ex 225 HE.  

 

App I

THE RECCE FROM B ECHELON.

     On the afternoon of 4th September 1944 the Brigade leaguered in the area of KASTER. Soon after our arrival information was received that the off Hun was in the vicinity and Gnr. Chiddicks and I were place at the cross roads with my Bren gun.

                       After being at this post for a short while, a W11 from Brigade HQ came to us with orders from Brigade to accompany him in the jeep to endeavour to round up what was believed to be a small party of Germans. We were following a Maquis staff car the occupants of which were supposed to know the location of this small party.  We were also accompanied by a Dingo from Brigade.

                       Passing trough various small villages people rushed out cheering madly and endeavouring to block our passage in their enthusiasm evidently believing that we were the forward elements of a large force which had come to liberate them. We however, thought that their enthusiasm was merely a sign of welcome and good luck in their attempts to round up a few stragglers from the German Army, unarmed as we thought.

                       Reaching the area of DESSELHGEM and finding nothing we about turned to retrace our steps realising there was no point in pursuing the search any further. We had not gone more than half a mile when we saw approaching us a German staff car and a G.S. truck. Scrambling hastily out of the Jeep & Dingo we dived for the ditch, and trained our Brens on the road. Once they were within eighty of a hundred yards from us Gnr. Chiddicks and I opened up with the two Bren. After a brisk exchange of fire from our guns and their machine guns reinforces by a 20 mm we managed to brew the truck and partly destroy the staff car. A German Captain from a Flak regiment who was riding on the bonnet of the staff car was 'hors de combat' from the moment the first burst was fired. We found him afterwards with his chest riddled.

                       Once more we thought of returning to our leaguer only to find three German trucks pulled across the road effectively blocking it. The three other roads which would have lead us back were also blocked in the same way. A hasty council of war and we decided to hide the Dingo and Jeep which was useless having been thoroughly put out of action for the time ebing by their fire. Our intentions were to get back to our lines on foot and recover the vehicles in the morning. Coming round one corner in true infantry style we were met by a hail of machine gun bullets evidently fired from a nest of machine guns on top of a building. We had obviously been heard and not seen, as by this time it was getting quite dark - so we hastily hid ourselves in the shelter of a doorway. Little did we realise at the time that this was to be our hiding place for the next five days. The first part of the night was spent on the kitchen floor until the Maquis reported to us that the Germans were pulling large forces into the town and the thought it advisable for us to retire to the attic.

                       Dawn the next mooring found us looking out through gaps in the tiles onto a machine gun nest immediately below is, and the anti-tank guns placed at the cross roads 30 or 40 yards from us. The family on who were 'Billeted' were excellent in every respect, providing us with food and other necessities for our stay in the attic. Walking on tiptoe in stocking feet from one side of the attic to the other - more or less eating all our food with our fingers for fear of making a noise. a guard each night to prevent snoring, a pillow on anyones face who felt like coughing, never more that one person smoking at a time - thus was five days spent with the Germans complete dispelling any thoughts of flight from our mind as they were living in the court year in the rear of the house - whilst at the front was our armed escort! Our chief worry was that the Hub might use our attic as an O.P. or as a sniping post, but although they came in the house many times they never once reached the attic. On the fourth day of our enforces captivity we heard the first rounds from our medium falling near us, and then as the days wore  on the sound of Spandaus and Brens - never before have shells bursting around us sounded so cheering!

                     On the 8th September we saw the last German forces leave the town at about 7.a.m. and less that two hours later, three of our recce cars drove through the main street. Thus ended our recce!

                     I estimate that during our stay in the attic we saw at least five thousand German soldiers all very ill equipped. M.T. transport was practically nil except for what were once civilian cars taken by the Germans and camouflaged. All other transport was horse drawn - the number of light machine guns was very surprising, as was the lack of artillery; all that was seen was 20 and 50 mm antitank guns. There appeared to be no form of communication whatsoever between one batch of stragglers and the next (it was impossible to call them units)

                    From our vantage point we were perhaps in the best position to say that the retreat of the German army fro Belgium was a complete rout in all respects.

 

Harrington  Bdr.

