Thanks to The Airborne Soldier for this diary.

 

Abbreviations

A/C

AD

Adm

Airfd

Airtps

Att

Coy

Gren

Infmn

Maint

Mech

OO

Op

Ord

Pdr

Pet

Re-Sup

Sitrep

Stn

Sup

Veh

Aircraft

Air Despatch

Administration

Airfield

Airborne Troops

Attached

Company

Grenade

Information

Maintenance

Mechanical

Operation Order

Operation

Ordnance

Pounder

Petrol

Resupply

Situation Report

Station

Supply

Vehicle

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer: Col S.W. Walsh

 

15th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup NIL

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup NIL

 

16th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

Representatives of Q Ops ST visited.

 

1655 - ST3 advised train arriving at HUNGERFORD Stn between 1100 hrs and 1200 hrs 17 Sep 44.

 

2120 - ST3 phoned cancelling train arrival.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup NIL

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup see att Sitrep

 

17th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

D day for Re-Supply by Air of FAAA.

 

1255 - 49 Air Despatch stated 35 vehs loaded with A/C loads ready to load into A/C for the D+1 drop.  Re-supply Airborne Forces maint by Air OO 'MARKET'.

 

1530 - Instructions received from ST3 to prepare for Emergency Sup on 18 Sep 44 of 1300 tons MT 80 from LYNEHAM Airfd.  Remain prepared to commence loading vehs within half an hr.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup NIL

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup NIL

 

18th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0945 - 49 Air Despatch advised 35 A/C landed at 0100 hrs.

 

1425 - 49 Air Despatch advised 33 A/C take off 1240 hrs.  2 A/C did not take off owing to mech defects.

 

1640 - 49 Air Despatch advised all vehs loaded in A/C loads ready to load into A/C for D + 2 drop.

 

1700 - ST3 stated possibility of Emergency Sup of 25 pdr for loading tonight.

 

2130 - ST3 phoned cancelling provisional warning order for Emergency Sup of 25 pdr.

 

2200 - 49 Air Despatch advised only 31 A/C returned from Re-Sup D + 1.  150 Vehs detailed to load MT 80 to capacity at 13 Pet Depot and then return to location to await further orders from ST3 Control.

 

The Commander decided that in the light of operational experience it was no longer necessary for this HQ to be immediately adjacent to AFCC therefore a hutted camp was not necessary if existing accommodation in the near neighbourhood could be found.  ASHTON KEYNES contains suitable accommodation.  DADST (Adm) visited Southco who confirmed that War Office had been requested to expedite the release of BOLERO acon for winterization of all units affected in the Group.

 

2340 - ST3 advised Emergency Sup detail as follows:

49 A/C loads MT 80 and Compo proportion 4 - 1.

A/C available as follows:

(i) DOWN AMPNEY - 20 A/C

(ii) BLAKEHILL - 17 A/C

(iii) BROADWELL - 12 A/C

All ready to load at 190500.

 

2350 - ST3 stated second flight will take place and in the event of any A/C not returning the proportion of 4 - 1 will be maintained.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup NIL

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup: 1 x 2 men crew take off 2015 hrs

 

A/C made five runs over DZ.  Containers stuck and had to be released singly from bomb rack.  Full load despatched at 2300 hrs.

 

19th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

1020 - 48 Air Despatch phoned stating that 20 A/C took off from DOWN AMPNEY 0950 - 1008 hrs.

 

1030 - 48 Air Despatch advised 12 A/C take off BROADWELL 1000 - 1030 hrs.

 

1050 - 48 Air Despatch advised 17 A/C take off BLAKEHILL 1021 - 1043 hrs.

 

1445 - Movement Control stated some A/C which took off this AM have returned loaded.  No further details at present.

 

1500 - 49 Air Despatch advised 99 STIRLINGS and 63 C 47s for re-sup of Airborne Forces D + 2.  Drop take off 1230 - 1300 hrs.  1 A/C failed to take off due to wheel coming off undercarriage.

 

1705 - Message from 48 Air Despatch: 4 A/C returned loaded to BROADWELL.  12 A/C returned loaded to BLAKEHILL.

 

2015 - Checked with 48 Air Despatch numbers of A/C returned loaded:

(i) DOWN AMNPEY 14 A/C MT 80, 4 A/C Compo.

(ii) BLAKEHILL 7 A/C MT 80, 1 A/C Compo.

(iii) BROADWELL 7 A/C MT 80.

 

2120 - Instructed by War Office ST3 to unload all aircraft which have returned loaded.

 

2200 - ST3 instructed that we sup vehs and labour to load 12 tons US Stores into A/C at DOWN AMPNEY.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup 18 A/C loaded MT 80 37.96 tons

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup D + 2 drop

 

20th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0140 - 48 Air Despatch advise A/C at BROADWELL are loaded:

(i) 6 A/C MT 80

(ii) 1 A/C Compo

and not 7 A/C MT 80

 

0150 - 48 Air Despatch advise casualties sustained on re-sup drop D + 2 as follows:

10 Stirlings (10 x 2 men crews)

8 C 47s (5 x 4 men crews)

Other casualties returned in A/C - 10 men

 

1200 - Maj Gillespie ST3 Control visited.

