War Diary - 237 Petrol Depot RASC

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Tom OBrien, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi,

    I thought the June 44 war diary from this relatively small RASC unit would be of interest (and not just because of the Austin K5 3-ton 4x4 issues!).

    WO171/2288 – 237 Petrol Depot RASC

    C.O.: Capt O.W. ERDAL

    […]

    11 – 14 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Preparation & sorting G.1098 Equipment.

    15 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    237/238 Petrol Depot Conference at Camp A.2 Emsworth.
    Major Speirs D Coy Kings present and representative from D Coy Ox & Bucks.
    Captain Carter [??] in the chair.

    16 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    G.S. Lorry 4 x 2 Austin collected from 28 V.R.D. Nuneaton.

    17 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Work continued on G. 1098 Stores.

    18 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    G.S. Lorry 4 x 2 exchanged for G.S. Lorry 4 x 4 Austin @ 24 AFV Depot.
    Austin 4 x 2 Utility exchanged for Willys 5 cwt Jeep @ 69 V.R.D.
    Lt. Barrow posted to 102 Rft. Gp. Authority 101 Beach Sub Area.
    Balance of Petrol & empty Jerricans returned to Petrol Dump Bereleigh House.

    19 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Sgt. Harrison posted to 46 R.H.U. Promotions:- Cpl Chilton to Sgt. L/Cpl. Wassall to Cpl.
    Dvr Harris to L/Cpl.

    20 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Final packing G. 1098 equipment.

    21 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Cornelius Received concentrating.
    Residual G1098 equipment (expected in D + 21) delivered to 69 V.R.D. (8 3 ton lorries from 39 G.T. Coy).

    22 May 1944 HORNDEAN
    1000
    Inspection by the King.

    23 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Waterproofing Stage A completed. Austin G.S. 4 x 4, Willys 5 cwt & Trailer Fire Pump.

    24 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Packing Willys 5 cwt & Austin G.S. 4 x 4 3-ton.

    25 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Ptes Parry & Davey proceeded with Willys to London Docks. Camp sealed 2359 hrs.

    26 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    O.C. attended 101 Sub Area Briefing Conference – Overlord.

    27 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    O.C. & 2 i/c attended 5 B.G. Briefing Conference. A.M.
    2 i/c attended CRASC Conference. P.M.
    O.C. & 2 i/c attended Jt. Petrol Depot Conference @ Petworth. P.M.

    28 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    Unit briefing. Overlord.

    29 May 1944 COWPLAIN
    1800
    A6 Camp Comt. Conference.
    2000 5 B.G. Commanders Final Conference.

    30 May 1944
    0930
    Advance Party – O.C. & 3 men proceeded to Marshalling Area J2.
    1330 2 i/c & 15 men proceeded to Marshalling Area A14.

    30 May 1944
    0900
    Unit split into craft parties. Advance party (Capt. Erdal + 3 men) to Camp J2.
    1500 Main party Lt. Erskine + 16 O.R’s to Camp A14.
    Marching Party 1 Off + 13 OR’s.
    Vehicle Part 2 OR’s – 3 ton 4 x 4 Austin + Fire Trailer Ump.
    Ignition trouble Austin 3 ton 4 x 4 5193580 to REME for repairs.

    31 May 1944 WICKHAM
    Confined to camp. Austin 3 ton lorry condemned.

    1 June 1944
    0430
    Austin 4 x 4 5193580 replaced by Austin 4 x 4 5193150.
    0600 Main party moved to embarkation area.
    1400 Embarked 382 (LST)(2) Gosport – anchored in Solent.

    2 June 1944
    At sea.

    3 June 1944
    Vehicle party 2 OR’s + 1 Jeep embarked Tilbury on 943 MTC from T7.

    4 June 1944
    At sea.

    5 June 1944
    Main party sailed comfortable ship men rather cramped but in good spirits. No direct enemy activity.

    6 June 1944 Queen Beach
    Main party landed contacted Advance Party.
    Key Plan site still in hands of enemy – Depot set up with 238 P.D. recce party within 150 yards of beach temporarily. Capt Carter + advance party arrive 238 P.D. Proximity of ammo dump and no room for expansion noted. P.O.L. arrives, offloaded and stacked on ground allotted after area tested for mines. Hundreds of planes towing gliders and with paratroops pass overhead to cheers of our troops. Work continued throughout night.

