6 FIELD REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY: 69 BATTERY 74 BATTERY 77 BATTERY 79 BATTERY

 

20 September 1944: Under comd RA 53 Div. 07.30 - Move to concentration area on Dutch-Belgian frontier. 11.30 - Go into action in that area to deal with enemy on left flank. 15.30 - Move to area Veldhoven. Received 81 Field 00 No.1 and 53 Div 00 No.19, Nahir Brenber and 2 OPs sent to join 101 US Airborne Div at Son.

 

21 September 1944: 09.00 - Move to aerodrome west of Eindhoven. Received 81 Fd 00 No.1. 16.10 - Come under comd RA 15 (S) Div. 20.40 - M tgt ranging followed by scale 3.

 

22 September 1944: Maj. Wallen and 2 OPs with 15 recce. 16.45 - scale 1 on mortars. 2 Battery Conc. 15 rds very slow in support KOSB attack on Steenveg?? DFs from 44 Bde, 46 Bde, and reps with 101 US Airborne.

 

23 September 1944: 07.30 - Recce parties report to 181 Fd. Move cancelled later. 15.30 - Fire Plan arranged by 190 Fd.

 

24 September 1944: 07.00 - Recce partis report to 181 Fd. 14.00 - Recce parties return. 15.00 - Recce parties go to new area.

 

25 September 1944: Misc tgts in support of Inf patrols. Inf report very good indeed. Direct hit on MGs. 18.00 - Under comd 7 Armd Div. Co visits CRA at Tac HQ.

 

26 September 1944: 06.00 - Regt moves to new gun area west of Nijnsel. 10.00 - In action in new position. 69 Bty send BC and 1 FOO with 1 FOQ from 74 Bty to support 5 Queens and 8 Hussars; 77/79 Bty send BC and 2 FOO's to support 7 Queens and 5 Inniskillen Dragoon Guards. Later BC 74 Bty and 2 FOO's sent to support 1/6 Queens on left flank. Bty, M & V tgts engaged.

 

27 September 1944: Troop, Battery, M and V tgts on enmey locations, AA guns etc. Regt in direct support 158 Bde which took over area from 131 Bde. CO and Tac HQ est at Bde HQ. 5 Queens relieved by 1/5 Welch, 1/7 Queens by 7 RWF. Reps and FOO's remained out. Rep from 13 Med attached to RHQ. 18.40 - 77/79 Fire DF(SOS) on front of 6 Queens. Counter attack broken up. 21.00 - Task Table in support 8 Hussars. 4 Tp tgts engaged H to 15. Rate slow. 23.00-04.00 - During night fired bombards and enemy posn located by patrols. ACBO 7 Armd Div attached to RHQ. Regt exceeded daily an allotment of 150 rpg.

 

28 September 1944: Amn allotment restricted to 40 rpg. Tp and Bty tgts. M tgts against inf and mortars. 17.45 - HF stonks detailed by CRA. 18.00 - HF task arranged by 3 RHA on wood. 18.30 - 1 E Lanc Regt relieved 1/6 Queens - rep and FOO's remained out. Counter Bty tgts.

 

29 September 1944: 00.05 - 69 fired SOS after considerable mortar fire and preparations for counter attack on front of 1/5 Welch. 02.25 - 69 repeated SOS after forward section over run - situation restored. Counter Battery and Counter mortar tgts. 12.00 - Under comd RA 15 (S) Div. Remain in direct support 158 Bde under comd 15 (S) Div. 17.00 - Regt moved to new gun posn area. 20.30 - Fire plan in support of attack on enemy in buildings - succesful. 23.30-03.10 - Counter Battery Task Table.

 

30 September 1944: Miscellaneous Targets. 15.40 - 77/79 fired red smoke as indicator for Typhoons. 16.00 - Very succesful smoke screen in support of 8 Hussars. Counter Battery.

