National Archives catalogue number WO 171/1249.
Army Air Corps
Army Catering Corps
Defensive / Defence
Forward Defended Locality
Field Dressing Station
Prisoner of War
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Supply Dropping Zone
Month and year : June 1944
Commanding Officer : Capt J. Vischer
1st June 1944
Place: Field - U.K.
Opening day of briefing of all ranks for Operation 'OVERLORD'.
3rd June 1944
First briefing with RAF crews for Operation 'OVERLORD'.
5th June 1944
1200 - Final briefing of all ranks for Operation 'OVERLORD'.
1800 - All offrs attended final briefing of RAF crews.
2300 - Two sticks commanded by Maj F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD, 2IC Lt M. MOORE, Capt I.A. TAIT ) emplaned and took off at BRIZE NORTON airfd in ALBEMARLE a/cs. Four sticks commanded by Lt R.E.V. de LATOUR, Lt D.C.E. WELLS, Lt. R. MIDWOOD, Lt. J. VISCHER ) emplaned and took off at HARWELL airfd in ALBEMARLE a/cs.
2330 - One stick commanded by No.910946 Sjt. HULME, W. emplaned and took off from KEEVIL airfd in STIRLING a/c.
6th June 1944
0020 - The following pathfinder sticks were dropped on the following DZs in NORMANDY, France EAST of the R. ORNE.
(i) DZ "V" ref map. 1776
Two sticks commanded by Lt. R.E.V. de LATOUR and Lt. D.C.E. WELLS. One OR No.319425 Pte. DEAKIN received jumping injury (broken leg) on landing and was later evacuated.
0035 - One "EUREKA" set up on DZ coding channels "C/A".
0040 - 'T' set out on ground using holophane lights and coding letter 'V'. One OR wounded No.1100814 Pte. CHRISTIE, P. and later evacuated.
Comment on Drop: Sticks dropped well over DZ by RAF. Stick assembly slowed up by:
(a) extra heavy load carried on men, taking up extra space in a/c and resulting in cramped positions when running in.
(b) dykes filled with water on extremities of DZ.
(c) noise and confusion created by RAF bombing of enemy battery posn at SALLENELLES refmap. 1376.
Some kitbags broke away under the shock of the chute developing and were lost. Of the four 'EUREKAS' dropped on this DZ three were retained intact, the fourth was put out of action by the drop and detonated on the DZ.
0145 - Both sticks assemble at 9 Para Bn RV wood refmap 168757 with A coy 9 Para Bn to set out lights and 'EUREKA' for glider landing on enemy battery posn refmap 1577.
0405 - 'EUREKA' switched on, channels C/A immediately east of battery posn.
0415 - Seven holophane lights set out on ground marking 'T', coding letter "A".
0600 - Sticks moved off to company conc area LE BAS RANVILLE refmap 1073, contacted 9 Para Bn in area LE PLEIN refmap 1275, assisted in giving covering fire for Commando attack on AMFREVILLE refmap 1274. No.3663154 L cpl HOWARTH, L. killed by enemy action.
2000 - Both sticks reported in to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
(ii) DZ 'N' ref map 1174
Two stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT and Lt. M. MOORE dropped on SE corner of DZ.
0023 - Major F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD made premature and accidental exit from a/c SE of DZ ref map Eastings 15-20 Northings 70-75. Major F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD has not been seen since and is reported missing.
0020 - One stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER dropped across SE corner of DZ. This stick should have dropped on DZ 'K' refmap 1269 but owing to navigational area by RAF crew the stick was released over DZ 'N'.
0035 - Stick under Lt. J. VISCHER assembled on DZ contacted part of Capt. I.A. TAIT's stick and set up 'EUREKA' beacon and 'T' of 5 lights. 'EUREKA' switched on to channels D/C, holophane lamp coding letter 'K'.
0130 - All three sticks assembled at Xroads refmap 125740 under Capt. I.A. TAIT with exception of Maj. F.G.L. LENNOX-BOYD and one OR (No.14416184 Pte. NEWTON, R. who rejoined the company two days later).
Comment on Drop: All three sticks were dropped somewhat off the DZ across the SE corner. Sticks were slow. This was due to heavy loads and cramped spacing in the a/c. Stick assembly on the ground consequently took longer than intended. A number of kitbags broke loose during the drop and were lost. No jumping injuries were sustained by any of the three sticks. No 'EUREKAS' were compromised on this DZ but three were damaged by the drop.
