443rd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion in World War II

 

ALGERIAN STOPOVER

On 23 December 1942 Battery A was detached from the 2nd Armored Division and entrained on flat cars (for guns, vehicles and equipment) and loaded personnel on "40 8" box cars for coaches, enroute to Algiers to protect that city’s airport. Enroute, orders came to turn over eight gun-tracks to French forces at Valmy. Two officers and sixteen NCO’s were detached from Battery A to train the French in maintenance and operation of the gun-tracks. With eight gun-tracks fewer, Battery A reorganized into four platoons.

Battery A officers and men celebrated Christmas eating "K" rations in a little, out of the way, Arab train station. They arrived at Blida airport on 29 December in heavy rain which continued for six days. Life in the mud was miserable even with the shelters the men built of wood and canvas. Two platoons were then transferred to the Algiers docks, to counter increasing German air attacks at night and two platoons were stationed in the mountains ringing Algiers, near Bouzarea, so their firing against the night bombers might be more effective. After one night during which several bombers were shot down, the Mayor of Bouzarea brought out bottles of champagne for the 443rd men.

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Copyright 1998 443rd AAA Association. All Rights Reserved
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