The Northamptonshire Yeomanry was divided in May 1939 to form two Cavalry Light Tank Regiments;1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry (TA) – Regimental Headquarters and “A” Sqn at Northampton, “B” Sqn at Daventry and “C” Sqn at Brackley.2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry (TA) – Regimental Headquarters and “A” Sqn at Northampton, “B” and “C” Sqns at Kettering.Both Regiments formed part of 20th Light Armoured Brigade (TA) and were mobilised on 1 September 1939.During World War II 1st Northants Yeo (TA) remained in the United Kingdom and from 1941 – 1942 were part of the Coats Mission , the plan to evacuate the Royal Family in the event of a German invasion. In 1944 now as a part of the 33rd Armoured Brigade they participated in the Normandy Landings on D Day June 6. The brigade’s three regiments which included the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry and the 144 Regiment RAC, landed on Gold Beach in Normandy. Their role was to support any infantry who were in need of armour support, therefore the Brigade rarely fought as one entity. One of the occasions when the Brigade did undertake an operation on its own was at Le Mesnil-Patry on June 11, 1944. Further battles they were involved in were around Caen, including Operation Charnwood 7 July, the battle to capture Caen. On the July 16, 1944 it was involved in Operation Pomegranate , where it come under the command of the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division. On August 8, 1944 it was involved in Operation Totalize , a planned breakout from the Caen Salient. It was during Operation Totalize that Joe Ekins a Sherman Tank gunner of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry gained recognition for killing the renowned German tank commander, Michael Wittmann, the 4th top scoring tank ace in history, on August 8, 1944 near St. Aignan de Cramesnil, France. They were briefly attached to the 51st (Highland) Division for the actions around the Battle of the Bulge. The Regiment was reformed and re-equipped with LVT 4 (Buffalo , amphibious armoured fighting vehicles) , for the Rhine crossing and was placed under the command of the 79th Armoured Division.