 

 

 

 

 

October 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston DSO. MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
458450 1 1030 5 R Tanks moved to NISTELRODE with X & RB. The divisional was now holding a static line with patrols well forward by day from MASS to S'HERTOGENBOSH - VEGHEL canal  
         
488502   1130 Bty moved to Regimental position 488502 and settled down for what was expected to be a fairly long stay  
    1600 X & RB returned to Bty and RA to NISTELRODE  to maintain liason with 5 R Tks. No firing.  
  2   X & RB o NISTELRODE where Bty Tac HQ was set up with 5 RTks. A day of maintenance - some mike targets engaged.  
      Amm EX 147 HE.  
  3 0200 Some harassing on enemy movement heard during the night.   
    -00530 374 HE  
      No change  
    1700 Tac HQ to Bty as 5 R Tks moved to VEGHEL under 131 Bde.  
488502     Some "Mike" targets - EX 112 HE  
  4   First light RA to 428478 with C Sqdn 5 RTKs & I Coy 1 RB  
      X & Lt Jamieson in dingo with a moving sections - several points registers from different positions - part of a deception plan.  
    1100 RA to VINKEL 456483.  
    1230 X & moving section returned. Amm 108 HE.  
  5   RA at VINKEL . Maintenance & baths. A Troop stood down all day.  
    1200 RB relieved RA, 1 Troop 15 LAA attached to Bty. Some infantry & SPs engaged. EX 62 HE.  
      Gnr Macarthur returned from compassionate leave. Fitter/Gnr Chane joined the battery  
  6   GA relieved RB. X & RB rejoined 5 RTKs in NISTELRODE.  
      Training classes started. Some targets inf engaged - Amm EX 34 HE.  
488502 7-16   A static period of training & maintenance one OP was maintained throughout at VINKEL  with 1 Sqn 5 RTKs & various targets & harassing was done by day & night with the limited amount of amm available. Leave parties daily & for 24 & 48 hours were sent to EINDHOVEN & OSS with some others to BRUSSELS & ANTWERP.  
      Amm Ex for the period 2274 HE.  
  9   Lt J,A, Woolmer evacuated sick - Lt Jamieson took over CPO again.  
  10   Full inspection of Bty by BC - Excellent turnout & state of maintenance & cleanliness.  
  12 0945 Visit & inspection by Div Commander & CRA.  
  17 1800 BC's conference on future OPs 53 Div & 7AD to attack S'HERTOGENBOSH in two phases, then 51(H)Div to attack further south with 7AD passing through. 12 Corps plan to clear Holland south if the MASS. Regt likely to move in a day or two to DINTHER were to support the attack.  
      Usual day with amm ex of 181 HE  
  18   No change - amm EX 220 HE.  
  19   No change - plan has been altering during the last two days but not in main object. Amm EX 175 HE.  
441427 20 0600 Bty moved to 441427 north of DINTHER. No firing order - all OPs in.  
    1600 CO's conference to discuss later part of plan - we were due to support 51(H) Div attack immediately after 7AD but this has been altered.  
  21 1030 BC contacted 1RB at RAKT 506443 - we were to support them.  
    1600 X, RA & RB joined 1RB.  
  22 0100-0400 Fired concentrations for Queen attack.  
    1700 1 RB were to take over left flank & MIDDLERODE when cleared by 1/7 Queens.  
      Moved off at 1700 to cover left flank - Middlerode nit yet clear RBHQ 430421, RA with I Coy at HEESWIJK 4341. RB with A Coy at KARNAREN 4342 - DFs arranged.  
      During day battery fired on "Mike" & "Uncle" targets & an A B Programme. Amm Ex 1532 HE.  
  23   First light RA to 418427  
    0900 Bn sent recce forward with a view to taking over MIDDLERODE which was now clear. X & OP tanks had to go by a separate route owing to bridge state. BC accompanied Lt Col Paley in a dingo.  
      X & OPs RV at 407436  
    1230 RA & RB to DRIEZEEG with A Coy  
    1330 RA to 389436 with C Coy. DFs arranged though no contact report.  
      Mike & Uncle targets engaged. Amm Ex 1009 HE  
