121 (Leicestershire Regt) Light Anti Aircraft Regiment: 396 Battery-397 Battery-399 Battery

Unit No.

 

22 September 1944: Regiment went into harbout near Bree.

 

23 September 1944: G.Troop was ordered to St Hubert to defend a bridge.

 

25 September 1944: Regiment moved to area Kinroy, south of Weert and 396 and 397 Battery deployed in anti tank role.

 

26 September 1944: A echelon left Amiens to rejoin the Regiment.

 

30 September 1944:  Moved to Bekelaar, where 397 Battery and I troop deployed to defend Main area at Keldonk (Brabant). 396 Battery deployed at 56 FMC in AA role. 399 Battery deployed at Mill im AA role for main 8 Corps defence. RHQ moved to Upenberg.

 

1 October 1944: Regiment came under command 106 AA Bde for ops. I-399 concentrated at Mill (Brabant) and G Troop left St Hubert and moved to area Mierloo. (Brabant). 396 Battery deployed at 56 FMC in AA role.

 

4 October 1944: 396 Battery moved to defend 8 AGRA gun areas.

 

9 October 1944: 8 Corps gun area was formed at St Anthnois and HQ 396 was established there.

 

19 October 1944: 4 Officers and 69 other ranks were placed in support of the household Cavalry Regiment. One enemy aircraft was engaged at the FMC on 21 October.

 

25 October 1944: One Sergeant and four gunners were wounded while on patrol at Boxmeer (Brabant).

 

1 November 1944: 8 Corps HQ moved to Mierlo (Brabant) with 399 Battery HQ and I troop in defence of corps HQ, D troop fired several ground target shoots over the next few days.

 

4 November 1944: 396 Battery HQ and HQ B Troop moved to defend Regiments of 8 AGRA in that area.

 

5 November 1944: One Gunner killed, one Sergeant wounded and missing belived POW, one Gunner missing and belived POW and one Gunner wounded and evcuated whilst on patrol duties, One officer and 19 other ranks were placed in support of the Royal Dragoons for patrol duty on river Maas between Boxmeer and St Anthnonis. D troop continued to engage ground targets.

 

11 November 1944: C Troop moved in defence of 146 Medium Regiment.

 

12 November 1944: 397 Battery HQ, D and F Troops were deployed in AA role at Liesel (Brabant) to defend to gun area of 53 Heavy and 65 Medium Regiments in 8 AGRA.

 

13 November 1944: 4 Officers and 79 Other ranks were placed under command of Royal Dragoons to patrol area Haps to river Maas. 396 Battery HQ and A and B troops were placed under command 15 Inf Div for the protection of gun areas. I/399 was placed under command 3 Inf Div for protection of 4 AGRA gun areas.

 

20 November 1944: The party with the Royal Dragoons moved to defend Vortum (Limburg).

 

22 November 1944: 396 Battery and G/399 troop were placed under command 8AGRA for gun area defence.

 

26 November 1944: A and F Troops engaged one Me262, the first AA action for some time., 306 Battery moved. RHQ moved to Mierlo (Brabant).

 

4 December 1944: 474 SL Battery came under command.

 

9 December 1944: I/399 and G/399 rejoined the Regiment 399 Battery with G and I troops then moved to Eindhoven area. 397 Battery was placed under command 8 AGRA for gun area defence. Troops of the SL Battery were placed under command of 15 Inf and 11 armd Div.

 

17 December 1944: 399 Battery moved from Eindhoven to Heeze(Brabant).

 

20 December 1944: HQ 474 SL Battery moved to Heeze.

 

23 December 1944: 399 Battery relived 396 Battery which went to Heeze for rest.

 

1 January 1945: Large numbers of FW 190 and ME109 attacked airfields in 2nd Army area. 397 and 3966 Batteries were engaged and D/397 claimed two Me109s destoyed and I/Trp claimed three FW190 destroyed, subsequently confirmed as one Cat I with another unit and Two Cat IIs.

 

7 January 1945: 396 Battery relieved 397 Battery which moved to Heeze for rest, 396 Battery HQ and Tp HQs in the same area.

 

20 January 1945: 397 Battery was placed under command 15 Inf Div and on 22th A/396 also.

 

24 January 1945: 397 Battery and A/396 Tp came under command 6 AB Div on command changing from 15 Inf Div, 397 Battery moved from Heeze to defend gun areas in 6 AB Div and A Troop deployed for defence of Div HQ, 397 Battery HQ was established in Panningen (Brabant).

 

1 February 1945: D Troop engaged ground targets, one of which was an enemy OP in a church tower.

 

3 February 1945: D Troop engaged Spandau MG in the railway embankment, enemy in a wood and another OP.

 

7 February 1945: 396 Battery HQ and HQ B .Troop moved to Boxmeer (Brabant), remaining under 8AGRA for gun area defence for 146 Med Regiment F/397 fired directional rounds to guide a patrol of 8 Para over River Maas and to an area beyond, 8 Para later reported that the tracer was accurate in the direction and a great help in guiding the patrol tothe objective and return. Several troops were engaged in the ground role and there was one engagement,on the 8th with enemy aircraft.

 

14 February 1945: B/396 fired two engagements, both with ME109, either high or at extreme range.

 

20 February 1945: D/397 Battery passed from under command 6 AB Div to 1 SS Bde for the support of 25 Field Regiment. A/396 Troop passed from under command 6 AB Div and reverted to under command 121 LAA Regiment for AA Defence of Horst and Sevenum railway station. F/397 Troop to 75 US Div for the support of 13 RHA.

 

6 March 1945: RHQ moved to near Horst with 8 Corps HQ.

 

18 March 1945: 397 Battery under command and was deployed for the defence of dumps on the road Lottum to Afferden (Limburg). BHQ was established in Well (Limburg).

 

27 March 1945: Regiment moved to Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WO and Sergeant mess 396 Battery (BSM B.Smith 3rd from left front row)
(Copyright D.Smith)