6 Anti-Aircraft Division

6 AA Div

 

The Division was formed during 1939 to take responsibility for the air defence of the Thames Estuary, Essex and North Kent. The existing 27 (Home Counties), 28 (Thames & Medway), 29 (East Anglian) and 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigades were transferred to this new formation, together with new formations and units of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.

 

On re-organisation of Anti-Aircraft Command in October 1942, most of 6 Anti-Aircraft Division became 2 Anti-Aircraft Group.

 

HQ Uxbridge, London

 

Order of Battle 1939

 

27 (Home Counties) Anti-Aircraft Brigade – at Lingfield, Surrey
31 (City of London Rifles) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers – searchlight unit converted from infantry in 1935
34 (The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent) Anti-Aircraft Battalion Royal Engineers – searchlight unit converted from infantry in 1935
70 (Sussex) Searchlight Regiment – new unit raised in 1938

 

28 (Thames & Medway) Anti-Aircraft Brigade – at Chatham, Kent
55 (Kent) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – formed in 1925
58 (Kent) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from medium artillery in 1935
75 (Home Counties) (Cinque Ports) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from field artillery in 1938
89 (Cinque Ports) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit raised as duplicate of 75 Anti-Aircraft Regiment in 1939

 

29 (East Anglian) Anti-Aircraft Brigade – at South Kensington, London – came under operational command 7 September 1939
28 (Essex) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers – searchlight unit formed in 1935
29 (Kent) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers – searchlight unit formed in 1935
73 (Kent Fortress) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers – searchlight unit partly converted from fortress engineers in 1939
74 (Essex Fortress) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers – searchlight unit partly converted from fortress engineers in 1939

 

37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – at Edmonton, London
59 (The Essex Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from infantry in 1935
61 (Middlesex) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from infantry in 1935
79 (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from field artillery in 1938
82 (Essex) Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit raised in 1937
90th Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit raised in 1939

 

56 Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade – at Uxbridge
11 (City of London Yeomanry) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from horse artillery in 1939
12 (Finsbury Rifles) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unit converted from Heavy Anti-Aircraft in 1939
16 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit raised in 1938
17 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit raised in 1938

 

HQ Chelmsford, Essex

 

Order of Battle 1940-41

 

6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – covering Essex airfields
12 (Finsbury Rifles) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment
49 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed 1940
32 (7th City of London) Searchlight Regiment – converted from infantry in 1935
33 (St Pancras) Searchlight Regiment – converted from infantry in 1935

 

28 Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade – covering South Thames, Chatham and Dover
55 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
58 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
90 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

 

29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – covering Essex airfields and Harwich
48 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed 1940
28 (Essex) Searchlight Regiment
74 (Essex Fortress) Searchlight Regiment

 

37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – covering North Thames
59 (The Essex Regiment) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
61 (Middlesex) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
Part of 75 (Home Counties) (Cinque Ports) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
17 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment
2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery – from 1 Canadian Division

 

56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – covering Kent airfields
16 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment
29 (Kent) Searchlight Regiment
73 (Kent Fortress) Searchlight Regiment

 

Divisional unit
6 Anti-Aircraft Z Regiment – formed in September 1940

 

Order of Battle 1941-42

 

6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
121 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Feb 42
34 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Apr 42; to 50 (Northumbrian) Infantry Division May 42
49 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – to 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42
131 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – converted from 81 Searchlight Regiment in 29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade; joined Apr 42 but rostered for overseas service and became unbrigaded soon afterwards
32 Searchlight Regiment – to 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Aug 42
33 Searchlight Regiment

 

