War Diary - 172 Coy R.A.S.C. (3 Br Inf Div)

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Tom OBrien, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Now the long winter evenings are here, I thought I'd transcribe a few more RASC diaries for summer 1944. I hope they are of interest/

    I've started with 172 Coy RASC which belonged to 3 British Infantry Division. I'd be interested if anyone has any broader divisional information about the pre-waterproofed 4 x 4 3-ton lorries collected for the Assault Platoon on 17 May (I think the landing tables refer to Austin K5s being used by the Assault Detachments of 172 Coy but don't want to leap to any conclusions without more evidence).

    I also noted the US boxer referred to in the entry for 29 May - is that THE Joe Louis?

    WO171/2402 – 172 Infantry Brigade Company RASC

    C.O.: Major L.A. Cardy, R.A.S.C.

    1 May 1944 Aldershot
    [no entry]

    2 May 1944 Aldershot
    M.S.M. and 19 men of 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. joined the Residue Group.
    O.C. 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. visited the Residue Group.
    Lieut. Haley joined 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. from 90 Coy. R.A.S.C.

    3 May 1944 Aldershot
    Major Fitch relinquished command of 185 Residue Group on joining his Battalion.
    Ex. ‘FABIUS’.

    4 May 1944 Aldershot
    Ex. ‘FABIUS’.

    5 May 1944 Aldershot
    Ex. ‘FABIUS’ concluded. O.C. 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. visited the Residue Group.

    6 May 1944 Aldershot
    [no entry]

    7 May 1944 Aldershot
    Assault Platoon moved from PIRBRIGHT CAMP back to Cowplain to join the rest of the assault elements.

    8 May 1944 Aldershot
    O.C. 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. visited the Residue Group at 1500 hours with all other 172 Coy. Officers. Conference held later.

    9 – 10 May 1944 Aldershot
    [no entries]

    11 May 1944 Aldershot
    One L/Sgt. Posted to this unit from 48 Coy. R.A.S.C.
    Ex ‘BUNNY’ – skeleton movement exercise for Residues carried out.

    12 May 1944 Aldershot

    Officer from 41 A/Tk Bty reported to 185 Inf Bde Main Residue for duty with the Residue Group.

    13 May 1944 Aldershot
    [no entry]

    14 May 1944 Aldershot
    4 Home Details posted to R.H.U.

    15 May 1944 Aldershot

    Conference of all Officers held by 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. at forward location.

    16 May 1944 Aldershot
    2 new replacement 3 ton vehicles drawn from VRD for 172 Coy. R.A.S.C.

    17 May 1944 Aldershot
    20 4 x 4 3 ton vehicles pre-waterproofed drawn from the Assault Force VRD for 172 Coy. R.A.S.C.

    18 May 1944 Aldershot
    Very large ammunition (Operational) details carried out by Residue Group.

    19 May 1944 Aldershot
    Very heavy demands continue to be made on Group transport. All available transport committed.

    20 May 1944 Aldershot
    6 Drivers posted to 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. One guard from the Group Residue sent forward for guarding the briefing room at Div HQ.

    21 May 1944 Aldershot
    1 Cpl. Posted to 172 Coy. R.A.S.C.

    22 May 1944 Aldershot

    Fwd detachments (Assault) of units visited by H.M. King.

    23 May 1944 Aldershot
    1st Reinforcement Officer Lt. Haley and one coppersmith posted to R.H.U.

    24 May 1944 Aldershot
    1 Cpl. posted to 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. from 47 Coy. R.A.S.C.
    1 Cpl. posted to H.Q. R.A.S.C. 3 Br Inf Div.

    25 May 1944 Aldershot
    Camps of troops in advance areas due for first assault parties “sealed” during the evening.

    26 May 1944 Aldershot
    Conference of all Residue Group Comds., held at HQ 3 Recce Regt.
    Orders to start waterproofing all vehicles of 2nd Residues issued.

    27 May 1944 Aldershot
    Surplus 18 x 3 ton vehicles returned to VRD by 172 Coy. R.A.S.C.

    28 May 1944 Aldershot
    1000
    Special Church Parade Service held at Marlborough Lines Garrison Church as a 3 Br Inf Div ‘Eve of Battle’ Service.

    29 May 1944 Aldershot
    1430
    Exhibition of Battle Training and Boxing given by A.S.P.T. at Aldershot including exhibition of boxing by S/Sgt. Joe Louis Barrow of U.S. Army and other service boxers.

    30 May 1944
    [no entry]

    31 May 1944 Aldershot
    Supply vehicles of 172 Coy. R.A.S.C. second residue preloaded with 14 day Compo Packs.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  2. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    [There are two versions of the company war diary for June 1944 – the first being less detailed than the second and continuing information as seen by Residue Group – both will be transcribed in full here]

    3 June 1944 Aldershot
    Residue Camps visited by C.R.A. of Static Camp Staff.

    6 June 1944
    The Allied Expeditionary Force invaded France between 0630 & 0730 hours. Large forces of aircraft including gliders crossed Aldershot on way to France. Weather not good for invasion too much wind.

    7 June 1944
    Heavy fighting around CAEN. Bayeux captured. Landing of reinforcements through beaches continued steadily. Weather continues dull with some wind & rain. Heavy bomber forces passed overhead on way to France.

    8 June 1944
    Weather very cloudy & rainy holding up bombing operations by the R.A.F.

    9 June 1944
    1st residues of Infantry of the Residue Group left Aldershot for the Marshalling area.
    Assault Pl of 172 Coy moved to embarkation area. Weather still dull, cloudy with rain.

    10 June 1944
    Strength of armoured forces in invasion area increased on both sides. Weather not improved.

    11 June 1944
    D + 11 Residue of Gunners left for Embarkation areas.

    12 June 1944
    Capture of CARENTAN by the Allies.

    14 June 1944
    Warning order for movement of D + 10 Residues party of 223 Fd Amb received.

    15 June 1944
    Visit to 3 Div Residues of General Sir Harold Franklyn, G.O.C. Home Forces, accompanied by G.O.C., S.E. Comd & G.O.C. Aldershot District.

    16 June 1944
    Warning order for D + 11 Residue party to move to Marshalling area.

    17 June 1944
    0730
    D + 11 Residues moved out to Marshalling Areas at Southampton.

    19 June 1944
    Embarkation of D + 11 Residues delayed owing to rough sea & weather.

    20 June 1944
    Vehicle with compo packs & M/cycles of D + 11 Residue (172 Coy) burnt out in Marshalling area camp. Replacement affected.

    21 June 1944
    Bad weather & high wind further delays embarkation of D + 11 Residues.

    22 June 1944
    Embarkation of D + 11 residues still delayed.

    25 June 1944
    New address allocated to Residue parties in Marlborough Lines, Aldershot.

    27 June 1944
    News of capture of CHERBOURG by the Allies.

    28 June 1944
    Move of 48 Coy RASC to Marshalling Area postponed 24 hours.

    29 June 1944
    2330
    48 Coy RASC left Aldershot for Marshalling Area. This was a D + 17 Residue Company. No news of movement of the 172 Coy D + 17 Residue.

