National Archives catalogue number WO 170/981.
Command Post Officer
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur (French Resistance)
Forward Observation Officer
Gun Position Officer
Landing Craft Tank
Main Dressing Station
Troop Carrying Vehicle
Month and year : August 1944
Commanding Officer : Major D.M. Duncan R.A.
1st August 1944
1200 - B.C. attends Conference with Bde. Commander at Tarquinia Airfield.
1300 - Horsa party moved to Airfield (Tarquinia) M.R. 100009 Sh.142 Scale 1/100000. Arrived about 1630 hours, met by B.C.
2nd August 1944
Phases II & III of Exercise "Load" carried out.
3rd August 1944
Phase IV of Exercise "Load" carried out. Report on Exercise "Load" submitted to Bde. Main body of Battery joined Advance Party at Tarquinia, arrived 1300 hours. O.P. and Recce. party participated in Bde. Para. Exercise.
4th August 1944
O.P. and Recce Party participated in Bde Para Exercise. NCO & 2 Sigs. participate in U.S.A. Gunners Signal Exercise.
1700 - B.C. attends Conference with USA. Gunners. Returned by air. Journey by road took 3 hours - journey by air 25 mins., thus saving much valuable time.
5th August 1944
Lecture by R.A.F. Riggers to N.C.Os. on removing detachable tail of Gliders. E.M.E. inspects all instruments.
6th August 1944
B.C. briefed 2.i/c & CPO at Bde HQ a journey of 100 miles. Information issued to unit in the shape of contour maps to enable of unit sand table.
7th August 1944
0800 - BC attends conference at Bde HQ. This meant another journey of over 100 miles. Waco loading manifests prepared for Exercise Load II.
8th August 1944
Wacos loaded for Exercise Load II.
1400 - Visit from representative from O2E. Battery now to act as Independent and render casualties direct, with copies to Regt for information only.
9th August 1944
Exercise Load II carried out. Seaborne element moved off.
10th August 1944
Construction of Unit sand table completed and maps and air photos received.
11th August 1944
BC briefed all officers in unit Briefing room. Orders and OC Bty Base Detail prepared.
12th August 1944
BC briefed all ranks. It proved possible to brief a Troop at a time and it required 2 hours per Troop.
13th August 1944
See Appendix for Glider Party. Appx V.
14th August 1944
0900 - Para parties reported to Bns and Bde HQ.
1000 - Para parties drew chutes.
1330 - Parade of Para parties by sticks in full equipment.
1500 - Move to airfield.
1645 - Arrive Airfield. Put on full equipment and fitted chutes.
1730 - Emplaned. Took up positions and short conference held by Crew's chief and OC sticks re timings etc. Arrangements made:- Overseas not hooked up aircraft to crash land. Over land hooked up, if hit by flak normal jump procedure.
1800 - Deplaned, had evening meal.
2100 - Bed down.
2330 - Reveille.
15th August 1944
0001 - Breakfast.
0120 - Emplaned.
0215 - Planes took off. Planes flew with all navigation lights over the sea, and the formation made a most impressive spectacle.
0425 - Parties stood up, donned full equipment and hooked up. Capt Martin's box would not lock and at the last moment he fitted the spare parachute which was carried.
0450 - Planes crossed coast.
0500 - Stick dropped complete, after container had been released. Capt Martin's Para Recce. On landing, was separated and efforts made to join up, even by shouting, proved to be of no avail, due to the darkness ground mist and close country. Capt Martin proceeded on his own on a compass bearing, hoping to strike Bde RV. On the way he picked up a French Liaison Officer, who had dropped in another stick. Shortly afterwards they halted and challenged a party of 4 who proved to be Lt. Col. Barlow and 3 others who were proceeding in the opposite direction. Capt Martin then picked up an American officer attached to Bde and later a party of 8 men from 509 Bn who had been dropped in the wrong area. All then proceeded to Bde RV.