0350 - Marking of LZ 'N' for night glider landing - Div HQ tps - under Capt. I.A. TAIT. Three sticks commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT, Lt. J. VISCHER, Lt. M. MOORE set out lights on three separate landing strips. Two 'EUREKAS' were set up.
Comment on Landing: Successful landing was made by most gliders, some overshooting the lights. It was later reported that the lights were clearly visible.
0700 - The party made its way to company conc area near Div HQ at LE BAS RANVILLE.
0020 - (iii) DZ 'K' refmap 1269
One stick commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD dropped on DZ.
0035 - One 'EUREKA' set up coding channels D/C, one holophane lamp coding letter 'K'. Five of the stick failed to report to stick RV. Four of these have not been seen since and are reported missing (No.3654430 L sjt BOARDMAN, A., No.14001912 L cpl STOODLEY, R., No.5124865 Pte. NAUGHTON, L cpl HACKMAN, R.) No.1435752 L cpl. O'SULLIVAN, E.D. killed by enemy action on DZ.
0130 - Remainder of stick assembled under Lt. R. MIDWOOD at 8 Para Bn RV, Road and track junc refmap 132690. A thorough search of DZ was carried out.
0530 - Remainder of stick moved off under Lt. R. MIDWOOD to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
1230 - Lt. R. MIDWOOD and four ORs reported to company conc area at LE BAS RANVILLE.
Comment on Drop: Slow stick on account of heavy loads. Stick came under heavy fire almost immediately after landing. One 'EUREKA' carried by L sjt BOARDMAN is missing and must be considered as probably compromised. This DZ has been in the hands of the enemy ever since D-Day. It has therefore not been possible to establish the exact fate of this 'EUREKA'. Search of the DZ is at present impossible. Owing to enemy opposition one 'EUREKA' was abandoned on the DZ after being detonated.
0100 - One stick of twenty men commanded by Sjt HULME dropped with the mainbody on DZ 'N'. Three ORs sustained jumping injuries (No.1305139 Pte. KING, R. - fractured leg, No.3663662 Pte. STEPHENS, J. - fractured leg, No.14408455 Pte. ALLCOCK, H. - twisted ankle.) and were later evacuated.
0130 - The stick assembled at xroads refmap 125740 and reported to Capt I.A. TAIT.
2130 - Daylight glider landing on LZ 'N'. Ground aids set up by one stick commanded by Capt I.A. TAIT.
Daylight glider landing on LZ 'W'. Ground aids set up by one stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER.
Comment on Landings: Both landings were highly successful.
2200 - Lt. DCE WELLS wounded by mortar fire in area LE BAS RANVILLE and evacuated.
2330 - Nightsupply drop on SDZ 'N' SDZ marking carried out by one stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT. Lt. R.E.V. de LATOUR re-promoted temporary Capt.
7th June 1944
0200 - Nightsupply drop on SDZ 'N' SDZ marking carried out by one stick commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD. Capt. REV de LATOUR appointed LO to 1 SS Bde.
1200 - One section commanded by Lt. M. MOORE sent to reinforce forward company position of 12 Para Bn area refmap 105730. Remainder of company man defensive positions Div HQ area against an attempt by the enemy to break through. No.833785 L cpl. Glenn, F. killed in action, area LE BAS RANVILLE. Enemy sniping, mortaring and shelling of LE BAS RANVILLE area throughout the day.
8th June 1944
2100 - Daylight Supply Drop on SDZ 'N' Ground aids set out by one stick commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT. DZ was mortared and shelled by enemy immediately following the drop. One Platoon commanded by Lt. R. MIDWOOD took up positions East of DZ in order to cover DZ.
0530 - Daylight supply drop on SDZ 'N' Ground aids set out by one stick commanded by Lt. J. VISCHER.
9th June 1944
0500 - Two fighting patrols commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT and Lt. J. VISCHER sent to operate in woods East of DZ 'N' for protection of DZ.
0800 - Supply drop cancelled and patrols withdrawn.
1100 - Three patrols commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT, Lt. R. MIDWOOD and Sjt. E. JORDAN sent to operate in woods SE of LZ 'N' and give protection to REME recovery section sent to salvage two light tanks from HAMILCAR gliders.
