New Info About Beach Balloon Photo

© IWM (CNA 1744)
“Personnel of ‘K’ Balloon Unit haul down one of their kite balloons for attention on a landing beach near Salerno, Italy, using a motorised winch in the back of a Bedford QL lorry.” Picture by F/Lt J. H. Daventry, R.A.F. Official Photographer © IWM (CNA 1744)

Information in the Operations Record Book of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment sheds new light on this picture.

In an earlier Blog post it was shown that the caption for this photograph on the IWM website was incorrect.

It is now clear that the photograph shows No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment in the Salerno operation.

The photograph is one of a set of photographs published in “The Aeroplane” magazine on 26th November 1943 showing “Balloons at Salerno” and the Operations Record Book of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment, has an entry dated 16th September (when the unit was located in the Salerno beach-head) stating, “We are visited by the public relations officer, who takes a number of photographs of men working with balloons on the beaches.”

A page of pictures published in “The Aeroplane”, 26th November, 1943

Incidentally, the lorry shown is not a Bedford QL, but a CMP (Canadian Military Pattern), 3-tonner. In Tripoli, before the operation, three 3-ton lorries were provided (reluctantly) by the Army for the use of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment.

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