    30 June 1944
    One OR posted to 30 R.H.U. as Med. Cat. C.1.
     
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  3. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 June 1944 Aldershot
    The Coy will be disposed as follows for the assault on France –
    Major L.A. Cardy to act as Senior RASC representative to coordinate the Div RASC tpt & work in the early stages landing on D Day.
    Capt. E.B. Briggs to supervise the work of the Div RASC Workshops elements in the assault on D day.
    Capt. A.A. Hall to land with an A.P. behind 9th Br. Inf. Bde. landing on D day.
    Lieut. S. Keane to do a similar job with an A.P. behind 185 Br. Inf. Bde.
    Capt. R.T. East & Lieut. F.W. Carter to land with a complete Platoon preloaded with mixed supplies on D + 3.
    Capt. R. Varley & Lieut. E.B. Cameron to land on D + 11 with another Pl of 91 [??] vehicles loaded with petrol & supplies.
    Capt. S.A. Griffiths remains with D + 17 Residue and to command 185 Br Inf Bde Main Residue Gp at Aldershot.

    2 June 1944
    [no entry]

    3 June 1944
    O.C. with 20 Mines vehicles embarked Gosport 1900 hours, Lieut. S. Keane with 6 A.P. vehicles embarked at Brighton. Capt. Hall, with 6 A.P. vehicles embarked on L.C.T. Nos. 405/6/7/8/9/10.

    4 June 1944
    Party under Lieut. Keane sailed to Newhaven.

    5 June 1944
    Party under O.C. sailed from Southampton at approx. 0400 hours. Party under Lieut. Keane sailed from Newhaven. Party under Capt. Hall 1730 hours.

    6 June 1944
    Lieut. Keane, with 6 A.P. vehicles disembarked at La Beche at 1130 hrs, & established A.P. at Hermanville 1400 hrs. Capt. Hall’s party shelled moving into La Beche – landed 1355 hrs; shell hit vehicle Serial No. 8 while it was passing through beach exit. T/4625020, Dvr. Squires, G., was hit & sustained leg injuries at approx. 1415 hrs. Vehicles assembled at Lion sur Mer at approx. 1500 hrs – sniping & shelling continued until 2100 hrs approx. Covering fire with Bren necessary to keep snipers quiet en route for A.P. – Forward A.P. Map Ref. 082787 nr. Colleville-sur-Orne approx. 2300 hrs. Drawings fairly light.

    7 June 1944
    Party under O.C. landed at 1100 hrs approx. i.e. 18 hrs late. Div RASC assembly area established at Hermanville. Capt. Hall moved A.P. into Colleville-sur-Orne approx. 1430 hrs Map Ref 084784; sniped from surrounding buildings – party search for sniper. Heavy demands for small ammunition. Dumping from 2300 hrs (7 June) – 1800 hrs (8 June).

    8 June 1944
    Night bombing. Moved RASC Areas. Transformation into Adm Area near Hermanville. Capt. Hall captured a prisoner at approx. 1200 hrs – possible sniper. Moved A.P. to Cazelle. Map ref 065735 at approx. 2200 hrs.

    9 June 1944
    Heavy bombing. Dvr. Bird (T/5435326) wounded by machine gun from aircraft at Copville. T/10677487, Dvr. Hewitt slightly wounded at same time. Capt. East, with Jeep, 15 cwt. and water trailer embarked. Major Cardy assumes command Admin Gp, HQ RASC. Capt. East assumes command No. 2 Det. 172 Coy. RASC. O.C. is attached to HQ RASC and commenced formation of Div Adm Area.

    10 June 1944
    Div RASC area moved to Plumetot. A.P. vehs attached to Inf Bde (2 to Warwicks, 2 to N. Lancs, 1 to 185 Bde HQ, 1 to K.S.L.I.). Capt. East & party sailed from Portsmouth 1600 hrs; three ships seen to be sunk in M.T.B. & “U” Boat attack – four survivors picked up from rescue launch which was sunk. Capt. Hall at A.P.: drawings normal apart from 4.2 Mor. on 10, 11 & 12 June which was difficult to obtain & Mk. V Mines on 13 & 14 June.

    11 June 1944
    Capt. East & party arrived offshore at 0800 hrs. Enemy shore batteries opened fire but were quickly silenced by Capital ships & a cruiser. Disembarked 2300 hrs, stayed in sub-section “FOOT” for night 11/12 June.
    Balance of “A” Assault Pl embarked at Gosport 1700 hrs, sailed 2000 hrs. Attacked by aircraft at 0400 hrs – all clear given 0445 hrs. No casualties.

    12 June 1944
    Capt. East reported to HQ 3 Br Inf Div Adm Area at 0630 hrs. Lieut. Carter together with balance of Assault Pl disembarked at 2030 hrs on “NAN” sector. Attacked by aircraft on move forward to Admin Area – no casualties. Vehicles from Warwicks & K.S.L.I. rejoined Coy from attachment. Heavy night bombing.

    13 June 1944
    Weather dull – showers. Lieut. Carter & Assault Pl arrived HQ 3 Br Inf Div Adm Area at 0730 hrs. T/89969, Sjt. Singers admitted Hermanville-sur-Mer Gen. Hosp. at 1200 hrs – sick. Enemy night bombing & one vehicle set on fire in area – quickly put out. Two O.Rs 27 Armd Bde REME Wksps injured by shrapnel.

    14 June 1944
    Weather dull with slight rain. Ptes. Stow & Quinn posted to this Det.
    Ammunition detail completed for 185 Inf Bde. Vehicles returned same day. Slight enemy activity. Very heavy barrage (artillery) during night.

    15 June 1944
    Weather dull with slight rain. The following promotions made:-
    T/162768, L/Sjt. Smith, A. – promoted Sjt.
    T/167955, Cpl. Yates, S.A. – appointed L/Sjt.
    T/176598, L/Cpl. Morrish, J. – promoted Cpl.
    T/224812, Dvr. Gower, G. – appointed L/Cpl.
    Night air attack – no casualties; very heavy ack ack.

    16 June 1944
    Weather dull. Sjt. Sheath with party returned to Unit from Detachment to 185 Inf Bde. Ammunition Officer visited location. Informal visit by Colonel.
    Warning order received by D + 11 Residue Party to move to Marshalling Area.

    17 June 1944
    Weather dull & cloudy with sunny intervals later.
    1530 hrs: heavy shelling in location. The following casualties were suffered by this Unit –
    T/252122, Dvr. Murrum, H. – Killed.
    T/14401916, Pte. Hellewell, G. – Wounded.
    T/89819, Dvr. Douglas, H.W. – Shell shock.
    Sjt. Singers rejoined Unit from Hosp. Shelling again at 2130 hrs – no casualties. Slight enemy air activity during night.
    Capt. Varley moved to Marshalling Area at Southampton with D + 11 Residue.

    18 June 1944
    Weather showery. Pre-loaded Compo packs off-loaded in Beach area. 18 vehs returned empty.
    Embarkation of Capt. Varley’s party delayed by rough weather.

    19 June 1944
    Weather – heavy rain all day. Artillery barrage during early hours – also enemy planes.
    3 vehicles reported to 17 Fd Coy RE for attachment.

    20 June 1944
    Weather dull & cloudy. A very quiet day.

    21 June 1944
    Dull & cloudy – cold.
    7 x 3-tonners delivered 105 m.m. to 76 Fd Regt RA. Slight enemy air activity during night.

