355 S/L Battery and 221 LAA Battery

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Paul Mercer, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Paul Mercer

    Paul Mercer Member

    I've started researching my late father's service pre and during WW2.
    I have his service records from MOD Historical Disclosures.
    He joined the TA in 1937 with the 39th AA Lancs Fusilliers/RE before the unit transferred to the RA in August 1940.
    He served with 355 S/L Battery and his records show that he was stationed in Dounby (The Orkneys) Maghull - arriving just in time for the Liverpool Blitz and later moved to Preston.
    In 1943 he was posted to 221 LAA Battery where I think he was stationed on the south coast for the German V1 offensive.
    In 1944 he was re regimented to 19 LAA RA moving to 1st Dorsets in January 45 and finally with N. Staffs until April 46.
    I am particularly interested in when his searchlight troop was stationed in Downham (near Clitheroe Lancs where he met my mother) and for any pointers on how to progress. The IWM have some records of 355 and 221 but not digitalised.
    Any help on where to look would be very much appreciated.
    Paul Mercer
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Paul
    there are a couple of members on here who can copy war diaries at the National archives at Kew if you so wish


    regards
    Clive
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    355 SL Battery have a war diary up to April 1941 then nothing until 1943. There's a 221 AA (Z) Battery from the beginning of 1943 to mid 1944. Not sure I can remember what a Z Battery is.
     
  4. Paul Mercer

    Paul Mercer Member

    Thank you Clive. I didn't expect replies so very quickly!
    Best Regards
    Paul
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  6. Paul Mercer

    Paul Mercer Member

    Thanks Drew. Let me find as much info as I can from my elderly mother (still going at 94!)
    I'll certainly be getting back to you.
    Best Regards
    Paul
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Blimey - Wasn't expecting that Clive.

    If the records state he was with a Light Ant-Aircraft Battery then it would be a Bofors or similar not the Z Battery thingy with rockets. I suspect there may not be any battery diaries and the unit will be incorporated within the regimental war diaries.
     
  8. Paul Mercer

    Paul Mercer Member

    Yes - he was definitely on Bofars after search lights. As mentioned - he was in an inner or outer? ring for the V1s on the southern coast .
     
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  10. Paul Mercer

    Paul Mercer Member

    Very interesting Clive. Thanks.
    Paul
     
  11. Mikeo

    Mikeo Member

    Interested to see a reference to 221st LAA Battery RA because this may link up with my post about an ATS unit that appears in the "Women of WW2" on this forum. See "ATS Searchlight Unit in Eastbourne 1943-1944". The ATS were based at Eastbourne - there are more details following my initial post. I am in touch with the son of the ATS officer who was CO of that unit. He has a letter from his late mother's papers and this came from a member of 221 LAA. The letter seems to show that the two units were working together. It was written in January 1945 and mentions that 221 LAA left Eastbourne to a place outside Ashford.

    So it seems that ATS searchlight units worked along with LAA (I presume the latter were Bofors); I was previously unaware that Bofors worked in conjunction with searchlights. I had thought that searchlights were only with HAA. So is this new assumption of mine correct? It would be VG to know whether 211 LAA was at Eastbourne. Does anyone know whether this was so? And where they may have been billeted etc?

    M
     

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