Durham Light Infantry / Black Watch - Iceland?

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by alanatabz, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. alanatabz

    alanatabz Well-Known Member

    Anybody any ideas which unit served in Iceland after Dunkirk and before 1943?

    Also what would they have been doing in iceland?
  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  3. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    We don’t want to forget that a Canadian Brigade Also served in Iceland

    Canada dispatched "Z Force" under Brigadier L.F. Page with a brigade-sized HQ staff and one infantry battalion, The Royal Regiment of Canada; those forces arrived on 16 June 1940. Two additional Canadian battalions for "Z Force", Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal and The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, arrived on 9 July. This brought the garrison of Iceland to the size of a composite division.

    The Royal Regiment of Canada, Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, and "Z Force" headquarters departed Iceland on 31 October 1940, bound for the UK. The third Canadian battalion, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, wintered on Iceland and eventually moved to the UK in April of 1941.


    Canadian Remembrances: War on Land - Mobilization | Life in Iceland and Great Britain
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  5. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    AND, we can’t forget our American friends:

    1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) was officially formed under command of Brigadier General John Marston USMC with the following components:

    Brigade Headquarters Platoon
    Brigade Band
    6th Marines
    5th Marine Defense Battalion (less 5-inch Artillery Group)
    2nd Battalion, 10th Marines
    Company A, 2nd Tank Battalion (less 3rd Platoon)
    assorted support and service elements

    On 22 June, while the German invasion of the Soviet Union commenced, the brigade sailed for Argentia, Newfoundland in four transports and two cargo vessels. The convoy arrived at Argentia on 27 June and there awaited conclusion of negotiations. The American, British, and Icelandic governments resolved the diplomatic niceties and a suitable invitation was issued from Reykjavik on 1 July. The Marines departed Argentia the next morning with a heavy escort (including battleships New York and Arkansas, cruisers Brooklyn and Nashville, and more than a dozen destroyers) and arrived at Reykjavik on 7 July 1941.

    Although the agreement called for the prompt relief of British forces and US Marines by US Army units, the dispatch of American infantry was delayed by shortages of equipment and trained personnel and by Federal legislative restrictions on conscripted personnel serving outside the United States.

    Eventually the US 5th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Charles H. Bonesteel, was selected for duty in Iceland and on 27 July 1941 the first echelon of Army troops sailed in two elements from New York and Norfolk with the 1st Battalion (less two companies) of 5th Division, an aviation engineer unit, and miscellaneous support troops. The 33rd Pursuit Squadron with some 30 aircraft was embarked aboard the carrier USS Wasp and, although not carrier-trained, flew off the deck when the convoy arrived at Reykjavik on 6 August.

    The second echelon of the 5th Division sailed from New York on 5 September 1941 with the 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Engineers, 46th Field Artillery, and service units aboard troopships Heywood, William P. Brook, Harry L. Lee, and Republic. This convoy arrived on the night of 15-16 September.

    Additional Army units deployed to Iceland in 1942. The 2nd Infantry Regiment of 5th Division sailed from New York on 26 February and arrived on 3 March. The 11th Infantry Regiment of 5th Division sailed 7 April and arrived 21 April. The 118th Infantry Regiment was detached from the 30th Infantry Division, left New York on 5 August, and landed in Iceland on 24 August. A week later the 759th Light Tank Battalion arrived. Engineers, artillery, anti-aircraft, and other supporting units were provided on the usual lavish American scale.

  6. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Understood Kyle, I was just adding more information so Alan could see the whole picture.
  7. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Understood . I think the poster is trying to find out some background into the service of
    4455553 L/Cpl Walter Wren
    12 Durham Light Infantry, Transferred to The Black Watch 1/2/1940, - 1 Tyneside Scottish, Transferred to Gordon Highlanders 18/5/42, Posted to 30th Bn, 11/7/42, KILLED 21/04/43 serving with 30th Bn.

    It all helps tell the story,

  8. alanatabz

    alanatabz Well-Known Member

    Hi All.

    Many thanks for the info, Yes building up a picture of Walter Wren

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