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Trying to glean information re my Father's Battle Group in Normandy


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#1 Michael Fitz

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

I am a new member so please bear with me until I can get a hold on the required protocols.

My Father L/Sgt Oliver James Plunkett was in the British Army....he was a member of the 67th. Anti-Tank Battery R.A. in Normandy. His Battery Commander was Captain Tim Feeny RA. On about the 26th June 1944 his gun site was blown up and he was severly injured (and maybe others). Dad later died in a Field Hospital on the 28th June 1944.

He is burried in the beautiful grave yard at Hermanville.

I am trying to glean any information related to any comrades that knew him or some data regarding the 67th Anti Tank battery RA. in Normandy in June 1994.

Prior to shipping out to France Dad was very friendly with another member of his unit in England...a Mr Harry Scully who lived in the North of England.

Your help will be much appreciated.

Michael

Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
Western Canada
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#2 militarycross

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:18 PM

:canflag[1]:Hello Michael from Eastern Canada - The Soo. These folks are good and in no short order will you be guided in the right direction.

[My oldest is six hours north of you in LaLoche. Bloody cold there these days!]
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:poppy: The face of Sacrifice is a Mother's Face -- streaked with tears.

#3 ramacal

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:51 PM

Hello Michael and welcome.

I've found that 67 Battery was part of the 20th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA and the attached link gives you a little info to help kick start your search. When your Father went to Normandy, they were attached to the British 3rd Infantry Division.

RA 1939-45 20 A/Tk Rgt

Regards - Robert
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#4 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:57 PM

Michael,
Welcome to the forum.
I see that you are already getting results.
I wish you well on your quest.

Regards
Tom
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Reconnaissance Corps - Only the enemy in front.

#5 ramacal

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:03 PM

Michael

A Dutch member of this Forum has an excellent website which is dedicated to the Royal Artillery which fought in Holland during WW2. Probably, not the period that you are interested in, but some extra info on what the unit became involved in later in the conflict.

Royal Artillery Units Netherlands 1944-1945 - 20 Anti Tank Regt

Robert
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#6 ramacal

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:18 PM

CWGC Details

Name:PLUNKETT, OLIVER JAMES
Initials:O J
Nationality:United Kingdom
Rank:Lance Serjeant
Regiment/Service:Royal Artillery
Unit Text:20 Anti-Tank Regt.
Age:28
Date of Death:28/06/1944
Service No:1525282
Additional information:Son of Michael and Teresa Plunkett; husband of Ellie Plunkett, of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.
Casualty Type:Commonwealth War DeadGrave/Memorial Reference:1. T. 3.
Cemetery:HERMANVILLE WAR CEMETERY
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#7 51highland

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:57 PM

Welcome and enjoy !!!
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51 highland "Don't leave me Sarge" & Keep 'em Moving

Là á Bhlàir's math na Càirdean

(Friends are good in the day of battle)


Na diobair caraid's a charraid
(Forsake not a friend in the fray)

Cuimhnichibh na suinn nach maireann .
Mairidh an cliu beo gu brath.
(In memory of the Heroes who are no more.
May their Fame live on forever)

#8 Alexander49

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:54 AM

Good Morning Michael,

I too have been researching my Father's wartime record.

I have his Soldier's Service Book and his Soldier's Release Book.
My Father (now deceased) was conscripted on 20 May 1943 (not long after his 18th Birthday) into the 67th Anti Tank Battery, Royal Artillery - this is the stamp on his Soldier's Service Book (the stamp carries the dated 11 December 1945).

He was Gunner Edward SCOULAR - we are a Scots Family, from Glasgow.

My Father served with the 67th in the North West European Theatre of operations from D-Day onwards. Interestingly, he was wounded on the 20th July 1944 (the same day as the "July Plot" against Hitler). I also have the telegrams advising my Gran, but they are unspecific as to where he was wounded. He bailed out of his tank when it was "brewed up" by German armour and took mortar shrapnel in the thigh.

His Soldier's Service Book records that he served - after recovering from his wound (I also have the piece of mortar shrapnel) through to the end of the war, ending up in Germany.

His Record aslo shows that his Battery/Regiment was sent to the Middle East (ME) Theatre of Operations after the war in Europe was over, first to Egypt and thereafter to Palestine to police the Mandate - I have sepia photos of my Father (1) posing in Ismailia (Egypt) and (2) in front of his Sherman Tank in Nazereth.

My Father's Soldier's Release Book carries the stamp 162nd L.A.A. Battery/61st L.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artllery. He was demobbed on 7 July 1947 - so the 162nd may have been his last posting and a 'holding' unit prior to his release.

I hope this helps, if only with the anecdotal story of one soldier.

I would be grateful to know if you found out anything else about the 67th.

Yours sincerely,

Edward SCOULAR
Brussels, 12 March 2009
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#9 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 06:23 AM

Hi Michael

Welcome aboard !