 

1 October 1944: 09.15 - Guns reported by Inf. 12.05 - Mortars engaged by F Troop on

request of Americans. 12.50 M22 on localities, on request of 158 Bde. 13.35 - M137 covering a coy of 1 E Lancs pushing up rd, 10 PW taken. 17.15 - 69 tgt P104 Mortars on front of 1/5 Welch. 17.00-108.15 - Miscellaneous tp and Bty tgt in support of Inf. 19.15 - DF 614 fired at request of inf in view of much movement in area. 22.50-23.20 - Harassing fire.

 

2 October 1944: 05.40 - CB programme Reveille. 10.25-11.15 - Miscellaneous bombards. 15.00 - M106 to suppor inf raid on German posns. HF programme on Bde front during night. 22.15 - DF 614.

 

3 October 1944: Miscellaneous tgts. Harassing fire during night.

 

4 October 1944: 10.00 - Under comd RA 51 (H) DIv. Miscellaneous tgts. 18.45 - M107 3 on tks. 18.50 - Harassing fire during night.

 

5 October 1944: CB tasks. 13.30-18.20 - V tgt programme. Harassing fire during night.

 

6 October 1944: Lt. Lawson posted to Regt as Signal Officer - Lt. Parker to 2nd Army Relieved by 83 Fd from commitments to 158 Bde. 06.20-06.45 - CB programme.

 

7 October 1944: DF 107 and DF 109 fired on an fighting patrol. 13.05 - 2ICto meet Comd 3 AGRA, recce parties move to fwd RV South of Nijmegen.

 

8 October 1944: 08.00 - Move to gun area. Under comd RA 53 Div - see 53 (W) Div Op Instr. No 24 and 12 Corps OP Instr No 21. In support 508 (US) RCT. Reps with 1 Bn and 3 Bn and at 319 Arty Bn. 13.00 - Hostile Mortar tgts. 16.00 - Regt shot by American Air OP (Piper Cub). 23.30-01.00 - HF programme.

 

9 October 1944: 05.15 - M122 Hy an tpt. 09.30-20.00 - 7 V Tgts  4 Bombards   Misc Tgts.

 

10 October 1944: 05.30-06.00 - Regt 1 HF programme. 09.00 - U and V Tgts, Bombards and HF Tasks.

 

11 October 1944: 15.30-16.00 - 5 U Tgts. Bombards and Misc Tgts.

 

12 October 1944: 05.25 - Bombards. 11.00-17.00 - U and V Tgts. Miscellaneous Tgts. CO informed by CCRA 12 Corps that 6 Fd Regt Group consisting of 6 Fd and 116 Fd sp by  4 RHA and 67 Med to take over sp of 101 US Airborne Div in place of 59 AGRA. 6 Fd remains under comd RA 53 Div for adm and 116 Fd under RA 50 Div. 5 HMs and 2 HBs bombarded during night.

 

13 October 1944: 10.00-12.00 - V Tgt fired. Received RA 12 Corps OP Instr No 22. Regt HQ became a Group HQ, and Major R.C. Hayward RA was attached as Bde Major. A move was carried out several posns. "A" Flt 653 ACP Sqn was also under comd. The Gp became operational at 16.45 hrs, when OO No.1 was issued. Harassing fire tasks were engaged during the night.

 

14 October 1944: 06.00 - 101 US Arty engage CB programme. 6 Fd in direct support 502 RCT - reps with Regt, fwd  Bn and fwd Coys. 116 Fd in direct support 327 Bn. GP initiated 3 V Tgts - took part in V and Y Tgts and bombards. Report on Y 'a lot of beef lying around'. Report on Y 'started petrol and oil fire'. 18.15 - on attack area Opheusden. CO 116 Fd (rep with 327 Bn) called for BF Gp Jersey followed by M tgts from 6 Fd 116 Fd 4 RHA 67 Med. Attack subsided except for mortar fire. HF tasks fired during night. Issued 6 Fd Gp Task Table No.21 (DF) and Addendum No.1 to 59 AGRA Tgt List No.7.

