Part of Operation Torch?

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Brekett, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Brekett

    Brekett Member

    I've been looking through my great uncle's service record to write up his WWII experiences. I spotted that the date of his arrival in North Africa coincides with the date for Operation Torch. The fact that he was in Scotland shortly beforehand, where I know some training took place for the operation, supports the possibility. In addition, he was captured at the battle of Tebourba in Dec on '42, which I think came from the initial push of Operation Torch as they aimed for Tunis.

    However, I'm thrown by his date of embarkment which seems too early in comparison with the details I've found about the transit for the operation. Also I can find no mention of his battery (84th) or regiment (49th LAA) in any of the documentation. I'm planning on looking up the war diaries for the 49th but with the Archives on semi-lockdown still, it's a bit tricky to get in.

    Does anybody have any insight into whether I'm right about this or any tips on how I could find out more?

    On a side query: his service record doesn't mention any training before being posted to 35th battery, 12th (Finsbury Rifles) LAA, is that normal? Would training normally be mentioned on the B103 form? Perhaps the training took place in that unit?

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

  3. Brekett

    Brekett Member

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  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Brekett-Welcome to the forum.

    My father was also part of Operation Torch and he embarked for North Africa on 15th October 1942 and landed on 8th November.

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  6. Brekett

    Brekett Member

    Well, I guess that answers that question! That's fantastic to hear. Thank you, Lesley. I wonder if they were on the same ship. Did your father share any details on his journey to Africa?
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  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Just to add to Lesley's post #5 above (our fathers sailed and served together), Embarkation is not necessarily the same as date sailed. The regiment's war diaries state:
    14 October - Squadron embarked (Glasgow)
    19 October - Convoy joined off Dunoon.
    20 October - Practice assault landings.
    23 October - Convoy sailed. (KMF1) K for United Kingdom, M for Mediterranean, F for fast as opposed to say KMS (slow).
    8 November - Algiers landings.
    Arnold Hague convoy database - KMF convoys

    Torch convoy 3.jpg

    ps They served as part of the 78th Infantry division
    78th Infantry Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia
    Later information here:
    49th Light Ack Ack Rgt. R.A. - Regimental Diary (Extracts)
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  8. Brekett

    Brekett Member

    That is fantastic stuff! Thank you.

    I did wonder if they'd been part of the 78th. Plus, I've now found Ron's post about who was in 78th just to make it clear! Should have started on this forum, would have saved me a lot of googling!!
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  9. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    US Troops of 1st Armored Division and 34th Infantry Division sailing from Britain in the initial invasion force loaded in Belfast on 21 October 1942. It was not unusual for troops in any of the invasions to be embarked on a ship for days before the whole convoy sailed, or in the case of troops who embarked at Liverpool and Belfast, embarked and then sent up to the Clyde to join the main convoy for Torch. Even for D Day i think several thousand US troops embarked at Liverpool.
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