RA 638 HAA Bty redesignated "A" LAA Bty 15/7/43

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by DianeE, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Can anyone help with any information on these batteries. My father, Leslie Rossiter, was transferred from 254/81st Bty on 2/12/42 to a composite battery number "5" or "S" which became 638HAA Bty then "A" LAA Battery on 15/7/43 The batteries were in the Middle East

    He was with this battery until he was hospitalised in Nov 1943

    Any information would be appreciated as this is one of the last pieces in the puzzle

    many thanks
    Diane
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    DianeE

    Are you sure that these batteries were all in the Mid East…? The dates indicate Southern Tunisia - Sicily and finally Italy

    as the Luftwaffe were retreating back to defend Germany……might be worth checking

    Cheers
     
  3. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Hi Tom,
    From his service record, after hospitalisation he was posted to 2LAA Reg 508 battery -Dec 43. I have their War Diary and they were at Alexandria, Cairo then Tahag.
    April 44 they were ready to move but their war diary doesn't say where. Aug 44 he was transferred to the 10th Indian division counter Mortar Organisation.

    I have found a war diary for 638 battery at Kew but due to a horrible start to 2015 that will have to wait.

    I was just hoping someone would have some info.

    As a matter of interest I have the War Diary for 10th Indian Division CMO. I have traced their movements on Google Earth and it was quite a journey from Anghiari to Trieste then he was posted to 71st Field Regiment and served in Austria but I don't know where.
    Attached is a copy of his service record.
    Regards
    Diane
    .
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dianne E

    Looks like he was preparing to go to Italy in April 44 - then he joined 46th and at the end of the war went into Austria

    at GRAZ- South East Austria above Trieste…

    Cheers
     
  5. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Thank you so much Tom. That's another piece of the puzzle solved.
    Like so many servicemen Dad rarely spoke about the war and I never knew until I received his service records that he had served in Austria.
    Regards
    Diane
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    DianeE

    A corps of three divisions - 6th AD - 78th Inf and 46th went into Austria and picked up all the bad guys who were trying to

    hide there - 46th had to deal with a whole Cossack Division with women and children attached - then we all had to deal with

    Stalins suggestion, at Yalta that we hand back all Russian deserters - which he shot and we didn't know anything about that

    until 30 years later……

    Cheers
     
  7. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Thanks once again Tom. I have read some of your posts about the Russians in Austria. Very disturbing reading.
    Perhaps that's why Dad never spoke of it and neither did Mum.
    Diane
     
  8. snapper35

    snapper35 Member

    I know one of the Cossack children, whose mother married a Tommy and got out of the camps like that.

    254 were attached to 36 Beach brick in 43 until 44 for the invasion of Rhodes and the Dodecanese, perhaps they were earmarked fort hat - it was cancelled, thenreinstated then cancelled again.
     
  9. Charles Silverlight

    Charles Silverlight New Member

    Hi DianeE,

    I found your post when researching my father's war service. He too was posted to 5 or 'S' HAA Bty in 1942 (I assumed it was 5 HAA, but not certain) then, like your father, to 638 Ind Bty (I assumed 'Ind' meant Independent, but possibly it means Indian?). 638 Bty was re-designated 'A' LAA Bty R.A. wef 15.7.43, which was in turn re-designated 508 LAA Bty in Dec 43.

    My father, like so many, didn't talk much about his wartime service. As far as I recall, most of his time was in the Med or M.E. I've attached a pic of his Army Form B199a in case it helps.

    Regards,

    Charles
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Hello Charles and welcome to the forum.

    My father was first with 254 Battery 81st Regiment RA and a chap contacted me to say that a family member had served in the same battery. I thought that was amazing. I am now doubly amazed.

    I have the was diary for 638 Battery June 1943 to August 1943. I take it your father was Lt J A Silverlight. He is mentioned a couple of times. If you would like a copy send me a PM with your e-mail address. I will share it via dropbox.

    As far as I can tell 638 Battery was part of 2 LAA Regiment which I think was part of 2 AA Brigade.

    Thank you for posting your father's record. I didn't know that 638 Battery was re-designated 508 Battery in September 1943.

    In Aug 1944 my father was transferred to Counter Mortar Organisation 10th Indian Division in Italy.

    His service record whilst overseas is on post 3.

    Forum members are always willing to help new members and they have a wealth of knowledge. If you have any questions about your father's service, just post a new thread.

    Diane
     
  11. Charles Silverlight

    Charles Silverlight New Member

    Many thanks to Diane E for copies of the 638 Bty war diary.

    I recall my father talking about convoy duty in the desert, he sometimes had to ride a motorcycle to communicate from one end to the other and keep things moving. One of the pages of the 638th diary refers to such duty, a training exercise in Jan 1943. Quite by coincidence, a few years ago, I found the map referred to in the war diary in a junk shop (Egypt 1:100,000 Sheet 80/72 Suez, dated 1942). This would almost certainly have been the map that they used. I also have 84/72 and 80/66 which were in the same pile.

    The orders state the intention of the exercise:
    '638 HY. A.A.BATTERY.R.A. will occupy S.12 and S.5 at Suez'

    Can anyone shed some light on the locations of S.12 and S.5? Presumably these are coded locations, I cannot see them on the map.

    I have very few photos of my father from WW2, the attached picture shows him standing in front of a convoy, Matador trucks, 3.7" HAA guns and motorcycles. Probably not the same exercise, maybe even a different unit. I'm afraid the photo is very small and not great quality.

    Charles
     

    Attached Files:

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