 

15 October 1944: Initiated and took part in V Tgts. Air OP investigated reports from patrols and PWs. Received RA 12 Corps consolidated DF trace. 17.35 - CB programme SUNDOWN fired. HF programme fired during night.

 

16 October 1944: Miscellaneous V, Y and M Tgts and Bombards. 14.30 - sp attack to clear orchard by tks and inf. M103 fired for 20 mins. 2 PW taken. Air OP engaged various tgts. Visit from CCRA's 12 and 30 Corps. 17.30 - 12 Corps CB programme WESTERN. HF programme during night. Issued Addendm No.2 to 59 AGRA Tgt List No.7.

 

17 October 1944: 08.00 - Air OP reg tgts by 4 RHA 116 Fd 67 Med. 6 Fd reg by AOP. 09.30 - Fire Plan in sp further attack on orchard combined with loudspeaker van and propaganda shoot by C Tp 74 Bty. Visit from Comd 5 AGRA. Y Tgts on amn dump, billets and stores enemy localities. Received RA 30 Corps Op Instr No.23, 5 AGRA Op Order No.19 and 3 AGRA Op Instr No.8. 6 and 116 Fd grouped under OC 6 Fd Regt under comd 30 Corps in direct support 101 US Airborne Div. B. Flt 658 AOP Sqn relieved A Flt 653 Sqn. 107 Hy AA available in ground role. Issued 6 Fd Gp CM Report No.1. Issued amended to DF Task Table.

 

Appendix No. 13: 1. ENEMY ACTIVITY: Enemy mortars were fairly active during this period. Mortaring appeared to be largely confined to the daylight hours. The firing of single mortars rather than batteries was generally encountered. No activity was reported on the North East sector, most was observed on the left flank. Opheusden and Palda areas have been active. On two occasions enemy mortars were engaged in the Dodewaardsche wood. Some activity was reported in the Jazicht wood north of the river. It is believed that the German 8.1 cm mortar is the principal type in use in this sector. Sixty nine suspect mortar posns have been found. 2. COUNTER - MEASURES: During this period twelve counter mortar bombards were fired, nine during daylight. 3. SOURCES OF INFORMATION: A total of fifty one reports were handled. Sound Ranging was responsible for twenty four of them. Enemy mortars can be effectively engaged if more unit mortar reports are promptly submitted to CMO.

 

18 October 1944: Y tgts on enemy tks and inf. 147 Fd replace 4 RHA in support 101 US Airborne Div. Some counter mortar and counter battery fire. Issued Addendum No.3 to 59 AGRA Tgt List No.7. Hf fire during night on enemy HQ, billets and vehicle park. 19.30 - Y tgt on enemy tpt caused large fire and several small amn and pet fires. 24.00 - M tgt on Sp guns. Received 5 AGRA Op Order No. 20.

 

19 October 1944: All quiet - poor visibility - rain and mud. Miscellaneous Bombards. Y Tgts on enemy areas. Air OP investigated reports of movement in enemy lines. 16.00 - Further propaganda ahoot report on earlier shoot - German ofr sent to warn deserters they would be shot. Fire prevented immediate surrender but several PW came in later.HF Task Table for night based on PW reports that 363 Inf Div to be relieved during night by 35 Inf Div. Received 5 AGRA Op Order No.20.

 

20 October 1944: Very few tgts during daylight. Issued 6 Fd Gp Task Tables 22 and 23. HF fire during night. 24.00 - DF (SOS) fired on enemy patrol.

 

21 October 1944PWs report enemy withdrawing to line of dyke. Patrols out all day confirmed this on return. Evidence from patrols is that amn expenditure in HF fire over this period fully justified, as hurriedly made graveyards and debris (harness, abandoned mortar amn etc) makes it reasonable to suppose arty fire accurate and effective. Miscellaneous Y and M tgts and Bombards. Issued HF Task Table No. 24 and Tgt List.

