ME 54 Paradise Camp Brindisi

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Optymystic, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Optymystic

    Optymystic Optymystic

    ME 54 was the parachute container packing plant at Brindisi, operated by SOE as Force 133 (266, 399) and the US OSS from early 1944. I am looking for any information references or documents.
     
  2. LADC

    LADC Member

    Hello Optymystic did you ever find any information? I've three pdf's that mention some of these units.

    Chris..........
     
  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    There are some references in the SOE Files for Italy, the Balkans and Poland
     
  4. Optymystic

    Optymystic Optymystic

    Hello Optymystic did you ever find any information? I've three pdf's that mention some of these units.

    Chris..........

    My uncle died there in August 1944. I am very keen to assemble any information with view to working out what he was doing, so any link to documents about ME54 /Paradise Camp would be extremely helpful. I believe from published sources that there exist, or once existed, written accounts of his death, but so far I have been unable to trace them.

    I am also interested in his path across North Africa through the various arrangements e.g. at Derna which eventually crystallised under Major John Ray Wooler as ME54, which was a huge factory, employing hundreds.
     
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    ME 54 was a packing station that packed weapons and stores for distribution to the partisans in Italy, Poland and the Balkans (Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania etc) There would have been some armourers workshops for reconditioning captured Axis weapons and also bunkers for the storage of explosives and ammunition. Other warehouses would have stored boots, clothing and food plus medical supplies.
     
  6. LADC

    LADC Member

    Here's three pdf's you might find interesting as they mention some of the units & places your looking for. Hope they're of some help & interest to you and others. There's been some issues loading pdf's today so I might put them in seperate replies.
    Chris.........
     

    Attached Files:

  7. LADC

    LADC Member

    Ok for some odd reason it the upload fails with the other two even though they're well within the 25MB limit. :confused: Contact me privately and I'll email them.
     
  8. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    ME 54 was commanded by Major Wooler

    There were 6 sub-sections

    Stores Section 1 - Arms Clothing and Equipment

    Stores Section 2 - Ammunition and Explosives

    Packing Section - Packed containers ready for dropping

    Assembley Section - Assembled Explosives into pre-packed charges and kits

    Airborne Loading Section - Teams of 12 strong BORs and 48 locally employed labourers - humped the containers and assisted with loading aircraft led by a WO.

    MT Section 2 Platoons GT Transport
     
  9. Optymystic

    Optymystic Optymystic

    ME 54 was commanded by Major Wooler

    There were 6 sub-sections

    Stores Section 1 - Arms Clothing and Equipment

    Stores Section 2 - Ammunition and Explosives

    Packing Section - Packed containers ready for dropping

    Assembley Section - Assembled Explosives into pre-packed charges and kits

    Airborne Loading Section - Teams of 12 strong BORs and 48 locally employed labourers - humped the containers and assisted with loading aircraft led by a WO.

    MT Section 2 Platoons GT Transport

    That's interesting. I don't think I have seen that before. Can you tell me anything about the 'Demolition Area'?

    Are you working from recollection or do you have access to written sources on ME54?
     
  10. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi I have access to the files that mention it.
    Each of the sub-sections was commanded by a captain assisted by at least two Lts, in the case of Explosives they would have at least one trained explosives tech RAOC. Being stores centric the officers would have been mainly RAOC or RASC with the odd former QM thrown in for good measure.
    The demolitions stores would have been housed in special buildings in a somewhat isolated location - there would have been enough space between the separate stores to prevent sympathetic detonations (in theory) in case of an accident.
    SOE pretty well followed the standard layouts for storage of explosives and ammunition. I have the plans for their depot in India somewhere.
     
  11. Optymystic

    Optymystic Optymystic

    Hi I have access to the files that mention it.
    Each of the sub-sections was commanded by a captain assisted by at least two Lts, in the case of Explosives they would have at least one trained explosives tech RAOC. Being stores centric the officers would have been mainly RAOC or RASC with the odd former QM thrown in for good measure.
    The demolitions stores would have been housed in special buildings in a somewhat isolated location - there would have been enough space between the separate stores to prevent sympathetic detonations (in theory) in case of an accident.
    SOE pretty well followed the standard layouts for storage of explosives and ammunition. I have the plans for their depot in India somewhere.

    Do you have any material on a fire and explosion in the Demolition area on 18th August 1944, in which several people were killed?
     
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Sorry I have not come across anything on that - I will look to see if there was a Board of Inquiry that would be the place with answers - the problem with the SOE file structure is that many files were destroyed and others were amalgated and weeded when the HS System was set up prior to the transfer of files from SIS to TNA Kew.
     
  13. zamboanga15

    zamboanga15 New Member

    Hello all
    I am trying to find information on a Herbert Edward Ellis raf number1671948 who was stationed at Brindisi Italy and he was attached to SOE
    special operations.He made a number of parachute drops over Yugoslavia from Brindisi and was fighting with the partisans there.
    He does not have a SOE P/F, maybe they was burnt in the fires they had in 50's and 60's.
    He was in 113 MU,8 ARD, 392MU during the period of time that the Balkan Airforce was in existance and was attached to 148 (SD) squadron.
    I cannot find him in any of the orb's of 148 sqdn or any of the MU's he was attached to.
    I was wondering if anyone has any files on the ME54 factory at Brindisi. (paradise camp) i believe the Americans called it.
    Also have looked at the B.A.T.S. teams and he also not listed in there either.
    If anyone has any info re the ME54 factory or point me in the direct of any info referring to this I would be extremely grateful.
    Many thanks best regards john
     

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