National Archives catalogue number WO 170/1057.
Landing Craft Tank
Nothing to Report
Regimental Combat Team
Troop Carrying Vehicle
Month and year : August 1944
1st August 1944
C & D Troops moved to TARQUINIA airfield for exercise LOAD. All troops & BHQ loaded their 21 Horsa gliders. B.C. attended conference with Brigadier on airfield. CAPT TANSLEY returned from hospital.
2nd August 1944
BC on Bde HQ ground exercise 'CUMBERSOME'.
3rd August 1944
Exercise LOAD. Gliders took off at 0528 hrs & flew for 2 hrs 46 minutes. Three gliders cast off over airfield on final circuit round owing to defects in tug aircraft & gliders. Otherwise exercise very successful. Bty returned to camp in afternoon.
4th August 1944
Synthetic towing for recce parties. Otherwise NTR.
5th August 1944
Bty warned to move to TARQUINIA on 9th Aug.
6th August 1944
Capt. McCULLOUGH & Capt TANSLEY fully briefed for operation ANVIL. B.C. attends conference at Bde HQ.
7th August 1944
Conference at Bde HQ where all commanders give their outline plan.
8th August 1944
9th August 1944
Tp Comdrs briefed with their respective battalions. Bty less seaborne & base elements moved to TARQUINIA airfield. Lt. Outridge rejoined Battery.
10th August 1944
Briefing of all officers, BSM & troop sergeants.
11th August 1944
Briefing of other ranks started.
12th August 1944
Loading of gliders started. Recce parties from B C & D Tps visited Battalions. Briefing of ORs completed. R.C. Service. Bde op. order for operation DRAGOON received. Seaborne party u/c BQMS Crocker left.
13th August 1944
Loading completed. RAF photographer took scenes of loading & briefing. BC gives out final order for operation. The outline of the operation is that the 7th U.S. Army is invading Southern France on 15th August the main landings being in the ST RAPHAEL area & the strategic objective the capture of MARSEILLES and TOULON. 1st Airborne Task Force consisting of 517 RCT, 509 U.S. Para Bn, 2 Indep Para Bde Gp and other airborne units amounting in all to the size of a division are under command 7th U.S. Army and have the task of securing an area LE MUY - LA MOTTE to dominate the main road MARSEILLES - NICE preventing all enemy traffic therein. 2 Para Bde Gp is to hold an area bounded by the river NARTUBY the hills running North from LE MUY the hill running NE from LA MOTTE. This area is to be held as a firm base, and a glider landing zone. LE MUY is to be captured if possible. 6 Para Bn with C Tp under command & 2 guns A Tp in support is on the right to hold LA MOTTE the high ground above LA MOTTE and the farm CLASTRON. 4 Para Bn with B Tp under command is to seize & hold the high ground overlooking LA MUY & the bridge across the NARBODY. 5 Para Bn with D Tp under command is to guard approaches from North & East & form reserve protecting Bde & Task Force HQ in LE MITAN. A Tp less 2 guns is in mobile reserve. Recce parties from battery are dropping as follows. LT MILLS & four ORs with 6 Bn. LT ARMSTRONG & 4 ORs with 4 Bn. LT HALL and 4 ORs with 5 Bn. MAJOR POTTER LT OUTRIDGE and 3 ORs with Bde HQ. CAPT McCULLOUGH is in charge of the glider party & will be in command of all guns in 6 Bn area. CAPT TANSLEY will be in command of all guns in 4 Bn area. The para drop is at 0500 hrs, the seaborne landing at 0700 hrs & the glider landing at 0814 hrs. The Battery is being lifted in 21 HORSA gliders.
14th August 1944
Recce parties left to join Bde & Bn groups.
15th August 1944
Para parties emplane at 0100 hrs at GALERA & CAMPINO airfields. An uneventful journey, very little anti aircraft fire. Drop at 0500 hrs in thick mist. Great difficulty in finding RV as ground generally is much closer than had been expected. Sniping on DZ & considerable confusion. Enemy in area were soon dealt with except the farm at CLASTRON & the LE MUY bridges over the NARTUBY which were held. The whole area was covered with glider obstacles poles etc. The gliders took off at 0519 hrs. Over CORSICA one glider (Sgt [?] B Tp) was cast off by tug which was short of petrol. It subsequently joined the afternoon flight taking over from CORSICA. Owing to ground mist the gliders would not land immediately and the HORSAs returned to base arriving at 0900 hrs. The WACOs waited until the mist cleared & then landed. Several casualties caused by bad landing among the glider obstacles. The HORSA element took off at 1500 hrs an extra gun & jeep being brought with a detachment of a cook two drivers the equipment [repairer?] and a corporal from a para bn. In the meantime CLASTRON & the bridges at LE MUY had been taken, no enemy attack had materialised but 4 Bn attempt to take LE MUY failed. Bns were still low in numbers as many sticks had been dropped wide of the area. There had been exceptionally few casualties however the position generally was very good. The HORSA element followed by large glider borne U.S. reinforcements in WACOs landed at 1800 hrs. There were many very difficult landings the area being literally full of gliders. Bty casualties on landing were 8 injured none very serious and 6 of whom returned to duty within 24 hours. Sgt MINTRUM (B Tp) & Sgt THOMPSON (D Tp) both of whom were injured showed great devotion to duty in remaining with their guns. In most cases unloading was very quick, nearly all through the tail, and within 1 hour there were 10 guns available at RV. Of the 17 guns 22 jeeps 5 trailers & 1 m/c brought in 14 guns 18 jeeps 4 trailers & the m/c were available by the night. One trailer was damaged when a WACO landed [near?] and the gun & jeep were damaged on landing & could not be unloaded at first. From the RV 3 guns (B Tp) were sent to 4 Bn area but on orders from 4 Bn did not go into position. 4 guns (3 C Tp & 1 A Tp) went to 6 Bn area one to CLASTRON one to cover approaches from W to LA MOTTE one to cover bridges across NARTUBY into LA MOTTE and the fourth was not put into position. 3 guns (D Tp) sent to LE MITAN area where elements of 5 Bn (very low in strength & unable to occupy their intended localities) were defending Bde & Task Force HQ. 4 guns (3 A & 1 C) were formed into a tp under CAPT TANSLEY & went to RV ready to support 550 U.S. glider Bn who had landed that afternoon & were to attack LE MUY at 0200 hrs in the night.
16th August 1944
The attack on LE MUY was unsuccessful & guns did not move. 2 more guns were salvaged from gliders. One joined B Tp and the other joined D Tp. B Tp went into position 4 Bn area covering road approaches from LE MUY bridges. Further guns put into position in 6 Bn area. D Tp moved one gun to cover approach from North & one to cover approach from East into 5 Bn area. One gun A Tp (L/Sgt [?]) was brought forward to fire 4 rds AP & 21 rds HE at a house in LE MUY fire from which had held up 550 Bn in their attack. Shoot successful. LE MUY again assaulted by 550 Bn & after lengthy exchanges of small arms fire was captured yielding many prisoners. Three German coys had been moved from beach to reinforce LE MUY. Elements of seaborne force contacted airborne forces in the morning. Position very secure. There have been no enemy attacks on brigade area & only small arms fire. No enemy aircraft had appeared. Large resupply by air this morning.
17th August 1944
Elements of seaborne force passed thro' Bde area. Bty came out of action & concentrated in area. Total casualties for bty 2 evacuated glider landing casualties, three jeeps destroyed two badly damaged. All 17 guns O.K.
18th August 1944
No move by bty. 5 Bn returned from FAYENCE area where they had contacted enemy & taken coys no. of prisoners. Future of Bde very indefinite. Ten bty jeeps loaned to other units. Bde on 50% rations.
19th August 1944
D Tp left with Bde (less Bty RE Indep Para Pl & glider pilots) to take over a sector of 36 U.S. Div from N.E. of FREJUS. The party stopped near FREJUS for the night.
20th August 1944
D Tp took up positions u/c 6 Bn covering road CANNES FREJUS at 1600 hrs. Sector very quiet. Bty moved to area CAMP GALIANE NE of FREJUS ferrying guns & personnel with three jeeps.
21st August 1944
Move completed by 0800 hrs. D Tp came out of action & rejoined Bty at 1600 hrs.
22nd August 1944
23rd August 1944
Conference at Bde. Bde returning to ITALY for another operation.
24th August 1944
25th August 1944
Orders to embark in U.S. Transport ship DOROTHEA L. DIX (10000 tons) at 2300 hrs.
26th August 1944
Embarked by LCT by 0800 hrs. Set sail in afternoon. Very hot & uncomfortable. Jeeps handed over to U.S. Army.
27th August 1944
NTR - at sea.
28th August 1944
Moored off NAPLES.
29th August 1944
Disembarked & moved to transit area. Meal there & moved to ROME area by TCV arrived by 2359 hrs. Initial orders received for next operation in which A and C Tps will be employed as 4.2" mortar tps.
30th August 1944
Kit checking. A & C Tps issued with 3 x 4.2" mortars & handed over their 6 pr guns into Battery stores. B.C. attended conference at Bde.
31st August 1944
Stock checks & training. Conf at Bde.