 

22 October 1944: Miscellaneous Y and M Tgts. 12.00 - Air OP engaged enemy MT. Issued 6 Fd Gp 00 No. 1 - Op MISSOURI. Result 138 men 1st Br Airborne Div and 4 US flying offrs rescued from North of Nederrijn. Issued 6 Fd Gp Tgt Lists Nos 1 and 2.

 

23 October 1944: 6 Fd move fwd to area Weije. 116 Fd move South of river Waal area. Misc Y and M Tgts and Bombards. Received 30 Corps Op Instr No.29 - Op NOAH. Issued 6 Fd Gp DF Task Table No.27.

 

24 October 1944: Misc Y and M Tgts and CB. Issued 6 Fd Gp Op Instr No.3. Issued DF Task Table No. 30. Issued Tgt Lists Nos 4 and 5. Issued HF Task Table NO. 29. Received RA 30 Corps Op Instr No.24 - Op NOAH.

 

25 October 1944: Miscellaneous Y and M Tgts and Bombards. Mortar OPs and posns and platoon posn engaged on basis of patrol reports. Issued HF Task Table No. 31.

 

26 October 1944: Miscellaneous Tgts. 17.20 - Air OP engaged Y Tgt. Issued HF Task Table No. 32. Issued Tgt List No.7.

 

27 October 1944: 6 Fd Btys return to previous posns area Rome. 20.30 - Y Tgt suspected HQ Div TETTAU. Issued HF Task Table No. 33.

 

28 October 1944: Numerous Y Tgts and  Bombards. 18.20 - Enemy guns engaged by Air OP. HF Task Table No. 34 and Addendum to cover withdrawel of 502 Combat Team. Tgt List No. 8 issued. DF Task Table No. 35.

 

29 October 1944: Y Tgts and Bombards. 15.00 - 74 Bty return to old posn at Welie to cover patrols. DF Task Table No. 36 issued. HF Task Table No. 37 issued. 6 Fd Gp 00 No. 4. 6 Fd Gp Instr No. 5 and Amendment No.1 to Tgt List No. 8.

 

30 October 1944: 6 Fd Gp Op Instr No. 6 issued. HF Task Table No. 32 (for roving sections only). Trace Plan of 6 Fd Gp DF Tasks. 101 US Airborne Div. HM List No. 1. Numerous Bombards (mainly mortars).

 

31 October 1944: HF Task Table No. 39 issued. M 140 is sp patrol. Tgt List No. 10.

 

1 November 1944: Enemy arty engaged by Bombards and air and ground Ops. 19.25 - Enemy long range weapons (rockets?) seen going up. 19.27 - 100 R Bty picks up two objects (not shells or mortars) proceeding SW, maintaining constant height. 6 Fd Gp HF TT No.40 incl tasks for Roving Sections. Tgt List No.11 issued.

 

2 November 1944: Little enemy arty activity. PW taken by patrol gives locn of BN CP and mortars. These are known enemy areas, and as supplied by civilian interogated by CPO 7 Bty, incorporated in HF TT No.41 night 2/3 Nov. Bombards CM and CB. Air OP sees no tgts in evening sortie.

 

3 November 1944: CM shoots. 14.30 - Air OP engages enemy locations given by PW. 20.10 - CB shoot. Enemy mortar areas harassed HF TT No.42. HM List No.2.

 

4 November 1944: Shelreps and bombards. Enemy comns harassed HF TT No. 43 4/5 Nov. Op Instr No.7 (NOAH). Tgt List No.12. 20.00 - 20.10 - Heaviest enemy shelling so far experienced, estimates vary from 500-900 shells. Mainly on fwd areas from area Wageningen. Many shelreps and bombards.

