1st British Airborne Corps, RASC

1st British Airborne Corps, RASC

1944 to 1944

The 1st British Airborne Corps, Royal Army Service Corps, the role of DDST was performed by Col TH Jeffries MC, former Column Commander of HQ RASC 1st Airborne Division, after the first RASC Coy, 250 Airborne Lt Comp Coy RASC was designated in late 1941. 

The remit of the Airborne RASC companies was to provide logistical support for their formations both on land and in the air. The original intention was that some 800 personnel were to be trained in re-supply by air, purely to support their own formations. This was a somewhat ambitious project, which was later modified. It was based on the premise that Airborne Forces would be speedily withdrawn, following a successful link up with ground forces.

In January 1944, all Companies within both Divisions carried out re-supply by air training. Credit should be given to 250 Company who pioneered the techniques of supply dropping by air. Theirs was the groundwork, on which later supply dropping would be based. The role of Re-supply by air, (later to be designated Air Despatch), was to be performed by 253 Coy in the 1st Abn Div and by 63 Coy in the 6th Airborne Division.

The roles of Assault Companies (inserted by parachute and glider), would be performed by 250 Coy within the 1st Airborne Div and by 716 Coy within 6th Airborne Div. Their Parachute Platoons would have a secondary role acting as a Defence Platoon to the Brigade to whom they were attached.

93 Coy (of 1st Airborne) and 398 Coy (of 6th Airborne) would operate as the seaborne echelon.

The Airborne Forward Delivery Airfield Group (AFDAG), Royal Army Service Corps was formed in July 1944 when it was was realised that a gap existed in the potential scope of Airborne operations. The Forward Delivery Group were intended to be flown in to a seized airfield and comprised the 165 Airborne Light Company RASC and 155 Details Issue Depot RASC.

They performed their first practice exercises in September 1944, to an airfield near Graves (whilst the Division took part in Op Market Garden). When 1st Airborne returned decimated from Arnhem, it was decided that the role envisaged for the AFDAG had diminished, and was disbanded in October 1944.

Airborne RASC units:

1st Airborne Division:
HQ 1st Airborne Divisional Column RASC
93 Airborne Composite  Company RASC
250 Airborne Light Composite  Company RASC
253 Airborne Composite  Company RASC

2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Transport Company RASC
HQ 1st (later 751st Parachute Brigade Company RASC)

6th Airborne Division
HQ 6th Airborne Divisional Column RASC
716 Airborne Light Composite Company RASC
398  Airborne Composite Company RASC
63 Airborne Composite Company RASC

Corps Troops
Airborne Forward Delivery Airfield Group
165  Airborne Light Company RASC
155 Details Issue Depot.RASC


Record under construction - compiled with assistance from John White

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