    7 June 1944 Colleville-sur-Mer
    Supplies arrive steadily and small issues made. 27 Armd. Bde using Derv are best customers. Sniping + shelling of beach causes some apprehension. Coles Crane and 2 RE personnel to be attached unit hit mine coming off beach. Personnel O.K. saved no doubt by sandbags under feet in cab – near side wheel of vehicle and most of engine blown off – later houses set on fire by shelling + general marking of snipers remains of vehicle burnt out. Jeep + 2 ORs arrive. Temporary site becomes dangerous as more P.O.L. arrives. B.G. “O” Group asked for new site – none available – strongpoint near Key Plan site not yet reduced. Good RAF cover – plenty of air activity – absence of cover quickly taken advantage of by enemy. AA gunners have much success. Men tired but unshaken.

    238 P.D. main + vehicle parties arrive. Men work on throughout the night tired but standing up the job well.

    8 June 1944 Colleville-sur-Mer
    After night of tension with enemy continuously overhead Capt Carter O.C. combined Depot again reported to B.G. H.Q. necessity for new site. Staff Capt. visits Petrol Depot and recce is made of adjoining area. Additional recce made by O.C. and Major Butcher of Ammo Depot. New sites selected. Stores now pouring in.
    1230 Enemy hits depot. Disastrous fire within 60 seconds H.E. hits loaded D.U.K.W. Immediate fire in Petrol Depot and Ammo dump. Officers of dumps attempt to move and rescue transport. Many drivers leave vehicles and flee. One OR of 96 D.I.D. steps forward and rescues one 3 Tonner. Capt. Erdal badly injured as also is Lt. Col. Sale, 6 B.G. Commander.
    1800 Lt. Erskine and Lt Gibbons 238 P.D. collected + assembled all personnel that could be found and on instructions of Major ?? of 21 Transport Column set up P.O.L., DID and ammo dump at Hermanville. Very short of labour. 40 men obtained from nearby R.E. Company to assist in offloading and stacking of stores.
    2000 Instructions to withdraw P.O.L. to new site recced by Capt. Carter.
    2200 P.O.L. and personnel transported to No.2 Depot Coleville area where Capt Carter and his party had establishment of depot + mine clearance in hand. Roll Call proves Capt. Erdal casualty. P.O.L. stacking [??] in conditions very difficult – shortage of labour and mine clearance in darkness.

    27 Armd Bde demands Derv and is supplied by residue [??] at burnt out site – no hold up caused by loss of stock. Still very small issues due to static line. Estimated loss 400 – 450 tons POL, all 1098 equipment (including vehicles), all records and most personal kit lost.

    9 June 1944
    New site rapidly expands and new fields taken over. Depot now develops along line of hedges, small fields providing staggering of rows. Enemy mine warnings ignored by necessity. Still very small issues due to static line.

    Lt. Erskine assumed command. Lt. Hall posted to unit as 2 i/c. Advised Capt. Erdal evacuated.

    10 June 1944
    0400
    Depot hit by 3 H.E. bombs and containers of S.D.Is – fierce petrol fire – dispersal of stacks limits extent, all men working valiantly and energetically in fierce heat and glare to move adjoining stacks – enemy continually overhead – depot efforts successful and at dawn the fire is under control and as the RAF arrived the enemy beat it. All personnel including D Coys 5th [??] Bucks + 5th Kings worked splendidly. Pte Parry removed C.R.S. with shock. S.O.S.
    1400 Recce 1st Key Plan site. Estimated loss 18-20 tons P.O.L.
    Lt. Coe posted to unit [???]
    237 P.D. & 238 P.D. move to new site.
    1800 Rear party under comd Lt. Gibbons left to close down site.
    New site large flat cropped [??] area with little cover. Trenching system already waiting for bivvy area. Dispersal P.O.L. now 1st Priority. Stores on ground by 2000 hrs. Issues being carried out at old site, receipts at new site. Major Scott 101 Beach Sub Area orders delivery emergency transport (1 Weasel + 2nd i/c proceed). Personnel very dishevelled and unkempt but more determined than ever.

    11 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Depot rapidly expands. Stacks 5/7 tons well dispersed along strip cultivation. Dispersal gives necessary protection but adds to control difficulties (traffic – labour etc). Labour shortage. Supplies of towels – soap – razor blades etc obtained for men.

    12 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Planning continues, Receipts continue, greatest difficulty accounting – approx figures only are being returned. Suffering from loss equipment and 1398. Most personnel now issued with most immediate necessities.

    13 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Expansion continues – receipts heavy. Many visitors including Brigs. Gillespie and Dominic Brown. Now under command CRASC 17 S.U. as 2nd Army Troops. Increased labour.

    14 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Labour change from Infantry to 95 Pioneeer Coy. Ordered to recce new sites by CRASC 17 S.U. – recced but cancelled. 15 men of 132 Petrol Depot attached. 16 of Movement Control arrive in depot. Night receipts light. First day of real accounting – still feeling loss 1398 and other equipment.

