War Diary - 90 Coy RASC - August 1944

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Tom OBrien, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Source: WO171/2377

    1 August 1944
    Nothing to report.

    2 August 1944
    Lt R.L. TOULMIN (165577) reported from 7 Sub Unit 34 RHU to fill officer vacancy in this Coy (“B” Pl).
    Rations delivered to ¾ COUNTY OF LONDON YEOMANRY, Residue, temporarily under admin comd of Bde.

    3 August 1944
    Since 29 Jul this Coy’s only transport commitments have been in respect of daily delivery of Supplies and small deliveries of POL to Bde residues, consisting of Bde HQ (incl Sigs Sqn), 1 ERY and 266 Fwd Dely Sqn.
    Coy largely engaged on maintenance, vehicle overhaul and training.

    4 August 1944
    Remainder of “A” Pl joined existing 2 Sections detached at RUCQUEVILLE on instructions of CRASC 22 Tpt Coln.

    5 – 9 August 1944
    Nothing to report.

    10 August 1944
    On orders from CRASC 22 Tpt Coln “A” & “B” Pls under comd of CAPT D.M. ROBERTSON moved at 1200 hrs to an advanced location in 53 Div Area at AVENAY (Nr EVRECY) 944582. With effect [sic] their arrival, these Pls came under the temporary operation comd of CRASC 53 Div for the purpose of troop carrying for a Bde of tht Div during impending operations.
    One Section of 6 tonners from “D” Pl moved into detachment location at RUCQUEVILLE 876773 vacated by “A” Pl.

    11 August 1944
    Main Location (Coy HQ, W/S, “C” and “D” Pls). 6 x 3 ton Austin 4 x 2 received in replacement of outstanding vehicle casualties. Deficiencies now NIL.
    “D” Pl. 20 x 5 ton vehicles utilised during afternoon to transport 1 ERY to 33 Armd Bde Area BEUVILLE (0574).
    53 Div Detachment (Both Pls at disposal of 71 Bde):-
    “A” Pl. Engaged on troop carrying detail from 0600 hrs. ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS carried from M.R. 938585 to LES TROIS MARIES M.R. 875460, Area THURY-HARCOURT. 30 x 3-ton vehicles involved. At debussing point the vehicles were subjected to enemy shelling and mortar fire. Casualties: 1 OR wounded and evacuated. 2 vehicles temporarily VOR. 1 vehicle damaged in collision and evacuated to Coy Wksps.
    “B” Pl. 25 vehicles engaged on Amn detail for 53 Div. At 2130 hrs 29 vehicles engaged on troop carrying. Detachment of 1 OXS & BUCKS transported from M.R. 578568 to M.R. 949519. Detail completed next day.

    12 August 1944
    Main Location (HQ, W/S, “C” and “D” Pls. Nothing to report.
    53 Div Detachment (still at disposal of 71 Bde):-
    “A” Pl. Carried out troop carrying detail – 4 Bn WELSH Regt from 1530 hrs to 1940 hrs, Area VOCOGNES 905567 and on to M.R. 946513.
    “B” Pl. Vehicles on troop carrying detail with 1 OX & BUCKS returned to locn at 1200 hrs.

    13 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S, “C” & “D” Pls. Disbandment of 27 Armd Bde now practically complete. Last delivery of rations made today to 1 ERY, who have now joined 33 Armd Bde.
    All remaining commitments and loads for 27 Armd Bde now disposed of, with exception of 2 vehicles daily for delivery of rations to Bde HQ, 266 Fwd Dely Sqn and 90 Coy RASC, and 1 vehicle daily for Ord Stores to OFP at SULLY (7682).
    53 Div Detachment (“A” & “B” Pls):-
    “A” Pl. Embussed 2 Bn MONMOUTHSHIRES at 0900 hrs at M.R. 004524 (1 mile S of BOULON). Move cancelled temporarily and all troops debussed.
    “B” Pl. Embussed 4 WELSH at 0800 hrs at VACOGNES and debussed at LES MOUTONS EN CINGLAIS M.R. 986517 at 1200 hrs. Vehicles remained with Bn at this Harbour Area overnight.

    14 August 1944
    Main Coy Location. 8 x 3-ton vehicles provided to transport personnel of 27 Armd Bde HQ Sqn to 8 Armd Bde at AUNAY-SUR-ODON.
    53 Div Detachment (“A” & “B” Pls):-
    “A” Pl. Re-embussed 2 MONMOUTHSHIRES at 0200 hrs and debussed at 0330 hrs at M.R. 926463. Vehicles harboured up in new location at FONTAINE-HALBOUT M.R. 017463 and joined by balance of Pl from previous location at AVENAY. Slight enemy shelling in area.
    “B” Pl. Re-embussed 4 WELSH at 1030 hrs and after harbouring at TREPREL M.R. 034367 eventually debussed troops at M.R. 005469 at 1600 hrs.

    15 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S, “C” & “D” Pls. Received orders to move to area DAMIGNY (816762) and came under comd CRASC 30 Corps Troops. Move completed 2100 hrs.
    53 Detachment (“A” & “B” Pls:-
    “A” Pl. Released by 160 Bde and at disposal of 158 Bde.
    From 0900 hrs to 1530 hrs moved 1 E LANCS from M.R. 005470 to M.R. 033415.
    From 1600 to 1800 hrs moved 1/5 WELSH from M.R. 008485 to M.R. 039410.
    At 2000 hrs reported to ACQUEVILLE to move 1 HLI, but troop move cancelled & vehs returned.
    “B” Pl. Re-embussed 4 WELSH at 0400 hrs and debussed at X rds M.R. 016407.
    Vehicles released and returned to harbour area at M.R. 005469 at 0930 hrs.
    Note: 160 Bde O.O. No. 3 relating to this operation, attached.
    Platoon now at disposal of 158 Bde and required for move of 7 ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS. Platoon reported to M.R. 034414 and harboured up awaiting orders.

    16 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S, “C” & “D” Pls. Orders received from CRASC 30 Corps Troops to move Coy HQ, W/S, “C” & “D” Pls to new location to be detailed by CRASC 50 Div.
    Coy moved to COULVAIN 765548 (near VILLERS BOCAGE). Move completed 2000 hrs.
    Coy (less “A” & “B” Pls, still detached to CRASC 53 Div) now under comd CRASC 50 Div.
    53 Div Detachment (“A” & “B” Pls):-
    “A” Pl. Detailed to move 4 Bn ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS. Vehicles reported to harbour area M.R. 029397. Vehicles returned to ACQUEVILLE at 1430 hrs. Platoon kept at 30 mins notice from 2100 hrs onwards to move Bn “O” Group.
    “B” Pl. Pl at 30 mins notice from 1st light. 4 [?] RWF embussed at 1700 hrs and deliver at M.R. 093374. Pl held at this location pending further instructions. During the night considerable fighting in near vicinity of this location. Defences manned throughout night.
    Note: 53 Div Op Instr No. 13, relating to these operations, attached.

    17 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S, “C” & “D” Pls. 0030 hrs message received tht “A” & “B” Pls should return to main Coy location within next few hours, Pls did not in fact return.
    On orders received from CRASC 50 Div “D” Pl (5 tonners) with Capt. D.K. GRAY in command reported to CRASC 30 Corps Troops at 1200 hrs. Pl location set up at Coy’s previous location DAMIGNY (816762). 30 x 5 ton loads pet collected from 21 Pet Depot at 1700 hrs and ordered to deliver to 153 FMC. Detail completed 1900 hrs.
    On orders received from CRASC 50 Div “C” Pl (4 x 4 3 tonners) detached to bns of 69 Bde as under at 1600 hrs:-
    20 x 3 ton Capt. K. FORMAN i/c to 6 GREEN HOWARDS & 2 E YORKS, 838404.
    19 x 3 ton Lt G.L. NEIHGBOUR i/c to 7 GREEN HOWARDS, 838404.
    53 Div Detachment:-
    “A” Pl. Vehicles moved at 1300 hrs to new harbour area NORON L’ABBAYE M.R. 123361 near 4 RWF.
    1600 hrs Pl ordered to stand by. Area under constant shell & mortar fire. At 2015 hrs CANADIAN ESSEX SCOTTISH Bn took over this location and ordered “A” Pl vehicles to vacate area before dusk as they obstructed their fire plan. At 2115 hrs all vehicles moved back to original Pl harbour area BOIS HALBOUT 926463, arriving 2300 hrs.
    “B” Pl. Slight machine gunning from enemy plane at 1115 hrs. No casualties. On instructions of CRASC 53 Div Pl moved to M.R. 020437 at 1400 hrs. 30 vehicles detailed to proceed at 1600 hrs to FMC at 938632, loaded amn and delivered to AP at 020439 at 2100 hrs. Detail repeated commencing 2230 hrs and completed 0700 hrs 18 Aug.

    18 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S & “C” Pls) – attached 50 Div:-
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved from COULVAIN to TREMBLAY M.R. 858475, arriving 2130 hrs. HQ & W/S temporarily attd for movement purposes to 524 Coy RASC (50 Div).
    “C” Pl. Vehicles split up for various duties in bns concerned. Moved with bns to area S of ATHIS 9127, arriving 1300 hrs.
    30 Corps Detachment (“D” Pl). Vehicles returned from Pet detail at 0600 hrs. Further Pl load collected from 152 FMC (S of BAYEUX) at 1200 hrs and delivered to 154 FMC, returning to location DAMIGNY 1700 hrs. Further load Pet collected at 152 FMC and Pl moved, loaded, to new location at Mt PICON 807486.
    53 Div Detachment:-
    “A” Pl. 29 vehicles engaged on amn lift 25 pdr. Collected from FMC EVRECY and delivered to AP NORON L’ABBAYE for 502 Coy RASC. Detail completed 2230 hrs.
    “B” Pl. Vehicles return, loaded with amn at 0700 hrs. 14 vehicles delivered amn to AP 020439 during morning, then proceeded back to FMC 938623 for further load, also delivered to same AP. Remaining 16 vehicles, loaded 25 pdr, delivered loads direct to RA Regts gun positions in Area ST. GERAIN-LOMONT [??], returning at 2100 hrs. At 2200 hrs, further loads 25 pdr taken to gun positions, vehs returning at 0400 hrs. Considerable enemy air activity during the night.

    19 August 1944
    Main Coy (HQ & W/S Pls). Moved to new location at ST. HONORINE-LA-CHARDONTE (M.R. 924297) near CONDE-SUR-NOIREAU, arriving 2030 hrs (distance 12 miles). Coy located adjacent to 524 Coy RASC (50 Div RASC) with whom all moves are at present being made.
    53 Detachment. “A” and “B” Pls released by CRASC 53 Div at 0600 hrs. Pls moved to harbour area near AUNAY-SUR-ODON (837500), arriving 0830 and 1130 respectively. On orders of CRASC 50 Div these Pls moved at 2000 hrs to area just vacated by Coy HQ at TREMBLAY. “A” & “B” Pls cease to be under comd CRASC 53 Div, and now rejoin main Coy under comd CRASC 50 Div.
    “C” Pl (69 Bde). Moved with bns at 1000 hrs to LA CARNEILLE 944246.
    “D” Pl (detached to CRASC 30 Corps Tps). Loads of Pet collected previous evening delivered to 154 FMC M.R. 944246 near ATHIS. Detail commenced 2130 hrs.

    20 August 1944
    Main Coy Location (HQ, W/S, “A” & “B” Pls. “A” and “B” Pls moved complete to rejoin Coy at 0800 hrs at area ST. HONORINE-LA-CHARDONTE. Orders received from CRASC 50 Div for these Pls to report to bns of 151 Bde this afternoon on attachment for tp carrying duties.
    Bn guides reported at 1645 hrs and vehicles led to join bns as under:-
    23 x 3 ton (“A” Pl) 6 DLI Lt J.T. HARDWICKE i/c
    11 x 3 ton (“A” Pl) )
    11 x 3 ton (“B” Pl) ) 9 DLI Capt D.M. ROBERTSON i/c
    23 x 3 ton (“B” Pl) 8 DLI Lt. R.L. TOULIMIN i/c
    These vehicles replace 2 Pls of 432 Coy RASC which are to be withdrawn and returned to their Coy location.
    Lt. G.R. GLENNY rejoined Coy from 34 RHU and takes over command of HQ Pl from Lt. S.R.J. CLARK evacuated to 3 FDS today owing to injury to ankle received in motorcycle accident on 19 Aug.
    “C” Pl (69 Bde). Moved with bns at 2100 hrs to MONTGAROULT M.R. 165220, arriving 2359 hrs.
    “D” Pl (detached CRASC 30 Corps Tps). Previous day’s detail completed and vehicles returned empty to location at 0700 hrs. 29 loads amn collected ex 152 FMC (S of BAYEUX) and delivered to ST. MARC D’OUILLY (W of FALAISE) M.R. 7765. Detail commenced 0900 hrs.

    21 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. 2 Pls of 432 Coy, relieved from troop carrying details with 151 Bde by “A” & “B” Pls, reported back to this location by 1000 hrs this morning and despatched on order of CRASC 50 Div to report to CRASC 46 Tpt Coln.
    Coy HQ & W/S moved (attached to 524 Coy) to area ST. HONORINE-LA-GUILLAUME M.R. 000217 arriving 2100 hrs (distance 12 miles).
    12 Dvr rfts collected from 34 RHU BAYEUX and temporarily held with “D” Pl.
    “A” & “B” Pls (att 151 Bde). Vehs arrived at Bn A Ech lines by 0630 hrs. At 1000 hrs moved bns to new area 3122 ARGENTAN arriving 1530 hrs.
    “C” Pl (att 69 Bde). Nothing to report.
    During last night’s move, owing to extreme darkness and heavy rain, Pl Water Truck went over embankment near PUTANGES. No personnel casualties. Truck recovered today by Coy W/S and evacuated as beyond local repair.
    “D” Pl (detached to CRASC 30 Corps Tps). Vehs engaged on detail commenced yesterday. Detail completed and vehs returned to new location near HOTTOT M.R. 7865 at 1700 hrs.

    22 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved (with 524 Coy) to area ARGENTAN M.R. 238192. Move commenced 2000 hrs completed 2230 hrs (Distance 16 miles).
    “A” & “B” Pls. Orders received to move at 0700 hrs to 154 FMC ATHIS M.R. 9625, arriving 1600 hrs. Harboured up pending instructions from CRASC 30 Corps Tps. Vehicles re-formed back into 2 Pls. During day 5 German prisoners captured by personnel of “A” Pl.
    “C” Pl (attached 69 Bde). Moved with bns at 0900 hrs to area E of GACE M.R. 5848 arriving 1700 hrs. Moved again at 2100 hrs to area E of ST. EVROULT M.R. 6947 arriving 2200 hrs.
    “D” Pl (att CRASC 30 Corps Tps). 28 x 5 ton to transport load amn from 152 FMC (S of BAYEUX) M.R. 9424 to ST. MARC D’OUILLY (W of FALAISE) M.R. 0334 Army Rd Hd Cushion. Commenced 0700 hrs completed 2000 hrs.

    23 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved (with 524 Coy) to area LA TRINITE-DES-LAITIERS M.R. 615483. Move commenced 1200 hrs, completed 2030 hours (distance 25 miles).
    “A” & “B” Pls. Detailed to report to 214 Bde (43 Div) for troop carrying duties. Vehs joined bns & coys at 0630 hrs. Tps carried from area ATHIS M.R. 9625 to area E of EXMES 5145 (movement Table – 214 Bde attached). Vehs returned empty to 154 FMC, arriving 2230 hrs.
    “C” Pl (att 69 Bde). Vehs moved bns to area RUGLES MR 8548, arriving at 0600 hrs.
    “D” Pl. 25 x 5 ton carried out same detail as previous day. Detail commenced 0630 hrs, completed 1900 hrs, vehs returning to new pl location near FLERS M.R. 942246.

    24 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved (with 524 Coy) to area LAILGLE MR 806425 [?]. Move commenced 0645 hrs completed 1030 hrs (distance 15 miles).
    “A” & “B” Pls. On orders of CRASC 30 Corps Tps all lorries loaded with rations and petrol at 1400 hrs and delivered to 155 FMC GACE MR 5248. Detail completed by 0540 hrs 25 Aug.
    “C” Pl (att 69 Bde). Nothing to report.
    “D” Pl. Pl moved at 0600 hrs to near FALAISE MR [??]. Collected compo packs from 54 BSD [?] and proceed to 155 FMC GACE.

    25 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. No move today. W/S able to carry out some urgent repairs for Pls. Running repairs are carried out by teams of 4 – 6 Artificers with 15-cwt truck who are att permanently to, and travel with, their respective pls.
    “A” & “B” Pls. Pls proceeded back to Rd Hd FALAISE, collected loads of rations and petrol arriving 1100 hrs...to deliver loads to 50 Div (522 Coy) at [??]...
    Convoy held up for 4 hrs at GACE owing to priority move of 43 Div. Convoy had only reached ST. EVROULT at 2300 hrs.
    “C” Pl. No move. Nothing to report.
    “D” Pl. Loads of compo packs delivered to 155 FMC GACE during night. Vehs returned to new pl location nr FALAISE MR 144342.
    On instructions CRASC 30 Corps Tps 28 x 5 ton proceeded at 1800 hrs to 154 FMC MR 9424 to collect compo packs.

    26 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Orders received to move (with 524 Coy) to area PACY-SUR-EURE. Move commenced 0800 hrs. Owing to road congestion and priority of other fmns’ convoys all 50 Div CRASC vehs (incl this Coy) ordered off road and harboured at area RUGLES MR 905525 at 1930 hrs. Distance travelled 7 miles. Time taken 11½ hrs.
    “A” & “B” Pls. At 0100 hrs the whole of “A” Pl and 7 vehs of “B” Pl reached location of 522 Coy RASC at CHANDAI MR 8740 (E of LAIGLE) and offloaded all loads of petrol and compo packs. Formed into 2 groups of 19 3 toners and guided immediately to 6 DLI and 9 DLI (area BOURTH MR 9142) (151 Bde) for troop carrying detail to commence at 0500 hrs.
    Bns moved to area CHAIGNERS [?] Mr 4065 (E of PACY-SUR-EURE) distance 50 miles. Detail completed 0900 hrs. Second night in succession drivers have been without sleep and no food for nearly 24 hrs. Vehs brought back to area MISEREY], E of EVREUX, and harboured up in wood MR 268635, near proposed new Coy HQ location. At 1800 hrs 34 of these vehs (28 of “A” Pl and 6 of “B” Pl) under comd Lt. J.T. HARDWICKE proceeded, on orders of CRASC 50 Div, to report back to 155 FMC CRASC 30 Corps Tps GACE (5548) to pick up 3rd line loads, harbouring up for the night en route.
    Remaining vehs of “B” pl on previous day’s detail, under comd Lt. R.L. TOULMIN, failed to arrive at 522 Coy CHANDAI until 0500 hrs today, too late to take part in tp carrying detail of 8 DLI (151 Bde) which was performed by 522 Coy in lieu. Loads of compo were offloaded at 522 Coy location and vehs (24 x 3 ton) remained in that area and carried out collection of POL from 155 FMC for 552 Armd Bde Coy RASC.
    “C” Pl. Transported bns from location E of RUGLES to area 4565 (3 ton ??).
    Having completed offloading tps at 2000 hrs Pl reported back to proposed Coy location nr [???]. On instructions of CRASC, Pl reported back to 155 FMC GACE (5248) to pick up 3rd line loads. Detail commenced at 2300 hrs.
    “D” Pl. Loads of compo collected yesterday evening delivered to 155 FMC GACE 5248. Vehs returned to new Pl location CROISILLES MR 5046 arriving 1300 hrs.
    On instructions CRASC 30 Corps Tps 28 x 5 ton proceeded at 2300 hrs to collect Derv from Army Cushion Rd Hd FALAISE.

    27 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved from harbour area RUGLES at 1530 hrs and arrived new location MISEREY MR 290668 W of PACY-SUR-EURE at 2000 hrs. Distance 38 miles.
    “A” & “B” Pls. Detail under Lt. J.T. HARDWICKE (34 vehs of “A” & “B” Pls) reported to 30 Corps CRASC at GACE (5348) at 1000 hrs and detailed to proceed back to Army Rd Hd FALAISE, pick up petrol and back load to 155 FMC GACE. Detail completed 2200 hrs. Vehs then ordered to report to 30 Corps CRASC at RUGLES MR 9052 for instructions.
    Balance of “B” Pl (24 x 3 ton) picked up rfts at 155 FMC GACE in evening for tpt forward to area PACY-SUR-EURE. Detail commenced 2000 hrs completed 0330 hrs 28 Aug.
    “C” Pl. Vehs arrived CRASC 30 Corps Tps GACE at 0700 hrs and detailed to proceed back to Army Cushion Rd Hd FALAISE at 1500 hrs to pick up amn. Loading completed at 2300 hrs. Harboured overnight at Rd Hd.
    “D” Pl. Loads Derv delivered to 155 FMC GACE and vehs returned to location 1000 hrs. Drivers have had no sleep for 48 hrs. Rested during day.

    28 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Nothing to report.
    “A” & “B” Pls. “B” pl vehs (24) under comd Lt R.L. TOULMIN completed delivery of rfts to 522 Coy CAILLOURT MR 3066 and reported back to main coy location MISEREY (W of EVREUX) MR 2866 at 0800 hrs.
    Lt G.R. GLENNY resumes comd of “B” Pl and Lt R.L. TOULMIN takes over comd of HQ PL.
    Detail under Lt J.T. HARDWICKE picked up amn at area RUGLES and transported forward, under orders CRASC 30 Corps Tps, to 156 FMC area N of PACY-SUR-EURE MR 3572.
    Detail commences 1300 hrs and completed, vehs reporting back to Coy location MISERY, at 1900 hrs.
    On instructions of CRASC 50 Div the whole of “A” and “B” Pls (both now complete) ordered back to roadhead RUGLES to pick up further 3rd line loads for transport to 156 FMC HOULBEC MR 3572. Arrived RUGLES 2359 hrs and harboured up for night.
    “C” Pl. Left FALAISE with amn loads at 0900 hrs, arrived at RUGLES 1500 hrs. Detailed to proceed forward to 156 FMC HOULBEC with this amn plus 420 rfts collected at 205 Corps CRC, arriving 156 FMC HOULBEC at 2100. Amn dumped. Rfts delivered to 522 Coy (50Div).
    “D” Pl. Pl location moved to RUGLES MR 8847. 28 x 5 ton detailed to collect petrol from Army Rd Hd RUGLES. Loaded 2000 hrs. Harboured overnight.

    29 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Nothing to report.
    “A” & “B” Pls. Both Pls ordered back from Rd Hd RUGLES, without having picked up any loads, to Coy location at MISEREY 2966, arriving 1030 hrs. On instructions of CRASC 50 Div both Pls reported back at 1630 hrs to 151 Bde (50 Div) to assume tp carrying duties as before. Pls split into 3 groups of 20 x 3 ton and attached to 6, 8 & 9 DLI respectively. Great difficulty and delay experienced in moving these 2-wheel drive vehs out of Coy location owing to continuous rain and softness of ground.
    Bns loaded and move commenced during evening. Crossed R SEINE at VERNON and harboured up 2 miles further N at 0200 hrs 30 Aug.
    “C” Pl. Last night’s detail completed at 0300 hrs. Harboured up awaiting instructions. On instructions of CRASC 50 Div Pl reported direct at 1300 hrs to 6 GREEN HOWARDS and 5 E YORKS (69 Bde) to assume tp carrying duties again. Moved with bns at 2300 hrs. Crossed R SEINE at VERNON pontoon bridges. Arrived new location MR 4672 (E of VERNON) 0400 hrs 30 Aug.
    “D” Pl. 10 vehs loaded petrol delivered loads at 0630 hrs to 156 FMC HOULBEC MR 3572, then picked up fresh loads from Rd Hd RUGLES. Returned to location 1400 hrs. Remaining 18 loads collected by 506 Div Tps Coy RASC in location. 18 vehs then proceeded at 1430 hrs to AUNAY-SUR-ODON and collected Ord Stores.

    30 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Moved to FOURS MR 534832 near BOOS. Distance 12 miles. Move commenced 1730 hrs; not completed till 0100 hrs owing to delay in crossing R SEINE bridge at VERNON.
    “A” & “B” Pls. All 3 bns moving forward N of R SEINE throughout day and vehs parked up for night with respective coys in general area MARTAGNY MR 5906. Slight shell fire encountered during day from enemy pockets of resistance.
    “C” Pl. Moved with bns 1500 hrs arriving new location MORTAGNY-EN-VEXIN MR 6783 at 1900 hrs.
    “D” Pl. 10 vehs loaded Pet delivered loads to 156 FMC HOULBEC. Returned to location 1600 hrs. 18 vehs loaded Ord Stores proceeded at 1900 hrs to 156 FMC HOULBEC.

    31 August 1944
    Coy HQ & W/S. Nothing to report.
    “A” & “B” Pls. All bns moving throughout day through area SONGEONS (MR 7625) – Move of 50/60 miles. Great reception everywhere from local population. Arrived evening AMIENS MR 0854. Leading tp carrying vehs crossed R SOMME this evening near PONT-DE-METZ.
    “C” Pl. Moved with bns at 0930 hrs to near area MR 8200 (E of LA HOUSSOYE).
    “D” Pl. 18 vehs delivered loads Ord Stores to 156 FMC, returned to location 1300 hrs. 28 vehs detailed 1700 hrs collect petrol from Army Rd Hd RUGLES & proceed to 156 FMC HOULBEC.
    Coy now operating as follows:-
    Coy (less “D” Pl – 5 tonners) under comd 50 (N) Div.
    “A” & “B” Pls att bns (6, 8 & 9DLI) of 151 Bde for tp carrying.
    “C” Pl att bns (6 GREEN HOWARDS & 5 E YORKS) of 69 Bde for tp carrying.
    Coy HQ & W/S moving as part of Rear Div Gp of 50 Div HQ.
    (W/S Fitters Teams (each approx 5 Fitters) att permanently on 15 cwts with A, B, C & D Pls).
    “D” Pl. (5 tonners) under comd of CRASC 30 Corps Tps and engaged on 3rd Line tpt of amn, pet and Sups from Roadhead etc to forward FMCs.
    All Comp Pl personnel distributed equally over the 4 tpt pls, as not required for comp duties.
    Veh Deficiencies – NIL (except 1 x 3 ton Slave Battery and 1 x 6 ton Breakdown Tractor never issued at time of conversion of 1 Pl 5 toners).
    Personnel Deficiencies – 31 ORs.
  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Thanks for posting that Tom, it's interesting to see some more detailed indications of the number of 3-tonnners actually allocated for movement of Inf Bns. The 'book' answer was 30 for the marching personnel (approx. 500 depending on how you count them from the WEs) but the examples show some differences, particularly of 20th Aug, when it looks like they were using their 10% relief (and possibly the the Pl admin vehicle as well).