1200 - The patrol commanded by Capt. I.A. TAIT penetrated into the village of BREVILLE refmap 133745. On reaching the crossroads in the centre of the village the patrol came under enemy fire. In the course of the ensuing engagement Capt I.A. TAIT 153407 and No.14401144 Pte. K. GILLUM were killed. No.4122305 CSM B.P. MCGUINNESS was wounded, but took command of the patrol and withdrew to x-roads refmap 125740.
1240 - The patrol came under enemy mortar fire No.281845 Sjt. F. SCOGING killed by enemy action and No.5393160 Pte. D. MORRELL wounded, and subsequently evacuated.
1300 - CSM McGUINNESS evacuated. Lt. R. MIDWOOD repromoted temporary Captain. Sjt. H. SMITH No.3599072 promoted A/U/WO II (CSM).
10th June 1944
0430 - Supply drop on SDZ 'N' Ground party under Lt. J. VISCHER.
2215 - Supply drop on SDZ 'W' Ground party under Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR. No.5124865 Pte. LOVATT evacuated suffering from battle exhaustion.
12th June 1944
1620 - No.409281 Pte. R. BEATTIE wounded and evacuated.
2400 - Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR ceased to be attached as L.O. to 1 SS Bde.
13th June 1944
0130 - The company moved up to BREVILLE refmap 1374 by march route under Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR to reinforce 12 Para Bn.
0300 - Three patrols commanded by Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR, Capt. R. MIDWOOD and Lt. J. VISCHER sent to clear wood immediately East of BREVILLE.
0430 - Standing patrol in woods immediately East of BREVILLE refmap 136744 under Lt. J. VISCHER. Remainder of company occupied def posn in and around BREVILLE village.
0700 - The body of Capt. I.A. TAIT was found in BREVILLE village and buried in orchard directly North of the church, refmap 133746.
1900 - The body of No.14401144 Pte. K. GILLUM was found and buried beside that of Capt. I.A. TAIT.
14th June 1944
1000 - The company withdrew from BREVILLE and returned by march route to conc area LE BAS RANVILLE.
2137 - Supply drop on SDZ 'W' Ground party provided under Capt. R. MIDWOOD.
15th June 1944
Lt. J. VISCHER attached to 152 Highland Bde. as LO.
16th June 1944
0430 - The company proceeded by march route to HEROUVILLETTE refmap 1272 to take up posn in line and cover the relief of 8 Para Bn by 7 Para Bn.
1200 - The company pulled out of HEROUVILLETTE and returned by march route to conc area in LE BAS DE RANVILLE.
18th June 1944
2137 - Supply drop on SDZ 'W' Ground party commanded by Capt. R. MIDWOOD set out ground aids.
19th June 1944
Capt. R. MIDWOOD evacuated to 86 Gen. Hosp. for injuries received when jumping.
20th June 1944
0700 - Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR and 41 ORs from the company proceeded to 7 Para Bn area at LE MESNIL refmap 142728 to take over night and day patrols for 48 hrs.
1600 - A fighting patrol commanded by Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR set out to attack the enemy's forward posn refmap 149721. The patrol was allotted the task of determining the strength of these posns and securing PWs for interrogation.
1620 - Covering fire provided by one company of 7 Para Bn and Bn mortars.
1625 - The patrol made contact with the enemy and encountered vigorous S.A. fire.
1630 - The patrol penetrated the enemy's forward defences and forced him to abandon them.
1635 - The patrol withdrew after inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and capturing 3 PWs. Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR was mortally wounded whilst leading the patrol in the final assault, and evacuated to 195 A/L Fd Amb. No.951591 Pte. J. MORRISSEY wounded and evacuated.
1650 - Capt. R.E.V. de LATOUR died of wounds on reaching 195 A/L Fd Amb.
1700 - Lt. J. VISCHER ceased to be attached to 152 Highland Bde as LO and assumed command of the company.
2330 - Two night listening patrols sent out under Sjt. JORDAN and Sjt. FORDYCE. Lt. J. VISCHER promoted temporary Captain.
21st June 1944
0300 - Listening patrols returned.
1025 - Number 14408455 Pte. ALLCOCK, H. killed by enemy action.