0615 approx - On nearing Mitan, the party saw Parachutists in the area, and as it was daylight they recognised Major Williams. There was still no sign of Sgt Robinson and L/Sgt Taylor, the other two members of the Recce party. Capt Martin then reported to Bde Comdr and was ordered to go with General Downs and establish a local OP.
0730 - Capt Martin got permission to proceed to recce Bty Gun area. On way to Bty area chosen before take off, Capt Martin discovered that 5 Bn were not holding the LZ. He then approached a Coy Comdr and requested that he move North to cover LZ. Coy Comdr explained he was very short but would send a section to check on S. Michel d'Eclans. Capt Martin proceeded to Bty area and there met remainder of Recce party. They did Recce of area and proceeded to Bty RV to await arrival of Gliders.
0815 - No sign of Gliders.
0935 - Glider flight. Wacos only arrived. LZ was covered with poles, landings were very hazardous, many crashes, comparatively few casualties. BC wounded, proceeded to MDS for treatment. There were no Guns with the Wacos so Capt Martin deployed parties, as they arrived, in infantry positions.
1000 - Capt Martin reported situation, no guns, Bty occupying infantry positions to Bde Comdr, who ordered Bty to withdraw complete to a position behind 5 Bn. Before leaving Bde Comdr, an American Major arrived, and sent scout with Capt Martin to search American Waco loads for guns which he said had been loaded and which we could use. Sgt Robinson, who was with Capt Martin, was sent back to withdraw Bty down to gun area pointed out to him SW of Bde HQ.
1100 - By the time the Bty arrived in the new gun area, Capt Martin had 2 guns. These were put in action under L/Sgt Taylor as GPO. Capt Martin then reported to Bde Comdr that there were 2 guns in action and that in the absence of our own OPs he had arranged for the FOO teams to fire our guns.
1145 - On return to Bty position Capt Martin met Lt. Worsley, put him in the picture and went off and collected a 3rd gun. Gun detachments consisted of British and American gunners, while local protection was supplied by USA Glider pilots. Co-operation with USA was 100%.
1230 - Capt Martin then left Lt. Worsley in charge and went off himself to Bde HQ where he remained as acting BC. Capt Martin asked BM if something could be done to clear the poles from the LZ. BM said REs and Indep Pn were already cutting down poles. Capt Martin then contacted Lt. Boyd and gave him some jeeps to help him with this task. Poles were dragged out and cut down and explosions of Wacos being blown up were heard throughout the afternoon.
1400 - One of the FOO teams used Bty guns to register DF.1.
1530 - Capt Martin went out to identify L/Cpl Booley who had been killed in a Waco crash, and on his way found a 4th gun, which he brought back. News of Horsas was scanty, but Bde had wirelessed for them to come in at 1800 hrs.
1800 - A colossal air armada was sighted. Thousands of parachutists descended en masse in 517 area, closely followed by approx 400 gliders landing in Bde area. It was indeed an amazing spectacle. Guides from the Bty quickly rounded up the Bty Horsa party.
1900 - Lt. Worsley completed deployment of our own 8 guns. USA guns were pulled out of action preparatory to return to their own areas. Bde was informed of the position. Salvage of equipment from crashed gliders continued throughout the day.
2030 - American Arty Major at Bde HQ contacted Capt Martin and informed him that 550 Bn were putting in an attack on Le Muy later and asked whether we could support them. Capt Martin informed him that we could not support with observed fire due to darkness, but that we would support with predicted fire if required. American Major then went to contact 550 Bn and said he would be back with full information later.
2040 - Brigadier sent for Capt Martin and asked him to give fullest support to 550 Bn, but that we were limited to 50 rds per gun, without further reference to Bde.
2130 - USA vehicle arrived to collect Capt Martin and take him to 550 Bn HQ to await arrival of Bn Comdr.