    15 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Command Post 101 Beach Sub Area suggests salvage MT87 in fuel tanks of wrecked LCI(S)’s. O.C. recced LCI’s, unit equipment totally unsuited to the job.
    1900 Mustang Mark III crashes in depot - pilot bailed out safely. No night work.

    16 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts slacked off. Depot signing now taken in hand – close cooperation and assistance by Pro 245 HQ Coy. Mail deliveries slow and not much news – enemy continues spasmodic shelling of beach – another attempt at salvage proves useless. Difficult to contact Navy for pump etc. Dispersal of stocks completed. Planning depot in complete sub-depots, each area dispersed but containing all natures. No night work.

    17 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Small receipts, large issues. Petrol salvage on LCI(S)509 commenced – very slow business. CRASC asked for additional equipment. Enemy shell Cresserons 2115 hrs apparently nuisance raid. Command now 11 L of C Terminal.

    18 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Depot stacks to be eaten down to 1500 tons. Still no accurate forecast or pre-advice of stores to be handed. Movement Control working in depot and cooperating.

    19 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Attempt to use harbours to speed up salvage ops – no report yet received as to result – services 132 + 134 Pet. Dep.’s called in for this purpose. Rum issue – road repair urgent. First conference of Depot Representatives at No.1 Roadhead HQ. Dvr Fond [??] fractured ankle bone motor cycle accident – taken to 86 General Hospital.

    20 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Dvr Fond [??] evacuated S.O.S. No receipts, small issues. Small receipts and issues. Enemy still shelling beach.

    21 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Issues increase – rough sea holds up delivery POL and Mail.

    22 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Some issues replacement G.1098 arriving. Enemy shelling beach. Rough sea holds up delivery POL + Mail. Issues steady.

    23 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Pioneer roadmaking party lay hard core on half depot circuit. Lt. Coe posted 57 BSD, authy HQ 17 S.U. CRASC. Enemy shelling beach. Steady issues.

    24 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Roadmaking continues. Small Receipts, steady issues. Depot holding to be increased to 2500 tons.

    25 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Revised schedule 1 Corps + 71 Inf Bde drawing times received. Issues steady, receipts light.

    26 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    New schedule in force. Issues heavy. Enemy shell beach. 2100 hrs O.C. attends conference Commander 2nd Army.
    0730 Heavy barrage heard from forward areas.
    Receipts small, issues steady. Very heavy rain in evening plays havoc with tracks.

    27 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts small, shelling beach, Issues steady.

    28 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts small, steady issues. Notification received of Capt. O.W. Erdal’s death at 16 C.C.S. on 11th June. Death from shock and fractured spine. Shock responsible for change in condition after advice of evacuation on 9th.
    3 Ton Austin 4 x 4 lorry drawn from 17 A.O.D in replacement 3 ton lorry burnt out 8th.

    29 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    French labour reported for roadmaking in depot. Small receipts, steady issues.
    132 P.D. personnel draining Petrol Tanks on beach and filling jerricans in depot.
    Weather showery. Torrential rain during evening. Shelling beach.

    30 June 1944 CRESSERONS
    Issues 100 Octane to R.A.F. commence.
    Barrage continues ahead, weather very changeable.
    Small receipts. Increased issues.
     
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  2. CL1

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

    Tom thank you for posting very interesting

    regards
    Clive
     
  3. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Great stuff Tom, impatiently waiting for more.

    Graham.
     
  4. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    Thanks for posting this.

    Below is a photo of the fire on the 10th June.

    Regards

    Danny

    Fire  10th  June  1944  HU 102360.jpg
     
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  5. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    And due to popular demand!


    1 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Weather showery. Receipts POL small, Issues steady.
    Pte Stevens + L/Cpl Graham posted to unit from 34 R.H.U.

    2 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Weather showery. No receipts, Issues steady.
    2230 Lone enemy plane drops bomb in potato field next to Depot exit. Dropped between Searchlight site and lateral road on soft ground. No damage.

    3 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts light, Issues steady, weather showery.

    4 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Dvr Sant [??] posted to unit 4/7/44 from 242 P.D. surplus to W.E.
    Receipts increase. Receiving from Transhipment area.
    MT80 received in 40 gallon barrels, Auto-patrol working on roads. Difficulties with internal circuit road surface owing to bad weather.

    5 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Various grade P.O.L. received in 40 gallon barrels.
    Heavy issues and receipts. Considerable air activity at night and some shelling in the area. Weather showery.

