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 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R

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wo2collectie
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PostSubject: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   27/5/2013, 20:02

In the municipal archives I came across a document containing a reference to BAOR The village where I live Tubbergen is located in the east of the Netherlands.

This document describes that a British officer stationed in 1945. names:
R. Parker
Lt. Victor Askew (in April 1945 he was employed as an officer in the Pioneer Corps at 215 Coy.

I also know the following information:
50th independend Ordnanse Ammonition Convoy BAOR

They were charged with cleaning up ammunition. This is at least one person killed, but this within Tubbergen no documents or names known.

Hopefully someone can give me more information. Maybe someone also tips where I can find information
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   28/5/2013, 20:51

Welcome and thank you for a very interesting question

Cuxhaven Steve and I have a particular interest in the early days of BAOR but have taken Victory in Europe (VE) Day, the 8th May 1945 as the start point for our detailed researches

The military situation in North West Europe in late Spring 1945 was very complicated.

Field Marshall Montgomery as Commander 21st Army Group was the senior Army Commander.

The newly created 1st Canadian Army comprising the newly arrived (from Italy) 1st Canadian Corps and the very experienced 2nd Canadian Corps was one element. The second was the 2nd British Army and comprised the British 8th, 12th and 30 Corps.

1st Canadian Corps (with British units including the 49 (West Riding) Division and an Army Group Royal Artillery (the equivalent of a Artillery Brigade) were largely responsible for the liberation of northern and central Holland. 5th Canadian Armoured Division were probably responsible for the liberation of your home town.

You do not give a date for the fatal accident and without this information it is difficult to suggest a reason However I have seen evidence that a British AGRA was used to reinforce the advancing 5th Armoured Division in the latter weeks of the War in Northern Holland. I have been unable to identify the units you name. I wonder if one was 50 Independent Ordnance Ammunition Company or Column not Convoy The other was probably 215 Pioneer Company. If the incident took place in April 1945 I think it unlikely that it was the result of an attempt to destroy German Ammunition. Speed of advance was the key factor. Captured German ammunition was moved to a secure storage area where it would be dealt with later, more likely the fatal incident was the result of a traffic accident or the cross loading of artillery ammunition between vehicles forming a British artillery resupply convoy. Royal Pioneer Corps soldiers were often used for this task.

Finally the phrase British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) did not come into official use till July 1945, prior to that the British Army in Germany was referred to either 21 Army Group or British Liberation Army (BLA)

I will contact you privately regarding two other more fruitful sources of information.
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   28/5/2013, 21:17

Hello JPG,

Today I becaume some information from the RPC Association. Maybe you can tell me more with use of this information I reseaved.
215 Coy Diary is very limited for the period of 1945. They arrived in TUBBERGEN on 30 May 1945 and left in Nov 1945 (to be disbanded) There officers were Maj E N Jones (replaced by Maj J Rath on 11 Aug 45) - The accident was probebly in September 1945

Hopefully you can something with this information
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   28/5/2013, 22:17

Thank you for the second message. If the accident occured in September 1945 it clearly could have ben related to the destruction of German ammunition.

I was going to suggest searching unit war diaries, clearly there is nothing significant in the 215 Company document.

The presence of a British Army unit in Holland after May 1945 is unusual. There was a political agreement between the British and Canadian Governments that only the minimum number of Canadian soldiers would remain in Germany after the German Surrender, the majority would relocate to the Netherlands to await repatriation back to Canada. This released the British 49 Division and the Artillery Brigade for occupation duties in Germany. Cuxhaven Steve can confirm the details

I will continue this conversation with you privately.
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   29/5/2013, 13:23

Welcome to the forum wo2collectie

Not much to add to JPW’s excellent posts, below is taken from “History of 1 (BR) Corps 1901 to 1967”

The End of the War
1st April 1945 saw the start of great changes in the role of 1 Corps. It ceased to be operational the following day, having passed on the previous day from First Canadian Army to Second British Army. It took over administrative duties in the rear of Second Army on the west bank of the Rhine in February and March and soon afterwards, responsibility for the area taken after the Rhine crossing.

A number of changes among the formations in 1 Corps took place in early April while on 21 May 1945 the Corps was designated 1 Corps District and joined HQ 21 Army Group from Second Army.

HQ 1 Corps was at Walbeck* until mid April 1945 when it moved to Rhede. In mid June 1945, the Headquarters moved to Iserlohn. Before the end of the war in early May it protected the lines of communication of Second Army. When the war ended the Corps District was concerned with internal security, military government tasks and the disposal of German war material.