2330 - Two listening patrols sent out under Sjt. JORDAN and Sjt. HOLLEY.
22nd June 1944
0330 - Listening patrols returned.
0730 - 14619609 Pte. WATSON, R. wounded and evacuated.
1200 - The company withdrew from area LE MESNIL to conc area LE BAS RANVILLE.
23rd June 1944
1000 - Lt. M. MOORE wounded and evacuated.
2037 - Supply drop on SDZ 'W' Ground party commanded by Capt. J. VISCHER.
24th June 1944
Capt. J. VISCHER appointed Div defence officer with under command Div Def Pl. Company allotted task of Div def in conjunction with Div Def Pl.
25th June 1944
1645 - Company moved to new conc area at ECARDE refmap 1175.
30th June 1944
2037 - Supply drop on SDZ 'W' Ground party commanded by Capt. J. VISCHER.
WEATHER: Windy, fine weather during early part of month, cloudy weather with frequent showers during second half.
Nominal roll of officers: Capt. J. VISCHER AAC 82561.
Month and year : July 1944
Commanding Officer : Capt J. Vischer
1st to 24th July 1944
Company employed on Div Def.
7th July 1944
No.4974733 L cpl HALL, F., 4465692 Pte Wright, E. ) evacuated to 225 (Para) Fd. Amb. suffering from injuries caused by road accident.
9th July 1944
No.1070383 Pte. WALLACE, W. A.C.C. evacuated to 225 (Para) Fd Amb suffering from poisoned hand.
10th July 1944
No.4105496 W/Sjt FORDYCE, P.J., 3774163 W/Sjt JORDAN, E. ) granted immediate emergency commissions and SOS this unit w.e.f. 1 July 44. Authy: C-in-C 21 Army Gp., TPM GHQ 2nd Echelon 2E21/PIHQ(4858) of 14100[B?] Lt. P.J. FORDYCE taken on the strength of this unit w.e.f. 1 July 44.
11th July 1944
No.911966 W/Sjt RAMAGE, W.R. evacuated to 225 (Para) Fd Amb as a result of injuries caused by road accident.
16th July 1944
OC Company and 1 OR attended and investiture of Officers and ORs of 6 Airborne Div and 1 and 4 SS Bde by General Sir Bernard L. MONTGOMERY K.C.B., D.S.O. held in area of Div HQ.
19th July 1944
2330 - No.13028371 Pte. GREGORIEFF, A. wounded by shrapnel during GAF bombing attack and evacuated to 33 F.D.S.
24th July 1944
1 Pl. of 28 ORs commanded by Lt. P.J. FORDYCE placed temporarily under command of 12 Para Bn. Pl. moved into the lines and took up posns in LE MESNIL area refmap 144726.
2300 - Listening patrol, and standing patrol sent forward to observe enemy FDLs LE MESNIL area.
25th July 1944
2300 - (until 0130 hrs 26 July) Recce patrols under Sjt LINDORES carried out night reconnaissance of enemy FDLs.
26th July 1944
0130 - (until 0430) Recce patrol under Lt. P.J. FORDYCE confirmed location of enemy FDLs.
27th to 30th July 1944
Night and Day standing patrol and night listening patrols under Lt. P.J. FORDYCE, Sjt. LINDORES, Sjt. DRAKE and Sjt. LONG.
29th July 1944
0500 - No.453407 W/Sjt. DRAKE, L. wounded by enemy mortar fire (superficial headwounds) and evacuated to 195 A/L Fd Amb.
30th July 1944
0230 - No.5344131 W/Cpl. Brooker (fractured leg, shellwounds) 14348839 Pte WILKINSON (fractured arm, shellwounds) wounded by enemy shellfire and evacuated to 195 A/L Fd Amb.
31st July 1944
Pl under command 12 Para Bn withdrew from LE MESNIL AREA refmap 144726 to RANVILLE area refmap 110735
Weather: cloudy, with prolonged wet spells and westwind.
Nominal roll of officers serving with this unit: 82561 T/Capt. J. VISCHER W/Lt P.J. FORDYCE.
Month and year : August 1944
Commanding Officer : Capt J. Vischer
4th August 1944
No.1444495 Pte HARDWICK W. admitted 77 Gen Hosp suffering from injuries to hand.