    6 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Weather fine – sunny during day. Rain at night. Receipts heavy – Issues increase.
    Shelling Cresserons Area during night. Dvr Sant [??] posted 55 B.S.D.

    7 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts small, Issues steady. M.P.F.C. assist transferring MT80 from 40 gallon barrels to Jerricans. Weather, fine sunny.
    2130 Air armada passes over – drop their bombs in Caen area.
    Allied artillery barrage commences and continues throughout the night.

    8 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts increase, Issues steady.
    Empty Jerricans increase by leaps + bounds and are not being eaten down.
    Weather fine.
    Radiolocation RAF unit opens up between POL and BSD sites.

    9 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts very heavy towards end of day, Issues steady. Weather fine.
    Small shell lands in depot, small damage to 40 gallon barrels.
    Shelling Cresserons intermittently all day. Caen falls to us.

    10 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts medium, Issues steady, weather showery.

    11 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Receipts small, Issues steady, weather showery.
    1800 237 + 238 P.D. split. 238 P.D. continue to run A Sector. 132 Petrol Depot B Type take over B Sector.
    237 Petrol Depot attached 132 P.D. pending assumption F.M.A. duties with 2 Cdn Corps. Command transferred from 17 CRASC (S.U.) to CRASC 4 P.I.

    12 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Depot continued normally – working in with 132 Petrol Depot – who had completely taken over main sector by 1800 hrs.
    1900 Conference 4 P.I. CRASC.

    13 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    O.C. summoned to CRASC 4 P.I. and informed of L.B.V. beached containing MT80 requiring salvaging. Lt. Col. Booth + O.C. recced L.B.V. contact made with 94 B.P.T.C. who carry appropriate equipment. 94 B.P.T.C. take over salvaging operations.

    14 July 1944 CRESSERONS
    Message received from C.R.A.S.C. 4 P.I. advising change in command to 2nd Canadian Corps.
    1500 O.C. + 2 i/c reported to DDST 2nd Canadian Corps re change in command + location + future operations. Presented to CRASC 2nd Cdn. Corps. Enemy strafing roads.

    15 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    1800
    In new location, now under command 2nd Canadian Corps. Digging in going ahead. Awaiting orders to set up depot. 2nd site west road Fontaine-Henry – Thaon [??] preferred to original suggestion.
    Eight 3 ton lorries required to carry G1098 stores + equipment. Reported 0900 hrs, moved off 1330 hrs, unloaded in new location by 1700 hrs. One lorry load still awaiting collection old location. Weather warm – sultry.

    16 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Unit 3 ton lorry returns for final load.
    Weather misty – damp. Awaiting instructions to set up Depot. Heavy Barrage ahead.
    2100 Admin. vehicles barred from roads.

    17 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Weather – misty, then fine clear sky.
    General duties in bivy [sic] area. Sanitation Hygiene P.A.D. No instructions to set up depot.
    Barrage continues. Tanks move up from early evening well into night.

    18 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Fine + sunny. General duties in bivvy area – washing and maintenance kit.
    O.C. + 2 i/c make further recce of proposed depot site. Very heavy allied air activity in early hours of light – more tanks move up.
    C.R.A.S.C. informs O.C. likelihood Depot will not set up in this area. When F.M.C. set up depot to be set up further ahead. Enemy air activity – light.
    Cpl. Wassell S.O.S. evacuated – Dermatitis on back – old complaint recurred.

    19 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Weather find + sunny. Awaiting instructions to move to new location.

    20 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Very wet, tracks deep in mud. Awaiting instrs, to move to new location.

    21 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Very wet tracks deep in mud. Awaiting instrs to move.

    22 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Very wet, tracks very bad.
    2145 Conference CRASC 2nd Cdn. Corps HQ re move. 9 Lorries allocated to unit to carry Stores + personnel.
    Pte Darby S.O.S. admitted 75 Gen. Hospital for Pleurisy investigation.

    23 July 1944 FONTAINE-HENRY
    Great improvement in weather, unit now 3 below W.E. strength.
    1000 Standing by to move.
    1800 Advice received no move until tomorrow.

    24 July 1944
    Standing by to move.
    1745 1745 hrs joined 34 Composite Co. Column and proceeded in convoy to new location MR Sheet 7F/1 032728 Epron.
    Setting up in new location, offloading lorries carrying G.1098 Stores. Much enemy aerial activity during hours of darkness. No actual bombing or strafing in unit area. Trenches already prepared used for the night.

    25 July 1944 EPRON
    Preparation of area, and digging in. No instructions to operate depot to date. Enemy air activity during hours of darkness heaviest in Caen area.