    22 June 1944
    Weather dull. Heavy shelling at approx. 1045 hrs – no damage or casualties.

    23 June 1944
    Fine & sunny.
    “A” Assault Pl, 172 Coy RASC was provisionally formed into “C” Pl, 3 Div Ammunition Coy coming into force w.e.f. 0001 hrs 24/25 June. New overseas address – B.W.E.F. adopted.

    24 June 1944
    Weather fine & sunny. Activity by R.A.F. – heavy enemy ack ack seen. Nothing to report.
    D + 11 Residue Party with Capt. Varley & Lt. Cameron embarked at Southampton.

    25 June 1944
    Weather dull & cloudy with slight showers. Enemy shelling of airfield.
    Capt. Varley & Lt. Cameron arrived 2130 hrs together with 89 O.Rs.
    Major Cardy reassumed command of Coy w.e.f. 0001 hrs 25 June.

    26 June 1944
    Heavy rain. Very heavy barrage by Allied guns. Nothing to report.

    27 June 1944
    Weather unsettled. Slight air activity during the day but no incidents in this location.
    Amn drawn up by Field Regts from dumps in Adm Area in preparation for shoot at 0300 hrs 28 June. Great activity by our planes during evening & early hours 28 June.

    28 June 1944
    Weather dull, some rain. Allied artillery barrage 0300 hrs.
    Dvr. Peagam admitted C.R.S. at 2100 hrs. Slight shelling 2200 hrs.

    29 June 1944
    Heavy rain. 27 x 3-ton vehicle loads of 105 m.m. collected from 15 B.A.D. and dumped at A.P. Some enemy air activity – very heavy ack ack.

    30 June 1944

    Rain. Dvr. McKune posted to 9 Fd Amb. One O.R posted to R.H.U. as he was of Med. Cat. C.1. One O.R. posted to 172 Coy. from 51 R.H.U.
     
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  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 July 1944
    Heavy rain. Exercise “stand to” 2100 hrs. Shelling 2145 hrs, no casualties or damage.
    Royal Corps of Signals install wireless set in Coy HQ vehicle at 1600 hrs – 3 men attached.
    3 O.Rs posted from 51 R.H.U. to 172 Coy – this includes 2 Veh Mechs.

    2 July 1944
    Rain. 1600 rds 105 mm drawn from Div RASC Dump. Sheeling at 2000 hrs – no damage or casualties. Dvr. Peagam returned to Unit from C.R.S. 1 Dvr posted to 172 Coy from R.H.U.

    3 July 1944
    Showery. 2800 rds 105 mm drawn from Div RASC Dump. Cpl. Baldwin posted to this Unit from 23 Coy RASC. Dvr. Robinson posted from this Unit to 8 Fd Amb. Pte. Bicknell promoted A/Fd/Local Cpl w.e.f. 13 June 44, Pte. Robinson promoted A/Fd/Local Cpl. w.e.f. 25 June 44.

    4 July 1944
    Weather dull. Very heavy barrage by Allied guns in early hours. 6400 rds 105 mm issued from dump. 3400 rds 105 mm drawn from B.A.D. Dvr. Rose posted to this Unit from 8 Fd Amb. Shelling 2300 hrs – no damage or casualties.

    5 July 1944
    Weather dull – some rain. Very heavy ack ack in evening & much air activity. Shelling 2300 hrs.

    6 July 1944
    Weather fine. Shelling at 1800 hrs & again at 2300 hrs – no casualties or damage.

    7 July 1944
    Fine & cloudy. Heavy shelling & bombing at 0330. Sjt. Thornton posted to 9 Fd Amb. 7200 rds 105 mm drawn from B.A.D. – issued 6500 rds 105 mm.
    500 aircraft passed over location to bomb CAEN; one plane damage and crash landed near airfield.

    8 July 1944
    Dull – rain. Very heavy barrage by Allied guns continuing throughout day. Slight shelling at intervals. 15100 rds 105 mm issued.

    9 July 1944
    Dull, slight rain. Slight shelling at intervals during day, warnings at 1800 hrs & 2030 hrs. Cpl. Baldwin suffering from exhaustion – working on Amn dump. Some enemy air activity.

    10 July 1944
    Weather dull. Some air activity. Cpl. Baldwin admitted 10 F.D.S. with exhaustion.
    Capt. Griffiths & 3rd Residue moved from Aldershot to Marshalling area at West Ham, London.

    11 July 1944
    Dull weather: bright intervals. Slight enemy air activity: very heavy ack ack barrage by our guns.

    12 July 1944
    Weather dull – bright intervals. Dvr. Carter posted to this Unit from 48 Div Tps Coy RASC.

    13 July 1944
    Weather: bright intervals. Nothing to report.
    Capt. Griffiths embarked on L.S.T. at West India Dock with 3rd Residue.

    14 July 1944
    Dull & cloudy. Air activity during p.m. Low flying plane fired at by Bren (Lieut. Keane) believed hit – crash landed near airfield. Dumping programme 200 r.p.g dumped across Riv ORNE between 142330 – 150500.

    15 July 1944
    Dull & cloudy. Slight enemy air activity. Dvrs. Devlin & Jones W. posted from 34 R.H.U.
    Capt. Griffiths & 3rd Residue land & are held at Le Hamel.
    200 r.p.g. dumped across Riv ORNE between 152330 – 160300.
    Capt. Varley put i/c static dump of Sups & Amn in quarries across R. ORNE.

    16 July 1944
    Weather dull. L/Cpl. Lawrence admitted 10 F.D.S. Cpl. Malloch missing.
    100 r.p.g. dumped across R. ORNE 162300 – 170400.

    17 July 1944
    Drizzle early, sunny later.
    2200 2200 hrs – Col. Holds meeting of officers & senior ranks congratulating them on work done at dumping programme & putting them “in the picture” as to future events.

    18 July 1944
    Weather fine. Great aerial activity, planes passing over location between 0500 hrs & 0700 hrs. A few shells at 0830 hrs & at 1355 – 1430. Heavy barrage most of the day. Enemy raid at 1100 hrs – no damage or casualties in location.
    Capt. Hall takes 70 r.p.g. & holds on wheels across R. ORNE. Attacked from air by A/PER & HE bombs, casualties to men & vehs (see 19 Jul).

    19 July 1944
    Weather fine. Part of convoy returns from detail: six vehs X casualties, T/121545 Sjt. Adams, W., T/128085 Cpl. Wingrove, R., T/10663976 Dvr. Woolfenden, reported wounded, evacuated to U.K. Capt. Hall returns to location.
    C,RASC divides RASC duties into 2 Gun Amn Coys, 1 Small Arms Coy, 1 Sup & Pet Coy. 172 Coy selected as one of the 2 Gun Amn Coys; 48 Coy the other.

    20 July 1944
    0730
    Capt. Griffiths & 3rd Residue join main body of Coy at PLUMETOT. The Coy continues to handle large quantities of 105 mm. Heavy rain & thunderstorms started in the evening.

    21 July 1944
    Heavy rain all day. Capt. Varley returned to Coy location from his Adv dump east of R. ORNE, having closed the dump. Heavy R.E. details for carriage of Cherpaling for dealing with muddy roads.

