31 Beach Brick, RAF Component
The R.A.F. Component of 31 Beach Brick was formed on 13th April 1943 at Kabrit in Egypt and began training with 7th Battalion Royal Marines and the other specialised components of 31 Beach Brick. The unit establishment of the R.A.F. Component was 5 officers and 35 other ranks and the Commanding Officer was Squadron Leader T G Robertson (who went on to command the successor unit, No. 5 R.A.F. Beach Unit in 1944).
From 25th May, 31 Beach Brick were based at Fayed engaged in final training for Operation Husky - the invasion of Sicily. The Beach Brick sailed from Port Said on 5th July 1943 and landed on D-Day, 10th July at Marzamemi, Sicily with 231st Infantry Brigade, part of the 8th Army’s 30 Corps. The R.A.F. Component assisted with the landing and forward movement of R.A.F. personnel, vehicles, stores and equipment in 31 Beach Brick’s designated area.
The R.A.F. Component of 31 Beach Brick remained in Sicily after the beach work was finished, resting during August 1943 and then employed in Embarkation duties, based at Santa Teresa di Riva, Catania and Messina. They facilitated the movement of R.A.F units across to the toe of Italy until 21st October 1943 (see Operation “BAYTOWN”). Some personnel were then posted to other units and the remainder of 31 Beach Brick, R.A.F. Component left Sicily on 17th November 1943 and travelled to Naples.