ARMITAGE, ROBERT WILLIAM

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ARMITAGE, ROBERT WILLIAM

Joined: June 8th, 2011, 7:51 pm

June 8th, 2011, 7:58 pm #1

My dad was in the 32nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery out of Kingston. I have his pocket book from WWII and it shows that he disembarked France 6-6-44. Can anyone tell me what his role/part would have been on that day? Did he storm the beach like in the movie "Saving Private Ryan". He passed away Aug. 19, 2004. He never talked about his time overseas (as many others did the same). I need to know more. What ship would he have been on? How many others would have been with him? What role did this troop play. What did he do? If anyone has any info or can point me in a direction to search, please contact me.

Much thanks.

His daughter, Cindy
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 8th, 2011, 8:51 pm #2


I would suggest this link as a good place to start:

http://www.mapleleafup.net/locator/research.html

Light Anti Aircraft batteries were artillery units, so your father did not "storm the beach". Very likely he landed late in the day. The unit war diary has been preserved in the national archives - you can request a copy via Library and Archives Canada. You're probably well advised to obtain a copy of your father's service record - they may ask for proof of your father's passing and/or proof that you are a relative. Knowing his service number will aid in your quest.

Be aware that there may be parts of your father's life that he meant to keep hidden for a reason. If you don't think you are up to the task of learning about all of it, including the uglier side of young men far from home and family for long periods of time in their sexual prime while given free reign to unleash deadly force on other human beings - don't go looking and leave well enough alone.

Good luck with your quest.
Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 8th, 2011, 9:04 pm #3


To get a general sense of the experience of artillerymen in the Second World War, you may want to read George Blackburn's books, specifically THE GUNS OF NORMANDY. He served in a field artillery regiment, which was different than an anti-aircraft regiment, but will give some sense of what the Canadian artillery in Normandy experienced.

Some others may have a better line on a good representative regimental history by one of the light anti-aircraft batteries, but I'm not aware of any. A little searching in your local library and judicious use of inter-library loan should yield you decent results.
Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Joined: February 1st, 2006, 6:13 pm

June 8th, 2011, 10:39 pm #4

My dad was in the 32nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery out of Kingston. I have his pocket book from WWII and it shows that he disembarked France 6-6-44. Can anyone tell me what his role/part would have been on that day? Did he storm the beach like in the movie "Saving Private Ryan". He passed away Aug. 19, 2004. He never talked about his time overseas (as many others did the same). I need to know more. What ship would he have been on? How many others would have been with him? What role did this troop play. What did he do? If anyone has any info or can point me in a direction to search, please contact me.

Much thanks.

His daughter, Cindy
Cindy;

The short answer as to what they were and where information can be found is:

i.) - 32nd (Kingston) Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA, was a component battery of the 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, which comprised:

Headquarters, 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA
69th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA
62nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA
32nd (Kingston) Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA
100th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA

ii.) - 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, was a component part of the "Divisional Artillery" of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.

iii.) -There is no individual War Diary for the 32nd (Kingston) Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA, see the War Diary for the 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, which can be found at Library and Archives Canada under:

RG24, National Defence, Series C-3, Volumes 14592, 14593, 14594 and 14595
File Title: 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery
Dates covered: March 1941 to November 1945

these files can only be viewed at Library and Archives Canada, located in Ottawa.

iv.) - You may what to go to your local library and see about obtaining a copy of BATTERY FLASHES OF WWII, A THUMB-NAIL SKETCH OF CANADIAN ARTILLERY BATTERIES DURING THE 1939-1945 CONFLICT, by D.W. Falconer, published in 1985 by The 5th (BC) Regiment Museum and Archives Society; Victoria, British Columbia, ISBN 0 - 9691865 - 0 - 9, on an inter-library loan. This will give you a thumbnail history of both the 32nd (Kingston) Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA, and of the 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, during the period of the Second World War.

Cheers

Mark
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Joined: February 1st, 2006, 6:13 pm

June 9th, 2011, 4:52 pm #5

My dad was in the 32nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery out of Kingston. I have his pocket book from WWII and it shows that he disembarked France 6-6-44. Can anyone tell me what his role/part would have been on that day? Did he storm the beach like in the movie "Saving Private Ryan". He passed away Aug. 19, 2004. He never talked about his time overseas (as many others did the same). I need to know more. What ship would he have been on? How many others would have been with him? What role did this troop play. What did he do? If anyone has any info or can point me in a direction to search, please contact me.

Much thanks.

His daughter, Cindy
Hi Cindy;

This should give you an idea of what he did on 6 June 1944. Note, the paragraph below ((h) Anti-Aircraft
), is as it appears in the report, I have not corrected any spelling or grammar.