    22 July 1944
    Heavy rain continued & consequently continued demands on RASC tpt for carriage of R.E. road materials.

    23 July 1944
    Weather improved & rain ceased. Details for R.E. road making work continued.

    24 July 1944
    Weather much drier & mud once more turned to dust. 12 x 3 ton vehs detailed to lift reinforcements for 9 Inf Bde.

    25 July 1944
    Big Tp carrying detail involving 48 vehs of this Coy. Detail to bring 185 Inf Bde back to resting areas. Convoy shelled & this Coy received a Y veh casualty but no casualties to personnel.
    Capt. East, Lts. Keane & Carter I/c detail.

    26 July 1944
    Very quiet day. Only very few vehicles out on detail to the R.Es. Fine & sunny with freshening wind later which is thoroughly drying out all signs of mud.

    27 July 1944

    Very quiet day – weather dull & cloudy.

    28 July 1944
    Change over between 172 Coy & 48 Coy RASC affected from Rest Coy to Duty Coy. 172 Coy becomes duty Coy for provision of all Gun A.Ps for ensuing week.
    Capt. Hall leave Coy location at 1300 hrs with 30 x 3 ton veh loads of 105 mm amn (50 r.p.g.) to establish a Gun A.P. at the Quarries East of R. ORNE (MR 096730).

    29 July 1944
    No Gun Amn drawn from the A.P. at the usual time, i.e. mid-day, & so “A” Pl remained at the A.P. site with Capt. Hall.
    1500 Company visited by the new 3 Br Inf Div Comd – Major-Gen. L.G. Whistler, D.S.O.

    30 July 1944
    No Gun Amn drawn from A.P. Capt. Hall relieved by Lieut. Carter at mid-day.
    Weather developed into fine, sunny and very warm.

    31 July 1944
    A.P. withdrawn still with no amn issued. Lieut. Carter arrives back in Coy location with the “A” Pl vehicles. Weather continued fine & clear – good flying weather.
     
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  5. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 August 1944
    Withdrawal of amn from gun sites. 3260 rds of 105 mm withdrawn from 7 Fd Regt and dumped at MOON B.A.D. by vehs of “A” Pl.

    2 August 1944
    A “Composite Composite Coy” formed from Div RASC to go forward with 185 Bde Gp to a new area. 172 Coy provided 12 x 3-ton vehs loaded with 105 mm under Capt. Hall & the Workshops element of breakdown & fitters. This group left at 0730 hrs & was finally located at La Vallee. This Comp Coy is to maintain the Bde whilst it is under comd 11 Armd Div.
    A further 40 veh loads of 105 mm dumped at MOON B.A.D. from 1000 hrs onwards.

    3 August 1944
    3 Br Inf Div Adm Area moved from Plumetot to area approx. 5 miles SW of Bayeux, area ST ANDRE. 172 Coy RASC moved at 0520 hrs & arrived at new location at 771732 at 0800 hrs.

    4 August 1944
    It appears that there is some difficulty in obtaining 105 mm amn.
    1400 Warning order received for another move of Adm area.
    1415 1415 hrs – Capt. East left location to recce new area with Pl representatives.
    28 veh loads of 105 mm amn dumped at 52 FMC BALLEROY for supply of 185 Bde in fwd areas by “B” Pl. The vehs left 1400 hrs and after dumping the amn at BALLEROY, refilling at 15 B.A.D. at BAYEUX arrived back in location at 2035 hrs.
    18 veh loads of 105 mm (balance of “A” Pl) sent off with Lt. Carter to fwd area at 2230 hrs.

    5 August 1944
    Move of Adm Area delayed. 30 veh loads of 105 mm of “B” Pl puls all rest of “B” Pl moved fwd at 1600 hrs to new Adm Area locn of 172 Coy to be available for quick use. This was in fact dumped the same night for use by 33 Fd Regt.
    Remainder of 172 Coy moved to new Adm area (Lande sur Drome 660571) at 0035 hrs arriving in new area at 0240 hrs, 6 Aug.

    6 August 1944
    “B” Pl vehs refilled from 52 FMC at BALLEROY in early hrs of morning after dumping at 33 Fd Regt. Weather proved very hot & sunny. The whole of the Adm Area reeked of the smell of dead cattle. The area showed many signs of a hasty German evacuation.

    7 August 1944
    1545
    “B” Pl moved to new Coy location at LA FERIERE in advance of main Adm Area in case of urgent need of 105 mm amn.
    Warning order received 1430 hrs for move of Adm Area not before 0500 hrs 8 Aug. Recce Gp left for new locn at 1430 hrs.
    Movement order for Adm Area received at 2359 hrs.

    8 August 1944
    172 Coy RASC moved from old locn at La Lande sur Drome to new locn at La FERIERE Map Ref 638437 at 0630 hrs. Arrived new locn 0740 hrs. “A” Pl which had been detached on a Composite Supply job reverted to Comd from 11 Armd Div. Capt. Hall & Lieut. Carter brought in “A” Pl during the evening. At a CRASC 3 Br Inf Div conference duties were allocated anew to the Div RASC Coys. This Unit allocated to the duty of a Petrol Coy. At an offrs conference it was decided to make “B” Pl the 100% Pet Pl & “A” Pl to supply the balance of the Petrol vehs & the rest of “A” Pl to supply the blanket lorries, etc.
    Lieut. Bosworth arrived on posting from 23 Coy RASC to fill vacancy of “B” Pl subaltern.

    9 August 1944
    Most of this day concerned with exchange of lorries, duties between 48 Div Tps Coy & this Unit with reference to Blanket vehs, vehs attached to CRASC, Div RE, etc.
    This results in attachments as follows:-
    9 vehs of the Div Inf Bns for Blanket carrying. 6 vehs to Div R.E.
    2 vehs to 3 Recce Unit. 1 veh to HQ RASC. These attachments were completed by nightfall.

    10 August 1944
    P.Ps formed at map ref 657417 at 1900 – 2100 hrs by “B” Pl holding 7000 gals.
    Static P.P. formed at 47 Coy Locn of 6 veh loads pet (4500 gals). This remains open continuously until further notice.
    1075½ gals issued at the P.P.

    11 August 1944
    No P.P. formed this day other than the static one from which 7654 gals were issued.

    12 August 1944
    P.P. formed at 0600 hrs by “A” Pl holding 7000 gals – 1000 gals were issued.
    The static P.P. issued 10692 gals.

    13 August 1944
    Static P.P. only operated today. Weather continued very hot & sunny with clear blue skies giving good conditions for our Air Force.

    14 August 1944
    Twenty 3-ton vehs reported to R.V. 665339 at 0730 hrs to lift tps of 9 Br Inf Bde. These vehs left at 0600 hrs under Lieut. F. Carter with 3 Sjts.

    15 August 1944
    CSM Short posted to this Unit & CSM Gumbley leaves to take up CSM’s duties with 48 Coy.

    16 August 1944
    0700
    Recce parties for move of location left to recce new location at Adm Area east of VIRE (Le Post du VAUDRY). Unit moved from locn at LA FERRIERE to new location at 1530 hrs, arriving new locn at 1700 hrs.
    “A” Pl vehs under Lt. Carter returned from tp carrying detail.

    17 August 1944
    0900
    26 vehs taken to BALLEROY to help in the transfer of the stocks of 53 FMC to 52 FMC.
    Static P.P. est at 0800 hrs.