2330 - Bn Comdr arrived and gave orders for attack on Le Muy. His Bn were expected to cross river and move south at approx 0230 hrs. Capt Martin explained that without a registration, he thought it would be unwise to fire on town while troops were entering, and suggested neutralization fire plan on town and northern side to be fired from 0200 to 0215 next morning. Rate of fire, gunfire 30 seconds. This was agreed to be the best answer under the circumstances. If further fire was required it would be demanded through Bde link.
16th August 1944
0030 - Capt Martin arrived back at Bty Command post, explained position to Lt. West (CPO) and had the fire plan prepared.
0200 - Guns started fire plan.
0215 - Fire plan completed. No further requests for fire received.
0730 - Capt Martin had all available sets netted and informed Lt. Abbott to stand by with his Jeep and 22 set and 21 set for manpacking for a job as FOO.
0830 - Bde Comdr called at Bty Command Post and explained to Capt Martin that as 550 Bn had been unsuccessful in their attack on Le Muy during the night they were going to attack it again sometime during the morning. Bde Comdr then went with Capt Martin to meet Col. Sacks (CO 550 Bn) to make necessary arrangements.
0845 - Bde Comdr and Capt Martin met Col. Sacks and obtained details of plan to cross river at a point NW of Le Muy and to attack the town from that direction. Col Sacks was informed that Lt. Abbott would go with him as FOO and would give any support required. Col. Sacks expressed his appreciation to Capt Martin for the fire brought down the previous night.
0900 - Lt. Abbott reported to Col. Sacks.
0930 - Capt Martin returned to Bde HQ and was given a message from Capt Skaife. This was the first news of Capt Skaife since the drop at 0500 hrs the previous day. Capt Martin sent the Jeep with wireless set and personnel to report to Capt Skaife at 4 Bn.
1230 - Message received by Brigadier from 5 Bn that 20 German trucks with infantry had been seen proceeding towards Bde area on road leading SW across the river to Le Mitan. Capt Martin asked Bde Comdr if he could send out an FOO and Bde Comdr gave permission.
1300 - Lt. Walmsley reported to Capt Martin at Bde HQ with Jeep and 22 set and was sent out to 5 Bn.
1330 - BC walked out of MDS and contacted Capt Martin at Bde HQ and returned to Bty.
1430 - Lt. Walmsley reported back to Bty as the country was too close for observation and the Bn did not wish his services.
1700 - Capt Martin left to contact Lt. Abbott who was now established in Le Muy with 550 Bn.
1730 - Capt Martin contacted Lt. Abbott in Le Muy.
1830 - Capt Martin and Lt. Abbott returned to Bty position.
17th August 1944
1000 - BC, now doing full duty, and Capt Martin went to Bde HQ and were informed that the Bde were going to concentrate in the LZ area. The process of concentration by Bns continued throughout the day. The guns remained in action.
1900 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ.
18th August 1944
0100 - Warning order issued to stand by to support 5 Bn in mopping up operations north of LZ.
0800 - Guns came out of action and personnel concentrated on washing clothes, tidying up ammunition and maintaining guns and vehicles.
1200 - Bty relieved from stand by. Salvaging of equipment from crashed gliders continued throughout the day.
19th August 1944
Maintenance and salvaging of equipment.
1400 - Troops marched down and had bathe in river Naturby.
1700 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ and obtained details of move up into sector of line W. of Cannes in a holding role. 6 Bn + Bty with Troop of A/Tk under command.
2100 - Bty column moved off to staging area NE of Fregus. The move was complicated due to (1) 8 Jeeps were still out on loan to Bns and Bde HQ who had no transport. (2) The FOO teams, 5 officers and 24 ORs were today attached to us for all purposes and (3) We had now 9 guns. The result was that a ferry service was necessary.
2300 - Bty arrived in staging area which proved to be a hutted German camp.
20th August 1944
0300 - Ferrying forward completed.
0700 - BC attended Bde O Gp at Bde HQ.
0800 - BC moved off on recce with Bde O Gp.
1000 - Capt Martin carried out recce of new camp area as the German camp was reported to be lousy.
1100 - BC returned from recce and issued orders.