    Robert Colquhoun likes this.
  3. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Does it matter that this was an Armoured Brigade Company RASC? D Platoon were equipped with 6 ton trucks, and the 3 ton lorries of the other platoons would not have been TCVs.


    Robert Colquhoun likes this.
  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Tom,

    I've never read RASC War Wiaries before, but was pleasantly surprised to find these interesting - possibly because they refer to 50 Div on a lot of occasions.

    Thanks for posting...

    One point, there is either a typo or an error in the War Diairy on 17 August 1944, in the sentence starting: "20 X 3 ton Capt. K. Forman..." This refers to '2 E YORKS' of 69 Bde. The 2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment were never part of 69th Infantry Brigade, 50 Div, during WWII. However, the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment were.


    Robert Colquhoun likes this.
  5. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member


    It could make a difference, question is how much in terms of getting 'bums on seats'.

    I had a look on the net earlier (before being diverted by a plumbing emergency) and found an old thread on AHF that oddly we've both contributed to, and looked back at some old info I have.

    I suppose the gormless question is, was the 3-ton GS lorry fitted with some form of bench seating even when it was being used by the RASC for movement of supplies rather than personnel? That is, if a standard 3-tonner Pl was attached to an Inf Bn, could the lorries already provide some basic seating to accommodate passengers without some modification? I found an oblique reference in a 1941 WE that suggests it took more 3-tonners to carry an Inf Bn in standard vehicles than in TCVs, but I suspect the answer is as always a bit more involved.

    The question of how many personnel could be fitted into a TCV and how many were required to lift an Inf Bn has always vexed me somewhat, but is a different thread probably!

    Robert Colquhoun likes this.
  6. Little Jimmy

    Little Jimmy Junior Member

    Hallo, I have found an old Page of a newspaper about the 90th Coy RASC: Perhaps ist from interest. If anyone can help, Im looking for anything about 22 Transport Coy RASC. in Germany 1947 best regards Heinz Johannsen germany
  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    WO171/2377 – 90 Company RASC (Armoured Brigade)

    C.O.: Major J.R. Cuthbertson, RASC

    29 March 1944 Troqueer Mills, DUMFRIES
    Unit redesignated to 90 Coy RASC (Armd Bde – Assault) under ACI 459 of 1944.

    1 April 1944
    [no entry]

    2 April 1944
    Advance party of 2 Officers and 18 ORs proceeded to PETWORTH No. 1 CAMP, Sussex.

    3 – 5 April 1944
    [No entries]

    6 April 1944
    “C” Platoon proceeded to PETWORTH No.1 CAMP, Sussex.

    7 – 11 April 1944

    [No entries]

    12 April 1944

    “A”, “B” & Workshops Platoons proceeded to PETWORTH No. 1 CAMP, Susex.

    13 – 14 April 1944
    [No entries]

    15 April 1944
    HQ Platoon proceeded to COULMONY HOUSE, Nr. FORRES, Morayshire, joining “D” and Composite Platoons.

    16 – 22 April 1944
    [No entries]

    23 April 1944 PETWORTH
    Under Authy WOUM 79/Mob/6430/188 (AG5 Mob) dated 23 Apr 44, the vehicle establishment of the Company altered to read “Task Vehicles and Reliefs of 3 Transport Platoons to be 3-ton 4x2 G.S. and 1 Transport Platoon 6-ton G.S.”

    24 – 25 April 1944
    [No entries]

    26 April 1944
    “C” Platoon moved to PORTSMOUTH are to take part in Exercise “FABIUS”.
    HQ, “D” and Composite Platoons moved into Tournai Barracks, ALDERSHOT from COULMONY HOUSE, forming main residue of Company.

    27 April 1944
    [No entry]

    28 April 1944
    8 Vehicles 6-ton G.S. delivered to this unit from 319 Coy RASC (Arty), being part of changeover of vehicles necessitated by WOUM 79/Mob/6430/188 (AG5 Mob) dated 23 Apr 44.

    29 – 30 April 1944
    [No entries]

    1 May 1944 ALDERSHOT
    Vehicles of “D” Platoon changed – 33 three-ton Bedfords returned to V.R.D. and 33 six-ton Macks drawn from various units in lieu.

    2 – 5 May 1944
    [No entries]

    6 – 19 May 1944
    52 Drivers posted to Coy against deficiencies in War Establishment.

    18 May 1944
    33 Bedford 3-ton vehicles 4 x 2 of “C” Platoon exchanged for 33 Austin 3-ton vehicles 4 x 4 pre-waterproofed.

    20 – 24 May 1944
    [No entries]

    25 May 1944
    “A”, “B” & “C” Platoons and Workshops Detachment sealed in Camp No. 1 Petworth in connection with Operation EXERCISE [sic] “OVERLORD”.

    26 – 30 May 1944
    [No entries]

    31 May 1944
    “C” Pln Group (36 Vehs + 98 Personnel) under Command of Capt. Forman and Lt. Neighbour leave Concentration Area PETWORTH & arrive Marshalling Area, Camp 4 Portsmouth.

    1 June 1944
    ‘C’ Pln Group embark at GOSPORT on LSTs 382, 383, 385.

    2 June 1944
    13 Vehs + 32 Personnel ‘B’ Pln under Lt. G.R. Glenny left Concentration Area PETWORTH and arrive Marshalling Area.

    3 June 1944
    ‘A’ Pln Gp (36 Vehs + 96 Personnel) under Capt. K.S. Duffus & Lt. J.T. Hardwicke and Balance of ‘B’ Pln Gp (23 Vehs + 61 Personnel) under Command Capt. D.M. Robertson & Capt. Allison left Concentration Area PETWORTH and arrived Marshalling Area Portsmouth.

    4 June 1944
    ‘C’ Pln Gp still lying up on LSTs off PORTSMOUTH.

    5 June 1944
    ‘C’ Pln Gp briefed at Sea. LSTs set Sail 2100 hrs.

    6 June 1944
    ‘D’ Day.
    Major Cuthbertson (OC) and 1 OR landed of [sic] LCT 298 with 106 Br. Coy RASC at H + 2 (0925 hrs) and proceeded to agreed RV with 6 Airborne Div at Bridges over R.ORNE at BENOUVILLE (0974). No Airborne reps present at 1200 hrs.
    11 Vehs of ‘C’ Pln under Capt. E. Forman disembarked ex LST382 at 1430 hrs and reached Coy Harbour Area S.E. of COLLEVILLE-SUR-ORNE (0877) at 1600 hrs, carrying pre-loads of Ammunition for 6 Airborne Div. Contact established with 6 Airborne Div HQ at RANVILLE (1174) at 1800 hrs and Ammunition pre-loads delivered to Airborne Div Maint. Area in WOOD, RANVILLE at 2300 hrs. Fire from snipers encountered at numerous points on the roads during the day.
    9 Vehs of ‘B’ Pln under Lt.G.R. Glenny landed with Pet & Derv, disembarked at 1200 hrs and proceeded to 27 Armd. Bde A Echelon Area HERMANVILLE-SUR-MER (0679). Contact established with Capt. D.E. Gray of this Coy who landed at 1100 hrs with 1 E.R.Y. to undertake P.O.L. supply duties with HQ 27 Armd. Bde. Pre-loads of Pet & Derv delivered direct to Armd. Regts of 27 Armd Bde under AFV protection in certain cases and vehs continued throughout day and most of night 6/7 June 44 to ferry Amn, Pet & Derv from Beach Sector Stores Dumps forward to ‘A’ Echelon.
    2 O.Rs ‘B’ Pln received injuries from Shell Splinters and evacuated to 21 F.D.S.
    L.S.T. 383 (carrying further 11 Vehs ‘C’ Pln) bombed off shore during day – damage caused to Lift Gear. 7 Vehs on Upper Deck were transferred at Sea to LST.385 (already carrying 11 Vehs ‘C’ Pln). Owing to delay on Beaches etc none of these vehs were landed on ‘D’ Day as scheduled.

    7 June 1944
    Remaining 22 Vehs ‘C’ Pln disembarked ex LSTs 383 & 385 and reached Harbour Area at COLLEVILLE. ‘B’ Pln vehs continued to transport POL and Amn from Sector Stores Dumps to form Bde Dumps Area HERMANVILLE. A further 4 vehs from ‘B’ Pln landed and joined the 9 Vehs already at Bde ‘A’ Echelon ‘B’ Pln vehs also took part during the day in an urgent Troop Carrying Detail transporting 1 LINCOLNS to ST.AUBIN D’ARQUENAY.
    During the day the pre-loads of Amn, POL, Water and RE. Stores on the 22 Vehs of ‘C’ Pln landed today were delivered to 6 Airborne Div. Maint. Area, RANVILLE (1174). Further loads of Amn and Compo Sups were collected from Sector Stores Dumps and Beach Areas & delivered. All these deliveries involved the crossing of the River & Canal bridges at BENOUVILLE (0974) which were under intermittent gun fire.

