5389669 Tpr Donald Frederick LONG, 14 Troop, C Squadron, 56th Recce: 06/08/1943

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  1. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Remembering today

    Rank: Trooper
    Service No: 5389669
    Date of Death: 06/08/1943
    Age: 30
    Regiment/Service: Reconnaissance Corps 56th Regt.
    Grave Reference: III. H. 26.
    Additional Information: Son of George and Elizabeth Long, of Copnor, Portsmouth.

    Casualty details - Long

    Long_DF paper.jpg

    Trooper Long was killed in action 6 August 1943 at Adrano, Sicily. The events surrounding his death are described in a report, contained in the regiment’s war dairies, by J.N. Forshaw M.C., Officer commanding C Squadron:

    “Brief resume of Sicilian Campaign

    6.8.43 C Squadron ordered to ascertain whether enemy were still in occupation of ADRANO, and if not to proceed north to BRONTE. 2 patrols were dispatched from point 735929 (Paterno sheet 269), one to approach ADRANO from the S.W. and the other via BIANCAVILLA from the S.E. Both patrols encountered very strong enemy opposition on reaching points a few hundred yards from the town.

    Our losses were 4 L.R.C.s (one subsequently recovered and made fit for operations) and 1 A.C.; 1 man was killed, 3 wounded, and 6 missing believed captured. Observation was kept through the rest of the day on these positions. Two further attempts were made on the right under cover of artillery fire and a number of casualties were inflicted on the enemy, five Germans being found dead in the positions next morning. The road on the right was also blocked by a huge crater and a small gap to the side, closed by the blown up A.C. ADRANO was captured during the night 6/7 August by 11 Bde.

    7.8.43 Squadron ordered to proceed along road from ADRANO to BRONTE with a troop of Shermans in support. Progress was very slow along the road owing to craters and a large number of mines. However by 1900 hrs a point some five miles N of ADRANO was reached. Here unfortunately a Sherman went up on a mine and effectively blocked the road so that we were denied the use of the tanks for the rest of the day. Just before dusk a combined effort by ourselves and 2 L.F.s was made on an enemy position just to the right of the road. 15 of them were persuaded to surrender.”

    My father also recalled the event.

    “As I recall he [Tpr Long] was the driver of an ARC patrol led by Sgt. Carter from Biancaville to Adrano under the shadow of Etna, when the car struck a landmine. Tpr. Long was killed, and if my memory is not letting me down, Nick Carter was wounded and captured, but because he would have been a burden to the Germans in their haste to retreat, he was taken back to Biancaville, made comfortable and left to be found the next day.

    The following morning I took a small party including the Padre to the wrecked car and after a short service we buried Tpr. Long by the roadside. Incidentally the Troop was C Sqdn. 14 Troop.”

    Trooper Long’s original burial place is shown on this map, see lower right hand side, that has been provided by, and is reproduced with the permission of the CWGC.

    Field Grave Registration Report.JPG

    WW2 destruction and the passing of 74 years means that the area today bears little relationship to 1943, however the road layout at this location makes it possible to pinpoint where the original burial took place. 37.655726, 14.840670

    Map 1.jpg

    Trooper Long was re-buried in Catania War Cemetery on 11 April 1944.

    Long_DF Grave.jpg

    [The grave further to the north in Vittoria Gardens (CWGC map) is that of Private 2933233 William Feenan, 5th Bn Seaforth Highlanders who was killed the following day. Casualty details - Feenan ]

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
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  2. Tony56

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