National Archives catalogue number WO 170/2591.

 

Abbreviation

Bde

Bn

Comdr

Coy

DID

Grp

i/c

Indep

LST

OC

Op
OR

Plt

RASC

RE

SP

Sqn
Tpt

wef

Brigade

Battalion

Commander

Company

Detail Issue Depot

Group

In-Command

Independent

Landing Ship Tank

Officer Commanding

Operation

Other Ranks

Platoon

Royal Army Service Corps

Royal Engineers

Supply Point

Squadron

Transport

With Effect

 

 

Month and year : August 1944

Commanding Officer : Capt H.J.C. Cornish

 

1st August 1944

Place: Ottavia, Rome, Italy

 

Nothing to report.

 

2nd August 1944

BIGOT-ANVIL OP. Instruction No.2 received.

 

3rd August 1944

Nothing to report.

 

4th August 1944

Nothing to report.

 

5th August 1944

4 x 3 ton vehicles reported to 92 D.I.D. ROME and were loaded to capacity with Balanced Rations (Preserved).  (DDST's (Rome Allied Area Command) memo states only sound cases and supplies, well within warranty and in the best possible condition will be loaded).  Special op. rations were issued from the S.P. according to op. instruction No.2 (BIGOT-ANVIL).  Op. Instruction No.3 received which stated that vehicles would be concentrated in Unit location by 1800 hrs 9 Aug 44.  Seaborne element personnel will be at 6 hrs notice to move w.e.f. that date.  All personnel are to carry 48 hrs rations.  These comprised of 2 x 24 hr one man packs.

 

6th August 1944

Capt. Cornish paraded all personnel in order to pass on what information he could to the men concerning the forthcoming op., and also to detail the men who would be participating in it, and the men who would be forming the BASE party.

 

7th August 1944

A violent thunderstorm broke over the camp area during the afternoon, giving very little warning.  Store tents were blown over, and 1 bivouac was struck by lightning; a very hectic hour.  Reconstruction commenced when storm had abated.

 

8th August 1944

Instructions for BASE detail of this Unit was issued by the O.C. to Capt Thomas.  This instruction stated briefly the task to be performed by the BASE detail party which consisted of 22 ORs under command of Capt. R.G. Thomas, and that the party was to be affiliated to 4 Bn. for administration including pay, laundry, water, boot repairs etc.

 

9th August 1944

All trucks were loaded and concentrated in Unit location, and were prepared to move at a moments notice.

 

10th August 1944

Movement order and Op. Instruction No 6 were received just before midnight.  Move to take place a.m. tomorrow.  First Unit to pass starting point @ 0700 hrs.

 

11th August 1944

A total of 50 vehicles moved off @ 0900 hrs under this Unit's serial.  Vehicles including 5 belonging to "A" Coy 2 Chem. Bn- U.S. Army, Glider Pilot Sqn.  (2) and 1st Indep Para. Plt (1).  Highway 7 was taken.  The journey was made at a slow average speed, the convoy finally arriving at the destination @ 1700 hrs.

 

12th August 1944

Place: Lago di'Patria

 

Vehicles will be divided - to be transported on 3 ships and 1 LST.  The first vehicles to be loaded will be 1 Jeep and 1-15 cwt vehicle on H.M.S. "Empire Grange" and the Water Truck will be loaded on U.S.S. "Marshall Elliott".

 

13th August 1944

The aforementioned vehicles left the transit area for concentration area IOWA in NAPLES.  Capt. Cornish appointed T.Q.M. on the LST 10-D-15.  He will have with him the following vehicles from this Unit:- 1 x Jeep and 8 x 3 tonners loaded with Bn. Signal Stores ammunition, and RE Stores.

 

14th August 1944

Capt. Cornish attended a conference held @ Embarkation Grp HQ to discuss the loading of vehicles for D+10.  Information was given that the whole of the 3 tonners would not be shipped on D+10.  The remainder would follow on D+15.

 

15th August 1944

All the seaborne element are feeding on U.S. Army "C" Type rations.  Hard going!  Literally speaking, millions of mosquitos were buzzing around throughout the day, and all personnel were complaining of mosquito bites and ant bites.

 

16th August 1944

Embarkation orders for U.S.S. "Achernon" were put into operation.  The ship was carrying 2 x 3 tonners belonging to this Unit, loaded with equipment for use by the Supply Section, and motor cycles belonging to the Bde Signal Coy.

 

17th August 1944

Uneventful.  The high wind, heat, and the dust is making life very uncomfortable.

 

18th August 1944

Vehicles to be loaded on to the LST were moved into concentration area "TEXAS".  All non-driving personnel were to travel on this LST.

 

19th August 1944

The remaining vehicles and personnel at the staging area are just waiting for D+15.

 

20th August 1944

Seaborne element was cancelled.  All transport and personnel returned from concentration areas to the staging area, except 2 drivers and vehicles aboard U.S.S. "Achernar" which had pulled out from the quay.  It was assumed that these 2 vehicles would proceed to S. France and return at some unknown date.  All personnel had been issued with francs in exchange for lire some days ago.  Lt. Dalziel (Officer i/c Tpt) was taken ill suddenly and immediately admitted to hospital.

 

21st August 1944

Left staging area for BASE location at ROME.  Everyone was pleased to move out of a very uncomfortable and trying location, to surroundings which are much pleasanter, but at the same time, after days of waiting were disappointed that the sea trip - which promised new adventure - was cancelled.  One vehicle overturned on the return journey to ROME.  A burst tyre was the cause of the accident, but the driver escaped uninjured.

 

22nd August 1944

All vehicles were off-loaded.  31 x 3 tonners left @ 1900 hrs for Bde Transit Area at NAPLES to be used for conveying Bde Airborne personnel from the docks at NAPLES to the Transit Camp.  Personal cash was exchanged for Italian lire again.

 

23rd August 1944

Vehicles held at NAPLES awaiting arrival of Airborne personnel from S. France, who are returning by sea.

 

24th August 1944

Nothing to report.

 

25th August 1944

Nothing to report.

 

26th August 1944

Nothing to report.

 

27th August 1944

Uneventful.

 

28th August 1944

4 x 3 tonners returned from NAPLES loaded with operational rations.

 

29th August 1944

The vehicles returned from NAPLES with personnel, also loads of parachutes salvaged from the operation.  The assistance of an outside Unit was required to bring the whole Airborne element back.

 

30th August 1944

A conference was held at Bde H.Q. to ascertain the parachutist strength of Units.  The Deputy Comdr. gave a rough outline of future operations.

 

31st August 1944

The Deputy Comdr held a further conference (Bde H.Q.) @ 1800 hrs.  He decided that a detachment of parachutists from this Unit would be included in the next operation for supply duties.  A minimum number of personnel would remain behind at BASE.  Probable number:- 1 Sgt and 5 ORs.