The Second World War, 1939 - 1945
In March 1939 the HAC formed an anti-aircraft regiment to defend London. This became the 86th (HAC) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA with three batteries (273, 274 and 275 Batteries). Later in 1939 the Territorial Army was doubled in size and the HAC’s existing A and B Batteries became the 11th (HAC) Regiment RHA whilst two new batteries, C and D, formed the 12th (HAC) Regiment RHA. In November 1940, these two regiments were expanded by the addition of E and F Batteries respectively. The 11th Regiment deployed to North Africa at the end of 1941 and the 12th Regiment followed at the end of 1942. Both regiments later fought in Italy.
The 86th (HAC) HA-A Regiment RA, by then comprising 273, 274, 383 and 446 Batteries, landed in France on D-Day, 6th June 1944. Similarly, the 13th (HAC) Regiment RHA, which had been raised in December 1940 with G, H and I Batteries, landed in Normandy on 15th June. Both regiments fought through to Belgium and on into Germany.
At the outbreak of war, the HAC Infantry Battalion was converted into 162 (HAC) Officer Cadet Training Unit and supplied officers to other regiments. Two HAC companies in the 30th [originally 13th] (Home Defence) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, defended the East London docks.
Over 700 men serving with HAC units, and Company members serving with other units, lost their lives in this war.