3rd and 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, Royal Artillery.
The 3rd and 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery’s, Royal Artillery would both take part in operation ‘TONGA’, on the night of 5th/6th June 1944.
4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, Royal Artillery.
The 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. began forming up on 9 May 1943, at Marlborough Barracks, Bulford, Wiltshire under the command of Major T.H.P. Dixon, M.C., R.A. The nucleus for the unit came from ‘D’ Battery, 103rd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.
This battery, along with the 3rd Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, was formed to provide the anti-tank defence for the two parachute brigade’s of the 6th Airborne Division. It was officially taken on the strength of the 6th Airborne Division on 9 July 1943.
By May 1944 the Battery had completed all their training, had been on extensive exercise with the units they were to support, and had carried out practice ‘shoots’ with the new ‘Sabot’ ammunition. They had also carried out training and practice ‘shoots’ with the glider pilots who would fly them into action.
On 19 and 20 May the Seaborne Parties departed for the Marshalling Area at Creech Walk. This group consisted of two Jeeps and trailers and 34 Other Ranks, and they were attached to the 3rd Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery for the move across to Normandy.
On 26 May the airborne contingent moved to R.A.F. Tarrant Rushton and prepared their gliders for loading. They were loaded on the 4th, but had to wait 24 hours, when the invasion was postponed. Finally on the evening of 5 June 1944 they took off.
It saw further service in the Ardennes, on the Rhine Crossing, and the advance across Northern Germany. In September 1945 it was attached to the 5th Parachute Brigade Group and went to Malaya to join the Brigade, which had moved out to the Far East in July 1945.
With the end of the war against Japan in August 1945 the 5th Parachute Brigade, and the 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery found themselves on Internal Security duties in Batavia and Semerang, in Java, before moving back to Malaya and then Singapore. In July 1946 it sailed for Palestine, where it arrived in August.
The Battery is likely to have been disbanded on 1 April 1947, when the 2nd Airlanding Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. was renumbered the 66th Airborne Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. and it disappeared from the Order Of Battle.
1943 – 1945. Major T.H.P. Dixon, M.C.
1945 - 1947. Major. W.R. Elliott.
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