 

5 November 1944: 07.30 - Air OP calls for tgr on another front (forgot to change frequency). Bombards. RA 30 Corps warning that 6 Fd and 116 Fd are to change over - 116 Fd to take over Gp. 6 Fd to move off Island preparatory to rejoining 12 Corps. HF TT No.44 Enemy comns. 6 Fd Gp Tgt List No.2.

 

6 November 1944: 07.00 - Operation COLORADO - Air OP engages several HBs which open up. Bombards. Maj. Hayward, RA, leaves to join 15 (S) Div as CMO. 101 US Airborne Div Arty harassing fires night 6/7 Nov.

 

7 November 1944: 08.30 - Move to Afferden - exchange with 116 Fd who assumed control of Group. 101 US harassing fire table.

 

8 November 1944: 2 IC and recce paties report to RA 8 Corps and sent on to RA 51 (H) Div. Recce gun area - see op instr No.17 - Laar. Received 12 Corps Op Instr No.28 - Op Mallard. Received 5 AGRA movement  Instr No.1 - Op Cygnet. Recce parties 12 Cdn Fd arrive to arrange relief.

 

9 November 1944: 20.30 - Move to new gun area. Club route to Valkenswaard - Leende - Maarheeze.

 

10 November 1944: 08.30 - Arrive new gun area. Under comd RA 51 (H) Div. 17.00 - CO visited 33 Armd Bde to arrange support.

 

11 November 1944: 09.00 - CO attended conference of Maj Gen Rennie CB DSO Cmdr 51 (H) Div. Plan for Op Mallard. 69 BC's and OP's visit Ery, 74 to 144 RAC, 77 to 1 NY. Received 12 Corps Tgt List and Consolidated Trace. Issued Regt Task Table No.1

 

12 November 1944: Recd 33 Armd Bde 00 69 RA 51 (H) Div 00 No. 10.

 

13 November 1944: 14.30 - CO attended conference of CRA 51 (H) Div. BCs and OPs join armoured regts. Received Ery Op Instr Mallard. HQRA 51 (H) Div Task Table and Tgt List.

 

14 November 1944: 14.00 - CO and Tac HQ joined 3 Armd Bde. 16.00 - H hr for Ascot. 19.10 - Engaged tgts 523 and 530  Scale 2.

 

15 November 1944: 09.00 - Capt Milner called for Bty Tgts. 10.30 - Recce parties move to new area. 12.00 - Gun group moved. 14.25 - 69 Bty Tgts.

 

16 November 1944: 09.00 - Recce parties leave. 09.45 - Fire plan in support 5 Cams. 11.30 - Gun Gp move to area. 15.10 - V Tgts.

 

17 November 1944: 09.30 - U and V Tgts. 13.05 - Capt. Gibson called for 69 Bty Tgts. 14.52 - 17.28 - HF Programme. 20.45 - 20.55 - Fire Plan in support 153 Bde Op Tasmania.

 

18 November 1944: 09.00 - Miscellaneous Tgts. Recce Parties move to new area. 16.00 - Gun Group move. 18.00 - Btys engage tgts in Germany.

 

19 November 1944: Ery relieved by 4 Armd Bde. Received RA 51 (H) Div deployment trace and order.

 

20 November 1944: M and V Tgts. Recce Parties move to new area. 14.00 - Gun Group moves. Great difficulty with narrow muddy track.

 

21 November 1944: 01.20 - All Regt in action. 10.00 -  V Tgts. 11.15 - M Tgts called for by CO 126 Fd. 13.15 - Fire Plan in support 1 BW.

 

22 November 1944: Norfolk Yeamanry probing forward. Numerous DF amendments. Uneventful night.

 

23 November 1944: Maintaining 100 rpg dumped.

 

24 November 1944: Nothing to report - rest and maintenance - cinemas and concerts.

 

25 November 1944: Nothing to report - maintenance and rest - concerts and cinemas.

 

26 November 1944: 10.30 - Regt to come under comd RA 49 Div for operation to clear the western defences of Venlo. HQRA 49 Div require initial recce of new gun area at Maasbree. a.m. - 2 IC and Svy Offr discover that a wide minefield af various types of mines crosses gun area. HQRA 49 Div arrange flails. p.m. - CPOs shown their areas. Guns deployed in lines of Troops in echelon. 22.00 - Enemy air activity overhead. A.P. bombs dropped outside Regtl area.

