109 Light Anti Aircraft Regt (Royal Sussex) Regt

357 Bty


An interesting collection of photos from Captain J.D.Wallace


Captain J.D.Wallace RA (200267) 357 Baty, 109 LAA Regt RA

(below)

The 109th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery (Royal Sussex Regiment) was formed from the of 7th Battalion Royal Sussex and served in UK until 1944. They then went to France in 1944 on D-Day+4 as part of the 106th Brigade.

Letter from the Home Office granting him Honorary rank of Captain

21st Army Certificate issued to J.D.Wallace for his outstanding service during the campaign in France. Signed Field Marshal C-in-C 21st Army Group. B.H. Montgomery

Home Guard Certificate

In the years when our Country was in mortal danger John David Wallace who served 7th June 1940 - 1st August 1940 gave generously of his time and powers to make himself ready for her defence by force of arms and with his life if need be.


Lincoln 1942 Officers (357 Bty, 109 LAA Regt RA (Royal Sussex Regt) ,Capt Wallace - Bottom row last on the right

"A" Troop 357 Battery Lincoln 1942

"C" Troop 357 Battery Lincoln 1942


Battery 357 Score Board

Date Place Award Totals
9th April 1943 Folkstone . .
17 Sept 1943 Margate X 1
21st Jun 1944 Normandy . .
24th Jun 1944 Normandy X 1
4th Jul 1944 Normandy XX 2
10th Jul 1944 Normandy XX 2
11th Jul 1944 Normandy . .
14th Jul 1944 Normandy XXXX 4
1st Dec 1944 Tevern,Germany . .
17th Dec 1944 Sittard, Holland X 1
1st Jan 1945 Sittard, Holland XXX 3
9th Feb 1945 Wijchen, Holland X 1
11th Feb 1945 Wijchen, Holland X 1
8th Mar 1945 Cleve, Germany . .
11th Apr 1945 Schlusselburg (Weser) . .
29th Apr 1945 Artlenburg, Germany XX 2
29th Apr 1945 Lauenburg, Germany XX 2
30th Apr 1945 Artlenburg, Germany X 1
30th Apr 1945 Lauenburg, Germany XX 2
Total 23(6 Shared)

The total scores for the battery's for the 109th LAA

Battery 357 = 17 + 6 Shared = 23

Battery 358 = 13

Battery 359 = 16


The following photos and captions/notes are taken from Captain J.D. Wallace's photograpgh album

Captain Wallace and his Willys Jeep

The Willys GP 4x4, always known as the jeep, was imported from the USA in large numbers. Each of our Troops had two, one for the Troop Commander to use on reconnaissance, and the other for the Troop Leader to lead the convoy of guns and vehicles to the rendezvous point. Both were used for journeys to the sites or H.Q. with passengers. This one is shown in the autumn in Holland. The box on the front wing is not standard issue, but was handy for carrying things that might get damaged in the open vehicle.

In winter, in this picture also in Holland, and not near enough to the front line to be ambushed, the fabric roof and side panels helped to keep out the rain and cold. Jeeps had no mechanical windscreen wipers, the driver having to operate them manually. Jeeps had no difficulty traveling over bumpy hard surfaces, as in scraping the underside on sharp projections.


No.1 Gun

These pictures show our Bofors 40mm Anti Aircraft Battery guns 1, 2,3,4,5 and 6 at Sittard, Holland Christmas 1944. They were designed as a defence against low flying aircraft, usually fighters or fighter bombers, and fired a shell with about 11/2 ponds of high explosive at the rate of one a second. Each troop had six of them, manned by a detachment of at least eight men, usually ten. This number provided enough men for two gun-crews (minimum four men) so that the gun could be manned non-stop all through the hours of daylight. Two men were needed to train the gun (one for height and the other for direction), one to load and fire, and the fourth, the No1, to use the mechanism, seen above the lower end of the barrel, to direct the gun layers onto the target. With eight rounds loaded and a further eight within reach, the No.4 could fire off sixteen rounds in about twenty seconds. By then, the rest of the detachment would be in the gun pit ready to continue the action. The guns were always dug in if possible, to protect the gun and the men from enemy fire, without reducing the field of fire.

