Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by Denis Bell, Jan 5, 2013.
I would like information on actions of 11 RTR in France and Holland from Aug 1944 to May 1945.
A quick search on this webste: Arcre - War Diary Search Engine
Searching for "11 tank" in 1944 -45 gives the following Unit War Diaries:
WO 166/17459 11 Base Tank Workshop 1945 June-Dec
.WO 169/15979 11 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Jan.- Apr.
WO 171/870 11 Royal Tank Regiment 1944 Apr.- Dec
.WO 171/4714 11 Royal Tank Regiment 1945 Jan.- Dec.
These Unit Diaries record the daily activities of the unit. Hope this helps.
Hi Denis - It will be the WO 171 series files you'll be interested in, they are for the NW Europe campaign.
WO 169 is pretty much N. Africa and WO 166 is UK.
From my research on the 11th RTR I have found that they were involved in the following operations (nothing is backed up with documental evidence):
Operation Infatuate: Capture of Walcheren Island (1st -8th November 1944)
Operation Plunder: The crossing of the Rhine (23rd and 24th March 1945) At the end of this operation a LVT-4 of C Squadron transported Winston Churchill accross the Rhine.
Opeeration Quick Anger: 5 LVT-4 from 11th RTR took part (dont know which squadron) (12th and 13th April 1945)
The Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset, UK has the War Diary of the 11th RTR (I keep meaning to get down there to have a look).
Here is a list of the Brigades that the 11th RTR were a part of during the dates that you requested:
18th October 1942 to 2nd October 1944 - 1st Army Tank Brigade (re-designated 1st Tank Brigade 23-4-1944)
2nd October 1944 to 1st November 1944 - 79th Armoured Division (directly under division and not under a brigade)
2nd November 1944 to 22nd December 1944 - 31st Armoured Brigade (79th Armoured Division)
22nd December 1944 to 27th January 1945 - 30th Armoured Brigade (79th Armoured Division)
28th January 1945 to 30th March 1945 - 33rd Armoured Brigade (79th Armoured Division)
31st March 1945 to 25th April 1945 - 30th Armoured Brigade (79th Armoured Division)
26th April 1945 to 19th August 1945 - 33rd Armoured Brigade (79th Armoured Division)
There is a document that has been digitised at the Tank Museum in Bovington on the 11th RTR. It is entitled:
History of the Eleventh Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment by Major S.I. Howard-Jones.
It is a 41 page history of the battalion from formation until disbandment and includes appendices for decorations, COs, and a roll of honor. I obtained mine at a small cost a few years back. If you make a request you can also get a list of similar documents on the RAC, such as war diaries and histories along with their costs. Some can be quite expensive since the cost is based on the page count.
Can anyone help me with the losses of the 11th RTR on the 6th of November 1944? During operation Infatuate several Buffalo's entered Middelburg (Walcheren, Holland) and liberated the city. There were 6 KIA. I only have 5. Who can help me?
11th RTR (KIA)
L-Cpl. David Sykes
Trp. John Graham
Tpr. Joseph Grice
Tpr. William McKenzie
Pte. William Whitworth
Thanks a lot!
With kind regards,
I have had a look at the roll of honour for the Royal Tank Regiment for deaths on the 6th of november 1944 and found all the names you listed above plus Trooper Edward Stock. Here is a link:
Welcome to the Tank Museum - Home of the Tank - Default Search Page
Although this is not confirmed that Edward Stock was at Walcheren it is a start.
Edit: Sorry but it appears that Edward Stock was 1st RTR not 11th. The War Graves Photographic Project
I have just come across the following video on youtube that appears to be of the 11th RTR at the Scheldt:
One of the LVT's appears to be called either Starling (which I think would make it part of A squadron) or Stirling (making it part of C squadron).
I have also noticed an LVT called Sutton which should be from C Sqadron.
It's indeed STIRLING of 1 Tp C Sqn.
Thank you Michel. I couldn't tell which one it was.
My grandfather was C sqn. Does anyone know if there is anything anywhere that will list who was in what vehicle as it would be great to know what the name was of the LVT that my grandfather drove was.
Such a list might have existed, but is yet to be found! Maybe somewhere in some Operation Order annexed to the War Diary of 11 RTR...
It might help if you provided you grandfather's full name, service number and rank etc., and any other detail you might have such as other members of his crew, especially the vehicle commander, and troop if you know it.
Just beginning to look for my Dads wartime history I know he was at Ternhauzen, Breskens, and Wesel using Buffaloes, his was given the name "Sparrow" whilst lots of names for been found that is not mentioned anywhere. I have his war diaries, must get reading, also have a set of army maps from Normandy to the Scheldte, also maps for the Rhine at Westervoort.
I also have a copy of the War department technical manual TM 9-776 for the Buffalo.
In the 90's a small booklet was published about action at Loo, written by RM Gerritsen has a few photos taken at the time which are not on the web. I have a rough translation as it was only printed in Dutch need to type it up and if anyone is interested can let them have a copy. It might take a while there is 36 pages!!
My dad was in a Squadron I have so far discovered Sphinx was in A Squadron too, I need to learn military rational, some photos show buffaloes marked with letter and a number does this represent the particular squadron it belonged to.
