FAAA EVENT REPORT/STONELEIGH 2013

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FAAA EVENT REPORT/STONELEIGH 2013

Message  FAAA le Mar 17 Déc 2013, 11:45



STONELEIGH 2013 SHOW

This years Stoneleigh event like all the past years events had been looked forward to for some months. After what seemed ages it was good to get back into kit and organise and undertake a display and it has to be said the Stoneligh Militaria 2013 show provides us all with what we do the hobby for, a great Social event, shopping and browsing time, an indor out of the elements dislay with all the challenges it throws up and a great 40's based dance, attended by many of the people we know in the dance and living history scene.

The show always presents us with a challenge to pick a unit all in the group have an interest in and one all in the outfit can do to some degree of authenticity and this year was no exception and it was decided to launch this years new group direction and get back to our core values with a specialist Airborne impression. To that end the 509th Parachute Infantry Combat Team in the Invasion of Southern France was chosen.

The time frame chosen for the display was based around the initial few days of the invasion and a documented action when the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion Combat team assaulted into Le Muy.

For Operation Dragoon, the 509th Combat Team consisted of the combat hardened 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the attached 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion plus the 1st Platoon of the 596th Parachute Engineer Company. The Five-O-Nine was the most combat experienced outfit in the First Airborne Task Force. On the 15th of August it was to affect its 5th combat jump, and spearhead the invasion.

The Five-O-Nine, led by an American Airborne pioneer, Lt Colonel William P. Yarborough, were to spearhead the Dragoon assault at first light on D-Day. To accomplish their mission they had allocated 90 C-47 aircraft in two serials of 45 planes each, based at two departure airfields around Rome, i.e. Folonica and Grosseto.

Due to the mis-drops of the Pathfinders, B and C companies of the 509th and B and C Batteries of the 463rd only Headquarters Company and A company of the 509th and the remaining artillerymen of the 463rd arrived at the correct drop zone at 0431 hrs. The men assembled under the command of their Battalion Commander, Lt Col Yarborough and were ready for action by 0700hrs. By midday the 463rd had three of their Howitzers ready to fire.

During the day the “Gingerbread Men” consolidated their position and dug in on the heights overlooking Le Muy, set up roadblocks, and sent out patrols to reconnoitre the area. At 1700hrs a patrol made contact with the Germans down the hill, and also found out that Le Muy was still in enemy hands. On the basis of this, the 463rd trained their guns on the town and fired 22 rounds into enemy positions.

The 509th held the high ground on the other side of the Argens River from Le Muy, and the Bridge over it. They therefore decided to attack towards the town. The assault was assisted by a Tank Platoon belonging to the 191st Tank Battalion who were attached to the 45th ID, coming in from the beach head. The attack was affected around noon by the 1st and 3rd Platoons of Company “A” but was held up by an enemy strong point covering the road south of the town. Tanks arrived at 1330hrs and their fire broke German resistance. The Paratroopers of the 509th climbed aboard the tanks when entering the town and met patrols of the 550th Glider Infantry Battalion, which had assaulted the town from the north. After heavy fighting, Le Muy had been taken.

The scene we depicted in the display was of the 509th Headquarters Company support weapons platoon preparing to give fire support to A Company who were about to move into Le Muy.

A two morter section (81mm) were represented as well as a hasty Command Post based around one of HQ Companys Radio Jeeps.

At 1000hrs sharp the FAAA along with other displaying groups and traders were let loose into the display hall as the main doors were open. In no time at all the team prepared to get the base down and the framework of the display set up, the base layout this year was simplified and in no time at all the display started to take shape.


FAAA-A Team prepare the base for the 2013 Stoneleigh display.





The base down the Jeep was put into position and the Command Post area established, Lastly local folage was put in place to represent the pine forests outside Le Muy





With the Jeep and props in place all that remained was to put the troops in place , rehearse a quick scenario and await the stalls to open in the afternoon.

Below are some snap shots of the display with troops in place.













A great day of display set up and shopping took place on the Saturday, the shopping was productive for the new guys and some bargins were picked up by the collectors in the group, great to be able to get around without the hastle of crowds and at least talk to the traders as well as trade and or purchase.

The Saturday evening was just like the old days at the Stoneleigh Dance, great atmosphere, great music and great entertainment with some good friends. The younger lads new to the hobby were to be honnest, a little gob smacked at the turn out, the dancing and the girls! A fantastic night that continued after the dance in the Hotel Bar.

Below is just a snap shot of the evening, the half naked dancer has been censored from this report due to this forum being viewed by Children Wink





















After a very eventfull Blitz Ball the night before, few of the younger replacements were ready to move up on the line early the next morning!





After a coffee, black no suger and where you could stand a mess kit spoon up, the new troops slowly came around ready for the Sundays aventure





Like all events a lot of work goes into them and then its all over and you move onto planning and organising the next one. Stoneleigh has always been a firm fav of the group and gives us the kick start to the new show season, this year was no exception and there is a great 2013 to look forward to.

Lee Bowden
Chairman and CO's Jeep Driver
The First Allied Airborne Association
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Re: FAAA EVENT REPORT/STONELEIGH 2013

Message  old chouff le Mar 17 Déc 2013, 17:53

excellent

we are thinking about coming into London for a "Blitz" night
what do you think of it?

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Re: FAAA EVENT REPORT/STONELEIGH 2013

Message  FAAA le Mar 17 Déc 2013, 22:12

Go For it

Check out our 2014 programe once confirmed in a week or so, you guys are always welcome here.

Regards

Lee

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