Force 133 / 266 - D C Powell (RASC / SOE) - Research Help Needed

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by bigdave36, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. bigdave36

    bigdave36 Member

    I'm trying to build a more detailed picture of D C Powell's service career. Background and questions below - any help much appreciated...

    In summary, he was commissioned into the British Army in 1939 a 2/LT RASC. He relinquished his commission in Jan 43 and joined the UDF (South Africa). From '39 onwards he was attached to BEF, East Africa Force and Middle Eastern Force. He performed MT Officer roles. In May '44 he joined the SOE as an MT Officer for Force 266 (133) operating in Italy / Balkans, etc. He then left in SOE in August to do something else - TBC - until 1946, which his when his service ended.

    Powell was Stowe and Cambridge educated, fluent in French and Swahli and had a strong African connection. Further, his father was Chairman of the BBC during the war years.

    My hunch at the moment is that he had something to do with SAS / LRDG in Desert Areas / Italy. For example, he joined SOE at the same time as decision made to transfer LRDG (Squadron A, Rhodesian) to Force 266 in Italy. They were to use jeeps (motor transport), however, tactics changed due to rapid advance of Allies and instead they were parachuted into areas around Rome. D C Powell left SOE at same time as tactics changed, so he could 'better use his MT skills'. Also, he wore an SAS wing with his medals.

    Dates/ unit/locations outlined below:
    feb-june 1940 - BEF - 6 res mt coy rasc
    sept 40-may 41 - MEF - 39 coy rasc
    nov 41 - jun 43 - EAF - 72 , 70 Res MT coy and 12 HRS (?)
    Feb 43 - sept 43 - South Africa - HQ Mobile Field Force
    oct 43 - april 44 - MEF - 484 station maintenance company
    may 44- sept 44- SO (M) - Force 266 / 133
    Sept 44 - ??

    I have accessed his SOE file at KEW but this has raised as many questions as answers. I'm looking to answer the following questions:
    What did he do prior to SOE? (He served with various Res MT Coy, which units was he attached to?)
    What did he do during his time with SOE? (What would have been the typical role of an M T O)
    What did he do after SOE (Aug '44)? (I haven't been able to locate anything yet)

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have you applied for his service records - if not forms are here - Request records of deceased service personnel

    Thats the best place to start - for his pre and post SOE service

    If you have his SOE file does not that not answer your question "What did he do during his time with SOE? "

  3. bigdave36

    bigdave36 Member

    Thank you. I haven’t applied for his service record yet. Given he joined UDF in ‘43, I assume I would need to contact both UK and South African authorities for service records spanning duration of his military service?

    Also, the SOE report is scant on detail about his role (just states ‘Motor Transport Duties Force 133 / 266). I’m hoping others can help augment based on their research, etc.
    Best wishes,

  4. CL1

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

  5. bigdave36

    bigdave36 Member

    Thanks. David

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