I can see that you are doing all the right things by offering valuable information and this, in time, will produce rewards.

A welcome also to Edward, who has his own research to follow, you can probably learn from each other's experience.

Cheers

Ron
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#10 sapper

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 08:36 AM

Your Father served in the Third British Infantry Division Monty's "Ironsides" It is likely that he served alongside us for we were very active around the Hermanville sector of operations. It is also very likely that he was a part of the renowned Eighth brigade.

I have here at home a recording of the Shelled church bells of Hermanville church that rang out across the battle sounds. It is likely that your father would have heard the first bells of freedom in the Normandy battle area.

Sapper 246 Field Co RE
8th brigade
3rd infantry Div
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#11 James S

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:38 PM

Michael , Paul one of the mods. , a historian and broadcaster by profession might be a good man to talk to for a modest fee he does research on men who fought in Normandy - might short cut some corners for you.
Welcome to what is a very good "wee" corner of cyberspace.
js

Edited by James S, 28 July 2009 - 05:10 PM.

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#12 drumaneen

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:38 PM

My Father L/Sgt Oliver James Plunkett ... is burried in the beautiful grave yard at Hermanville.


I have here at home a recording of the Shelled church bells of Hermanville church that rang out across the battle sounds. It is likely that your father would have heard the first bells of freedom in the Normandy battle area.


Hi Micheal & Welcome to the forum. My wifes great uncle is buried in the same lovely cemetery at Hermanville.
The recording that Sapper refers to is the "On Churchbell Carillon In Normandy" BBC Broadcast by Alan Melville (to listen follw this link: - 14 June 1944: BBC Alan Melville - Hermanville church Bells)
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#13 englandphil

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:18 PM

At about 4-20 pm, the German assault began. By now, as we have seen, unbeknown to 21st Panzer, Perriers Rise had been occupied by troops of the British Shropshire Light Infantry, equipped with 6 pounder anti-tank guns, and supported by 17 pounder SP guns of the 20th Anti-Tank Regiment. With some trepidation, the British saw a formation of some 40 Panzer IV's rapidly approaching their position. They held their fire until the German tanks began to climb the slope of the Rise, and then opened a devastating fire from their concealed positions. In quick succession, six of the 25 Mark IV's attacking on the right were knocked out. The German advance ground to a halt as surviving tanks sought shelter in patches of woodland. Further to the west, around the village of Mathieu, the 1st Panzer Regiment suffered a similar fate, with around nine tanks knocked out. As a German account admitted: " The fire of the English, from their outstandingly well-sited defence positions, was murderous… within a brief space of time the armoured regiment of 21st Panzer Division had lost a total of 16 tanks, a decisive defeat, from which, especially in morale, it never recovered."


After a bit more digging, it was 41 battery who were in support of the KOSLI, who were with 185 Brigade. So the remaining batterys would have been with the 8th and 9th Infantry Brigades.

The following is an extract from rembering D Day by Martin Bowman.

Troop Sergeant Chris Clancy
67 Anti-Tank Battery, 20th Anti-Tank Regiment RA.

'I had to land immediately behind the assualt infantry and carry out reconnaissance of the brigade area for anti-tank purposes. One tropp of self propelled M10's had landed immediately behind the infantry and the remaining eight guns would be going ashore as soon as possible after midday. I stepped into three foot of water on Queen red beach. The area was under intense shell and small arms fire, with casualties drowning and floundering around.

Dead ahead was a low beach wall at La Breche. Fortunately, my inelegant scamble a Tellermine (a bobby trapped anti-tank mine) linked to several other, i gingerly pushed the sand back to further expose the trap and got out on to the lateral road in front of strong point |Cod, which was under assualt by the East yorks. I hared off to catch up with the South Lancs, entering Hermanville. There was a deal of sniping by a scattered enemy. My reconnaissance took me south to the open country neat Matieu and then back towards Colleville.

In a wooded clearing not far away I came across a railway wagon surrounded by dozens of Tellermins and other booby traps in various stages of assembley in what was obviously a workshop.

As Wellington said; "A close run thing."

From an anti tank point of view the fields with barbed wire aprons and feestooned with 'Atchung Minen" signs raised doubts. Which were ruses de guerre?.


An educated guess would be that the 67 battey was brigaded with the 8th Division, which would have them at the chateay la londe on the 26th june, preparing for the attack the next day.

There is a lot of info relating to La Londe on the following thread.

http://www.ww2talk.c...une-1944-a.html

Edited by englandphil, 29 July 2009 - 09:58 PM.

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#14 Rob Dickers

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:13 PM

Hi michael
I see the other arty-boys have already sorted you out. Good luck with your reseach.
Enjoy.
Rob
:)
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12311726876_74a8350ed7_t.jpgArchive of 10th (R/Fus) Medium Regt RA
from16th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regt)





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