    26 July 1944 EPRON
    Awaiting instrs. to operate depot, no stocks held. Enemy air activity hours of darkness slight.
    Showery.

    27 July 1944 EPRON
    Awaiting instrs to operate depot, no stocks held. Enemy air activity hours of darkness slight.

    28 July 1944 EPRON
    Awaiting instrs to operate depot, no stocks held. Weather fine – showery.

    29 July 1944 EPRON
    Awaiting instrs to operate depot, no stocks held. Weather fine. Carcasses cows, sheep, calves + a dog burnt with aid of petrol.

    30 July 1944 EPRON
    1400
    O.C. attended Conference 17 [??] Main HQ 2 Cdn Corps. Weather fine. Still marking time.

    31 July 1944 EPRON
    Weather fine. Marking time. Buzz Bomb passed over heading for Caen 1800 hrs.
     
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  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    1 August 1944 EPRON
    0015 -
    Enemy shells pass over in northerly direction. Falling considerable distance away.
    0200
    Weather fine. Marking time awaiting instructions to operate.

    2 August 1944 EPRON
    Weather fine. Marking time awaiting instructions to operate. O.C. attended meeting with Major Short S.Sup.Off. CRASC 2nd Corps re Space, Eqpt, labour problems, etc for setting up in F.M.C.

    3 August 1944 EPRON
    Weather fine. Marking time. Pte Graham Storeman promoted Cpl Storeman.

    4 August 1944 EPRON
    On instructions from CRCASC recced Cavalry Barracks Caen for Petrol Dump site. Not suitable – hard ground would encourage spread of fire round all buildings in area – fire likely as under continual shell fire.
    2000 O.C. reported to DDST site not suitable.
    2100 O.C. + Capt. Jennings, Capt. Mead went off to recce area for proposed dump along river bank east river Orne N. Colombelles. This was suitable area. Reported to DDST. Advised go ahead with preparation.

    5 August 1944 EPRON
    0800
    O.C. + 2 i/c go to new area to make final plans. Reported CRCASC midday all ready to go ahead. Informed site not now available. Area Giberville given as possible, again recced area and found fairly reasonable site.
    1600 Reported back 1600 hrs. Informed unit had to move to Lauvigny and set up depot, being prepared to receive stores at 1800 hrs.
    O.C. proceeded to new area 008659. Lauvigny Orchard found to be occupied by battalion of infantry. Strip cultivation area chosen as suitable site.
    1830 2 i/c + remaining personnel less 3 left behind to guard heavy equipment (to follow) arrived with bare necessities G.1098 equipment to set up depot.
    2115 First receipts P.O.L. arrive – no labour yet to hand. Drivers + personnel of unit offloaded lorries until 2315 hrs when labour arrived. 10 ton lorries arriving steadily through the night.

    6 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    0300
    Stacking not good due to conditions, mainly shortage of labour and untrained personnel. Last lorry offloaded at 0315 hrs. Impossible to check stock due to acute shortage of labour, all men employed on offloading + stacking.
    Estimated receipts between 700 – 750 tons.
    Personnel stood down until hours of lightness labour returned to location.
    No digging in possible. No camouflage nets.
    0800 Unit personnel sorting and restacking stock.
    0900 Bullet from adjoining bivy [sic] area sets stack MT80 afire. Stack broken down, Jerricans pulled away by human chain.
    0915 40 men from 34 Comp A + 3 lorries arrive to assist in re-stacking + sorting depot stock. These men immediately formed into human chain and assist to quell fire and keep it from spreading. Main fire cut down to safe proportions by 1100 hrs. Quelled by 1200 hrs. Remainder of G.1098 equipment arrived.
    Sorting – restacking + checking POL in preparation for stock taking goes ahead. No camouflage nets yet to hand.
    L/Cpl Harris + Pte. Heath evacuated due to accidents in past 24 hours. First fractured wrist – slipped when getting out of lorry, second fractured bone on foot caused by Jerrican falling off lorry during work in darkness. Unit now 5 below W.E.
    Permanent labour 50 men essential for setting up and working depot. These points again emphasised to CRCASC.
    Enquiry into firing of shot in R.H.L.I. lines gives no satisfaction.
    F.T.F. + Coy arrive in depot. Men dig in and prepare bivvies.

    7 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    4 Lorries arrive to assist in sorting depot stacks. No labour arrived.
    Following points again emphasised to RCASC.
    1) Unit 5 below W.E. of 2 Offrs + 23 ORs.
    2) Minimum of 50 men as permanent labour essential.
    3) No camouflage nets yet to hand.
    4) Still short of certain badly needed fire fighting equipment.
    5) Still unable to furnish accurate stock report.
    2330 Allied bombers in strength pass over.