    8 June 1944
    At 0030 hrs Bde ‘A’ Echelon Area was bombed from the Air causing the following casualties to ‘B’ Pln. 1 OR killed, 1 Off & 4 O.Rs wounded and evacuated to 21 F.D.S., 1-3 tonner (B’ford), 3 M/Cs & 3 Bren Guns were damaged beyond local repair. Other vehicles suffered slight damage which was rectified during the day. Remaining vehs employed on delivery of Amn & POL to Bde ‘A’ Echelon. During the day 30 x 3-tonners of ‘C’ Pln were continuously engaged in transporting Amn, POL and Sups to 6 Airborne Div Maint Area from Beach Sector Stores Dumps. While 12 x 3-tonners were drawing Amn & Sups from No.3 Dump, the Dump was bombed and caught fire. 2 ORs were wounded and were evacuated. 11 ORs were missing and are believed to have been killed in the explosion and fire. 9 x 3-ton (Austin) and 2 M.Cs were destroyed by fire.
    There were several air attacks throughout the area during the whole day.

    9 June 1944
    12 Vehs of ‘B’ Pln withdrawn from temporary location of 27 Armd Bde and joined ‘C’ Pln at Harbour Area COLLEVILLE.
    ‘C’ Pln Vehs engaged in supply of AMn, POL and Sups to 6 Airborne Div Maint Area.

    10 June 1944
    At 0030 hrs Coy Harbour Area and adjoining location of HQ 3 Br Inf Div and HQ 27 Armd Bde attack by Enemy aircraft. Anti-Personnel Bombs caused following casualties:- 6 ORs wounded by shrapnel and admitted to No.77 ADS. 1 x 3-ton Lorry damaged beyond local repair, 7 x 3-ton lorries received minor damage and rendered temporarily V.O.R.
    Available vehs were engaged on supplying 6 Airborne Div and in delivering Rations & Ord. Stores to 27 Armd Bde. Owing to heavy vehicle casualties on previous days, C.RASC, 3 Br. Inf. Div called in assistance from 47 Coy RASC (Inf Bde) in meeting transport commitments for 6 Airborne Div.
    At 2030 hrs Coy moved to new location at CRESSERONS (0379) leaving 9 x 3-ton Lorries under repair in Old Harbour Area with W/S detachment to rejoin Coy when repairs completed.

    11 June 1944
    The only transport commitment was 5 x 3-tonners for dely. Sups to 27 Armd Bde Units. Coy engaged in refitting and maintenance. Very little enemy aerial activity.

    12 June 1944
    Coy location slightly moved to allow move in of 105 Corps Reception Centre to adjoining area.
    3 Br. Inf. Div. Admin Area located around neighbouring village PLUMETOT (0479).
    Coy engaged in delivering sups and Ord. Stores to Bde Units and 12 x 3-tonners engaged in Bde Dumping programme of Amn & POL for 13/18 R. Hussars in Area RANVILLE (1173) commencing 1800 hrs.
    First delivery of mail received from U.K.
    The following personnel were nominated to Higher Authority for recognition for outstanding Services performed during the past 5 days.
    Capt. D.E. Gray:- Organisation of dely. of POL & Amn to 27 Armd Bde.
    Capt. E. Forman:- Meritorious Service in connection with the dely. of Sups to 6 Airborne Div.
    T/126636 L/Cpl. Jones JG. Outstanding Service in rendering 1st Aid to Wounded personnel on night of 9/10 June 44.

    13 June 1944
    20 Vehs engaged on dumping Amn, POL & Sups for 13/18 R.Hussars in Area RANVILLE (1173).
    Information received that 1 OR attached to Bde. HQ killed yesterday evening in Enemy Bombing raid.

    14 June 1944
    ‘C’ Pln & attd. Vehs ‘B’ Pln engaged on Veh. Maint. in location. Small Tpt details for Bde.
    ‘A’ & ‘B’ Pln personnel leave Marshalling Area & embark on LSTs in Solent.

    15 June 1944
    Small Tpt details for Bde.
    ‘A’ & ‘B’ Plns Gps arrive off Beachhead and disembark on QUEEN Sector at 2000 hrs. Slight enemy shelling of Craft off Beaches.
    ‘A’ & ‘B’ Pln. Grps (59 Vehs + 165 personnel) join Advanced Element of Coy at CRESSERONS (0379) at 2300 hrs.
    Personnel dig in. Enemy bombing in vicinity.
    1x2 Str. Ambulance + Med. Orderly attached from 11 Lt.Fd.Ambulance.

    16 June 1944
    ‘A’ & ‘B’ Pln Gps engaged in reorganising veh. Standings and digging in etc. Vehs, dispersed at 75 yards intervals to minimise the danger of damage from Shell & bombing fragments.

    17 June 1944
    ‘A’ & ‘B’ Pln Grps dewaterproofing vehs. ‘C’ Pln carried out small tpt detail for Bde. Approx 6 shells from light enemy Fd. Guns landed in location. 1 OR of Workshops injured in slit trench by shell fragment and evacuated to F.D.S.

    18 June 1944
    Nothing to report.

    19 June 1944
    2 replacement Motor Cycles received.

    20 June 1944
    Nothing to report.

    21 June 1944
    1 O.R. admitted to A.D.S. 11 Lt.Fd. Ambulance with injuries to Knee incurred in slit trench during shelling.

    22 June 1944
    No news yet received of 12 Lorries & 27 personnel scheduled to land D+11, June 17, 1944.

    23 June 1944
    30 x 3-ton loads, 105 mm Ammn collected from 102 Beach Sub Area and held on wheels for 3 Br. Inf. Div.
    27 Armd Bde Postal Unit (3 ORs and 1x15-cwt) disembarked today ad reported to this Coy on attachment.
    3 x 3-ton of HQ. 3 Br. Inf. Div (with 3 Dvrs) reported on temporary attachment on instructions of C.RASC 3 Br. Inf. Div.

    24 June 1944
    Nothing to report during day. Considerable local enemy air activity at night. No incidents in actual location. 1 O.R. accidentally received STEN Wound in feet. Evacuated to 11 Lt.Fd.Amb.

    25 June 1944
    Nothing to report.

    26 June 1944
    30 x 3-ton loads 105mm Ammn delivered to various Gun Batteries in Area S. of PLUMETOT (Square 0378).

    27 June 1944
    Coy set up Dump of 3000 galls of FTF Special Fuel & 90 Nitrogen Cylinders for 141 R.A.C. at GAZELLE (0276).
    Portion of Coy due D + 11 disembarked today (10 days behind schedule) and reached CRESSERONS location at 1730 hrs (12 vehs + 27 personnel – Admin & W/S).

    28 June 1944
    1082 rds. 75 mm HE delivered to Sqn.Lines Staff Yeo. at 0300 hrs.
    Further 600 rds and 1200 rds at 1600 hrs and 2000 hrs respectively.
    Maint. Point containing 2400 FTF Fuel set up for 141 RAC at LE VEY (976757) at 1800 hrs and withdrawn 2100 hrs.
    Final Residue of Company (“D” Platoon and balance of HQ and Workshops Platoons) left Marlborough Lines, ALDERSHOT, and arrived Marshalling Area, West Ham Stadium, LONDON.

    29 June 1944
    Dump of 3000 galls FTF Fuel at GAZELLE for 141 RAC withdrawn and returned to 101 Beach Sub Area P.D.

    30 June 1944
    A Section of the 11 Lt.Fd.Ambulance attached to this Unit at CRESSERONS.
    Reference entry on the 8 June 1944. It is now known from information received that 1 OR reported missing is in Hospital in U.K. recovering from wounds, and 1 OR died from wounds received. This making a total of 9 missing.
    Final Residue loaded on Craft T.130 S.S. “FRANK LEVER” and other craft at West India Dock. Enemy raids by pilotless bombs experienced throughout last three days.

    Special Appendix to War Diary Aug 44

    S & T HISTORY.

    90 Coy RASC (Armd Bde – Assault)

    An account of the work carried out during
    the first four days of the Invasion, June 1944.

    The work done by 90 Coy RASC during the first four days of the invasion is certainly worthy of permanent record, closely linked as it is with the success of the critical operations of the 6th Airborne Div. and the 27th Armd Bde in the Eastern extremity of the Allied Bridgehead.

    It is thought that a fairly detailed account will be of general interest as this Coy’s vehicles were, as events turned out, the only formation 2nd line RASC to land early on D-Day on the British Sector, and may possibly have been the first 2nd line vehicles working on any Sector. And as will be seen from the following account, the crowded and varied experiences of the leading elements of this Coy during these early days can hardly have had their counterpart in any other Coy in the Corps.

    The important part actually played by this Coy in relation to the operations of the 6th Airborne Div and the 27th Armd Bde were only indirectly due to the role assigned to the Coy in the preliminary planning, and the greater part of the work fell to be done purely as a result of the emergencies of the moment. To appreciate what was achieved it is necessary to refer briefly to the planning which preceded the operations.