    18 August 1944
    P.P. established at 759243 at 1600 – 2000 hrs (advance areas) (TINCHEBRAI [sic]).

    19 August 1944
    Warning order for move to new location at 1200 hrs. this move is consequent upon 8 Corps (incl 3 Div) moving into a rest area for one week. Recce Gps for move of Adm Area report to 861231 at 1600 hrs (near FLERS).

    20 August 1944
    Move of Adm Area not to include 172 Coy & 48 Coy. Plans changed as a result of need of tpt for building of No. 4 Army Rd Head near FALAISE. For this purpose Coy HQ remains where it is & “A” & “B” Pls moved out to harbouring areas near Beny Bocage from where they will transfer stocks from FMC to Army Rd Head.
    Capt. East forms a “mock up” Platoon from 1st line vehs released from Inf Bdes of the Div. All petrol dumped on the ground in Coy HQ location. Adm Area moved at approx. 1700 hrs to FLERS area.
    ACC Cokk Sjt (Sjt Currie) posted to 9 Fd Amb.

    21 August 1944
    Bn 1st Line tpt arrived during morning to form “mock up” platoon with Capt. East.
    P.P. est at 47 Coy location at 1500-1800 hrs by vehicles from this “mock-up” Pl (temporarily called “C” Pl) under a Capt. from 23 Coy loaned for the purpose. All petrol transferred by balance of “C” Pl vehs to a dump at 47 Coy area where it will be manned by personnel of 172 Coy Comp Pl transferred for that purpose.
    ACC Cook Sjt posted to this Unit from 9 Fd Amb vice Sjt Currie.
    1 O.R. reinforcement collected from 105 Corps Recept. Camp.
    “A” & “B” Pls occupied today on first day of transfer of stocks from FMC at BENY BOCAGE to form a ‘cushion’ roadhead near FALAISE. Heavy rain all day causing some considerable mud. Not sufficient however to cause operational stoppage.

    22 August 1944
    Very heavy demands on petrol from dump formed at 47 Coy location. “C” Pl kept fully occupied replenishing this dump & returning empty jerricans to Le Mesnie near Falaise. “A” & “B” Pls kept fully occupied on forming the FALAISE Rd Head.
    Difficulty encountered yesterday & today by “A” & “B” Pls in meeting heavy traffic & refugees on the VIRE – FALAISE routes. Delay in off-loading at FALAISE. 30 veh loads of 5.5 amn dumped at Rd Head by “B” Pl after much delay in off-loading.
    Fine sunny warm day reducing mud once more to dust.

    23 August 1944
    30 veh loads of 5.5 shell & cartridge dumped at the FALAISE roadhead by “A” Pl. This was loaded at 53 FMC on evening of 22 Aug. No delay experienced this time in off-loading at FALAISE.

    24 August 1944
    “A” & “B” Pls complete their last details on the BENY BOCAGE – FALAISE run & began to pack up ready to move to 3 Div Adm Area with Coy HQ. Coy HQ ready to move to FLERS area at 1300 hrs. All plans changed consequent upon new instructions issued by CRASC 8 Corps concerning use of RASC tpt for stocking Roadheads. The “mock-up” infantry Pl dispersed its vehs to the various Bns during the afternoon. New plans involved a move of Coy location to Bayeux area (CONDE SUR SEULLES). “A” & “B” Pls already moved there today.

    25 August 1944
    Coy HQ & Wksps moved to BAYEUX area at 0530 hrs. Arrived at Map Ref 829735. This Coy HQ is to operate as the Comd of a Group of Tpt composed of 6 Pls drawn from 3 Div RASC (2 from 172 Coy, 2 from 48 Coy & 2 from 23 & 47 Coys). These Pls to carry stocks to No. 4 Army Road Head from Pet & Sup etc Depots at Bayeux under direction from CRASC 8 Corps Tps. First trips carried out successfully by all Pls today from Bayeux to a R.C. near FALAISE. POL carried today.

    26 August 1944
    Compo Packs carried today on a longer run to R.C. SW of Bernay & E of Argentan. It is noted that today we are receiving instructions from CRASC 22 Tpt Coln who is responsible for stocking of No. 4 Army Rd Head, he is, however, working through CRASC 8 Corps Tps. All six Pls engaged on this detail leaving at different times from the B.S.D. at BAYEUX according to the delay & time of loading. The detail covers 100 miles to the Report Centre. Arrangements made for a Ration pt for Pls for midnight.

    27 August 1944
    First Pl (23 Coy) reported back at 1030 hrs from yesterday’s detail. The other Pls reported back between 1800 & after midnight. Detail carried out successfully. Delays in loading & off-loading. 23 Coy Pl detailed for further job at 1800 hrs (Airfield Constr. Stores).

    28 August 1944
    All Pls again detailed for a long journey to R.C. approx. 20 miles N of DREUX – a journey of approx. 150 miles. Loads of Airfield Constr stores carried. All these details are for stocking of No. 4 Army Dh Head in preparation for the Allied push beyond the SEINE through the Pas de Calais. Pls departed at different times throughout the day. One Pl of 23 Coy was delayed so long that they harboured at the E.S.B.D. & left at first light 29 Aug. All Pls complain of lack of organisation at Rd Head & unjustifiable delays in off-loading.

    29 August 1944
    12 vehs of “A” Pl 172 Coy detailed for 1300 hrs for carrying RE Stores to No. 4 Army Rd Head.
    2 Pls of 48 Coy diverted on return journey to RE dump at Robin to load & proceed back once more to No. 4 Army Rd Head.
    23 Coy Pl returned from detail reporting much delay at the B.S.D. at Army Rd Head.
    Capt. Hall had to wait from 0830 to 1600 hrs before all his vehicles were clear of the depot after off-loading.

    30 August 1944
    Lt. Haley detailed with 27 vehs of 23 Coy to proceed to Bayeux at 0800 hrs to 17 AOD to tpt RAOC stores to 4 Army Rd Head. Capt. Hall also detailed with 16 vehs of “A” Pl 172 Coy on a similar job at same time.
    Weather has broken & developed into cloudy, dull & rainy conditions.
    Capt. Varley returned with 172 Coy B Pl at midday. Capt. Uglow returned with 23 Coy B Pl 2200 hrs approx.
    Pls still complain of inefficiency & delay at 4 Rd Head. Such inefficiency accentuated by presence of mud, the absence of such things as chespaling and T.C. at dump.

    31 August 1944
    Capt. Uglow & Capt. Varley further detailed with their Pls for carrying Sups to No. 4 Army Rd Head. CRASC 3 Br Inf Div instructs that all pls to be in area FLERS under comd 3 Br Inf Div by 1200 hrs 1 Sept. No further details for No. 4 Army Rd Head to be accepted.
     
  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 September 1944
    172 Coy HQ moved to FLERS area at 1400 hrs. 3 Div RASC once more reconstituted as such and concentrated in FLERS area after completing its task of 3rd Line Tpt in building up No. 4 Army Rd Head. Coy HQ est at ST. GERMAIN de GROSEILLERS near FLERS at 1730 hrs.

    2 September 1944
    This Coy to provide 58 vehs to troop carry 8 Bde in the Div move due to start at 0001 hrs, 3 Sep. 24,000 gals pet carried by the Coy from BAYEUX to the P.P. at 47 Coy for use of the Div. Capt. Hall i/c the troop carrying detail starting at 2100 hrs.

    3 September 1944
    Division moved during today. Coy packed up ready to move by night.

    4 September 1944
    Coy & Adm Area moved to area N.E. of PARIS near LES ANDELYS. 172 Coy moved at 0130 hrs & arrived at MOUFLAINES, East of LES ANDELYS at 1500 hrs. Very moonlight night & fine day made travelling very good. Orders received as soon as reached new location for both Platoons to go to BAYEUX on another detail for 8 Corps transporting petrol to form a ‘cushion’ at ARRAS. This is a 5-day turn round trip. Major Cardy & Capt. East to go to BAYEUX to man report centre there. 172 Coy Workshops with Capt. Briggs to go to Harbour Area South of AMIENS.

    5 September 1944
    Capt. Briggs & 172 Coy Wksps left at 1100 hrs for MARSEILLES EN BEAUVAIS to set up a recovery & Wksps in the 8 Corps RASC Harbour Area.

    6 September 1944
    “A” & “B” Pls reached MARSEILLES from BAYEUX during the evening on their first trip to ARRAS.

    7 September 1944
    Very wet night & day with some considerable wind and cold.

    8 September 1944
    A further tpt pl made up of all domestic vehs of the Div RASC (5 supplied from Coy HQ & Comp. Pl of 172 Coy) concentrated at 48 Coy at 1700 hrs today ready to move off to BAYEUX on 9 Sep to collect petrol & bring Divl 2nd Line pet holding up to strength.

    9 September 1944

    172 Coy transport in location today reduced to one water truck & one cook’s vehicle & one car 2 str. Every other veh in the Unit away on 3rd Line tpt details.


    10 September 1944
    Capt. Varley called at Coy HQ on way back to BAYEUX on return from his detail.

    11 September 1944
    Capt. Hall called at Coy HQ on his way up to ARRAS with his Pl from BAYEUX.
    Composite Pl of all Div RASC vehs (1st Line) returned to Coy HQ loaded with Pet on return from BAYEUX.

    12 September 1944
    Party of 1 Offr & 19 O.Rs proceeded on a recreational tpt trip to PARIS for the day. All further recreational trips to PARIS cancelled.

    13 September 1944
    O.C. called at Coy HQ from BAYEUX at 1300 hrs.

    14 September 1944
    Both Platoons returned from 3rd Line tpt details. “A” Pl returned during the afternoon & “B” Pl at midnight.

    15 September 1944
    Workshops Pl returned from No. 4 Harbour Area during the afternoon thus completing the Coy except for the O.C., Capt. East and several drivers at No. 1 Report Centre.

    16 September 1944
    Day spent in loading all available vehs with pet preparatory to a long move fwd into BELGIUM. Coy moved at 1700 hours. Capt. Hall admitted to 11 F.D.S. to undergo treatment. Lieut. Cameron sent ahead to est a Div. P.P. in the Staging Area.

    17 September 1944
    After a good night drive of 160 miles the Coy arrived at the Div Staging Area near SOIGNIES at 0900 hrs approx. After maintenance & rest the Coy left again at 1800 hrs. The O.C. contacted the Coy here having returned from No. 1 Report Centre at BAYEUX.

    18 September 1944
    After a very dark, wet & cold night drive which was negotiated satisfactorily the Coy arrived at its new location East of DIEST at 1000 hrs approx.

    19 September 1944
    P.P. est at Petit Brogel by Capt. Varley 1130 – 1230 hrs. Considerable issues from the static P.P. at Coy dump.

    20 September 1944
    30,000 gals pet issued from Coy static dump. P.P. again est at Petit Brogel by Lieut. Carter 1130 – 1230 hours.

    21 September 1944
    P.P. again est at Petit Brogel 1130 – 1230 hrs.

    22 September 1944
    “B” Ech 185 Bde moved into area adjacent to Coy location & came under the Unit for control of movement.
    Lieut. Somerville W.J. (184412) posted to this Unit.

    23 September 1944
    Capt. Varley left at 0600 hrs for troop carrying with 20 vehs. P.Ps est at HAMONT & near PEER & in location 1130 – 1230 hrs. O.C. & Capt. East recce new area for Adm Gp and CSM recced new area for Coy in area LEENDE.
    10,000 gals pet drawn to replenish 2nd line. 6 vehs supplemented 23 Coy’s S.A.P.

    24 September 1944
    Move of Coy location postponed. P.Ps est at HAMONT & LEENDE and in Coy location 1130 – 1230 hrs. 24 veh loads of pet (200 jerricans each load) sent fwd to new Coy location at LEENDE with Lt. Carter at 0600 hrs. Capt. Varley & 20 vehs troop carrying R.U.Rs. Very wet, cold and windy day.

    25 September 1944
    Coy HQ & Wksps Pls moved at 1200 hrs to LEENDE. Rejoined by “A” Pl later in the day. “B” Pl returned to old coy location after completing Tp carrying. P.Ps at both old & new Coy locations.

    26 September 1944
    Capt. Varley rejoined Coy location early in the morning. P.P. established at ZOMEREN 1530 hrs.

    27 September 1944
    P.P. est at ZOMEREN 1130 – 1230 hrs. 10,000 gals drawn from DIEST by “A” Pl. Considerable delay experienced by Pls when drawing Pet from DIEST. “A” Pl did not return until 0500 hrs 28 Sep.

    28 September 1944
    P.P. established at ZOMEREN 1000 hrs of 6,000 gals by “A” Pl. “B” Pl left at 1100 hrs to draw 20,000 gals from DIEST.
    50,000 gals of pet dumped at a special dump by 11th Armd RASC, 50th Div RASC for use of U.S. Army.

    29 September 1944
    Report Centre for U.S. Army (7th Armd Div) drawing from P.O.L. dump opened at 0800 hrs. No POL issued to Div units.
    20,000 gals collected yesterday dumped at DONK (56 FMC). Further 15,000 gals pet drawn from DIEST by Lieut. Carter. 7 O.R. reinforcements received via HQ 3 Br Inf Div.

    30 September 1944
    Lieut. Somerville left for DIEST at 0830 hrs with 18 vehs to collect 15,000 gals Pet.
    Capt. Varley est P.P. near HELMOND 1100 – 1600 hrs holding 12,000 gals.
    Pet Dump for U.S. Forces (7 Armd Div) issued last amount of petrol at 1830 hrs approx.
    Pet dump then disbanded – all empty jerricans left by U.S. Army on the ground. 5,000 to be collected by 11 Armd Div, 5,000 by 3 Div, balance by DDST, 8 Corps. This Coy moves 6,700 – more than its official commitment.
     
  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 October 1944
    Lt. Somerville took 27 vehs to DIEST to draw 20,000 gals of M.T. 80 pet & other POL. All pet issued from dump at Coy location – no PPs established at advance points. Recce party under Capt. East left Coy locn at 1130 hrs to recce proposed new locn nearer the borders of Germany. Cold day with some rain.