    8 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    Court of Enquiry into cause of fire held.
    Allied bombers continue to pass to forward area throughout hours of darkness.
    Stock taking completed midday. Holdings mixed P.O.L. 724 tons.
    Signing and marking of depot goes ahead.
    Fortresses in strength bomb forward areas.
    1400 No labour reported as yet.
    Small quantity of FTF issued.

    9 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    No labour yet arrived. 3 Sections Pioneer 289 Coy due to arrive. At last am getting some satisfaction from Advanced Stationary Depot.
    1930 DDST called. Quiet night.
    No issues during day, depot maintenance + signing goes ahead.

    10 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    No issues or receipts. No labour arrived – allocation postponed for priority jobs.

    11 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    1200
    Labour arrives, 3 Sections from 154 P.C. dig + settle in. Depot Guard and perimeter guard in force. RASC personnel continued preparation signs and general depot maintenance.

    12 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    0815
    Two lorries arrive for depot work. Track maintenance and re-stacking proceeding.
    Weather continues fine.
    Dvr Laugh has mishap on M/C. Not serious – lacerated foot.
    Unit still 5 below W.E. 1 Driver + 4 Issuers.

    13 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    Track maintenance + restacking continued. The heat has great effect on stores, especially Greases and MT80 in Jerricans.
    1230 Small fire in depot close to stack, caused by phosphorous grenade which had not previously been detected lying in the grass being set off by heat of the sun. Fire put out by 1245 hrs.
    2000 Reported CRCASC S & T Col [??] re movement to new area. Not affected at the moment.

    14 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    Stacking and regrouping. Hundreds of bombers go over heading for Falaise. Enemy air activity during hours of darkness. Flares dropped over depot approx 0200 hrs. No damage in depot.

    15 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    Weather continues fine – Depot stock sorting + maintenance.

    16 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    0900
    Conference Lt. Col. Pieler F.M.C. commander – recce’d area for F.M.C. P.O.L. dump Bretteville-sur-Laize.
    Receipts flow into Lauvigny depot, new site opened.
    Pioneers taught in handling P.O.L. in passed [sic] few days withdrawn and replaced by 3 new sections.

    17 August 1944 LAUVIGNY
    Issues commence.
    0800 Conference CRASC. Area recced yesterday cancelled. Recced new area A.M. Urville. Instructions cancelled 1300 hrs.
    Bretteville-le-Rabat area recced P.M.
    Unit + attached Pioneers move to new area 1830 hrs. Stores offloaded, no time to dig in.
    1 NCO + 2 men left behind to help in Lauvigny depot. Capt. Parkingon [??] CRASC representative takes over Stocks.
    Unit now 8 under W.E. of 2 offrs + 23 men. There seems to be no idea that this unit is divisible and can leap frog forward. Another Petrol Depot Type “C” needed to facilitate leap frogging.

    18 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Depot set up. P.O.L. receipts commenced 1150.
    15 men from 34 P.C. arrive to assist at 1400 hrs, attached 18th, 19th, 20th.
    Tonnage received 676.9.

    19 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Receipts continue. Stock built up to 1731.5 Tons.

    20 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Heavy receipts all day – small issues. Three Canadians wounded by bomb or grenade which was disturbed and exploded in depot. Petrol Stack Jerricans damaged. Petrol decanted into Jerricans – very small loss.

    21 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Heavy rain all day. Receipts heavy, Issues normal. Tracks very bad. Heavy rain again during night.

    22 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Tracks very bad. Receipts heavy, Issues increase. Rain during night.

    23 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Receipts heavy. Weather fair. Issues heavy. Rain again early evening.
    Receiving + Issuing completed midnight.

    24 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Very heavy issues and receipts all day and night.

    25 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Heaviest day of Receipts and Issues to date.
    Still 5 men below W.E. Note to CRASC re urgency of the matter.
    3 Sections of pioneers 122 replaced by 3 Sections 115 Pioneer Coy.

    26 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Very heavy receipts and issues.
    Weather fine, tracks drying up.

    27 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Receipts small, normal issues.
    12 men of Cdn. Armd. Div. Tpt Coy withdrawn temporarily to assist in Ammunition Depot.
    Eating down stocks. Only Receipt during night – Petroleum Spirit.

    28 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Issues smaller, Pet. Spirit only Receipt.
    Checking Stack.

    29 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Change in weather – wet. Small Receipt MT80, small Issues.
    Depot Stocks being eaten down. Major Pink [??] RASC Army [??] called re empty Jerricans.
    To collect tomorrow.

