474 (Ind) Searchlight Battery

 

16 September 1944: 1930 - Battery Headquarters established at Petit Brogel and troops harboured. Battery came under command of 92 LAA Regt RA for operations. No.2 Section of A Troop attached to 409/123 LAA Battery RA as two lights were to be deployed in an anti-boat role East and West of the Bridge at Nijmegen.

 

18 September 1944: 0200 - 3 Detachments of B Troop deployed for Moonlight at 20 minutes notice. 1800 - 4 Detachments of B Troop and 6 Detachments of C Troop deployed for Moonlight South of the Escaut Canal for Lille St. Hubert crossing. Brigade AA Group of which A Troop formed part bivouacked for night at concentration area 2 miles South of "Joe's" Bridge on the Escaut Canal. Area subjected to heavy bombing attack during the night.

 

19 September 1944: 1800 - C Troop plus 2 detachments from B Troop deployed for moonlight at Lille St. Hubert crossing. Remainder of B Troop deployed in AA role. A Troop moved forward into Holland and proceeded via Eindhoven to concentration area. Owing to enemy activity reconnaissance group moved from selected bivouac area after dark with intention of completing journey to Nijmegen.

 

20 September 1944: 1000 - Battery moved to Heenen. 1200 - Battery Headquarters established. 1800 - B Troop deployed in a AA role and C Troop for Moonlight at Lille St. Hubert crossing. Brigade Group of which A Troop formed a part moved forward and column was attacked by Fw190s. 2 enemy aircraft were shot down by guns of the column. Recce Group halted 2 miles South of Nijmegen where street fighting was in progress. Orders were received that as the bridgehead on the other side of the river had not been firmly secured by our troops an additional task had been given to AA Troops and part of this was to deploy around the bridge over the Maas at Grave. 8 lights were deployed in a canopy layout. Two enemy aircraft were engaged by flew out of the area.

 

21 September 1944: 1700 -  Battery moved to Leende. 1900 - Battery Headquarters established. C Troop detachment and 4 detachments from B Troop went forward to Someren and deployed for Moonlight under command of 11 Armoured Division. A Troop left Grave for Nijmegen and deployed North and South of River. Owing to enemy activity sites originally selected could not be used. 1 Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat site was under heavy mortar fire during the night.

 

22 September 1944: 1800 - C Troop in harbour. B Troop and 2 lights from C Troop deployed at Someren for AA purposes.

 

23 September 1944: 1800 - B Troop deployed for AA purposes and C Troop for Moonlight. 1 Anti MTB site of A Troop engaged an enemy craft and the occupants of the board quickly took to the water.

 

24 September 1944: 1000 - Battery left for Someren. 1300 - Battery Headquarters established. 1800 - B Troop deployed for AA C Troop deployed for Moonlight.

 

25 September 1944: 1800 - No change in deployment. Nijmegen bridgehead defended by A Troop subjected to heavy shelling during night.

 

26 September 1944: 1800 - No change in deployment. A Troop sites subjected to further heavy shelling during night.

 

27 September 1944: 1000 - Battery moved to Helmond area. 1200 - Battery Headquarters established. 1800 - B Troops deployed in defence of Helmond. C Troop Harbour.

 

28 September 1944: 1800 - B and C Troops deployed in defence of Helmond. During the period from dusk to 2300 hrs bombing attacks were carried out around Nijmegen bridgehead and there was continuous shelling.

 

29 September 1944: 1800 - No change in layout. A Troops sites still being continuously shelled.

 

30 September 1944: 1800 - No change in layout. Further shelling of A Troop sites.

 

Note During the whole of September 1944 A Troop of this Battery was detached. All references, therefore, to moves of the Battery only include Battery Headquarters, B and C Troops and REME Workshops Section.

 

1 October 1944: 1800 -  Information received that A Troop deployed in defence of Nijmegen would revert to command of this Battery.

 

3 October 1944: A Troop reverted command to this Battery and bivouac between Gassel and Linden.