441427 24   OPs in same position  
    1100 BC contacted 5 RTKs who had been U/C 53 Div for Phase I at NISTELRODE.  
    1430 X, AS & RB moved to concentration area with battery. X OP broke down on the way but rejoined in the morning.  
451372   1400 Battery moved in a concentration area 451372 with class 40 bridge at DINTHER. Leaguered night in Regtl Group with 5 R TKz. Amm Ex NIL.  
  25 0730 Prepare to move  
    0800 5 mins notice  
    0830 20 mins notice  
    1130 Moved along CL SCHUNDEL 4038- ST MILHEL GESTEL 34440 - BELVERT 2736 - OOTERWIJK 2334 - UDENHOOT 2037 - LOON-OP-ZAND 1539  
      Fast movement til 1230 then halted by opposition over the bridges 312382 & 305374 - the latter was under heavy & accurate fire. X halted at 329385 - RA at 325384.  
328378   1330 Bty into action at 328378.  
    1410 5 Tks HQ to 324385 - various schemes for crossing at either of the bridges but nothing came of it.  
      Leaguered the night. No firing  
  26 0430 Moved off to cross by ESCH bridge - reached 293378 by 1015 hrs. RA at 283376.  
    1300 RB to 271397.  
298375   1400 Moved battery to 298375.  
    1445 5 R Tks HQ to 281375 near HELVOIRT  
265393   1530 Bty to 265393  
    1545 RA to MALENSTRAAT 271386 -  RB at 269400  
      Numerous targets engaged during the day.  
265393   1530 A Troop moved to leaguer with tanks HQ at 265393 - B Troop coming up after dark - out of action for the night. Amm Ex 350 HE.  
217392 27 0630 Bty was grouped with 5IDG as 5RTKs were put U/C 131 Bde. OPs & Bty moved to 217392 & leaguered up with 5IDG  
    1315 Dropped into action in same area in case K Bty requested further assistance.  
    1400 5DGx moved along CL 157380 - LINSCHE 1338 DINGEN 0640. 8 Hussars were in OOSTERHOUT.  
162380   1410 Halted at 158379. Bty followed along to 162380 & into action close up behind tanks as situation a bit fluid. RB at 156385. 1 Sqn along CL remainder switching to UDENHOUT - 2038 - 157380 - 138392 DONGENSCHE 082442  
      Little progress owing to bazookas and A/T guns - 5DGs had 3 TKs & 2 Dingo Kod. Battery engaged A/T guns & bazookas - RB leaguered with X - Bty on DFs.  
      Amm Ex 197 HE.  
  28   First light RA to 156385  
    1130 5DG HQ to 158367 - One gun damaged by some sling shelling of the battery area.  
      RA at 127360  
    1230 RB to 130354  
    1445 5DG HQ to 130355  
169355   1500 Bty to Regtl position 169355 north of TILBURG.  
      Inf, SP, & 88 mm engaged during the day.  
      OPs with 5GDs for night. Amm 466 HE.  
  29   RB at 121361 Attack by C Sqn 5 DGs + I Cop in woods in area 1037 & 1038 - Support 5RHA & 4 Medium regiments by concentrations. H Hour 1030  
    1100 RA to 175373 to control fire plan. I Coy were to be carried on back of tanks. Attack failed owing to mines & tanks bogging some 500X from objective. Infantry were pinned down as soon as the left the tanks  
      Extracted by fire - however the heavy arty fire succeeded in causing the enemy to bales out & a second attack at what 1300 met no opposition & provided some 20-30 PW.  
    1100 X to 121361 RA at 114364  
    1300 X to RA at 114364  
    1345 X to 108379 joined by RA.  
    1500 K Bty move took over support of 5DGz.  
    1700 X & OPs united at 118370 & were joined by Bty which came into Regtl posn there.  
118370 29   Amm Ex 518 HE  
  30   No DF commitments  
098413   1200 Bty to 098413  
    1700 Recce & holding part to 067427 north of DONGEN.  
      Am Ex 96 HE.  
  31 0900 Ordered to support 1RB who were to take over RAMSDONLE & RAMSDONCKVEER  area when cleared by 51(H) Div. X & RA to GRAVEMOOR 1RB HQ  
667427   1000 Bty to 667427     Take over from 51(H) not before tomorrow. RA remained with 1RB - X returned to Bty.   
      Capt. W.H.H Allen RHA joined the battery as Bty Capt  
      Gnr Green & Dv Bowen rejoined. No firing  