    90 Coy RASC is the 2nd line Coy for 27 Armd Bde, but as the Bde was operating under Command 3 Br Inf Div for the purpose of the Assault it was arranged in planning that the 2nd line Coys of 3 Div should be responsible for the initial replenishment of P.O.L. etc for the tanks of the Armd Bde as well as for the Inf Div. At a later stage however, shipping space became available making it possible for a platoon (33 vehs) of 90 Coy RASC to land on the 1st tide of D-Day, and as these vehicles were not required immediately for replenishment of the Armd Bde, it was decided that this platoon should load with a mixed preload 105 mm Amn for 3 Div and Amn, Mines, Pet., Water and R.E. Stores for delivery to 6 Airborne Div operating on the left flank of the 3 Div Sector.

    The task set this Platoon was (a) to deliver the special pre-loads on the evening of D-Day by using the Bridges (if captured intact) or via the R.E. rafts if the Bridges had been destroyed by the enemy, and (b) to keep the Airborne Div Maint Area supplied from the 3 Br Inf Div Beaches (QUEEN SECTOR) until arrival of the heavy vehicles of the Airborne Div RASC on D + 1. It was anticipated that these vehicles of Airborne RASC, which it had only been possible to phase in on the Canadian Sector much further West, on D + 1, would be able to take over the Airborne Commitment on that day, the Platoon of 90 Coy thereupon reverting to its normal role of supplying 27 Armd Bde. The Platoon designated for this task were equipped with Austin 4 x 4 pre-waterproofed 3-tonners.

    At the very last moment some further Shipping space became available and 13 Bedford 4 x 2 3-tonners (carrying Pet and Derv for 27 Armd Bde and intended to be phased in on D + 5) were loaded on Craft scheduled to land on 1st tide D-Day, and by the strange chances of war, were the first 2nd line RASC vehicles in the BRITISH SECTOR actually to land on French soil.


    The various craft on which the Coy’s vehs were loaded (both the 33 and the 13), arrived off the beaches about 1300 hrs on D-Day, but enemy bombing of both craft and beaches, and shelling of the beaches from enemy strongpoints, greatly delayed unloading

    /Sheet two

    Sheet Two.

    operations. One L.S.T. received a very near miss from a bomb and the explosion put the lift gear out of action making it impossible for any vehs on the top deck to descend to the lower deck for disembarkation. As a result it became necessary to transfer vehs from the top deck of this L.S.T. to the top deck of another L.S.T. at sea. Planks were laid to bridge the gap between one deck & the other and the vehs driven across. In the heaving swell this was a difficult operation but it was accomplished successfully and no vehs were lost or damaged.

    The actual times at which the early portions of the Coy eventually landed were as follows:-

    H + 2 hrs (0925 hrs) O.C. Maj. Cuthbertson (on M.C) & 1 M/Cyclist (for liaison with 6 Airborne Div)

    H + 5½ hrs (1300 hrs) Capt. Gray (Petrol Officer) for liaison with 27 Armd Bde

    H + 6½ hrs (1400 hrs) 13 x 3 ton 4 x 2 ex B Platoon (Pet & Derv for 27 Armd Bde) O i/c Lt. Glenny

    H + 8 hrs (1530 hrs) 11 x 3 ton 4 x 4 ex C Platoon (loads for Airborne) O i/c Capt. Forman

    D + 1

    1030 hrs 4 x 3 ton 4 x 4 ex C Platoon ex C Platoon (loads for Airborne)

    1200 hrs 11 x 3 ton 4 x 4 ex C Platoon (8 Amn for 3 Div; 3 loads for Airborne)

    1700 hrs 7 x 3 ton 4 x 4 ex C Platoon (loads for Airborne) O i/c Lt Neighbour

    Almost from the moment they landed these vehicles in almost every case went straight into action, and drivers and vehs were worked day and night with only slight let up until D + 4.

    It so happened that the Platoon of 3 Div 2nd line vehs which were to have supplied 27 Armd Bde with Pet and Derv on D-Day were held up at sea and did not in fact arrive until D + 2. It followed therefore that the 13 vehs of B Platoon of 90 Coy had to cope with this entire commitment for the Armd Bde on the spur of the moment. Some idea of how this was done is given in SECTION IV below.

    As for the 33 vehs of C Platoon carrying mainly the preloads of supplies etc for the 6 Airborne it quite unexpectedly became their proud task to keep the whole Airborne Div forces and the Commandos under their Command, supplied with Amn, Pet and Rations during the first four days of the invasion. Owing to the fact that there was a belt of enemy-held territory which separated the CANADIAN Beach-head further West from the BRITISH Beach-head in the East until D + 2, the heavy Airborne Div RASC transport which was landed on the Canadian Sector was unable to get through to the British Sector until about D + 4 (with the exception of about 4 x 3 ton which managed to reach the Airborne area late on D + 1). And so to the Platoon of 90 Coy during four critical days fell the whole task.


    This is the shorter story of the two and is therefore related first.

    D – DAY (6 Jun)

    Capt. Gray (Coy Petrol Officer) landed at 1300 hrs D- Day in a tank of the East Riding Yeomanry (27 Armd Bde), with his M/C slung on the back of the tank and linked up with Bde A Echelon located about a mile inland between the beaches and HERMANVILLE.

    Pending arrival of any Petrol lorries, this officer was engaged in locating amn “purpoises” (towed in by tanks and dumped) and getting the amn loaded on to Regts’ ½ track vehs for transport forward.

    At 1400 hrs (after delay due to shelling of the L.C.T.) 9 out of the 13 vehs landed and reached Bde A Ech area at 1600 hrs. Infantry had taken up positions in the next field and were engaged with scattered enemy elements. Whilst Drivers were engaged in de-waterproofing their vehs at about 1900 hrs the enemy started mortaring the location. 2 Drivers were wounded and had to be evacuated, and vehs had hurriedly to be moved to another location close by.

    At 2000 Bde H.Q. moved forward to HERMANVILLE and the vehs of B Platoon accompanied it. Shortly after reaching this new location some of the P.O.L. vehs were sent forward with Regts’ amn vehs to replenish tanks direct in their forward positions. /Sheet Three

    Sheet Three

    As some indication of the sort of conditions prevailing that evening a Corporal was detailed to take forward a lorry-load of petrol to refuel tanks of [?? Hole in paper!) Sqn, no Sqn guide being available. On proceeding down the OUISTREHAM road from COLLEVILLE in the direction where the tanks were last known to have been located, they eventually ran up against a belt of Tellermines which had been hurriedly been sown across the road that day by the enemy. On realising that they were in enemy country they turned back and in a moment or two were the proud possessors of 2 German prisoners, who made their appearance through the hedge.

    Throughout the night, which was one of considerable enemy air activity, the work of replenishing the tanks went on, all vehs then returning to the Sector Stores Dumps at QUEEN beaches to refill. They arrived back at location as dawn was breaking.

    D + 1 (7 Jun)

    By this morning the remaining 4 vehs had all landed, making 13 vehs in all available for Bde 2nd line P.O.L. (Bde 2nd line Amn was being dealt with by a Pool of Regts’ A Ech. lorries). These vehs spent all day continuously ferrying Pet and Derv from the Beach Sector Stores Dumps through congested roads and tracks, up to a Bde forward dump near HERMANVILLE X-roads, Amn being similarly ferried by the A Ech vehs of the Regts. During the day many enemy aircraft were overhead and there was considerable bombing in the area of the Sector Stores Dumps and the Beaches.

    In the early afternoon, a serious enemy threat developed on the left flank of the 3 Div front (towards the R. Orne) and all available transport which could be mustered (both RASC and Regt) was detailed to transport the 1st Bn Lincolns from HERMANVILLE to ST AUBIN-D’ARQUENAY. The RASC Platoon Officer (Lt.Glenny) was put in charge and the infantry were crowded onto the vehs just as they were (half of them still loaded with petrol) and rushed at full speed to the threatened area. This detail completed, the lorries then carried on for the rest of the day and throughout most of the night building up the dumps and also going forward to replenish the tanks. In the case of one Regt (1 E. Riding Yeo) it was necessary to send back 2 Stuart tanks to act as escort to the 2 RASC lorries on their journey up to the forward lines, as enemy patrols were known to be in the area.

    A sharp air attack developed during that night at about 23.30 in the Bde A Ech area and bombs fell among those vehs which were not out on detail. The casualties were serious considering the size of the detachment. 1 L/Cpl was killed and the Platoon Officer and 3 Drivers were wounded and had to be evacuated back to U.K. One 3-tonner and 3 M/Cs were destroyed and 4 more 3-tonners were damaged by splinters and blast. Excellent work was done by the Driver/Mechs by improvisation and cannibilisation of the bombed vehs and all except one of these vehs were runners again and working before mid-day the following morning.

    D + 2 (8 Jun)

    Throughout this day also, all vehs were engaged at full stretch in building up new dumps of Pet and Amn North of HERMANVILLE. This was especially urgent as it was on this day that enemy bombing of the Beach areas was particularly determined (NO.3 Sector Stores Dump being blown up, as recounted in SECTION V), and it was considered imperative to have dumps of Pet, Amn and Sups forward and away from the Beaches, to reduce the general risk of serious loss.