1200 - BC moved off with recce party.
1230 - Bty moved to RV under Lt. Dorey.
1300 - Bty rear party established in new area.
1430 - "B" Tp in action at 614446 (Lambert Zone III Gp) Ref Map Sh France 1/100,000 Nice/Cannes, Sheet 16Q.
1515 - 6 Bn arrived. Capt Skaife went off with "A" Coy 6 Bn.
1600 - Lt. Abbott deployed OP at 242629 (N. Italy Grid) Ref Map Sh above with "A" Coy 4 Bn who had been brought up to hold a road block. Lt. Abbott took with him an American Naval FOO who had call on anything up to 4" guns.
1700 - "A" Tp in action alongside "B" Tp. BC reported to Col. Barlow who expressed his satisfaction of Arty arrangements. Bn IO prepared trace of arcs of fire and zones of observation.
1720 - Capt Skaife registered two DF tasks.
1730 - BC reported to Bde Comdr that all guns were in action and that DF's had been arranged and registered.
21st August 1944
0530 - Capt Skaife moved forward with Platoon from "A" Coy and established OP on Pt 425, map Ref. 624469 (Lambert Zone Grid). Still no contact with enemy.
0715 - Capt Skaife registered suspect enemy area prior to patrol going out.
0800 - BC visited OP's.
0900 - BC reported to Col. Barlow and met USA SS Col. who was taking over the sector from 6 Bn.
1200 - "A" Coy 4 Bn relieved by USA SS Bn. Lt. Abbott remained to give them support until their own Arty arrived.
1600 - 6 Bn relieved. Capt Skaife also remained in support of relieving USA SS Bn.
1700 - 602 Bn (relieving Arty) arrived in sector and their BC went off to recce Bn position.
1900 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ and learned that Bde were now Airborne Task Force reserve and were on 3 hours notice to move in any direction.
2000 - BC visited Bty rear party.
2030 - 602 Bn moving up to occupy position 10,000 yds ahead. No definite orders for relief received despite all assurances to the contrary from Bde.
2040 - OP's recalled by CPO acting on orders given by BC before he left for conference.
2115 - BC arrived back at Bty position and gave orders for move back to rear area following morning.
22nd August 1944
0700 - Guns came out of action.
0830 - Bty moved off.
0900 - Capt Martin attended A/Q conference at Bde, and submitted ident for main deficiencies.
0910 - Bty arrived in rear area. Maintenance carried out.
1000 - 10% given pass to Fregus.
1600 - On return of first party a further 10% proceeded on pass to Fregus.
23rd August 1944
0830 - Stables.
1000 - Gun drill, signallers classes. Leave parties continued. Men made full use of shower in Bde area.
1500 - Cricket match with improvised equipment.
2100 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ and was informed that we would hand over all Jeeps and trailers before leaving and that all equipment would have to be boxed. Guns were to go with Bty.
24th August 1944
All equipment and stores packed in boxes and panniers and packing lists prepared. 53 packages in all. Ordnance issued replacements of essential items of clothing and necessaries on a generous scale.
2100 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ. Still no definite news of date or method of embarkation for return to Italy but all units to be prepared to move as from 0700 hrs 25th.
25th August 1944
0900 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ and was informed that move would not take place until 26th. Officers leave to Cannes was sanctioned.
1100 - BC moved off to Cannes with Officers Leave party.
2200 - BC called to conference at Bde HQ. Informed that Bde was moving down to beaches prior to embarkation at 0001 hrs 26th. All units wakened and ordered to be ready to move on 1 hrs notice. Information at conference gained in snatches from numerous telephone calls. Still many doubts as to the reliability of the orders.
26th August 1944
0015 - Capt Martin moved off with guns and first load of panniers. Bty area cleaned and inspected by flashlight.
0200 - Panniers, boxes and guns loaded on LCTs and later transferred onto Transport Ship USS Dorothea L Dix.
0230 - Jeeps arrived back from beaches and loaded remainder of personnel, stores and equipment.
0300 - Bty moved off to beaches.
0320 - Bty arrived at beaches, parked Jeeps and trailers and personnel, less Capt Martin and drivers, assembled on beach.
0400 - Bty embarked on LCT.
0710 - LCT moved off out into bay.
0740 - Bty climbed up rope ladder from LCT into Transport ship. A very hazardous operation in a slight swell and with all equipment.
0800 - Capt Martin handed over 28 Jeeps and 13 trailers to Airborne Task Force representatives.
0830 - Capt Martin and drivers embarked on LCT.
1000 - Capt Martin's party climbed aboard Transport ship.
1240 - BC attended conference in OC Troops cabin. Capt Martin appointed Mens Messing Officer. Bde personnel aboard approx 1050. Col. Pearson OC Troops.
1600 - Ship sailed in convoy. Convoy included 2 Bde Transport ships, light destroyer escorts and numerous LCT's.
27th August 1944
BC Field Officer of Day.
2015 - BC attended conference in OC Troops Cabin and obtained outline of procedure for disembarkation at Naples.
28th August 1944
1100 - Convoy arrived in Naples Bay.
1600 - Still no definite orders re disembarkation.
2000 - BC attended conference in OC Troops cabin and learned that we were to disembark direct from ship to quay the following morning.
29th August 1944
1030 - Ship pulls alongside quay and personnel disembarked. All were taken in TCVs to Bde Transit area just N. of Naples on Route 6. All troops were given a meal on arrival there and then re-embussed and proceeded to old Bde area.
1200 - BC attended conference held by Bde Comdr who had flown back, and learned extremely sketchy idea of future of Bde.
1800 - BC called at Regt and informed CO of Btys activities in France.
2030 - BC arrived at Camp.
2300 - Bty arrived in T.C.V's.
30th August 1944
Panniers and baggage arrived. Day spent checking equipment and stores and washing clothes.
31st August 1944
Checking of equipment continues.
1800 - BC attended conference at Bde HQ, and future still very uncertain, but Bty has got to be completely re-equipped and become fit to operate in seven days.
13th August 1944
0800 - Commenced loading Horsas.
1300 - RAF Film unit arrived to cover glider element.
1400 - Loading of Horsas filmed.
1530 - Loading of Horsas completed.
1630 - Checking of Horsa loads completed.
1700 - Briefing of troops with model by BC filmed and recorded by RAF Film unit.
2000 - Glider loading manifests for Horsas and Wacos completed.
14th August 1944
0800 - BHQ personnel study air photos in Ops room.
0830 - "A" Tp personnel study air photos in Ops room.
0900 - "B" Tp personnel study air photos in Ops room.
1000 - Waco party move off for Voltone airfield.
1100 - Waco loading commenced.
1245 - Waco loading completed. An amazing performance, congratulations from OC Glider Pilots.
1330 - Waco loads checked.
1700 - RAF Film unit film Horsa personnel donning full kit and checking small arms.
1830 - Capt Rice (USA) holds short service for all denominations on Voltone airfield for Waco personnel.
1900 - Waco loads signed over and marshalling commenced.
2000 - Waco marshalling completed. Tps located their gliders, re-tested lashing and bedded down.
15th August 1944
0400 - Reveille.
0500 - Troops in position in gliders.
0525 - 1st glider lift took off.
0800 - Whole formation turned back towards Italy after passing over Corsica.
0830 - Waco formation turned round again and made for France. Reason given was ground mist.
0930 - Gliders came in, only to find LZ covered with poles and pilots did a magnificent job in the circumstances. BC's glider crashed. BC evacuated to MDS. Jeep front axle smashed. (See separate list of other casualties)
List to Appx V.
List of Casualties.
Killed when Waco glider turned over on landing.
) Wounded in Waco crash landings.
) Wounded in Waco crash landings,
) returned to duty.
) Glider landed in sea. No trace
) of survivors.
WAR DIARY OF 64 FIELD BATTERY (JEEP ARTILLERY) R.A.
For month of AUGUST 1944.
Report by Lt. D.W. Abbott R.A. on his activities as F.O.O.
On the night of 15/16 August 1944, an assault which had been planned to capture Le Muy met with little success. Although the enemy forces in the town were not numerically strong (believed to be about 200), they held strategical positions from which they could snipe and machine-gun successfully and safely. The main opposition came from a heavily fortified house at 421394, on the northern outskirts of the town. The assaulting force returned with about 50 prisoners, having been unable to establish themselves.
On the following day 16 August, the 550 U.S. Glider Bn. (Lt.Col. Sacks) put in an attack on the Western side of the town, 4 Bn of 2 Indep Para Bde Group assaulted from the East.
The start point for the U.S. troops was at 425415, and they were due to move off at 1000 hrs. At 0900 hrs. I received orders to report as F.O.O. to Lt.Col. Sacks as soon as possible, and to assist the Bn if required up to an ammunition limit of 30 rds. per gun from the Battery. I took with me my Jeep and Driver Operator, O.P.A. Signaller, 22 set, two 38 sets and a 21 set. In addition I obtained from C Company two men to help carry the 22 set.
Lt.Col. Sacks plan was for A Company to cross the river (La NATURBY) at 419401, followed by B Company, Bn H.Q., and C Company in reserve. Once across the river the Bn. was to deploy - A Company to join road at 407395 and enter the town from the North West; B Company to join the road at 421398 and enter the town from the North; Bn H.Q. and C Company were to remain central between A and B Companies.
The main initial trouble was expected from the house at 421394. To deal with this, an Anti-Tank 6 Pounder was brought up, which at 1045 hrs as A Company was crossing the river, engaged the house over open sights with A.P. followed by H.E. Whether the enemy was still in occupation is not known, but after the bombardment the house offered no opposition.
I moved with L.Col. Sacks, leaving the Jeep with the Driver Operator and 21 set on the North side of the La NATURBY river at 420402, and taking the 22 set with me. The difficulty of this arrangement was that I could not maintain contact with the gun position except by establishing a ground station. This was done whenever possible, and we had no trouble in getting through until after we entered the town. Lt.Col. Sacks maintained contact with his main H.Q. Party and his Companies by means of a "Walkie Talkie" which worked troublefree throughout, and was in his words a "Godsent" as it enabled him to form an H.Q. consisting of himself and one signaller only.
The complete Bn was across the river by 1145 hrs and small arms fire commenced as the leading elements approached the town. I tried to find an O.P. on the roofs of the houses, but the country was very close and it was not possible to see anything of the town except the rooftops and the dominating clock-tower. Nothing South of the town was visible. I offered to conduct "blind" shoots if necessary, by means of the C.O.s set and map references from the Infantry. As, however, the Infantry got so close to the enemy pockets before locating them this procedure was never adopted. Apart from a machine-gun on the clock-tower which was engaged by two Heavy machine-guns, there was little opposition except from a few cleverly sighted snipers.
Bn H.Q. was established near the cemetery on the Northern outskirts of the town, and from reports of enemy dead, wounded and captured, the attack seemed to be going very well. The activities of the F.F.I. (not fully organised in this area) were useful but embarrassing, as we were never 100% sure of them. Consequently, they were held at Bn. H.Q. until the battle was over. They were well armed and equipped with knives, grenades, automatics, rifles and plenty of ammunition.
At approx. 1530 hrs we were told by A Company that all firing in the town had ceased so H.Q. and C Company moved into RV in the Main Square by the clock-tower. This apparently was the signal for firing to re-commence, and there were some anxious moments before it was realised that, in the main, the Americans were firing at each other. The order to stop firing was therefore given.
Contact was made with 4 Bn. from the East and at approx. 1800 hrs. we received a report that Sherman Tanks of the Seaborne Force, were approaching the town from the South. They entered the town at 1830 hrs. and 550 and 4 Bns took up defensive positions around the town.