 

November 1944

Commanding Officer: Major J.R. Kynaston DSO. MC. RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
064427 1 0800 X & OPs to 1RB at GRAVEMOOR 0743  
    0830 Moved RA with I Coy. RB with B Sqn 5 RTks & A Coy. We were taking over RAMSDONCKVEER  from 51(H) Div who had cleared it.  
      X & Bn HQ to 0377467  
    1130 RB at 025481. Consolidation with some shelling & sniping from GERTRUIDENBURG & north of R. MAAS.  
    1330 Bn HQ to 024478  
    1500 RB 023479 on top of Town Hall.  
      DFs to cover area. Some targets engaged. Amm Ex 78 HE.  
      We are prepared for a 10 days to a fortnight in a static role here.  
  2   RA relieved RB    Same OP - training put in hand.  
      K1 relieved X. Amm Ex. 367 HE included DFs on enemy movement in GERTRUIDENBURG. Lt  Collins posted to K.  
      Gnr Johnson E rejoined  
  3 0055 "Mike" Target on enemy movement. Fired during day in support of 1st Polish Armd Div who was attaching across the MARK CANAL  
    2000 DFs on enemy movement for RB. Amm EX 1723 HE.  
  4   GA relieved RB. Fire plans for Poles and harassing for RB.  
    1500 RA relieved K1. BC visiting Liege did a recce into Germany. Amm. Ex 1413 HE. D/Ms Bush J & Gales W joined. Poles in GERTRUIDENBURG.  
  5   No change, RB Bn HQ to 034466. Amm 96HE.  
  6   X relieved RA. No change.  
056428   0930 Bty moved to 056428 for no good reason. No Firing  
  7   No change. Amm Ex 68 HE  
  8   No change. RB relieved X. Limit of 6 rpg imposed.  
    1030 Gnrs Clark & Beckwith F.G.C.M charged with desertion.  
      Capt. W.H.H Allen RHA awarded M.C.  
      Fired on enemy guns. Amm expend HE 48.  
  9   No change. Orders by BC for recce and move to STAMPROIJ area to support forthcoming attack to clear west bank of MAAS by 2nd Army.  
      Fired on enemy guns. Amm exp HE 35.  
  10 0900 No change. Recce pts left 0800.  
      Lt. Cooke to England - Survey course Larkhill.  
    2330 Orders to move at 0915 Nov 11.  
  11 0915 Bty moved C L: DONGEN 0638 TILBURG 1532 TURNHOUT 0806 GHEEL 0888 PEER 4084 BREE 5084 to positions 613910. arrived 2130 less large party of stragglers. Mileage covered 105.  
613910 12   Rmdr of Bty arrive. 100 r.p.g dumped. Area miles deep in mud. No firing.  
  13 1400 RA to J Bty 3 RHA at KESSEMEN 6685 with orders to register tgts - later cancelled by C.O.  No firing.  
  14 1615 Attack to clear Germans from W of MEUSE started by 12 Coprs. Bty in support of 1/6 Queens in attack on PANHEEL LOCK 691878 - fired smoke screen astride canal for 10 mins, observed by RA at 684876 and then corrected at 688865.  
      Gnr Moss killed by mortar shell.  
      Attack successful but expensive.  
    1700-1800 Uncle tgts on hostile bties  
    2000 Prelim. bombardment for 53 Div, crossing WESSEM Canal.  
      Amm expend. He 389 smoke 88.  
  15   RB relieved RA at 688865.           Amm exp HE 7.  
      Gnr Edwards to R.H.U. Gnr Gillman to Jerboa Club EINHOVEN as cook.  
  16   RB at 690860                        No firing  
  17 0800 Major Kynaston to England - compassionate leave.  
      Lt. Collins joined Bty from K Bty.  
      Dvr. Thompson rejoined                        No firing  
  18 1000 Recce parties to 6688                            No firing  
      Gnr Smith S to UK under Python repatriation scheme.  
  19   No firing.  
  20 1450 Recce parties to TONGLEROI 6091. No firing  
6091 21 0800 After sitting in action in mud for five days without firing Bty at last moved to an area where everyone could get under cover out of action   TONGLEROI   
  22   Orders to move - cancelled as usual.  
  23 0830 RA to 1/7 Queens at BEEGDEN, taken over from 53 Div. During the move Capt. Peal later changed his tank for Dingo & returned to BEEGDEN as L.O.  
665887     After receiving definite orders that there would be no move, Bty moved to area 665887.  
      Despite absence of ENSA & bath parties move was completed before dark.  
      New area still occupied by reserve Coys of 1/5 Queens.  
      No firing.                        Mileage: 12  
  24 0900 Capt. Wilson in TLB relieved Capt. Peal.  
    1300 Capt Allen in K1 to HQ 1/7 Queens  
      Fired on enemy infantry & suspected OPs across river. Amm exp 179 HE.  
      Bty visited by new Div. Cdr. Major-General VERNEY,  CRA & C.O.  
      Engaged enemy infy, SPs & H.D.T.           Amm exp 210 HE  
  26 1200 Bty relieved by CC Bty & came out of action for maintenance. Dutch Sgt Interpreter attached to Bty  
  27 1000 Lecture by new G.O.C 7th A. Div to half officers of Div at BREE.  
      Gnr Hemery to hospital.  
  28 1130 Investiture by Field Marshall Sir B. Montgomery at BREE. Capt Allen and Sgt. Rothwell decorated.  
      6 O.Rs attended as spectators.  
    1800 Lt. Rawson in Dingo to HEEL 713884 to take over OP from K Bty in support 1/5 Queens.  
  29 0715 C.P.O. on recce of are 6570 for future relief of Gds. A Div. by 7. A Div.  
    0930 Capt Allen in X to HEEL - B.H.Q 1/5 Queens.  
      Lt. Rawson at O.P. POLL 711868 - owing to open approach OP could only be occupied & left in dark.  
      Fired on enemy movet      Amm exp 122 HE   3 smoke.  
  30   1/5 Queens relieved by 4 R.W.F.   53 Div.  
      Lt. Rawson relieved by O.P. from 81 Fld Regt RA at first light.  
    1500 Take over complete. X & Lt Rawson returned to Bty.  
    1830 Orders for recce of concentration area NEEROETEREN 5778  
         
      During month several leave parties were sent to BRUSSELS (48 hrs & 24 hrs) and EINHOVEN (48 hrs)  
         

 

December 1944 - Missing 

 

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