    At the end of this day the 12 vehs which now remained were moved to join the other element of the Coy (C Platoon) at COLLEVILLE. The Drivers and vehs were for the moment, just about all ot. Over a period of 60 hours these Drivers had had little more than an hour or two’s rest all told and they were very nearly falling asleep at their wheels. Their vehs too were a sorry sight. Some windscreens out, almost all bodies bearing splinter holes and patches, and canopies with gaping rents, but they had done their jon. By sheer hard work and dogged persistence they had somehow succeeded with 13 vehs in filling the gap created by the non-arrival of the 33 vehs on which the planning had been based and they had done much other work beside.

    D + 3 (9 Jun)

    During the following day they were allowed to rest themselves and do the urgent work which was necessary on their vehicles and from that evening on their story forms part of the other Platoon whose doings are recounted in the next section. /Sheet Four

    Sheet Four


    Any account of the work carried out by this Section of the Coy presents great difficulties. By its very nature, much of the work was carried out on the initiative of individuals (including junior NCOs), and all of it was so urgent, and so many different things were always happening at once, that to produce a connected story in any detail is well-nigh impossible. The following record has been arrived at by piecing together the stories of many of the individuals concerned.

    D-DAY (6 Jun)

    The Coy Comd. Maj J.R. Cuthbertson accompanied by a Coy D.R., landed at H + 2 (0925 hrs) on the leading vehs of 106 Bridge Coy RASC (this was, in all probability the first RASC contingent to land in France), and proceeded with these vehs Eastwards and inland as far as the ORNE Bridges at BENOUVILLE, 5 miles away. The object was to effect contact with airlanded reps of 6 Airborne Div with a view to arranging the subsequent delivery of the preloaded Amn etc on the C Platoon vehs due to arrive later in the day.

    On arrival at the Bridges at about 1130 hrs it was found that they had been captured intact by the Airborne. A small body of Airborne troops were stationed near the Bridge and were dealing with enemy snipers in the locality but no Q or RASC reps were to be found.

    A Motor-cyclist guide was left at the Bridge R.V. and throughout the afternoon contact was kept between the Beach areas and the Bridges with a view to learning of the arrival of the C Platoon vehs and linking with any representative from Airborne. There were occasions when the few RASC, & RE, personnel located by the Bridge were obliged to take up defensive positions owing to threatened German counter-attack at this key-point, but nothing more than odd sniping and machine-gun firing eventually materialised.

    A harbour area for RASC vehs W of HERMANVILLE had been tentatively laid down in the planning. A recce was made in this direction but it was found that the whole area was still in enemy hands (and remained so until D + 2). An alternative area was selected in some orchards East of COLLEVILLE on the route through from the Beaches to the Orne Bridges. As an RASC location it was of course rather far forward, being only about 2 – 3 miles from the enemy positions, but it was well sited for the particular task which had to be done.

    The only vehs which in fact arrived at all that day were 11 x 3 tonners under Capt. Forman which were eventually rhino’ed ashore at 1530 hrs and reached the prearranged harbour area near COLLEVILLE about 1630 hrs.

    As no contact had yet been established with the Airborne Q or RASC at the agreed R.V. on the Western end of the Bridges it was decided that an attempt must be made to contact the Airborne Div H.Q. on the far side of the ORNE.

    The O.C. and 1 M/Cyclist crossed the Bridges on M/Cs under a smoke screen laid down by the Parachutists, and were eventually successful in locating the Airborne H.Q. at RANVILLE about 1800 hrs, just as the Airborne resupply and reinforcements were arriving by glider and the King’s memorable speech over the wireless was coming over the portable radio.

    The reason for the non-arrival of Airborne reps at the Bridge R.V. was then learned...one had been seriously injured on landing and the other had been delayed by an accident.

    It was arranged that any loads that had in fact come ashore in 90 Coy’s vehs should be brought up that evening at dusk over the ORNE Bridges and dumped at the Airborne Div Maint Area in a farm and orchard at RANVILLE located between the River and the Airborne Dropping Zone. The 11 vehs, which were all that had landed, and carried Pet, Amn, RE Stores and Water, were brought up at 2300 hrs, and despite numerous difficulties and the fluid nature of the situation in that area, all stores safely reached the Maint Area. One lorry overturned down a narrow track but this was recovered next morning. The last vehs arrived back in harbour area at 0430 hrs.

    /Sheet Five.

    Sheet Five


    Before going on to describe the main events of the next four days it will be as well to set out here some of the inherent difficulties which had to be met and overcome in the task of keeping the Airborne supplied during those days.

    (a) The reserves in the Airborne area were only very small, being purely what had been dropped from the air. The task was to try not only to meet current consumption from day to day (or rather from hour to hour) but at the same time to build up some sort of reserve, however small, in the Airborne area, over the River, in case the Bridges should be bombed or shelled, or temporarily recaptured by the enemy, and an interruption in the flow of supplies etc should occur.

    (b) There were only a handful of vehs to perform the task – 11 by the evening of D-Day, rising to 33 by the late evening of D + 1, dropping to 23 on D + 2 on D + 2 owing to casualties, and finally only 20 remained capable of carrying on the job by the morning of D + 4. And during that time, availability was further reduced for periods of some hours owing to urgent calls for anything up to 5 or 6 lorries to assist in carriage of infantry reinforcements for 3 Br Inf Div and delivery of Amn and sups for 27 Armd Bde.

    (c) Owing to parachute accidents etc, the Airborne personnel who would normally have forecast Amn and Supply requirements were not immediately available, and owing also to the difficulties in communication in the whole of this area much of the replenishment had perforce to be done on the basis of continually revised estimates, and intelligent guesses as to the relative degrees of urgency and priority of various types of amn and sups etc. Transport was so short that as soon as any vehicle had completed one delivery of e.g. Supplies, it was sent straight back to the beaches for whatever type of amn was most urgently in demand according to the last information available from “over the River”.

    (d) Conditions near the Beaches and around the Beach Sector Stores Dumps, whence all replenishment had to be made, were very difficult. There were only about two up and down routes which were usable, owing to others not yet being clear of the enemy, and as they were in use by all new units landing and all Beach and DUKW transport, congestion was very severe throughout the day and remained so until at least 2300 hrs every night. Bombings by day and night were frequent and even until D + 2 isolated snipers remained in some houses behind the beaches. The four Sector Stores Dumps and the other dumps which grew out of them represented the only sources of replenishment and often vehicles had to be taken from dump to dump searching for the only supply of some particular type of Amn specially required by the Airborne. Everyone sent for Amn was always told what other types and quantities of Amn by degrees of priority should be collected, should it prove impossible to locate a supply of the 1st priority types. The essential thing was that no lorry under any circumstances must undertake a wasted journey. To this end, everyone down to junior NCOs and Drivers was put right in the picture, so that should they be left on their own they would always know what to do and what useful loads to collect. It was also arranged that every NCO, lorry-driver or motor-cyclist either on the way to or from the beaches, and whether loaded or unloaded, invariably reported in, if only for a second, as he passed the Platoon Harbour Area, in order that appropriate action could be taken on the latest information received.

    The situation was so fluid most of the time that instructions given to an NCO on his way down to the beaches were often already out of date when he passed Coy Harbour 2 hours later on his way up to the Airborne, and changes in routes, R.Vs etc were constant. Moreover it was essential to know from hour to hour just what was

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    Sheet Six

    the state of congestion in the beach areas, which dumps had which types of Amn, which routes could be used, and, as far as the forward areas were concerned, whether the Bridges were still passable, what was the state of the battle, and what amn etc was most urgently required immediately.

    It was in the teeth of these difficulties that by the methods outlined above not only were the Airborne forces and Commandos kept supplied, but by the time the task was handed over to other units on D + 4 a sizeable Reserve of Amn, Petrol and Supplies had been built up on the far side of the ORNE.

    The above gives some idea of the background to the events of the next four days, a brief account of which now follows...

    D + 1 (7 Jun)

    During this day, the remaining 22 vehs of the Platoon eventually came ashore in various small groups, having been delayed and eventually considerable split up owing to the “Rhino” ferries having been bombed and in some instances damaged.

    Four of these vehs, carrying amn, after having narrowly missed being hit by bombs on the beaches eventually found their way after much difficulty to the Coy’s harbour area at COLLEVILLE at 1200 hrs. These were taken up – together with further loads of Amn and Compo Rations picked up by the 11 vehs which had been landed on D-Day, - to the Airborne Maint Area, later in the afternoon.

    Meanwhile, by about the middle of the day very threatening attacks with tanks in support were being developed by the enemy on the whole of the Airborne positions and a very urgent call was made for Anti-Tank Mines and further Amn. It so happened that at about 1200 a further 11 of C Platoon vehs were just coming ashore. 8 of these, loaded with 105 mm Amn for 3 Div, went straight to the Sector Store Dumps to unload as prearranged. Of the remaining 5, 2 were loaded with Anti-Tank Mines, and these were sent straight off the beaches at full speed via OUISTREHAM up to the ORNE Bridges. The Mines were off-loaded at the far side at 1430. Very shortly after that the enemy attacks temporarily overran the Airborne Div Maint Area where the Amn Dumps etc were, and 3 more vehs sent up from the beaches with Amn were unable to get across the Bridges. Later in the afternoon the Airborne troops and Commandos restored the position, and these vehs plus those mentioned in the previous paragraph all succeeded in getting their loads through.