    2 October 1944
    Two PPs established – one N.W. of MILL and one S.E. of MILL – one for troops over the MEUSE and one for those not yet crossed. The PP N.W. of MILL est by Lt. Carter holding 15,000 gals from 1000 – 1400 hrs for 185 Bde, 8 Bde & Div RA less 33 Fd Regt. Two other PPs est by Capt. Varley holding 8,000 for 9 Bde & Div Tps plus 33 Fd Regt from 1100 to 1400 hrs. Returning empty vehs from the PPs pick up POL from 56 FMC at DONK.

    3 October 1944
    0930
    0930 hrs – Coy moved location from LEENDE. New Coy locn est near MILL at 1430 hrs at M.R. 644410. PPs est as yesterday – small issues made. Very cold day. 90% of Coy under cover (e.g. barns, outhouses, etc) in the new location.

    4 October 1944
    Very cold day; rather cloudy & dull. PP est by “A” Pl in Coy location. Replenishment of pet holdings from 56 FMC at DONK at 1400 hrs.

    5 October 1944
    Very cold day with clear skies – good conditions for aircraft. Hundreds of high-flying “Flying Fortresses” seen passing over Coy locn on way to bomb COLOGNE.
    PP est in Coy locn by “B” Pl – 8,000 gals issued. Holding of pet (35,000 gals) made up by drawing on 56 FMC at DONK at 1400 hours.

    6 October 1944
    PP est in Coy locn by “A” Pl as for previous days. New Scheme for Coy defence & guards whilst Coy is in location finally worked out and put into operation w.e.f. 2200 hours tonight. This is intended to prepare for the eventuality (now not far ahead) of the Coy being billeted in German localities where it will be liable to all sorts of unknown (as yet) forms of attack. (See Appx “A” attached). Appx A
    “B” Pl under Capt. Varley & Lt. Somerville sent off on 3rd Line tpt detail for carrying amn from WESEMAEL to DONK (56 FMC). 2 Sections of “A” Pl attached to 47 Coy for tpt of amn from DONK. 25 Fd Regt now under comd 3 Div drew large amount of pet from PP today.

    7 October 1944
    Maint project for pet same as for yesterday. This Coy now insists on a “can for can” basis in the issue of pet as it is found that otherwise empty jerricans are not returned with any care at all. Units finding that they can get pet in return for empty cans are now tending to scour the countryside for empties so that they can draw the maximum amount of pet.

    8 October 1944
    Pet maint same as yesterday. Tp carrying vehs of 96 Tp Carrying Coy harboured in Coy area for the night prior to carrying 185 Bde on the 9th.

    9 October 194
    Pet maint programme basically the same. Capt. Hall returned to the Unit from the RHU on discharge from hospital.

    10 October 1944
    Pet maint programme same as for yesterday. Anti-freeze issued in small amounts to Units with high priority. Capt. Briggs left at 0730 hrs with 2 vehs (3-ton) from this Unit to pick up a train of vehs to go back to BAYEUX to fetch Ordnance stores & in particular for the RASC Wksps MT Spares. Op order attached at Appx. “B”. Very wet day.

    11 October 1944
    Cross positing of Capt. Varley from this Coy to 47 Coy in exchange for Capt. Hopley.
    Anti-freeze issued to Units on priority basis.

    12 October 1944
    Normal pet maintenance carried out. H.M. King George VI visited the 3rd Div area.
    Capt. Gilmour, RAMC (M.O. on est of HQ RASC) attached to this Unit. Regtl Medical Post est at this Coy HQ.

    13 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. O.C. & 2 Senior NCOs proceeded on 48 hrs leave to BRUSSELS.

    14 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Anti-freeze issued to Units.

    15 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out.

    16 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Five senior NCOs went to BRUSSELS on 48 hrs leave.

    17 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. O.C. returned from 48 hrs leave at BRUSSELS. Capt. Briggs returned from the “Ordnance stores BAYEUX supply train job”.

    18 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out.

    19 October 1944
    Major Sheather & Staff arrived during the morning from the M.T. Inspection Branch to carry out MT inspection of this Unit’s vehs. “B” Pl returned to locn from 3rd Line tpt detail at midday. “A” Pl moved out of Coy locn during evening to take over the 3rd Line tpt work.

    20 October 1944

    Normal pet maint carried out. PP now est by “B” Pl. Recce gps moved off from Coy HQ at 1400 hrs to recce new area at GEMERT. All locations becoming very mud-bound owing to considerable rain and soft ground.

    21 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Unit Recce Officers carried out a further recce with CRASC of proposed new Div RASC area in the GEMERT district.

    22 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Recce gps left Coy locn for GEMER at 1400 hrs to prepare for move of Coy tomorrow.

    23 October 1944
    Unit moved to new location near GEMERT at the small village of DE MORTEL. Coy HQ moved at 1030 hrs. Wksps moved at 1400 hrs followed by “B” Pl on conclusion of work at the PP.
    Normal pet maint carried out. Move completed satisfactorily & new location found to be good, affording good cover and hard standings for Coy HQ & Wksps. Veh standings for Pls as now are poor but accn for men good.

    24 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out, but owing to rather more scattered locations of Div Units a PP has now to be est at a point outside the Coy locn. This PP was taken out by Lt. Somerville and est at 645315 at 1000 hrs to 1400 hrs for all Bdes and Fwd Div Tps. Other Div tps drew from a static PP in Coy locn. This present area proves to be rather “tricky” on account of the very many and varied traffic circuits and the one way routes imposed, and made necessary by nature of the road surfaces.

    25 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Coy reverts to normal type of guards & the “blood squad” system is held in abeyance during the present state of the battle which has become very static.

    26 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out.

    27 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Capt. S.A. Griffiths posted to 48 Coy RASC. Capt. Crawley posted to this Unit as a replacement.

    28 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out.

    29 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out.

    30 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Officer from DAD Claims, Army visited unit and decided to requisition most of the premises occupied. 2nd Line pet holdings temporarily reduced to 20,000 gals.

    31 October 1944
    Normal pet maint carried out. Time of drawing pet from FMC altered to 1130 hrs. This necessitates estimates the days issues before drawing.
     
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  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Appx A

    DEFENCE OF AN R.A.S.C. COMPANY

    INTRODUCTION.
    R.A.S.C. pamphlets and O.T.S. teaching on defence visualise concerted action by a Pl or Coy against an outside attacking force.
    It is considered that, in Germany, one of the biggest dangers will be acts of sabotage, etc. by partisans operating in, or having penetrated into the Coy or Pl perimeter, probably during the hours of darkness.
    All-round defence, weapons pits, etc. as taught, will be of little use at night, while the former guard of 1 NCO and 9, 12 or 18 men, are of limited value because –

    (1) they have a hard day’s work both behind and ahead.
    (2) they are necessarily very heterogeneous, both as regards temperament, the weapons they carry and their skill in using them.

    Also, at night, it takes too long to rouse a tired Pl and organise it into an effective fighting force.

    OBJECT
    To have within the Coy perimeter a force capable of dealing with the envisaged contingencies. This force must –

    (a) be awake, fully clothed and ready for action.
    (b) be specially trained in saboteur hunting and destruction.
    (c) be capable of containing a small armed enemy force until reinforcements arrive.
    (d) be appropriately armed and proficient in the use of their arms.