5th August 1944
Platoon under Lt. P.J. FORDYCE ceased to be attached to 12 (Yorks) Bn Para Regt and rejoined the company. One Platoon under command of Lt. P.J. FORDYCE took up positions in the line SALANELLES area refmap 123773.
11th August 1944
No.2597866 Pte TOWNSHEND G.J. ACC, joined the company from Residues UK.
17th August 1944
The platoon under command of Lt. P.J. FORDYCE withdrawn from the line SALANELLES Area refmap 123773 and returned to Div HQ area ECARDE 1175.
19th August 1944
The company moved with Div HQ to area EAST of TROARN at ST. SAMSON 1868.
20th August 1944
One ground party of 6 ORs under Lt. P.J. FORDYCE attached 3 Para Bde.
21st August 1944
Coy moved with Div HQ to area BEAUMONT EN AUGE refmap 4503.
22nd August 1944
Fighting patrol under Capt. J. VISCHER carried out search for isolated enemy units in area refmap 0548. Lt. P.J. FORDYCE and ground party of 6 ORs ceased to be attached to 3 Para Bde and returned to this unit.
24th August 1944
The company moved with Div HQ to area Le Barquet refmap 5907. Two patrols sent out under Capt. J. VISCHER and CSM H. SMITH No.3599072 to clear woods of enemy area LE BARQUET refmap 5807.
26th August 1944
Lt. P.J. FORDYCE and 28 ORs attached to Airborne Armoured Recce Regt.
0600 - Moved as infantry riding on tanks in attack on PONT AUDEMER refmap 7609 by Airborne Armoured Recce Regt and 5 Para Bde.
1000 - Objective reached. West bank of river seized and held.
1100 - No.4801227 Cpl. HARRIS, C. killed in action. No.14419607 Pte. MACGREGROR, R. WOUNDED in action and evacuated to 224 (Para) Fd Amb. No.4615020 Pte. PENNINGTON, J. wounded in action and evacuated to 224 (Para) Fd Amb.
1200 - Ground held by platoon under command Lt. P.J. FORDYCE taken over by 7 Para Bn.
1430 - Lt. P.J. FORDYCE and Platoon ceased to be attached to Airborne Armoured Recce Regt and rejoined the company. Patrol under command Capt. J. VISCHER carried out search for isolated enemy units in wood area EASTINGS 59-61 NORTHINGS 05-07.
27th August 1944
Coy moved with Div HQ to area ST AUX CHARTRANS refmap 5006.
28th August 1944
Patrol under Capt. J. VISCHER carried out search for isolated enemy units in FORET ST GATIEN area EASTINGS 53-57 NORTHINGS 06-08.
31st August 1944
No.14600434 Rfn CLUTTERBUCK, T., No.14635244 Rfn STRONACH, A. ) attached as Jeep Drivers to this company from 6 Airlanding Bde. No.T/14245193 Dvr. BODDY, M.J. ceased to be attached to this unit as MT driver.
Weather: Fine with short periods of rain and cloud.
Roll of officers serving with the company: Capt. J. VISCHER No.82561, Lt. P.J. FORDYCE.
Month and year : September 1944
Commanding Officer : Capt J. Vischer
1st September 1944
Practice stick-jumping from 6 C47 a/c at NETHERAVON airfield by residues.
4th September 1944
Practice stick-jumping from 9 C47 a/c at NETHERAVON airfield by residues.
The coy under Capt. J. VISCHER, less vehicle party, moved from ST MARTIN AUX CHARTRANS refmap 5006 (1/50000) to Transit Camp 60 area ARROMANCHES.
5th September 1944
Vehicle party under Lt. P. FORDYCE moved from ST MARTIN AUX CHARTRANS to ARROMANCHES and embarked the same day for UK. The main party under Capt. J. VISCHER embarked at ARROMANCHES on HMS "INVICTA" for UK.
Practice stick-jumping by residues from 6 C47 a/c at NETHERAVON airfield.
6th September 1944
Vehicle party under Lt. P. FORDYCE disembarked at GOSPORT and proceeded by road to LARKHILL.
7th September 1944
Main party under Capt. J. VISCHER disembarked at SOUTHAMPTON and proceeded by train to LARKHILL. Practice stick-jumping from C47 a/c at NETHERAVON airfield.
10th to 24th September 1944
Coy away on 14 days Privelege Leave.