The Open Door

61 Company RASC (AD): D. Gallagher

In regard to a request for further news about 61 Company AD, I can shed a bit of light with my experience of them. I was with 749 and 543 Company GT at the time of the invasion of Germany supplying what they needed at airfields around Lyneham and district, but at the time we had no idea of their names.

After Arnhem, we had a visit from the M.O. who flashed a light in your ear and said you are FFF (fit for flying). We then joined A Platoon 61 Company AD and after a few practice drops on Salisbury Plain, and of course on parachute packing, we went in a convoy from Scotland to the far east. Our ship left the convoy at the Suez Canal, and when we were in the Indian Ocean, Germany surrendered. The Dutch Captain managed to find a bottle of beer each, which was no mean feat as there were some 2000 on board a ship meant for 1000. When we were three days out from Bombay, we were ordered to wash the ship to clean it up. And then Sod’s Law took over and the engine broke down leaving us drifting for three days before a fitter from workshop fixed it. He was rewarded with a letter to say he had a job with them if he ever needed one.

During this time our water was rationed, with it’s been available one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Everyone was in bare feet or socks, and only to talking whispers as Japanese submarines were operating in the area.

Men of 61 Coy
The Green Line Drivers

From Bombay we were billeted at Chakela outside Rawalpindi where we did practice free drops. While waiting to go to Rangoon to supply the 14th Army in Burma, the atom bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered. We then went to Chittagong and embarked for Singapore where we were used to clear ammunition dumps. These were taken out to sea and dumped.

Christmas 1946
Christmas 1946

While in Singapore and we were made into 61 Company G.T. And I finished as a liberty truck driver till I left for demob in 1947.

Letter from home
A Souvenir of Service

Open Door Contents