Go to it Gunners

War Diary for 2nd Airlanding LAA Bty R.A. (T.A.)


February 1944


1st – Bulford
  Battery completed mobilisation under authority 79/MOB/5774/597 (AG. 5 MOB). dtd 4. Jan 44.

18th – Stoneycross
  Battery was allocated 7 Horsa gliders. Six were utilised to take 3 complete 40mm gun detachments and

           was used for Bty H.Q. No.1 load. Airborne at Stoneycross aerodrome. General route was South over

           the English Channel; North West, crossing the coast near Lyme Regis; landing at Silk Hill O.S. Sheet

           122/6267. Those gliders on landing overshot into a wood and were seriously damaged. Losses to

           personnel and carried equipment was nil.

March 1944

8th – Clacton-on-Sea
Battery allotted period 8-21 March at 16th R.A. Practice Camp ( A.A.) Clacton-on-Sea. Intention was to fire 20 40mm detachments each with an allocation of 180 rds, and 60 20m.m. Hispano detachments each with 360 rds.

Firing with 20mm. Hispano showed a marked improvement, but considerable stoppages was still too frequent. 40 mm firing results were as follows:-

 Total Rounds Fired Line of Sight  Rounds Hits

21st - Clacton-on-Sea
Battery returned to Bulford, leaving one troop behind for additional firing.

26th – Bulford
  Battery took part in 6th Airborne Divisional exercises. “Bizz II”. The Battery had two tasks i.e. (1) the

           defence of Radisk Bridge (OS 104/7319) and (2) the defence of Faringdon (OS 104/7315) in support of

           British invasion troops.

29th – Bulford
Advanced party leaves to take over accommodation at Boston (Lincs).

30th – Bulford
‘A’ Troop leave for Clacton-on-Sea to relieve ‘C’ Troops who had been left there for additional firing. One officer and 46 OR’s detailed for specialised training in enemy equipment. 20mm Polston equipment arrive to replace the 20mm Hispano guns.

April 1944
1st – Bulford to Boston
 Main Battery party leaves by road for Boston (Lincs). Arrives there 1900hrs.
1900  ‘C’ Troop arrives at Boston from Clacton-on-Sea

5th – Boston
2359  All leave stopped until further notice

8th – Boston
  ‘B’ Troop go to Clacton-on-Sea to return ‘A’ Troop

9th – Boston
0200  ‘A’ Troop return to Boston from Clacton-on-Sea

10th – 12th – Boston
Successful experiments in (1) use of glider landing troughs for bridging small dykes and in (2) utilising trailers 10 cwt for floating jeeps and personnel etc across rivers.

17th – Boston
  ‘C’ Troop proceed by road to Clacton-on-Sea to return ‘B’ Troop. 40mm firing results since 21 March are as follows:

 Total Rounds Fired Line of Sight  Rounds Hits

23rd – Boston
Battery returns by road to Bulford.

26th – Bulford
‘A’ Troop leave for Clacton-on-Sea to return ‘C’ Troop. 20mm Polston practice ammunition is now available and the new equipment is being fired at Clacton. First reports are excellent. 

May 1944
4th – Bulford
‘A’ Troop return from a period on detachment at Clacton-on-Sea, firing 20mm Polston and 40mm guns.
‘B’ Troop leave for Clacton-on-Sea to relieve ‘A’ Troop.

14th – Bulford
‘B’ Troop return to Bulford.
‘C’ Troop proceed to Clacton-on-Sea.

17th – Bulford
Three subalterns posted to this unit from the 53rd Air Landing Light Regt R.A. and attached for all purposes to this Battery’s S.S. detachment. The S.S. detachment, comprising 4 officers and 46 OR’s, leaves for marshalling area.

19th – Bulford
H.M. the King accompanied by the Queen and Princess Elizabeth inspected the Battery on a Divisional parade.

26th – Bulford
‘A’ Troop proceed to Clacton-on-Sea.
‘C’ Troop leave Clacton-on-Sea and bivouac for two nights on return journey to Bulford.

28th – Bulford
During night 27/28 ‘C’ Troops attached in bivouac area by a detachment of ‘B’ Troop.

29th – Bulford
Notification of new W/E for REME Wksp Section. S/Sgt (armament artificer) and Craftsmen (armourer) have arrived. (Notified in ACI’s 5th April ’44).

June 1944
8th – Bulford
‘B’ Troop proceed to Clacton-on-Sea for 20mm and 40mm firing practice.

11th – Bulford
‘A’ Troop return to Bulford from Clacton-on-Sea.

20th – Bulford
Firing finishes for the Battery at Clacton-on-Sea with a competition shoot between the best detachments.

25th – Bulford
29 OR’s attached to the 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. and 31 OR’s attached to the 2nd Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. for training as anti-tank gunners.

July 1944
10th – Bulford
An intensive course of physical training starts under the supervision of the A.P.T.C as a preliminary to parachute training.

28th – Bulford
14 O.R. reinforcements posted in from 41st R.H.U. Aldershot.

29th – Bulford
6 Officers and 150 OR’s proceed to Ringway for parachute training.

August 1944
11th – Bulford
Completion of parachute training course at Ringway. 6 officers and 92 OR’s qualified as parachutists.

28th – Bulford
W/Sgt Ingleton. H. promoted W.O. II and B.S.M. of this Battery.

29th – Bulford
W/B.S.M. Knight. D.J. posted from this Battery to 41st R.H.U.
Amendment to W/E allows for three Troop Sergeants to be promoted to W.O.II

30th – Bulford
Lieut. M.W. Jude R.A. posted to this Battery.

31st – Bulford
T/Capt: D.E. Swayne R.A. posted to Home Details in rank of W/Lieut pending posting.

September 1944
1st – Gosport
Seaborne party consisting of 3 officers and 125 OR’s, heavy vehicles and 6 x 40mm guns, embarked U.K for the Arnhem operation.

2nd - Courseulles
Disembarked Courseulles and harboured north of Caen.

3rd – Courseulles
Proceed in convoy, with objective Holland, via Gison, Croisy, Port Nouval, Hal, Overijse.

10th – 16th – Overijse
Remained in harbour at Overijse awaiting commencement of the airborne operation.

17th – Harwell
Battery commander and Battery clerk, as recce: party, left by glider from Harwell aerodrome attached to British airborne Corps H.Q., and landed at Groesbeek. Battery commander slightly wounded in left arm by strafing M.E. 109.

17th – Overijse
Sea-party leaves Overijse and proceeds via Helchtchen And Eindhoven to Veghel.

21st – Veghel
Enemy tanks cut the road East of Veghel. Guns deployed in an anti-tank role. Orders to pace out and return to Eindhoven.

22nd – Nijmegen
Sea party proceed to Nijmegen via Grave.

23rd – Nijmegen
In harbour near Nijmegen. Battery clerk from recce: party contacts the sea party.

24th – Nijmegen
Battery commander contacts the sea party.

24th – Bulford
Air party of 8 officers and 148 OR’s to defend air strip near Grave.

26th – Grave
Sea party moves up from Nijmegen to defend airstrip near Grave. Air party leaves Saltby Aerodrome at 1115 hrs by C.47. A/C and touches down on this landing strip at approximately 13.30 hrs.

26th – Bulford
Remaining 12 x 40mm guns with detachment commanders under command Captain S.G.A. Main R.A. move to transit camp at Tarrant Rushton Aerodrome.

27th – Grave
6 x 40mm guns defend landing strip.

30th – Grave
6 guns pulled out and moved to defend British Airborne Corps H.Q. at Nijmegen. All personnel surplus to gun detachments move to harbour at Wichen.

October 1944
1st – Bulford
Party returns from Tarrant Rushton transit camp to Bulford, their part in the operation being cancelled.

4th – Nijmegen
Personnel surplus to gun detachments move from Wijchen to defend Airborne Corps HQ. in an infantry role.

6th – Nijmegen
Battery Commander’s driver wounded in leg by German anti-personnel mine.

9th – Nijmegen
Battery commences return journey to U.K. in a Corps convoy, staying for the night at Tirelesmark, Belgium.

10th – Tirelesmark
Convoy continues via Brussels to Ostend. Battery Captain emplaned for U.K. at Brussels, landing at Northolt Aerodrome.

13th - Ostend
Main party embarked for U.K.

14th – Tilbury

17th – Bulford
Battery proceeded on 10 days disembarkation leave.

November 1944
1st – Bulford
Battery returns from 14 days disembarkation leave.

24th - Monkton-Farleigh
Battery vacates Bulford camp and moves to new quarters at Monkton-Farleigh in Corsham Garrison (Wiltshire). 

December 1944
6th - Monkton-Farleigh
Battery proceeds on 10 days bulk leave on orders from 6th Airborne Division.

14th - Monkton-Farleigh
6 x 6 pdr 7 cwk equipments delivered to assist in training prior to conversion from Light A.A. to Anti-Tank.

20th - Monkton-Farleigh
Battery placed at 48hrs notice to proceed to B.L.A. as a L.A.A. Bty and as part of the 6th A/B Division.

26th - Monkton-Farleigh
48 hours stand-by order cancelled by H.Q. British Airborne Corps.
An Anti-Tank A.I.G. attached from the School of Artillery to the Battery for training.

28th - Monkton-Farleigh
8 officers and all senior N.C.O’s proceed on a 14 day L.A.A – A/TK conversion course to the School of Artillery.

January 1945
12th - Monkton-Farleigh
8 officers and the junior ‘NCO’s of the Battery proceed on 14 days L.A.A – A/Tk conversion course at the School of Artillery.

16th - Monkton-Farleigh
Lieut A. J. Bain R.A. attached to the Battery as an anti-tank instructor.

21st - Monkton-Farleigh
Receipt of S.P. & D. District T.P.M. reference D.999 reverting 2 A/L L.A.A. Bty R.A. to War Office Control W.E.F.

23rd - Monkton-Farleigh
Receipt of War Office 20/Misc/2371 (AG6a) disbanding 2A/L L.A.A. Bty R.A. and converting it into 5th A/L A/Tk Bty R.A. and 6th A/L A/TK Bty R.A. 22/Jan/45. Authority SD1 G141 of 24 Jan 45. T.P.M. received 29/Jan/45.