No.2 Gun

No.3 Gun

No.4 Gun

No.5 Gun

No.6 Gun


Railway Bridge Mook, Holland.

October 1944. Railway Bridge Mook, Holland. After defending the advanced landing strips in the bridgehead, our role was the defence of the river crossings. This bridge was blown up by the retreating Germans, but you can just see the heads of some of the Royal Engineers who were starting to build a Bailey floating bridge across the Maas.


Kleve Church, Germany.

February 1945. Kleve, Germany. What was left of the church after a 1,000 bomber raid on the town before the assault. We found that the heavy bombing of a defended town choked the streets with debris and made it very difficult to move through the town to our operational positions. Too add to the difficulties this area had been flooded by the Germans.


Bailey Bridge acrosas the Elbe at Artlenburg

April 1945. Artlenburg, Germany. The Bailey bridge across the Elbe, in the background you can see vehicles crossing it, and in the right hand foreground a spare section of bridge ready to replace any section damaged by enemy action. Defending this bridge was our last operational task before the end of the war in Europe.


"V2 Factory Nr Petershagen, Germany."

April 1945. Petershagen, Germany. Part of a factory for V2ís concealed in a wooded area near Peterhagen. By this time we had captured the areas from which the rockets could be launched at the South of England.


"V1" "Vertellungswaffen" "Revenge Weapons" "Doodlebug" "Buzz Bomb"

One of the "Flying Bombs" or "V1s". The "V" stands for "Vertellungswaffen" i.e. "Revenge Weapons" First launched from sites in Northern France in July 1944, they were Hitler's answer to the destruction caused by the Allied bombing of Germany. This werecommonly know as the "Doodlebugs or "Buzz Bombs" because of the unusual noise of the engine.


"V2"

In September 1944, the second of the V weapons, the V2, started to be used. This was a large rocket which rose 50 miles high and descended at about the speed of sound. People underneath them could not hear them coming, in the way they could the V1's. As there could be no Air Raid Warning before their arrival, they caused many casualties. The one shown had been damaged at the tail, and was never fired. We sometimes saw the vapour trails of thelaunched rockets rising vertically to the east or north of us, but there was no way of stopping them once launched.


German 88mm Flak gun

The anti-aircraft version of the very successful German 88mm gun. It was also used as a field gun, an anti tank gun, and armament for a tank


20,000 German POW's at Lauenburg, Germany.

May 1945, Lauenburg, Germany. Our first task after the war ended was to cope with these German soldiers, 20,000 of them. They had retreated from the Russian Army, but could not cross to the West bank of the Elbe. As they were prisoners of war, we had to control and feed them, before delousing them and arranging transport to take them to POW camps. Lauenburg later became one of the crossing places between the British and Russian Zones, and later between West and East Germany.


German Dump

May 1945. Domitz, Germany. Dump of German Army Vehicles left by the Germans as they fled westwards. They were all damaged, or without petrol, or both. In the foreground is the original People's Car, made by Volkswagen, but altered into a vehicle used by the German Army in the way we used our jeeps. I waslucky enough to get hold of one which worked, and drove it around for a few weeks until it had to be handed in. Domitz was on the border between the areas captured by the British and Russian armies, which was marked by a small canal. Russian troops were at the other end of the bridge over the canal. The village was to be in the Russian Zone of Occupation, and so after a week or two we left it to withdraw westwards over the Elbe into the British Zone.


It would have been the Captains responsibility to ensure that the vehicles in his troop section were were well maintained.

Capt J D Wallace's excercise book that covers

The Waterproofing of "B" vehicles - Objects of waterproofing - System of waterproofing - waterproofing material - The effects of sea water on metals and lubricants - The preparation of vehicles for waterproofing - Waterproofing and Driving

(Preparations for D Day came to mind)

Vehicle maintenance and the detachments responsibilities.