Taken from: REPORT No. 54 HISTORICAL SECTION (G.S.) ARMY HEADQUARTERS, dated 30 Jun 52, entitled: Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part I: The Assault and Subsequent Operations of 3 Cdn Inf Div and 2 Cdn Armd Bde, 6-30 Jun 44.

under "SURVEY OF D DAY" (page 126):

(h) Anti-Aircraft

325. The only L.A.A. Battery to land with 3 Cdn Inf Div on D Day was the 32nd Battery (Major J.M. Cousins, O.C.) of 4 Cdn L.A.A. Regt. Two troops of this battery, after experiencing some difficulty with the "Rhino" ferries,
landed on the afternoon of D Day. "A" Troop went to protect the bridge at Reviers, while "C" Troop took up a
position near the bridge at Colombiers-sur-Seulles (W.D. 4 Cdn L.A.A. Regt., July 1944: Appx 10, "Activities of 32
Bty, D Day to D plus 6"). 32 Bty, while taking up positions hastily overrun by the infantry, captured 196 prisoners: "B" Troop was unable to land on D Day, and what was more galling, was unable to fire its guns when enemy aircraft strafed and bombed the landing craft during the night 6/7 Jun. On D plus 2 this troop landed and took up positions guarding divisional headquarters. By that time the battery's 40-millimetre S.P. guns had already shot down two FW 190s and one JU 88 (Ibid).

Cheers

Mark
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Clive Law - Service Publications
Clive Law - Service Publications

June 10th, 2011, 4:14 pm #6

Cindy,

Mark has provided some excellent information which should assist you. You may wish to get a copy of the relevant pages of the War Diary as described in Mark's post "(W.D. 4 Cdn L.A.A. Regt., July 1944: Appx 10, "Activities of 32 Bty, D Day to D plus 6)"
If you are not in the Ottawa area there are several good (inexpensive) researchers who could request these documents and send you digital photos of them. I recommend Ken Joyce as one who knows his way around the archives. Just ask him to pull RG24, Volumes 14592, 14593, 14594 and 14595


Clive
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Joined: February 1st, 2006, 6:13 pm

June 10th, 2011, 5:12 pm #7

. . . and I provided the information while I was taking a coffee break . . . honest boss! . . . I know, back to work . . . tanks to the left of me, tanks to the right of me . . .

Mark
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Joined: December 2nd, 2009, 10:49 pm

June 11th, 2011, 8:35 pm #8

If you are closer to Brandon (Manitoba) than to Ottawa you might obtain access to a copy of the War Diary at: The RCA Museum, CFB Shilo, Manitoba. (204) 765-3000 extension 3570. Stu
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Joined: December 2nd, 2009, 10:49 pm

June 21st, 2011, 6:50 pm #9

Hi Cindy;

This should give you an idea of what he did on 6 June 1944. Note, the paragraph below ((h) Anti-Aircraft
), is as it appears in the report, I have not corrected any spelling or grammar.

Taken from: REPORT No. 54 HISTORICAL SECTION (G.S.) ARMY HEADQUARTERS, dated 30 Jun 52, entitled: Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part I: The Assault and Subsequent Operations of 3 Cdn Inf Div and 2 Cdn Armd Bde, 6-30 Jun 44.

under "SURVEY OF D DAY" (page 126):

(h) Anti-Aircraft

325. The only L.A.A. Battery to land with 3 Cdn Inf Div on D Day was the 32nd Battery (Major J.M. Cousins, O.C.) of 4 Cdn L.A.A. Regt. Two troops of this battery, after experiencing some difficulty with the "Rhino" ferries,
landed on the afternoon of D Day. "A" Troop went to protect the bridge at Reviers, while "C" Troop took up a
position near the bridge at Colombiers-sur-Seulles (W.D. 4 Cdn L.A.A. Regt., July 1944: Appx 10, "Activities of 32
Bty, D Day to D plus 6"). 32 Bty, while taking up positions hastily overrun by the infantry, captured 196 prisoners: "B" Troop was unable to land on D Day, and what was more galling, was unable to fire its guns when enemy aircraft strafed and bombed the landing craft during the night 6/7 Jun. On D plus 2 this troop landed and took up positions guarding divisional headquarters. By that time the battery's 40-millimetre S.P. guns had already shot down two FW 190s and one JU 88 (Ibid).

Cheers

Mark
At a recent ceremony in Normandy, a 40mm Bofors was dedicated to the Gunners of 4 LAA Regt RCA (including 32 Bty). If anyone would like a photo story of the event I would be happy to send it along as an e-mail attachment.

A draft history of 4 LAA Regt RCA and of its successor, 4 Air Defence Regiment (modern), was also made available and contains a good deal of information on 32 Bty. I would be happy to send it to anyone who wishes a copy (in the form of an e-mail attachment).

Stu McDonald
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Bill A
Bill A

June 21st, 2011, 6:57 pm #10

Hello Stu, I would appreciate a copy of the history. Please send to alexanderrw@gmail.com
Thanks.
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