HQ 6th Airborne Divisional Column RASC

HQ 6th Airborne Divisional Column RASC

HQ 6th Airborne Divisional Column RASC was based at Winterbourne Dauntsey. The Column undertook several exercises in early 1944, in Re-supply by Air missions. The Divisional Airborne Supply Dump was moved to Red Lodge in April 1944.

During the Normandy landings during D-Day on Op Overlord, the Divisional Column took part in Op 'Rob Roy' (6th June 1944 - using 50 Dakotas) Re-supply by Air to 6th Airborne Division. On 7 June, the Divisional Maintenance Area established by Capt IJA McKittrick. The area was forward of Gun Lines however, and subject to incessant Mortar and Shell Fire and the ammunition Dump caught fire.

During June, July and August 1944, 103 re-supply sorties were flown by 63 Coy in support of the 6th Airborne Division, the S.A.S and S.O.E. before the withdrawal of 6th Airborne Division from the line in September 1944. They also took part in the Ardennes operations to plug the breakthrough. In early 1945, the Division remained on the continent, until Airborne element was withdrawn for the Rhine Crossing.

During Op Varsity, 716 Coy flew in, in 12 Hamilcars. There was not a parachuting element. the remainder of the Column crossed by pontoon bridge. Due to the success of the Operation, the Column continued to the Advance to the Baltic, arriving at Wismar just three days before the armistice was signed.

Arrangements were made for a detachment of 716 Coy flown in with the 13th Bn for the liberation of Denmark before the Column returned to the UK towards the end of May 1945. Further elements of 716 Coy left for Far East as part of the 5th Parachute Brigade.

The Divisional Column was deployed in the 6th Airborne Division operation to Palestine in 1945, and was based at Gaza Ridge and had a Field Strength of 9 Officers and 30 ORs in January 1946. The Column continued to oversee Divisional Resupply exercises (notably in late February 1946, when 120 packages were despatched over two days) during the deployment, and moved to Haifa in November 1947, before returning to the UK in May 1948. The Divisional Column was disbanded the following month.

Commanding Officers

                  Lt Col JL Watson
1945           Lt Col FA Lovegrove
1945-8         Lt Col AK Woods

Record under construction - compiled with assistance from John White


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