 

1300 - 49 Air Despatch advised re-sup for D + 3.  A/C Take off as follows:

(i) HARWELL: 32 A/C took off 1130 hrs.  2 A/C failed to take off due to mech defects.

(ii) KEEVIL: 31 A/C took off 1150 hrs.  2 A/C failed to take off due to mech defects.

 

1555 - 49 Air Despatch advised A/C on re-sup for D + 3 took off as follows:

(i) FAIRFORD: 33 A/C took off 1445 hrs.

(ii) DOWN AMPNEY: 32 A/C took off 1415 hrs.

(iii) BROADWELL: 31 A/C took off 1440 hrs.

 

1805 - 49 Air Despatch advised A/C touched down as follows:

(i) KEEVIL: 24 A/C touched down 1630 - 7 A/C missing.

(ii) HARWELL: 30 A/C touched down 1600 - 2 A/C missing.

 

2115 - Phoned 49 Air Despatch, who advised the following missing A/C:

(i) KEEVIL - 6 A/C

(ii) HARWELL - 1 A/C

(iii) DOWN AMPNEY - NIL

(iv) BROADWELL - 3 A/C (one A/C crash landed MARSTON - 800 Coy crew.  Two A/C -do- 223 -do-

(v) FAIRFORD - 5 A/C

 

2215 - 49 Air Despatch stated 2 A/C were repaired and took off 1430 hrs KEEVIL.  1 A/C was repaired and took off 1430 hrs HARWELL.

 

2359 - 49 Air Despatch advised touch downs as follows:

(i) FAIRFORD 28 A/C 1930 hrs.

(ii) BROADWELL 28 A/C 1933 hrs.

(iii) DOWN AMPNEY 32 A/C 1915 hrs.

(iv) KEEVIL 27 A/C 1630 hrs.

(v) HARWELL 32 A/C 1630 hrs.

 

Missing:

63 Coy - 14

253 Coy - 10

800 Coy - 4 (landed in Kent)

223 Coy - 8

 

Wounded:

799 Coy - 1 in head, 1 slight

253 Coy - 1 slight

63 Coy - 2 slight

 

2359 - ST3 advised 23 Dakotas will be available 210800 at BROADWELL for 2 flights payload not known.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup NIL

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup D + 3 drop

 

21st September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0100 - ST3 advise payload 4500 lb.

 

0800 - HQ Airtps advised a further 5 A/C will be available some time today for dropping ord stores PIAT Grens and beach block.

 

1025 - 48 Air Despatch advised A/C availability on BROADWELL only 18 A/C and not 23 A/C.

 

1130 - 48 Air Despatch advised only 10 A/C available on BROADWELL.

 

1430 - 49 Air Despatch advised following take offs and re-allocation of A/C for D + 4 drops:

(i) KEEVIL 21 A/C Stirlings 1140

(ii) HARWELL 21 A/C Stirlings 1103

(iii) DOWN AMPNEY 25 A/C C47 1310

(iv) FAIRFORD 21 A/C Stirlings, 15 A/C 1200, 6 A/C 1600

(v) BLAKEHILL 25 A/C C47 1330

                            5 A/C C47, 3 A/C 1340, 2 A/C not taking off due to unsuitability of load.

 

1545 - 48 Air Despatch advised 16 A/C (32.14 tons) despatched today on Emergency Sup.

 

1815 to 2015 - 49 Air Despatch advised A/C returned off D + 4 drop as follows:

(i) KEEVIL - 17 A/C touched down - 4 A/C missing

(ii) HARWELL - 20 A/C touched down - 1 A/C missing

(iii) FAIRFORD - 10 A/C touched down - 9 A/C missing, 2 A/C landed UK

(iv) DOWN AMPNEY - 15 A/C touched down - 9 A/C missing, 1 A/C landed BRUSSELS

(v) BLAKEHILL - 19 A/C touched down - 8 A/C missing, 1 A/C landed BRUSSELS

 

Cas:

63 Coy - 6 men

253 Coy - 30 men

223 Coy - 38 men

800 Coy - 24 men

799 Coy - 16 men

Total - 114

 

2210 - ST3 advised Emergency Sup by Air - 30 Dakotas will be available at KEMBLE weather permitting at 220700.  Payload 5000 lbs.  May try two sorties - to be loaded with MT 80.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup 16 A/C 32.4 tons MT 80

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup D + 4 drop

 

22nd September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0720 - Message from 48 Air Despatch - No A/C arrived KEMBLE.  Advised by Airtps allocation of A/C for D + 5 drop as follows:

(i) FAIRFORD - 18 Stirlings

(ii) HARWELL - 28 Stirlings

(iii) KEEVIL - 27 Stirlings

(iv) BLAKEHILL - 25 C 47s

(v) BROADWELL - 25 C 47s

 

1200 - All A/C loaded for D + 5 drop.

 

1215 - Airtps state there will be no take offs today.  A/C will remain loaded and await further orders.

 

1235 - Message from ST3 stating further 21 A/C available at DOWN AMPNEY, 9 A/C available at BLAKEHILL.  All C 47s.  Payload 5000 lbs.  These payload figures having been altered by RAF.

 

1230 - ST3 state 5 C 47s are available at LYNEHAM Airfds.  Payload 10000 lbs.

 

1700 - Vehs and labour arrived LYNEHAM to load MT 80 and find to their horror that the RAF have already loaded them with 100 octane - this was checked with ST3, who in turn checked with CATOR, who stated the RAF will have to off-load 100 octane, and issued instructions accordingly.  Later we received a message from 48 Air Despatch saying the RAF have no intention of off-loading, and in fact 2 C 47s have taken off.  Movement Control now take a hand and say that 3 C 47s are being off-loaded by the RAF, and will be loaded with MT 80:  Payload 12500 lbs.  One A/C will be made available tomorrow, payload 12500 lbs.  48 Air Despatch add infmn a further C 47 will be available tomorrow, same payload.  Later informed 3 C 47s are loaded and will take off 23 Sep 44.

 

1930 - ST3 stated possible Emergency Sup tomorrow as follows:  70 - 100 A/C loads MT 80 from KEMBLE Airfd.

 

2240 - A/C allotment all 5000 lbs payload.

30 A/C first light

30 A/C 1200 hrs

30 A/C 1500 hrs

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup 50 A/C 115.80 tons

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup NIL

 

23rd September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

The 150 vehs standing by loaded with MT 80 were ordered to proceed to the Northern Group of Airfds and dump their loads.

 

1000 - Were informed by 48 Air Despatch that 5 out of 7 A/C did not take off from DOWN AMPNEY yesterday, are to be off-loaded as the A/C are required for re-sup.

 

1100 - 4 A/C C47s took off from LYNEHAM.

 

1115 - 1 A/C C47 took off from LYNEHAM.

 

1410 - Movement Control say 7 Ansons payload 1500 lbs are now available at BLAKEHILL for loading MT 80.

 

Airtps say A/C loaded yesterday will take off today, take off times as follows:

27 A/C take off KEEVIL 1415

13 A/C take off BLAKEHILL 0910

5 A/C take off BROADWELL 1210

28 A/C take off HARWELL 1435

18 A/C take off FAIRFORD 1407

25 A/C take off BLAKEHILL 1317

25 A/C take off DOWN AMNPEY 1345

 

16 A/C are made available at BROADWELL for freighting and re-sup for Airborne Forces.

 

A/C touched down as follows:

(i) FAIRFORD - 17 A/C touched down - 1 A/C missing

(ii) HARWELL - 21 A/C touched down - 5 A/C missing, 1 A/C landed MANSTON, 1 A/C landed GHENT

(iii) KEEVIL - 24 A/C touched down - 3 A/C missing

(iv) BLAKEHILL - 24 A/C touched down - 3 A/C missing

 

BROADWELL A/C are remaining at BRUSSELS complete with 18 Despatcher Crews.  Only 6 A/C of the extra 16 A/C made available for freighting were loaded and taking off 24 Sep 44.

 

Despatchers missing:   38

Despatchers wounded: 4

                         Total: 42

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup 39 A/C 82.80 tons

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup as for D + 5

 

24th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0930 - All A/C take off from KEMBLE between 0930 - 1210

 

1015 - Message from Airtps that 14 A/C are available at BARKSTON HEATH Airfd to load with Compo - 40 mm POL.  Vehs to load up and report forthwith.

 

1230 - Warning Order received from Airtps that re-sup may commence to-morrow in small quantities.  Nothing definite.  Warned by Airtps that to-morrows re-sup may be from Fighters jettisoning containers this was eventually cancelled.  Re-sup for Airborne forces to-day was:

22 A/C loaded BLAKEHILL

22 A/C loaded DOWN AMPNEY

no take offs until 25/9

 

1850 - ST3 state emergency sup for 24 Sep 44 as follows:

37 C47's at first light

93 C47's at 1200 hrs

pay load 5000 lbs MT 80.

 

Missions carried out:

(i) Emergency Sup 100 A/C 22322 Tons

(ii) Schedule Sup normal

(iii) Maint Sup 44 A/C loaded.

 

25th September 1944

Place: The Piggeries, Poulton, near Cirencester, Glos.

 

0900 - 49 AD state 44 A/C took off 0830 hrs from BLAKEHILL and DOWN AMPNEY Re-sup for Airborne Forces.