28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
55 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – left Spring 42 to War Office control, then to Persia and Iraq Command
58 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – to 9 Anti-Aircraft Division Autumn 41
59 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Autumn 41, to 8 Anti-Aircraft Division Dec 41
72 (Hampshire) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jan 42; to War Office control by May 42, then to 71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
76 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jun, left Jul 42, later in Operation Torch
85 (Tees) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Autumn 41; left Jun 42, later Operation Torch
90 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – unbrigaded Jul 42, then to 71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Sep 42
127 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Aug 41, joined Autumn 41, to 71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42
4 (Ulster) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – converted from 3 (Ulster) Searchlight Regiment Feb 42; to 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade by May 42
16 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment– left Jul 41, later to Middle East Forces
43 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jul 41, left Dec 41; later to Ceylon
49 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42
69 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Dec 40; to 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jan 42
132 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jul 42
12 Anti-Aircraft Z Regiment – from 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jan 42

 

29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – Disbanded 14 February 1942
71 (Forth) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 11 Anti-Aircraft Division Jan 42, then to War Office control, later in Operation Torch
99 (London Welsh) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – to Orkney & Shetland Defences (OSDEF) May 41
121 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade May 41; to 6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Feb 42
48 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – left UK Dec 41, captured in Java Mar 42
81 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Aug 41, joined Autumn 41; to 5 Anti-Aircraft Division by May 42
28 Searchlight Regiment – to 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Spring 42
74 Searchlight Regiment – to 8 Anti-Aircraft Division Jan 42
81 Searchlight Regiment – joined Jan 42; converted to 131 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment in 6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade

 

37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
59 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – to 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Summer 41
61 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – left Summer 41; later to Middle East Forces
75 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Summer 41; to War Office control Apr 42, later to Persia and Iraq Command
121 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Jan 41; to 29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade May 41
17 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade; to 12 Anti-Aircraft Division Autumn 41

 

By December 1941, the 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade only had the 75 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment under its command; it was then joined by:

 

66 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Aug 42
71 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade May 42; left Jul 42, later Operation Torch
84 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Spring 42; to 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Aug 42
102 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment– joined Aug 42
104 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Apr 42
131 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jul 42, to 4 Anti-Aircraft Division Aug 42
167 (Mixed) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Aug, joined Sep 42
4 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade, then unbrigaded Jul 42
31 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jun 42; unbrigaded Aug 42
86 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined from 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Apr 42
140 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – new unit formed Jul, joined Aug 42
28 Searchlight Regiment – from 29 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Spring 42, to 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42

 

56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
4 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Spring 42
69 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jan 42; to India Feb 42
86 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 1 Anti-Aircraft Division Jan 42, to 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Apr 42
50 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 7 Anti-Aircraft Division Mar 42
29 Searchlight Regiment – to 8 Anti-Aircraft Division Jan 42
73 Searchlight Regiment
6 Anti-Aircraft Z Regiment – to 1 Anti-Aircraft Division Summer 41
12 Anti-Aircraft Z Regiment – new unit formed Mar 41; to 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jan 42

 

By May 1942, 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade only had the 4 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and 73 Searchlight Regiment under its command; it was then joined by:

 

84 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Aug 42, left Sep 42, later in Operation Torch
101 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jun 42, left Jul 42, later to India
66 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – joined Jun 42, to 71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade same month
28 Searchlight Regiment – from 37 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42
32 Searchlight Regiment – from 6 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Aug 42

 

71 Anti-Aircraft Brigade – joined June 1942
72 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from War Office control (previously 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade) Jun 42, left Jul 42; later to Operation Torch
76 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jul 42; left Sep 42, later in Operation Torch
85 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jul 42; later in Operation Torch
90 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from unbrigaded (previously 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade) Sep 42
127 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42
66 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – from 56 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jun 42; left Sep 42, later to Middle East Forces
122 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – converted from 45 Searchlight Regiment, joined Jul 42
129 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – converted from 35 Searchlight Regiment, joined Sep 42, then to 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade
132 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment – converted from 85 Searchlight Regiment, joined Jun 42, to 28 Anti-Aircraft Brigade Jul 42

 

 

 

 

The Royal Artillery 1939-45