Transferred RAC to 3rd Carabiniers

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Skoyen89, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Posted in 'Service Records' Forum but no responses so thought I would try here.

    I have the Army Book 64 for a RAC Trooper. He was enlisted in February 1943 and has a 145***** number which is in he RAC serial used for enlistments after 1942.
    The book says he was in the RAC from then until 11.9.46 and then he was in the 3rd Carabiniers for a year. He seems to have been in India or Burma from the beginning of May 1944. He had two periods in hospital in India and was awarded the Burma Star.
    There is no indication of which unit he was in for his India/Burma service and I thought 3rd Carabiniers were part of the Royal Armoured Corps and, if so cannot see why the transfer of September 1946 was recorded?
    Can anyone help?

  2. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi skoyen,

    While I can't help with the specifics here is a quick summary of RAC units in India from August 1945. From some fragments I have gleaned that with the run down of British units prior to Indian independence, those not repatriated to the U.K. were formed into reinforcement drafts for those few units selected to remain. It seems entirely possible therefore that your man was with one RAC unit in India before being posted to the 3rd Carabiniers, perhaps as a reinforcement.


    According to Joslen, the following RAC units remained in Burma or India on 31st August 1945:

    3rd Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
    25th Dragoons
    116th Regiment, RAC
    146th Regiment, RAC
    149th Regiment, RAC
    150th Regiment, RAC
    400 Independent Scorpion Squadron
    1 Independent Bridging Troop, RAC
    2 Independent Bridging Troop, RAC
    3 Independent Bridging Troop, RAC.

    All of the above bar the bridging troops are listed in the Indian Army List for October 1945.

    In addition there was the Royal Armoured Corps Depot at Poona (Pune).

    With the end of the war against Japan, there was a need for fewer armoured regiments in India. Many officers and men continued to be released for repatriation to the U.K. and certain units were selected for later disbandment, many of their remaining personnel being transferred to bring other units up to strength.

    Of the above:

    3rd Dragoon Guards remained in India until 1947. As part of the 254th Indian Tank Brigade, it arrived at Ahmednagar from Burma during July 1945 where it began training for conversion to the Churchill tank. In September, the Brigade was ordered to the North Western Army, the 3rd Dragoon Guards handing back their Churchill tanks prior to the move. During October, the regiment received reinforcements from the 149th Regiment. In December 1945 the unit was at Risalpur.

    25th Dragoons remained in India until 1947. ‘A’ Squadron returned from Burma to rejoin the regiment at Cocanada during June 1945. The regiment was equipped at least partially with Sherman DD tanks. The regiment moved to Madras and Bangalore in January 1947 until disbandment at Indian independence.

    146th Regiment went to Ahmednagar in 1945 and later Poona. It was initially earmarked for equipping with Sherman tanks. The regiment provided reinforcement drafts to the 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment before that unit left for Singapore. The regiment then converted to armoured cars and ‘A’ Squadron went to Sumatra in armoured cars, returning to the regiment at Poona in December 1946. The regiment was disbanded in India in February 1947.

    149th Regiment moved from Poona to Ahmednagar in April 1945 where later it began training for conversion to Churchill tanks. On 30th October 1945, the regiment was declared surplus to requirements and was to provide reinforcements for the 3rd Dragoon Guards and the 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment. Officers and men began to be posted away during November 1945 and was disbanded on 28th February 1946.

    150th Regiment arrived at Ahmednagar from Burma in June 1945 and began training for conversion to Churchill tanks in August. The regiment began preparations for disbandment in November 1945 and was disbanded on 28th February 1946.

    In addition:
    43rd Royal Tank Regiment arrived in India just before the Japanese surrender. It was equipped with Grant CDL tanks and never saw active service. The squadrons were dispersed to various parts of India on internal security duties.

    See also: Churchill Tanks in Burma and India
  3. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Rothy

    Thanks for the response and the detail provided. None of the dates match up with the date the change was recorded in his record book. Unfortunately I cannot access his personal records at the MOD because the requisite 25 years since death has not passed. I think I will try the RAC Museum at Bovington to see if they have any records at all that would help.
    Rothy likes this.
  4. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi. Great. I would be very interested to hear of anything you discover. Cheers

  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Ask Bovvy for a copy of his RAC Tracer Card: you'll need his name and Service Number (which I note you already seem to have). As a Charity. Bovington normally ask for a fee but it's only a few pounds.
    Skoyen89 likes this.

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