    METHOD
    For defence purposes the Coy is divided into Pls as follows –

    (1) Coy HQ, Comp Pl & Wksps Pl.
    (2) “A” Pl.
    (3) “B” Pl.
    Each of the three Pls above provides a ‘section’ of 2 NCOs and 6 men. Each section is sub-divided into 2 sub-sections of 1 NCO and 3 men. They are armed as follows –

    (1) Personnel. Weapons.
    NCO i/c Sub-Section. Sten Gun plus 1 x 69 Gren + 3 x 36 M Gren.
    No. 1. Bren Gun & 5 magazines + Sten Gun.
    No. 2. Rifle + 4 x 36 M Grens + 2 Bren Gun mags.
    No. 3. Sten Gun + 2 Bren Gun mags + 3 x 36 Grens.
    1 PIAT is held in reserve at the Pl Battle Post which is sited centrally in Pl areas.

    (2) Tour of Duty.
    One sub-section will be on duty for 8 hours + will remain clothed and immediately available to deal with any emergency. The remaining sub-section will be at “READINESS” and will be available at very short notice to support the sub-section on duty.

    (3) Action on Alarm
    Should any Pl area be attacked then the sub-section in that Pl on duty will immediately deal with the situation closely supported by the “READINESS” sub-section. Should the enemy be in sufficient force to warrant a greater force then the remaining defence sections in the Coy area at immediate call for support. This will be done at the discretion of O. i/c Defence Gp (i.e. Capt. East) or his 2nd in Comd (CSM).

    (4) General.
    Cpl. Smyth was detailed to assist in construction of Defence Sections and he will remain at HQ to co-ordinate the Sections in defending the Coy. should the whole force be required. The ‘normal’ defence (section posts) remains in force for day use and for night-attack from outside.

    (5) The above scheme was put into operation at 062300A.

    6 Oct 44.
     
  9. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Appendix “B”

    172 Company, R.A.S.C. (Inf. Bde).

    OPERATION INSTR. NO.1
    Operation “ERIC” (or “Little by Little”)

    10 Oct 44

    INFORMATION. As per Div Int Summaries.

    INTENTION. To form a train of RASC vehs to proceed to BAYEUX to collect M.T. Spares.
    RASC vehs will form part of a larger train collecting Ord Stores.

    METHOD.
    (1) W.O. i/c Ord train – WO.1 Vanner (RAOC).
    Composition of Ord train – 3 ton vehs.
    5 ex RA
    4 ex RE
    3 Recce, Mx, REME (each 1)
    5 Div Ord Fd Pk
    4 Div Ord Dump
    21

    (2) O i/c RASC train – Capt. E.S. Briggs.
    Composition of train – 3 ton Bedfords - 8 (each RASC Coy – 2)
    15 cwt. - 1 (172 Coy).

    (3) Capt. Briggs will also be i/c the complete train for journey to BAYEUX.

    (4) RASC vehs will report to HQ 47 Coy 0730 hrs 10 Oct. 47 Coy will recce suitable lying up area (area 640433).
    Ord train will pass MR 640433 0800. RASC train will join Ord train & proceed as complete convoy.
    Drivers will have breakfast & be in possession of haversack rations.
    172 Coy will provide hot tea.

    ADM
    (a) The Ord train will be administratively self contained.
    (b) RASC train.

    (i) Rns. 172 Coy will provide 1 cook, adequate cooking eqpt.
    172 Coy will collect ex 47 Coy p.m. 10 Oct 100 complete hard rations. 172 Coy will draw Rns at BAYEUX for return journey.

    (ii) POL. Each Coy will furnish each veh with enough Pet & Oil to reach BAYEUX. Refilling will be carried out at BAYEUX as directed by Capt. Briggs.

    (iii) Water. Each Coy to provide 4 water Jerricans – to be handed to 172 Coy 15 cwt cooks truck. These will be refilled at BAYEUX for return trip.

    (iv) Route. As decided by O. i/c Convoy.

    (v) Stragglers Post. Jerusalem X rds on BAYEUX – TILLY road.

    (vi) Rec. 172 Coy will incl 1 fitter (with tools) among drivers of vehs.

    (vii) Veh makes. To simplify repairs on the road all vehs will be 3 ton Bedford 4x2. Essential that sound vehs and good drivers selected.

    (viii) Superstructures. Each Coy will remove s/structures of 1 veh only.

    (ix) Kit, etc. Dvrs will take small kit, bedding, cigarettes, soap, etc. enough for one week.

    (x) Maps. Each Coy should provide ¼” maps if possible, for their drivers.

    (xi) Med. 1st Aid Kits to be carried on all vehs.

    (xii) Indents, etc. It is recommended that each Coy includes in its party one person experienced in W/S indenting, etc and fully conversant with details of outstanding items, etc.

    INTERCOMN
    (a) Capt. Briggs will take car and driver/batman.
    (b) 23 & 48 Coys will each provide 1 M/Cyclist.
    (c) Adm Area not expected to move. If it does, 172 Coy will either contact Capt. Briggs on his return route or leave guide at Rd junc 640433.

    ACK

    [sgd: ??]
    CMGD. 172 Coy R.A.S.C. (INF. BDE)
    Method of Issue….DR….
    TOS 1443

    DISTRIBUTION: Capt. Briggs, 172 Coy, 23 Coy, 47 Coy, 48 Coy, 3 Div Ord Fd Pk, Inf Ord SubPk, C, RASC, File, W. Dy.
     
  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Appendix “C”
    During the month there has been very little movement made by the Division and the daily petrol issues have remained fairly constant at approximately 10,000 gallons. This has only committed approx. 20 vehicles per day of one transport Platoon, leaving the other Platoon free to work as 3rd. Line.
    The Tpt Pl working as 3rd. Line was fully committed and although it was found possible to carry out the monthly Platoon Inspections it was not possible to carry out the monthly Workshop Inspections. It was therefore decided to change the Pls over fortnightly. This worked very satisfactorily as the POL Pl was able to keep a section of vehicles off the road daily for Workshop Inspection and repair.
    The change over also enabled both Pls to keep up to date with their interior administration and, in addition, gave the men equal opportunities for recreation.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Appendix “D”
    During the month there has been more time to organise recreation and the Div RASC formed Rugby, football and hockey teams which played regularly. A number of inter-company football matches have also been played.
    There are few sports grounds in this area but the nature of the country makes it easy to adapt a field for this purpose. At present there is sufficient sports kit to equip the players but it is apparent that by the end of December there will be a definite shortage. This has been anticipated and letters asking for tenders for a further supply have been sent to a number of sports outfitters.
    Efforts have been made to interest the men in recreation within the Unit. A games and writing room has been formed and the men are being approached to find out the form they wish the recreation to take.
     
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  11. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    That is unfortunately all I have got on this Company but their diary throws up a couple of questions:

    a. I noted that in the October 1944 Operation Instruction there was a reference to all RASC vehicles being employed on the run back to Bayeux being Bedford 4 x 2 3-ton vehicles. I was surprised to see divisional RASC companies equipped with 4 x 2 3-tonners and that fact makes me even more curious about the make of the twenty 4 x 4 3-ton vehicles drawn from the Assault Force VRD on 20 May 44.

    b. I also noted that the Ammunition Point (A.P.) which landed with 185 Bde was equipped with 6 vehicles whereas I think the landing table suggested that it was only planned to have 4 vehicles. I'd be interested if anyone can shed light on when that change was made.

    Regards

    Tom
     
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