Assault Landings at Reggio di Calabria, Italy,
D-Day, 3rd September 1943
4 Beach Balloon Detachment – formed Benghazi (Libya) 23 May 1943, from 977 Squadron; moved to Zavia 1 June 1943; moved to Malta 21 June 1943; moved to Syracuse, Sicily, 21 July 1943; moved to Carlentini 27 July 1943; moved to Catania 20 August 1943; moved to Reggio, Italy 2 September 1943; moved to Messina 28 September 1943.
After Operation “BAYTOWN”, Rear Headquarters, Desert Air Force issued instructions that beach and port balloon units were to be disbanded and absorbed into balloon squadrons in Sicily as follows:
To – No. 972 Squadron
– No. 2 Port Balloon Detachment
– No. 2 Beach Balloon Detachment
– No. 4 Beach Balloon Detachment
– K Balloon Unit (Beach)
972 Squadron would have its Headquarters in Messina, and operate 10 balloons in Messina and 10 balloons in Reggio, also covering San Giovanni as required, and with one Beach Party and one Port Detachment in reserve.
To – No. 975 Squadron
– L Balloon Unit (Beach)
– No. 1 Port Balloon Detachment
975 Squadron would have its Headquarters in Syracuse, and operate 10 balloons in Syracuse, 30 balloons in Augusta and 15 balloons in Catania.
The policy for the future was that when requirements for beach parties or port detachments arose, they would be formed from the two Squadrons.