99th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. (T.A.)

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by DavidW, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Last L.A.A Regiment, the 99th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. (T.A.)

    Movements & Batterys for 1940 - 1942 please.
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The 14th Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) left Hull for Gravesend and established itself at Milton Barracks on June 6th, 1941 with companies at Gravesend and Eastchurch aerodromes. The battalion was converted to the 99th Light AA Regiment, Royal Artillery on November 30th, 1941 with the 327th-329th Batteries.

    Service as Royal Artillery
    It served under the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division in the United Kingdom from February 3rd to March 25th, 1942. The regiment was sent to Iraq in August 1942 under the command of the 4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade. It left there in April 1943 for North Africa. It prepared for the invasion of Sicily and was broken up to form battery support for various Beach Groups. 327th served under No. 34 Beach Group and 329th Battery served under another Beach Group in the landing on Sicily from July 10th to 11th 1943 under XXX Corps. By August 7th, 1943, the 327th Battery served under the 62nd AA Brigade at Syracuse while the 329th Battery was located at Augusta under the 73rd AA Brigade. By mid-September 1943, both batteries were under the 73rd AA Brigade at Augusta. Meanwhile the 328th Battery landed at Salerno under No. 35 Beach Group on September 9th. The rest of the regiment landed shortly after and came under the 12th AA Brigade. It then became the Corps Light AA Regiment of XIII Corps until April 1944, when it reverted back to the 12th AA Brigade. It remained under this brigade in Italy until it was disbanded on October 1st, 1944.
     
  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks David.

    I'll move onto the heavy A.A units shortly.
     
  4. B W

    B W New Member

    After Note Dated Dec 2013

    I have now handed all these Negatives and Documents (and scanned images) over to The Imperial War Museum for safe keeping. I understand they will be at the London site for 5 years and then stored at Duxford. I think they are to be called 'The Williamson Collection'



    My dad was also in this unit. For some reason he he had ‘The Regimental camera’. After the war he returned the negatives to the then War Office. A few years later they were returned to him. He then put a lot in some albums. I now have them (he died in some years ago) and I recently scanned them all (100’s of well documented negatives, many with people’s names) on my PC. I plan shortly to hand them over to the Imperial War Museum for archive.

    My understanding of some events, but may not be accurate

    At Outbreak of War:

    14th Battalion The Queens Regiment. B Company. Was on the ranges in lime pits west of Dorking when war was declared.

    Battalion on sea defence Near Selsy. CO, Col Alex Wilson (ex Coldstream Gds) receives George Medal after one of his men is injured and trapped in defensive beach minefield. Rather than wait for area to be cleared, he walked in, picked him up and walked out (See the page from “Sunday Pictorial” dated 21 Dec 1941 from Eye Witness

    Troop Ship from Avonmouth, via, Brazil, South Africa (Table Bay) to Basra (& Baghdad).

    Prior to Op Husky – Invasion of Italy. Converted to:
    Royal Artillery. (They retained their Queens Regiment Buttons on their uniform much to the Gunners upset)


    Boarded in Tunisia and landed on Amber Beach MARZAMEI Sicily. Landings virtually unopposed, largely thanks to Operation Mincemeat, “The Man Who Never Was”. Book by Owen Montague. You all need to read this book; many of us owe our very existence to the guys in this book, widely available on ebay.

    Royal Artillery Light Anti Aircraft, 99 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery. Completed aircraft recognition course in Bagdad or Basra
    During their time in Basra a lot of the regiment, were badly laid up with some sort of local stomach upset

    Fought right through Italy. 1 Battery (I am not sure which one), detached to Salerno landings near Naples and Anzio Beach landing.

    At Cassino they were responsible for 24/7 Smoke cover for RE Bridge over Seino

    99 Regt very effective (but did not always follow official Artillery procedure. “Wall of Lead”, reportedly they consumed 10 times the normal ammunition used by most AA regiments)

    After threat of Luftwaffe was eliminated Re-Converted to Infantry

    1 Bn The Buffs. In action at Lake Comacchio (NE Italy). A difficult operation and many casualties

    Finished war in Thessalonica, after disarming The Chetnicks
    .
    Had R & R in Rome, Venice and Lake Como
     
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing the information about your dad. I'm sure it will help some of the RA researchers.
     