    30 August 1944 BRETTEVILLE-LE-RABAT
    Stocks continue to be eaten down. Stock of empties considerably reduced. Instructions received to move forward tomorrow.

    31 August 1944
    1330
    Moved out 1330 hrs, leaving on instruction 1 Cpl + 1 Pte (Cpl Hathaway + Pte Jones) with 3 Section Pioneers to guard and look after stock remaining on ground 811 tons mixed POL + approx 20,000 empty Jerricans.
    Still 5 below W.E. moving on 7 men short.
     
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  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi, and here is Sept 44. Any corrections to place name spellings gratefully received as the handwriting can be a bit spidery!


    1 September 1944 BRIONNE Area
    0400
    Arrived Bronne area. Moved on 1130 hrs, crossed Seine at Elbeuf. Assisted Capt. Parkinson at Richerdrie dump.

    2 September 1944
    1100
    Moved on through Rouen to Neufchatel – plans changed en route – arrived new depot site 1930 hrs. P.O.L. already dumped – took over 2030 hrs unable check stock. Jerricans not stacked to enable count.

    3 September 1944 NEUFCHATEL
    Stock check. Take on tonngage 274 Tons.
    O.C. proceeds to CRASC re instructions to go on recce to Abbeville. Did not proceed – recce of area in hand. Advvised dump likely to close down midday 5th, opening Le Transloy.
    Speed of movement + opening + closing dumps leaving stocks behind makes accounting extremely difficult – shortage personnel makes position acute.

    4 September 1944 NUEFCHATEL
    Issues to all callers in addition to normal commitments.

    5 September 1944
    Depot closed down 1200 hrs 5/9/44 when Equipment and remaining stocks loaded and carried forward. CRASC have disposal of remaining empties in hand.
    RN + RAF draw latter stated they had been informed of location by an Auster which had flown 80 miles looking for petrol on ground.
    Moved out 1600 hrs. Arrived Watteblury 1900 hrs, handed over stocks to 34 Comp. Coy + Capt. Parkinson Le Transloy Dump.

    6 September 1944
    No dump established. Equipment offloaded. Instructions rec’d to proceed to Carpelle Vielly [??] area 1600 hrs. Equipment loaded when transport arrived 13 3 tonners. Left location 2100 hrs. Torrential rain, very bad roads many convoys.

    7 September 1944
    Report Centre not at M.R given arrived 0800 hrs. O.C. went off to make recce found Report Centre 7 miles away. Eventual arrival in location 0900 hrs. Stocks already on ground.
    8 10 Tonners bogged, other vehicles bogged along side of depot road. Breakdown lorries working overtime. No mail rec’d since 19 Aug. Matter taken up time and again with Postal authorities.

    8 September 1944 WAILLY, Caupelle Vielly area.
    O.C. goes to CRASC again pointed out that unit still 5 below W.E. No more receipts to come in, instructions rec’d from CRASC no more issues to be made. Stock check shows 261 tons mixed P.O.L.
    1 Polish Armd. Div. arrive but have to be refused. Referred to Corps.

    9 September 1944 WAILLY, Caupelle Vielly area.
    2nd Cdn. Inf. Div. arrive with authority to draw 10,000 gals.
    Verbal warning received yesterday unit would move as soon as transport available to St Omer area. Distance from CRASC, Workshops, Supply Point and continuous shooting ahead many miles makes things very difficult.
    Cpl. Hathaway + Pte Jones returned to unit last night having followed on from Bretteville le Rabat where they were left on 31st Aug to look after stocks on ground. Stocks still remain on ground.

    10 September 1944 WAILLY
    Issues restricted to units having special authority from 2nd Cdn Corps. Weather holds good.

    11 September 1944 WAILLY
    Weather good, Baths – 6 Cdn Mobile Bath unit in morning. Little doing in depot, stocks very low.

    12 September 1944 WAILLY
    Moves 2nd Cdn Corps Tps Admin postponed. Small issue Derv. Remaining stocks to be eaten down.

    13 September 1944 WAILLY
    1400
    12 Lorries arrive with verbal instrs to take P.O.L. to St. Omer loaded with remaining stock excepting jerricans and despatched 1550 hrs.
    1725 Message received 12 x 3 ton lorries to report to transport unit to St Omer Dump at Etreham and to remain + pick up remaining stocks. P.U. despatched to catch convoy before they offloaded at Etreham and returned to their unit location. Lorries returned to Wailly dump at 2100 hrs.
    Bulk of G.1098 Equipment loaded, small party left behind to bring on remainder tomorrow morning.