*Dutch/German Border north of Venlo

The responsibility of the “Line of Communication” shifted to HQ 21 Army Group this extended back to the channel ports, 1 Corps District then had the responsibility within Germany and the actual date changing from 21 Army Group to BAOR was 21 Aug 45 with the HQ in the Kurpark Bad Oeynhausen

Best of luck with your research
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   29/5/2013, 18:58

Forgot to mention the Dutch Princess Irene Brigade were part of the 1st Canadian Corps in Spring 1945 but were operating south of the Maas Estuary
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   29/5/2013, 20:27

The villige I live is in the north of Venlo (west of Iserlohn). I live in the erea Almelo/Enschede.f Some bigger city's in here. Because I am coming from holland my Englisch is nog very good.
Also hopefully you do understand this.
The history from the Prinses Irene brigade I know. I have a book at home with the history in it. My grandfather served at the Prinses Irene brigade in 1947 until 1950/1951. He served in the Dutch Indies in this period.
I am interested in the "History of 1 (BR) Corps 1901 to 1967" Where can I buy or download it?

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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   29/5/2013, 21:26

Please send me a your email address via a private message and will send you a copy
Best regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   5/6/2013, 07:04

A quick update

I have contacted our Dutch contributor, Mark, privately and also visited the National Archives at Kew on his behalf. He has access to fair amount of information locally including an eye witness statement from an 86 year old lady who saw the incident

Basically there was a very serious incident involving soldiers from 215 Company Pioneer Corps on the 6th September 1945 The soldiers ongoing task was the destruction of surplus redundant ammunition dumped in the Tubbergen area

Five soldiers were burnt in a cordite fire (one very seriously). They were taken to a Canadian Military Hospital in Nijmegen where one, Private John Dow , a 22 year old Aberdonian died on the 12th September 1945. He was buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Groesbeek near Nijmegen.

Mark is now looking for details of 54 (not 50) Independent Ammunition Ordnance Company who may also have been involved in the original incident.
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   8/6/2013, 22:18

Unit name would have been

54 Independent Ammunition Company RAOC

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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   9/6/2013, 08:15

Mike

Thank you for this suggestion

Unfortunately no unit of this name is listed in the WO 171 Series of Unit War Diaries recording activities in North West Europe in 1945/46 held in the National Archives at Kew

The nearest is 152 who were based at over the border at Wulfen in Summer/Autumn 1945

I shall have to broaden my search and look for the Ordnance Branch HQ 1 Corps District File when I next visit Kew
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   9/6/2013, 21:50

Did some double checking and units were known as

Ordnance Ammunition Company in 1945 (Referance 21 Army Group Ordnance dated 1946)

No's 2, 3, 9, 10, 14, 15, 36, 37, 38, 43, 44, 45, 46 & 50 Company

or

Independent Ordnance Ammunition Company

No's 11, 32, 39, 49, 51, 52, 53 & 54 Company

# Numbers were shown 'as is' wth no 'th', 'nd' or 'rd' at the end

All 'Land Service' ammunition disposals by the Pioneer Corps would have been overseen by Ammunition Examiners of the RAOC from one of these companies.

Differance betwwen the two is that Ordnance Ammunition Companies were attached to Beach Groups for the Normandy Landings and Independant Companies were not.

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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   9/6/2013, 22:03

Was 152 really 154? as 154 Ammunition Sub Depot was at Wulfen from 1946 (number may have changed, some did)

http://www.baor-locations.org/Bracht.aspx.html

454 FAD Liebenau (capacity of 68,000 tons) later became one of the Forward Storage Sites for 1 (BR) Corps

154 ASD Wullfen (capacity of 12,000 tons) later became 154 Forward Ammunition Depot in 1951

254 ASD Bracht (capacity of 11,000 tons) later became the HQ & Main Depot of 3 BAD in 1953

654 ASD Walsrode (capacity of 11,000 tons) later became one of the Forward Storage Sites for 1 (BR) Corps

854 ASD Boostedt (capacity of 6,000 tons) closed in 1949

Note - In the RAOC 2 Digit numbers were normally Companies, and 3 Digit Numbers Platoons or Detachments.
All the above are sub-Units of 54 Ammuntion Company which later became 3 BAD

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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   9/6/2013, 22:19

Mike

Thank you very much for this information

Sorry for the error in my posting earlier today

The two independent Ammunition Ordnance Companies listed in the Kew Archive WO 171 Series of Unit War Diaries are:-

49 Shown as disbanded in August 1945

and 52 (not 152) as being in the Wulfen area and possibley therefore the fore runners of 154 ASD/FAD

Thank you too for the second posting with the details of the BAOR ASD. Cuxhaven Steve could well add some to his lists. Another contributor to this site has already alerted me to the existence of 854 ASD at Boostedt to the South of Neumunster in Schleswig Holstein.
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PostSubject: Re: 50th Independent Ordnance Ammunition Convoy from B.A.O.R   9/6/2013, 23:41

Many of the Companies were merged or disbanded in 1945/46 with Ammunition being grounded in 'Ammunition Sub Depots' which included captured ammunition, some of which was shipped back to the UK or 'Deep Sea Dumped'

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