    The last 7 vehs of the Platoon – those which had to be transferred from one craft to another at sea, as recounted in SECTION III – eventually beached at 1700 hrs and reached the Coy Harbour Area at COLLEVILLE at 1845 hrs. These were loaded with Mines, RE Stores and Amn. In view of the critical position “over the River”, these vehs were sent straight on under their officer Lt. Neighbour and delivered their loads in the Maint Area, returning to location by about 0300 hrs.

    During the evening a message was received from CRASC 6 Airborne Div that the rations delivered earlier in the day would not now be sufficient owing to unexpected changes in Strength, including the Commandos. 3 Vehs which had shortly before returned from delivering mines, set off once more for the Beach Sector Stores Dumps. After being held up at one point by sniping near the beaches, the loads of Compo were obtained by 2300 hrs just as evening air raids on the beaches were commencing. On their way back these vehs narrowly escaped being hit by a bomb near HERMANVILLE X-roads (in the raid which caused casualties and damage in B Platoon location – see SECTION IV). The rations were eventually delivered to the Maint Area at RANVILLE at 0200 hrs and distributed immediately to the units concerned.

    D + 2 (Thurs. 8 Jun)

    During the morning and afternoon four vehs were supplied for ferrying urgent infantry reinforcements for 3 Div from OUISTREHAM to 185 Bde at CAZELLE and 9 Bde at BEUVILLE and a further 3 x 3 tonners were utilized all day in a shuttle service for carrying Amn to a forward Dump for 27 Armd Bde.

    /Sheet Seven.

    Sheet Seven

    All the remaining vehs were carrying on with the main job – ammunition from the Beach Sector Stores Dumps up to the Airborne Maint Area across the Orne.

    It was whilst 12 of these vehs were drawing supplies and amn at mid-day from No.3 Sector Stores Dump that the Coy suffered its heaviest blow. IN the bright sunshine, out of a high bank of cloud, a German ‘plane suddenly swooped down on to the dump and released its bomb on to the very spot where the vehs were held up in a traffic block in one of the roads traversing the dumps. There was a tremendous explosion following by sheets of flame, and in a matter of minutes almost the entire area of No 3 Sector Stores Dump, the largest of the four and containing reserves of Supplies and P.O.L as well as Amn, was on fire. Some DUKWs and a number of vehs were trapped in the area and could not be extricated. Of the 12 vehs of 90 Coy only 3 escaped – and these largely due to the personal efforts of Capt Forman, who was in charge of the detail.

    There was a heavy loss of personnel, 10 Drivers being killed or Missing believed killed, and 3 seriously wounded and evacuated to U.K.

    The survivors, all much shaken and having lost much of their kit and equipment, found their way back to the Coy’s location in small groups throughout the afternoon.

    The destruction of this Dump, which burnt on for some hours, and from which an enormous pall of angry smoke hung over the whole beach area throughout the afternoon and into the evening, was a serious blow, temporarily, to the general availability of all Supplies, and made drawing a doubly difficult problem. That night, for instance, there were only just sufficient Compo packs to meet the bare requirements of the Airborne force for the following day’s rations.

    The Amn which these 12 vehs had been drawing when the explosion occurred was very urgently required by the Airborne and immediately enough vehs could be raked together as they returned from other details, a second twelve were taken down by the same officer to the Dumps (they were incidentally again bombed on the way down) loaded and their loads delivered across the ORNE that evening.

    Another Amn convoy narrowly missed damage that day when shells landed near the ORNE Bridges just as the vehs were passing over.

    When the Coy “Balance Sheet” was struck that night, there were only 22 vehs of C Platoon left on the road. 9 vehs of B Platoon rejoined the Coy that evening, as recounted in SECTION IV, but their Drivers were tired right out and for them and their vehs a short rest was imperative.

    D + 3 (Fri 9 Jun)

    It was at this time that there was desperate need of supplies of 75 mm PACK HOWITZER Shells for the Airborne light guns...the main heavy weapons which the Div had available at the time to meet constantly growing attacks on their positions. The only supplies of this Amn were those which had been landed by air. It was known that some had been phased in in the initial shipping programme but after exhaustive search none could be located in any of the Sector Stores Dumps. Efforts were made on the evening of D + 2 in conjunction with CRASC Airborne Div to ascertain from the Naval Authorities on the beach whether any was waiting unloading on any of the ships standing offshore. An Officer of this Coy was left at the Naval Command Post from the evening of D + 2 onwards in order that immediate action could be taken on the first word being received that the Amn was available. IN view of the critical need for this one type of Amn, 6 vehs were kept standing by throughout the morning of D + 3 so that if any arrived, or could be located, not a minute’s delay would occur in picking it up and getting it through. At last in the afternoon the ship on which this Amn was loaded was traced by the Amn Officer of Airborne RASC H.Q. In accordance with special arrangements made with the Beach Authorities concerned by CRASC Airborne Div, to avoid any delays in off-loading in the congested beach areas, the DUKWs into which this Amn was immediately loaded were guided right through from the beaches up to this Coy’s forward harbour at COLLEVILLE. In a matter of minutes the Amn was cross-loaded from the DUKWs to the waiting lorries, which then pushed off for the Bridges. Whilst on this last lap a great deal of traffic – Airborne, RE and Bridging lorries – was encountered

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    Sheet Eight

    Proceeding hurriedly back from the region of the Bridges. From various enquiries it was learned that they had been instructed to fall back towards COLLEVILLE as the Airborne forces had been over-run. A further version was that the Bridges had been captured by the Germans. Despite this, however, there seemed no good reason for turning back. On reconnoitring, it was found that the Bridges were still intact and in British hands. The Airborne Maint Area was safely reached. It was found that a general STAND TO had been given and that communication with Airborne Div H.Q. was cut off owing to a temporary enemy filtration. Heavy mortaring of the area commenced whilst unloading was in process, but the job was completed and no damage was in fact done.

    As far as is known that was the last and most critical attack suffered by the Airborne, and with the aid of tanks from a Regt of 27 Armd Bde the position was fully restored that evening.

    During the day, owing to the reduced number of vehs available in the Coy, assistance in Amn carrying was given by a Coy of 3 Br Div RASC.

    That night, at about midnight, a very sharp air-raid developed in the region of the Coy’s location. The country round COLLEVILLE had by now, with the arrival of other units, become somewhat crowded. Bde and Div Headquarters were close by and there numerous guns and tanks in adjacent fields and the whole are presumable presented a worthwhile target to the enemy. Casualties to vehs and personnel were suffered in a number of units, owing to HE and anti-personnel bombs, of which a great quantity were dropped on the whole area. In this Coy one veh received a direct hit and became a write-off, whilst a number of others received minor damage from splinters, sufficient to put them off the road the following day. Casualties to personnel were eight wounded, of whom 6 were evacuated to hospital.

    Immediately after this raid very fine first-aid assistance was rendered by L/Cpl Jones to wounded personnel of this and other units, though he himself and received a wound in the attack.

    D + 4 (Sat 10 Jun)

    By this morning the total immediate vehicle availability of the Coy had shrunk to 20 (out of 46 landed) and although, as a result of magnificent work on the part of the small body of 6 W/S Artificers with the Platoon, 9 more were back on the road by the evening, it was clear that the Coy could no longer cope with the Airborne commitments without some relief.

    Considerable further transport had by this time been landed from 3 Div RASC, and heavy vehs of Airborne RASC were also beginning to get through from the Canadian Sector (with which direct communication had been established on D + 2). Accordingly, a complete relief was arranged during the day, and the Coy itself moved its location in the evening into a more rearward area, further West near CRESSERONS, recently cleared of the enemy and available for use.


    And so ended the most crowded and eventful five days that any RASC Coy could, it is thought, ever hope to have.

    There was the great satisfaction that, despite every imaginable difficulty, the job had never once failed to be done.

    In quite an unlooked for way, there had fallen to 90 Coy the high honour of being some of the first ashore, and supplying and keeping supplied, the forces who were holding what is generally agreed to have been one of the most vital Sectors of the Bridgehead. It was a great privilege and responsibility and the Corps rose to the task. But a heavy price had been exacted. Out of the 136 who landed, 26 were counted as killed, missing and wounded. Of the 46 lorries landed 11 had been destroyed by enemy action and most of the rest to a greater or less degree bear the marks of the stirring days they passed through.

    The Coy was recently honoured by the immediate award of the M.C. to the C.O. Major J.R. Cuthbertson, and the M.M. to L/Cpl Jones, whose name is mentioned above.

    The Coy as a whole is justly proud of the job that was done and perhaps rightly feels that it has once again proved in no uncertain fashion that the Corps can justly claim that it always delivers the goods.

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