    14 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    0100
    Arrive new location. Stores offloaded at first light + lorries returned for remaining stores. Stocks taken over 1200 hrs. Receipts and Issues fairly brisk. Trailer pump again breaks down on journey up.

    15 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Trailer Pump in hands 82 L.A.D. for repair. Business quiet communication with CRASC very difficult owing to distance and motor cycle breakdown. Weather fine.

    16 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Morning very little doing. Weather fine, sunny. Receipts and Issues proceed.

    17 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Receipts and Issues normal.

    18 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen on receipt of maintenance Bulletin 2000 hrs. Only issues against DDST special authority.

    19 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks still frozen – no change. Mail arrives.

    20 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen. No change. Weather fine.

    21 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen. No change. Weather fine.

    22 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen. No change. Weather fine.

    23 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen – with exception of large holdings Derv, HD 50, FTF No.1 Hy – available on demand.
    Rain early – fine later in day.

    24 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Heavy rain + very high wind.

    25 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks frozen. Heavy rainfall.

    26 September 1944 ETREHAM, St OMER
    Stocks handed over to 84 Coy RASC.
    1230 Unit left for Ghent. Settled in by 2000 hrs.

    27 September 1944 GHENT
    1200
    Stock checked and taken over from Capt. Parkinson. Fwd Dump. Heavy receipts. Depot in confined space. Small fields between crops and along roadside. If receipts increase on same scale dispersion will be difficult. Area limited.

    28 September 1944 GHENT
    Receipts up midday. A few small issues.

    29 September 1944 GHENT
    No receipts, small issues.

    30 September 1944 GHENT
    Heavy receipts from trains. Small issues. Still 20% short of WE personnel.
     
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  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    And the October diary completes what I have:

    1 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy receipts from trains, small issues.

    2 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy receipts from trains, small issues.
    Great difficulty in fitting stocks in to the very confined space between cultivated land. Weather makes ground very bad.

    3 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy receipts. Small issues. Receipts continue through the night.

    4 October 1944 GHENT
    Receipts die down, small issues.

    5 October 1944 GHENT
    Issues commence in earnest. No receipts.

    6 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy issues. Weather sharp, fine + sunny.

    7 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy issues, weather fine.

    8 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy issues, weather fine.

    9 October 1944 GHENT
    Heavy issues. Receipt Pet. Spirit. Weather fine.
    2 Reinforcements arrived, both issuers. Pt. Brown F.W. + Pte. Holland L.

    10 October 1944 GHENT
    Stocks MT80 Pet Spirit out. Weather showery.

    11 – 15 October 1944 GHENT
    Issues continue. No receipts. Mixed weather.

    16 October 1944 GHENT
    Issues continue. No receipts. Mixed weather.
    Pte Laning [??] J.W. admitted to hospital and S.O.S.

    17 October 1944 GHENT
    Issues continue. No receipts. Mixed weather.
    Two more reinforcements arrived. Pte Cowell R + Pte Santar A.
    Unit now one driver and one issuer below W.E.

    18 October 1944 GHENT
    Very small issues. No receipts. Weather continues wet and windy.

    19 October 1944 GHENT
    Backloading to Army Roadhead Antwerp commenced.
    Half M.T.80 stocks, Bulk of Derv, Oils, Lubs and Greases drawn out.
    Great difficulty in getting into fields due to 6 tonners – very soggy ground.

    20 October 1944 GHENT
    Weather fine. Balance of MT80 withdrawn. Derv and Grease still on ground. Unit moves to Ostend as soon as stocks cleared.
    Evening + night very heavy rain.

    21 October 1944 GHENT
    No issues, no receipts. Weather fine.

    22 October 1944 GHENT
    No issues, no receipts. Weather mixed.

    23 October 1944 GHENT
    Vehicles arrived to backload all stocks 1930 hrs. Raining hard, 3 vehicles bogged down. Pulled out by breakdown lorry. Depot cleared of stocks.
    0900 Lt Hall + 12 ORs left for Ostend to assist at Staging Camp + ammunition report centre.

    24 October 1944
    Weather fine. Transport yet to arrive to remove G.1098 stores and remainder of personnel to Ostend.

    25 October 1944 OSTEND
    No change. G.1098 Stores with rear party still awaiting transport. To remain until collected next unit move.

    26 October 1944 OSTEND
    O.C. goes to Ostend.

    27 October 1944 OSTEND
    O.C. returns to GHENT.

    28 October 1944 OSTEND
    O.C. returns to Ostend with HQ.

    29 – 31 October 1944 OSTEND
    Staging Camp work normal.
     
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