 

27 November 1944: 01.00 - Enemy air raid. AP bombs and cannon fire in gun area. 69 Bty sustained casualties (none dangerous) - four evacuated - and damage to twenty-one vehicles. a.m. - 77/79 Bty area flogged clear of mines. Change of plan - recce parties return. Remain under comd RA 53 Div. Generous allotment of seats at Scala Cinema, Weert, and cabaret at RA 53 Div Rear. Mobile Bath Unit allotted. 17.00 - Regt ordered to come out of action for rest and maintenance, subject to recall at short notice. Regt will move to area recced not before 1 Dec 44, and came under comd of 15 (S) Div.

 

28 November 1944: Baths.

 

29 November 1944: Flogging completed - 7 hy mines exploded in 74 Bty area. Positions prepared - theatre grid. Holding parties to safeguard cramped accommodation. RA 53 Div to continue to provide entertainments.

 

30 November 1944: RA 53 Div to liaise with 15 (S) Div oer movement of Regt. Night 30 Nov - 1 Dec awaiting movement orders.

 

14 January 1945: 07.45 - Regt moves. 14.00 - Recce parties prepare posns North of Sittard area. RA 7 Armd Div O.O. No.45 and DF overprint for Op Blackcock, also RA 12 Corps consolidated overprint map. 12 Corps CB programme Birdnest.

 

15 January 1945: Zero hour for Blackcock. 13.00 - Receive tasks for Blackcock. 19.00 - Operation cancelled. LO report to Div. Additional tasks incl 1000 rds smoke for 77/79 Bty. New zero hour. 12 Corps consolidated DF Task Tables. 22.30 - CPOs in for orders - sub-allotment of tasks.

 

16 January 1945: 07.30 - Blackcock App A Angel I. 74 Bty shot.  07.35 - 77/79 Bty shot on smoke screen. 09.30-10.30 - M Tgts. 52 Div Arty T.T. No.5 in support 156 Bde.

 

17 January 1945:  04.00 - Fry and Angel II - App C - 12. BC 69 rep with C) 147 Fd at 8 Armd Bde Tac HQ. Capt Marsh rep with 5 RHA. 04.30 - Repeat Fry. 05.15 -  Brussels. 18.15 - Bran cancelled. 19.25 - Susteren in our hands. App D.

 

18 January 1945: 08.06 - Easy. U and V Tgts called for. 18.30 - Face - App J (see 16).

 

19 January 1945: 77/79 Bty fire smoke screen.

 

20 January 1945: 09.00 - 2IC reports to HQRA 43 Div for orders. RA 43 Div 0.0. No.15. 12.00 -  Move at 16.00 - recce parties forthwith - to under comd RA 43 Div in area Teveren, previously occupied by 112 Fd Regt.  20.30 - Tasks collected from HQRA. 21.37 - Regt in action on Theatre Grid. 22.45 - CO departs on UK leave. Major W.L. Haycock, RA assumes command of Regt. Major L.P. Wallen RA comes into RHQ as 2IC. Amendment to RA 43 Div . No.18 and overprint.

 

29 January1945: 09.30 - Major Wallen meets 2IC 79 Fd Regt end rep 57 Bde to recce area and accommodation Maasbracht; learns that Lion is cancelled. Regt to stay under comd (ops) RA 52 Div. No firing.

 

30 January 1945: No firing. 17.00 - 74 Bty come out of action; 69 back.

 

31 January 1945: 52 Div Arty Layout as at 30 Jan 45.