Geoff AKA hindol
Welcome to the forum Geoff!
Good move to look into your father's wartime history! I'm sure you'll find plenty of information from the forum members. Many of us will undoubtedly be very happy to learn more from you too.
Could you tell us what you do know about your father: full name, rank(s), service number, function (driver or else), details of other personnel in his vehicle or troop etc.?
The number and letter (callsign) seen on Buffaloes represent the Troop Number and Vehicle in the Troop respectively. It does not tell which squadron the vehicle belonged to. The Squadron was indicated by a geometric shape as follows: "Diamond" (losange) for RHQ, "Delta" (hollow triangle) for 'A' Sqn, Square for 'B' Sqn and Circle for 'C' Sqn. Colour of Sqn symbol for 11 RTR was first dark (presumably Red colour) when 11 RTR wore the Arm of Service number ('AoS') '67' (during the Sheldt operations including Terneuzen, Breskens and Walcheren-Op Infatuate), then a light colour (probably White) when the AoS became '54' (i.e. probably from 22 Dec 44 onwards, when 11 RTR first joined 30 Armd Bde - see jw021979's post #4 above).
SPARROW was an LVT (or "Buffalo") Mark IV part of 2 Troop, 'A' Sqn, 11 RTR, and was given the callsign 2A (second vehicle in 2 Tp) during the Elbe crossing on 29 Apr 45. Its War Department registration Number was 6110518. See the almost complete list of 'A' and 'C' Sqn LVT names here:
It may have had another callsign earlier on, e.g. during the Terneuzen and Breskens operations, because the callsign system changed at one time from 2A, 2B... 2F (6 LVT in one Troop) to 2 (Troop Leader), 2A... 2E (still 6 LVT in one Troop). For example, SKYLARK's callsign changed from 2B (Scheldt Ops) to 2C (Elbe crossing). The change did however not coincide with the change of AoS from 67 to 54. SPARROW's previous callsign must have been either 2A, 2D or 2E, because all the other callsigns in 2 Tp can be alloted to other names (supposing it was already with 2 Troop).
Some LVT in 11 RTR did change troop however, and several were transferred to other units such as Assault Squadrons Royal Engineers (e.g. SPHINX, SANDFLY and SWALLOW to 26 Aslt Sqn RE), retaining their names (but usually changing their callsign according to their new posting) and being replaced (probably not at once) in 11 RTR by new vehicles with the same name. Given the rapid wear (and numerous losses) of LVT during taxing operations, many were also replaced and took over the name of their predecessor (e.g. LVT Mark IV STALLION AoS 67 seen in Middleburg was replaced with an LVT II STALLION AoS 54).
Unfortunately I do not know of any photo showing SPARROW...
Welcome to the wonderful world of Buffaloes
Pleased to hear someone knows of Sparrow!! I think he talks of having several Buffalos during the time.
Will do some reading and report back, in between time Buffalo tank crew George Jones commander other crew Jim Pearson, T Fisher, W Winnard. Someone else he knew I think from his home town was wounded on 13th April as was Dad, his name was Arthur Meakin.
I can see he took part in some crossings of the Issel on April 12th and 13th, which he writes was a shambles, after this many buffalo's were parked up when they were mortared and Dad and Arthur and probably others were injured
Will report more soon
Hello and welcome to the forum. Just shout if you want any of his units war diaries.
RE 4 deaths on 10th November I can see from my dads war diary that he records loss of several buffs on the day and a full crew.
On Nov 12th it says he attended a memorial service to the RTR men who were killed at Middleburg was this in Breskens?
I have found the following in the 11RTR War Diaries (avaialble from the Tank Museum)
April 12th 1945 A Sqd had the following casualties: 3523576 W/Sjt Turner W and 7948862 LUL/Cpl Danson F.A.
April 13th 1945 A Sqd had the following casualties: Cpls Ornsby, Jones. Tprs Eve W.E., Meakin, Pollock, Shinwell.
November 10th 1944: A sqd appeared to be re-eqipping at Gysenzele and then billeted in Wetteren.
April 13th Friday too
Injuries to several men in a Squadron according to my Dad's diary happened when aroound 70 buffs were parked together in sight of the Germans who kindly opened up with a mortar barrage. Dad (George Jones) and his mate Arthur Meakin were injured by flying shrapnel. Dad had large wound on his buttocks and Arthur a compound thigh fracture, according ti his writing.
Arthur was sent to the UK PDQ by Dakota and dad flown to Brugges for surgery and then later sent back to the UK.
There is nothing about the names of the other casualties or their wounds.
Found one! For Geoff, one photo of LVT(4) 2E 'SPARROW' in Vlissingen (Flushing), in two versions:
This previous callsign was thus 2E. Note also the Squadron tactical sign (delta or triangle for 'A' Sqn) in Red colour, meaning the photo was shot before 22 Dec 44 (cf my post #13 above).
Here is a picture of my Dad, (Don Scallon - middle) with his mates from 11th RTR. Unfortunately his good friend Campbell B Hastie (rhs) was killed in action on 1st Nov 1944. My Dad made sure we always remembered his good friend Campbell.
Separate names with a comma.