Origin of Hunt's Gap in North Africa

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Ron Goldstein, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi everybody

    The first unit I was posted to overseas was the 49th LAA Rgt. R.A.

    My memory tells me that on joining I was told that Hunt's Gap in North Africa was named in honour of the then Colonel, i.e. Colonel Hunt.

    When I first found the Regimental records of the regiment I stupidly failed to copy all the records but only those after April '43 which is when I joined them.

    I have tried the usual research sites but to date am unable to confirm the Hunt story.

    I would be most appreciative if somebody can give me a link to a site with the definitive answer to my query.

    Many thanks

    Ron
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Some small corroboration from an article in the US Field Artillery journal from April 1944:
    After one day my battery was jerked out to cover a valley leading northwest from Beja. Probably you know this as the "Hunt's Gap Area," named after a damn good guy named Hunt.

    Full Article
    &
    April 1944 issue front page and contents.

    (The magazine now seems to be all over google.)

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Some small corroboration from an article in the US Field Artillery journal from April 1944:


    Full Article
    &
    April 1944 issue front page and contents.

    (The magazine now seems to be all over google.)

    Cheers,
    Adam.
    Adam

    Many thanks and (as my old Sgt.Major used to say) Well done that there man !

    So..... we now know that, according to the Yanks, Hunt was a "damn good guy" but nothing (for the moment, anyway) about his heroic deeds that resulted in an area of the North African desert being named after him.

    In the interests of serious research and the belated honours due to my former regiment I throw this subject open to the wider world.

    Don't let me down lads !

    Ron
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sorry Ron bit slow with this.
    From the 78th Divisional History page 40.

    ..down to the notable valley, named Hunt's Gap after the CO of 49 LAA Regiment, who had reconnoitered it.


    also page 178,

    The same period saw the departure of a similar unit, 49 LAA Regiment , which had also turned its hands to many jobs. Commanded throughout by Lt-Col Vivian Hunt OBE (after whom Hunt's Gap had been named)...
     
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Owen

    Thanks for the definitive answer (as James O'Brien on LBC is wont to say)

    So my newly-found comrades in the 49th weren't telling Porkies and the Colonel would forever go down in military history.

    During my Army career I seemed to pack an awful lot in between 1942 & 1947 but if I could have one "it would have been nice to" moment granted I wish I could have arrived in North Africa a little earlier to have experienced these desert moments.

    Ah me....... back to the sedate streets of Cockfosters !
     
  6. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Unfortunately Capt. Howard Smith's account is flawed, Hunt's Gap lies to the north-east of Beja not north-west. <O:p</O:p
    <O:p</O:p
    The valley was named after Lt. Colonel Hunt, who after he reconnoitred the area December1942, pointed out it as being a logical line of attack from Mateur where the newly arrived Tiger equipped Pz Abt.501 was located. Fortunately his recommendation that an anti-tank screen of 6-pdrs be put in place did not fall on deaf ears. When the German attack took place in January it failed, thanks to the Colonel's foresight the combined 6-pdrs of the RA and the Churchills of the North Irish Horse. How effective was the defence of the approaches to Beja is emphasised in the records of Schwere Panzer Abteilungen which state that the sPzAbt.501 (Heavy Tank Battalion) lost so many tanks at Hunt's Gap that it ceased to be an effective fighting force.<O:p</O:p
    <O:p</O:p
    Incidentally,it was during this battle that a Churchill commanded by Lt. Hern of the NIH had the “honour” of being the first tank to knockout a Tiger.
    <O:p</O:p
    <O:p</O:p
    Cheers, Gerry <O:p</O:p</O:p
     
    Chris C likes this.
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Gerry

    Many thanks for the additional and geographically more correct info.

    Trust you are keeping well, it's good to see you holding the fort !

    Cheers

    Ron
     
  8. Byrden

    Byrden Junior Member

    Sorry to arrive so late in this thread, but this may be of interest; photos and maps of the battle of Hunt's Gap. My focus is on the Tigers but they may be useful to you.

    The battle left 2 groups of wrecked Panzers, which I have listed separately;

    http://tiger1.info/event/3-Tigers-wrecked-Hunts-Gap
    http://tiger1.info/event/4-Tigers-Panzer-graveyard-Hunts-Gap

    The Tiger knocked out by Lt. Hern was number 142, the same one that had appeared in newspapers in December when the news of the Tiger's existence was revealed;

    [​IMG]

    David
     
  9. Giberville

    Giberville Junior Member

    I don't suppose anybody has a photo of Lt. Col. Hunt? Been trying to track one down without any luck at all...
     
    Chris C likes this.

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