2nd Airlanding Light Anti-Aircraft Battery RA (TA) Roll of Honour
3451196. Gunner. James HILL. Age 22.
On 25th August 1939, 136th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery R.A. (T.A.) was formed at Birkenhead under the command of Major Wilson R.A. This Battery carried out home defence duties until 22nd May 1943 when it was disbanded at Eastbourne.
On the 22 May 1943, 2nd Airlanding Light Anti-Aircraft Battery R.A. (T.A.) was formed at Marlborough Barracks, Bulford, Wiltshire under the command of Major W.A.H Rowat R.A. The Battery’s primary function was to provide anti-aircraft defence to the 6th Airborne Division.
The War Establishment of the Battery under Instruction I/164/1 was 12 officers and 283 other ranks. The Battery was equipped with 18 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft guns and 48 x 20mm Hispanio Suiza Anti-Aircraft guns.
The Battery completed mobilization under authority 79/MOB/5774/597(AG.5MOB) on 5 January 1944. From then on the Battery carried out extensive training being allocated seven Horsa gliders to carry 40mm gun detachments and the Battery Headquarters.
Between the 8th and 21st March 1944 the Battery carried out live firing at the Heavy & Light Anti-Aircraft Practice Camp at Clacton-on-Sea with both the 20mm and 40mm anti-aircraft guns. On 26th March 1944 the Battery participated in the pre-6th Airborne Division invasion exercise, ‘Bizz II’. It had the task of defending Rocket Bridge and Faringdon in support of the airborne invasion troops.
The Battery continued training into the next month and on 30th March 1944 received the new Polsten 20mm anti-aircraft gun to replace the 20mm Hispano anti-aircraft gun. On the same day one Officer and 46 Other Ranks were detailed for specialised training in the use of enemy equipment.
On the 17th May 1944, four Officers and 46 Other Ranks left for the marshalling area in preparation for Operation ‘Overlord’. The following day His Majesty the King visited the 6th Airborne Division and inspected the Battery as part of the Divisional parade.
On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Battery provided a detachment in support of the 6th Airborne Division. The Detachment remained with the Division throughout the campaign in Normandy, finally returning to the United Kingdom on the 30th August 1944.
For Operation ‘Tonga’, a part of the overall Operation ‘Overlord’, on the 6th June 1944, a small glider allotment was made for a Detachment of the Battery.
Glider No 125, Jeep, trailer, motor-cycle and 6 men.
Shot down and all on board were killed, both glider pilots and six Gunners.
Glider No 126, Jeep, trailer, motor-cycle and 6 men.
Landed short in enemy territory and all were taken prisoner?
The War Diary of the 3rd Airlanding Anti-Tank battery, R.A. had the following entry:
9th June 1944. Place: Ranville.
0930 hrs. Arrival of 4 x ‘B’ Troop 17 pounders by sea. 12 x ‘B’ Troop personnel relieved in LONGUEVAL by a Detachment of 2nd Airlanding L.A.A. Battery.
In the 6th Airborne Division Headquarters War Diary for ‘D’ Day+1 is the following entry:
Detachment 2nd Airlanding L.A.A. Battery (manning 2 captured 2 cm guns and assisting to man artillery 6 pounders)
Part VII of the Report on the 6th Airborne Division stated that the detachment of 2nd Airlanding Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, R.A. was deployed in support of the 1st Special Services Brigade, as it was trained in the use of enemy anti-aircraft equipment.
On the 1st September 1944 the rest of the Battery prepared to support the 1st British Airborne Corps and 1st Airborne Division in Operation ‘Market Garden’. The Battery provided anti-aircraft defence for an airstrip near Grave and for the 1st British Airborne Corps HQ at Nijmegen. (See War Diary for further details)
On the 24th November 1944 the Battery vacated Marlborough Barracks in Bulford and moved to new quarters at Monkton Farleigh, Corsham Garrison, in Wiltshire.
On the 21st January 1945 the 2nd Airlanding Light Anti-Aircraft Battery R.A. (T.A.) received the War Office Notice 20/Misc/2371(AG 6A) disbanding the Battery and converting it into 5th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. (to be attached to the 1st Airborne Division, as part of the 1st Air Landing Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A.) and 6th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. (to be attached to the 6th Airborne Division, as part of the 2nd Air Landing Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A.)
The following day (22nd January) 2nd Airlanding Light Anti-Aircraft Battery R.A. (T.A.) reverted to War Office control with immediate effect under authority SD1 G141 of 24th January 1945. The Battery was now disbanded.
Information supplied by Bob Hilton.
Help us improve ParaData by sending us your comments and images about this unit.
Registered members can submit their material by clicking on the 'add your info' button below. If you would like to become a member please register.
Make a donation to Airborne Assault ParaData to help preserve the history of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces