History of 192 (HAA) Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery - 69th HAA Regiment Royal Artillery 1936 - 1944

When Tobruk FeU. 1942 GEORGE PORTER 1 can't remember exactly what day it was or the date but I was driving Weston my way back to Tobruk which had been my home for nearly 10 months and an old First World War tune kept going round in my head. 1 sang "I want togo over the sea where the Allemande -he won't catch me. 1 don't want to die 1 want togo home". 1 was alone in the cab of a 3 ton truck driving West near Mersa Matruh -going the wrong way! All the trucks and transporters were going East back towards Alexandria. 1 seemed the only one going against the stream. 1 kept on humming and thinking "What the hell am I doing'!" .There was a flap on and 1 wanted to be back with my friends in 192 HAA Battery 1 had left them in Tobruk and that was where 1 belonged. 1 had had the chance to stay with the Battery to which 1 had just delivered 20 gunners -refugees from the Knightsbridge Box, which had been over-run by Rommel's Panzers just 2 days before. 1 thought 1 might be able to get back to Tobruk before it was shutoff again and under siege. It never crossed my mind that Tobruk would capitulate -after aII ·we had held out in 1941 thanks mainly to the 9th Australian Division. So I drove on towards Sollum and the Halfaya Pass. So why was I there a free soul soto speak. On about 16 June the Knightsbridge Box a defended strong point was abandoned and an Officer and a group of gunners from a YI Battery turned upon George Site wishing to be evacuated down the line. I was a driver without a truck -my Ford V8 3 tonner had runaway and crashed into a Wadi the day before. Needless to say I was not in it. I had been driving over rocky ground during the afternoon and I had parked the truck on the side of a Wadi while I went down to the MT bivvy for a cup of tea. The theory is that the truck handbrake eased off after a few minutes and allowed the vehicle to ease slowly forward and silently tip over the brink. On hearing shouts I dashed out of the bivvy justin time to seethe truck's last rites with Sergeant Var 100 clambering down to see if I was still alive in the cab. I imagined having the truck entered in my Pay Book at 51- a week forever. Fortunately for theme 'flap' was on and I was never called to book. Next day Captain Lister called me over at breakfast and told tome get my kit together and takeover a Chevrolet 3 tonner and transport an Officer and 20 gunners East to their RHQ. -18-
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