The civilian population gave the occupation forces a big welcome, and released some parachutists who had dropped in the area of the town on "D" Day and whom they had been shielding since.
Capt. Martin came to the town and locating me at approx. 1730 hrs. and shortly afterwards we returned to the Battery position.
All references are from Map Sheet: EASTERN FRANCE 1/50000 Sheet XXXV - 44.
WAR DIARY of 64 FIELD BATTERY (JEEP ARTY) R.A.
for month of AUGUST 1944.
Report by Capt J.D. Skaife d'Ingerthorpe R.A.
My O.P. parachute party for the operation consisted of myself, Bdr Barnett (OPA) and Gnrs Vallance, Goulding and Bishop as signallers. Our 22 set complete with batteries was in an F type container.
The flight to the DZ area was without incident apart from a little flak from enemy shore batteries.
0515 hrs we jumped in the first half of the stick (the containers together with two other containers with PIATS being centrally released after us). The height of the drop 1200ft caused appreciable drifting and from the moment of jumping I lost all contact with the rest of my party. I had a good landing in the top of a poplar but at least 1½ miles from the DZ proper and on top of a thickly wooded hill. My orders to the party had been to Rv at the container and a long search for this ensued through the thick scrub but without sight of the container chute let alone the container. Similarly shouts for the others of my party brought no response other than short bursts of automatic fire from the rather trigger-happy Infantry who had dropped near me.
0630 hrs I decided to push on to the 4th Bn rv at 423414 as even the break of day was no help in my search, and I arrived there at
0730 hrs only to find that none of my party had arrived. All that had arrived of B Company (with whom I was working) had previously left to consolidate on hill 113,430400, and so I reported to the Company Commander there. He had 18 set communication to his Bn H.Q. and I passed a message to them to be passed on to the Battery Command Post as soon as possible advising them that I was there but without set or the rest of my party and asking for replacements. I then made a tour of the area and found that aerial photos had given a wrong impression and that in fact no observation of the surrounding country was possible due to the thickness of the trees except down on to some factory buildings at 429389 where there was considerable enemy movement.
0900 hrs Some Wacos landed on the LZ but no Horsas with the guns. B Coy. now had a line laid to Bn H.Q. so I repeated my previous message to the Battery Command Post. The rest of the morning was without incident. I felt very useless. Platoons dug in during the day. Water was very short. In the afternoon minor counter-attacks were put in up the hill from the factory area below by about 15 enemy but without success. I still had no news from the Battery although the Coy signaller had checked for me that the message had been passed on.
1800 hrs. A large force of Gliders arrived, Wacos and Horsas, both for the Americans and for ourselves. It was most impressive to see wave after wave come in for close on two hours.
16 August 0920 hrs I sent a further message to the Battery Command Post via Bn H.Q. which was received by Capt Martin (acting B.C.) who was at Bde H.Q. at the time.
1200 hrs Bdr Barnett phoned me to say that he was at Bn H.Q. with a 22 set on a Jeep and that he had signallers with him. As there was no means of man packing the set and the batteries up the hill (no tracks for Jeep) I sent them to equip properly.
1330 hrs The rest of the party arrived at Company H.Q. with set complete. I established the set in the forward Platoon area and started ranging on the factory. But the Americans who had been attacking Le MUY since 1115 hrs from the West and one Platoon of B Company were approaching the factory area from the East so I had to cease fire. The factory was later cleared and 35 P.O.W. were taken. Company H.Q. moved down to the factory area and I went with them. I had my Jeep sent round and had the 22 set fitted in it but communication was bad. As the Bn was no longer committed I got permission from the Bn Commander to return to the Battery area and have the set fixed. This I did and later returned to Bn H.Q.
17 August 0200 hrs. One Platoon was sent along the road to 449388 to block enemy caught between Le MUY and advancing seaborne forces. I went with them and established an OP at first light, but seaborne forces arrived almost immediately. The Bde was ordered into a concentration so I returned to the Battery.