"A" Troop 357 Battery

Below are the mens names and their join dates, they were taken from the Green(top) and Red(bottom) books.

No 1 Section A Troop 367 Battery 109 L.A.A. Regiment R.A. (Royal Sussex Regt)

6398716 Sgt Albert Barnes 22.11.34 (T.A.), 5441886 L/S John Henderson Burlinson 18.4.40, 2051232 Gnr Fredirich Henery Ranson 15.3.38, 2064561 L/B Charles Williams Smith 25.10.38 (T.A.), 6399600 Gnr Patrick Allen Donald Kemp 19.3.37 (T.A.), 6401875 Gnr Allan Parsons 16.10.39, 5728089 Gnr Hugh James Farmer 15.12.39, 5828745 Gnr James Sidney Wilkinson 17.8.39, 3655204 James Smith 18.5.39 (T.A.), 3965251 Gnr Harry George Pugh 1.12.39, 3965295 Gnr Albert Alfred White 30.10.39, 1540832 Sgt Ronald Leslie Scaplehorn 15.1.40, 6398329 Bdr William George Larkings 10.11.33 (T.A.), 5622670 Gnr William Roy Dyer 16.10.39, 5441827 Gnr James Murray 18.4.40, 6401401 L/B George Norman Russel 2.5.38 (T.A.), 6406459 Gnr Reginold Arthur May 24.6.40, 1072611 Gnr James Cyril Machin 26.7.27 (Reg), 3856605 Gnr Frank Reed 10.3.38 (Reg), 14258300 Gnr William Henery Hide 20.8.42, 5441835 Gnr Robert Alan Miles 18.4.40, 6400581 Gnr William Thomas David Miles 4.4.39 (T.A.), 1762106 Gnr William Robert Blackmur 23.1.41, 6402280 Sgt Robert Dickson 16.10.39, 4804838 Bdr George Hoy 15.1.40, 6402482 Gnr Arnold Kirkup 20.10.39, 1626313 Gnr Thomas Reginold Sills 16.9.40, 6400935 L/B Kennith Malcolm Harry Stillwell 3.5.39 (T.A.), 5441804 Gnr George Richard Gunn 18.4.41, 4805791 Gnr Wilfred Mosley 18.4.40, 3965294 Gnr Reginold George Taylor 1.12.39, 1699981 Gnr Charles Lloyd Hughes 15.11.40, 6402598 Gnr Leslie Arthur Frederick Cottingham 15.11.39, 1496036 Gnr Reginald William Tyler 18.7.39, 5439986 Gnr G. Trezona, 1583454 L/B Frederick Henry Doidge 15.7.40, 11055368 Gnr Albert Henry Champion 19.6.41, 5628556 Bdr Grimwood 26.6.39, 901820 Gnr Steven 22.3.39, 1530954 Gnr Joseph Buckley 15.1.40.

The above two books include details of all the men that served in "A" Troop, it includes - names, addresses, next of kin details, children, boold groups, training details, shoe, head, waist, height measurments, ability to drive and swim, details/serial No. of gun held, date joined, religion, married or single, term of service, age, army numbers, leave details, there is so much information in these books and if anyone wishes for me to look up a name of someone who served with this regiment please do not hesitate to contact me, click on the contact details at the bottom of this page.


357 Battery Materials

This little book has details of all the materials and machines that the battery had at their disposal:-

Materials - Ammunition - Arms - Technical Equipment - Sten-gun numbers - Rifle numbers - Watches - Binoculars - PIAT - Compasses - Revolvers - LMG's (light machine guns) - Signal pistols - Telephones

Machines - Ariel Motorcycles, Willys Jeeps, Bedford 3 ton tractor units, Bedford 15 cwt 4x2 trucks this information includes the WD numbers, Engine numbers, contract numbers, Chassis numbers - driver details).

MK IV Bofors Gun details etc...

Ammunition & Arms - the Battery had 7 Brens, 29 Rifles, 43 Stens, 3 revolvers, 111 Grenades etc...

Vehicle details and numbers

Bofors Gun details and numbers


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