  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    BW.

    The River Senio was right up in the north beyond the Pisa-Rimini Gothic Line and so nowhere near Cassino.

    Cassino was Jan-May 44 whereas the Senio battles came from Sep 44 onwards. I cannot recall the exact dates.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    BW & Frank

    Frank is quite right - the Senio was the winter line beyond Rimini during late dec '44 - to early spring '45 thus no where near Cassino.....if i recall correctly the main smoke at Battle #4 for Cassino was handled by Ron's 49th LAA
    as at that time you are claiming that your Fathers battery was at Anzio - at least 60 miles away...

    Cheers
     
  8. B W

    B W New Member

    Hi

    Correction it was the river Rapido, at Cassino sorry.

    Some of the fictures, and documents I have show this

    No Dad was not at Anzio. One Battery, not his, was detached to Salerno
     
  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    BW.

    Does anything say whether the support was to the 8 Indian Div whose axis centred on San Angelo on the Rapido crossing in May 44 or the 4 British Infantry Division who axis was slightly further north?

    Regards

    FdeP
     
  10. B W

    B W New Member

    I am afraid not
     
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Minden
    just as well as between the 8th Indian and the 4th British was the 1st Cdn with Gerry's 25th Tanks - 78th and 6th AD later joined by 21st ATB and 5th Cdn AD- then I think 5th AGRA pushed into the traffic jam...

    Cheers
     
  12. al hacker

    al hacker New Member

    Hi new to this my grandad (sergeant Ernest hacker ) received the mm medal for his time in 99 laa ra in Cassini for keeping smoke screen over oxford bridge on 12/5/44
    the archives Wo 373/7
     
  13. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Al.

    Here is the MM citation:

    upload_2019-10-8_16-28-43.png

    Regards

    Frank
     
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  14. Jonathan Endacott

    Jonathan Endacott New Member

    My wife’s father was Robert Bowen. He served in 329 Battery, 99th LAA Regiment. My wife would like to know more about where he was in Italy. He died in 1979. Does anyone have any helpful info on the 329 Battery?
     
  15. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Jonathan.

    99 LAA Regt RA were responsible for local air defence of a Division or for fixed points like harbours or railway marshalling yards. By 1944, the Allies had air supremacy so many LAA Regts were no longer required.

    In 99 LAA Regt RA's case, they were allocated to 4 Infantry Div for the Fourth Battle of Cassino in May 44 in order to run the smoke producing operation for their assault over the River Rapido/Gari. The protection from view that they provided was invaluable to the assault.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  16. Jonathan Endacott

    Jonathan Endacott New Member

  17. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Report on 99th LAA Regt RA at the Rapido:

    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0121.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0122.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0123.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0124.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0125.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0126.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0128.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0129.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0130.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0131.JPG
    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0132.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    minden1759 likes this.
  18. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    99_Lt_AA_Regt_May_44_0127.JPG

    Missed off page 7...thanks Frank for noticing...
     
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  19. Jonathan Endacott

    Jonathan Endacott New Member

    Thank you for this. Very informative.
     
  20. Chas Selmes

    Chas Selmes New Member

    Hi. I am new to this and found this site and thread whilst trying to find out more about the 99th LAA.
    Very informative, thanks for which. My Dad was with the 99th LAA, possibly 329 battery (though I am still not sure).
    I have 2 diaries of his from April 43 to August 45 (by which time he was an MP in Austria).
    Though he was only a driver (Bedford QLB I think), he gives a reasonable list of places from landing in Sicily and through Italy.
    What I was wondering is where the 99th LAA went between Basra and Cairo 1942-43? He gives a list of countries en route from the UK to Iraq. If anything I have is of any use, I am more than willing to see what he says, bearing in mind he had bouts of malaria, played cards a lot as well as writing letters to my Mum. I never really knew him as he died in 1959 when I was 4.
    Thanks again for any help. Charles Selmes
     

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