Both 2771 Squadron and 2788 Squadron RAF Regiment saw heavy fighting at Monte Cassino in an infantry role as part of the 2nd New Zealand Division and 4th British Division respectively. It was here that RAF Regiment Squadrons 3-inch mortars were a highly-valued asset by Commanders.
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies in the Italian Campaign of WWII. Monte Cassino, part of the Gustav defensive line was an historic hilltop abbey founded in AD529. Between 17 Jan – 18 May 1944 for 123 days Monte Cassino and the Gustav Line were the scene of some of the most ferocious fighting in the European Theatre of Operations. In February 1944 number 1, 2 and 3 RAF Regiment Wings were formed, the complex nature of the campaign required such formations to command all these Units.
Twenty RAF Regiment Squadrons were involved at various stages during the long hard slog up the Italian peninsular. The Corps operated under both US 5th Army and British 8th Army.
It’s a grim life clinging tenaciously to the side of steep hill with the Germans in strength on the other side and the RAF Regiment men holding a sector of the front line…
Corporal Alf Blackett of 2771 Squadron, RAF Regiment
…soon after we got to Italy, in about March 1944, our Commandant had a bright idea, he decided to lend his boys to the US 5th Army. The only nice thing to come out of this for us was that we had American rations and were able to watch films. However, very soon we were in the Line.
2788 Squadron field notes
Photo sources copyright IWM with the last being colourised by Doug from the WW2 Colourised Photos page on Facebook.