1050 Port Maintenence RE - D-Day and beyond

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Stuart.tdb, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

    Hi All,

    I’ve been going through my uncles Bills wartime papers and came across a document that may be of interest to the forum. It’s a brief but detailed history of 1050 Port Maintenece Coy RE from 1943 to 46, written by the CO at the end of the war. I hope its of use.

    It mentions that they landed on Sword on D-Day +1.
    Before Bill died I managed to film his memories of WW2. He was sure that he landed on the afternoon of June 6th – Does anyone know if a section of the 1050 landed that day? His release papers show that he was also in the 1051 and 1053, though this was in late 45/46

    Cheers

    Stuart
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Interesting.

    I have been looking at the 'less glamourous' units involved in the Normandy landings, especially on Sword. There was a group of units including Inland Waterway Operating Companies, Port Operating Companies and Port Operating Companies.

    Certainly about half the company landed on D+1 but it would be unusual if there was not an advanced, or reconnaissance, party landing on D day to have everything ready when the main body arrived.

    I can not pursue this for a few days but I will look at what I have later.

    Mike.

    PS. Yes it is interesting. Little has been written about these units.
     
  3. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Stuart
    Many thanks for the post nice to see the OC of a non glamourous unit putting the facts down for posterity
     
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Stuart, that's a very nice document to have.

    The 1050 war diaries might also be of interest to you. These can be seen at the National Archives in Kew.

    I think these are the ones you'd want to see:

    *** ARCRE WAR DIARY SEARCH RESULTS ***

    WO 166/12332, 1050 Coy. (1943 Aug.-Nov.)
    WO 171/1790, 1050 Coy. (1944 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 171/5739, 1050 Coy. (1945 Jan.- Nov.)

    (Downloaded from ARCRE War Diary Search Engine: Arcre - War Diary Search Engine - 2011-12-23 19:31 GMT)
     
  5. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

    Interesting.

    I have been looking at the 'less glamourous' units involved in the Normandy landings, especially on Sword. There was a group of units including Inland Waterway Operating Companies, Port Operating Companies and Port Operating Companies.

    Certainly about half the company landed on D+1 but it would be unusual if there was not an advanced, or reconnaissance, party landing on D day to have everything ready when the main body arrived.

    I can not pursue this for a few days but I will look at what I have later.

    Mike.

    PS. Yes it is interesting. Little has been written about these units.
    Thanks Mike, that would be great.

    I'm glad its of interest.
    I also have photos of Sword and Ouistreham, taken in the weeks/months after D-Day. They are printed as postcards but Bill mentioned they were taken by his OC and given to the men. The most interesting are the slit trenches in the sand that they slept in for the first few weeks after landing.

    Stuart
     
  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Stuart
    if time permits could you post the photos/postcards I am sure they would be of interest to the forum members
     
  7. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

    Stuart
    if time permits could you post the photos/postcards I am sure they would be of interest to the forum members


    Here are the photos as mentioned above.

    They are all printed on the same agfa postcard paper, so I’m assuming they were all taken around the same time or at least on the same roll of film. My uncle reckoned they were taken in the weeks after D-Day, on and around sword beach/ Ouistreham.
    Hope they’re of interest - Any input/feedback would be really appreciated.


    Stuart
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Can anyone ID where that church is?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    I thought of Lion sur Mer when I saw it, but I can't recall if the tower had a spire like that?
     
  10. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    I don’t think that this church is in any of the villages along the coast between Sword and Gold Beaches.

    That is a pretty big building behind it and what appears to be a large wall surrounding it. Could it be part of a monastery/convent further inland ?

    Interesting set of photos. Thanks for posting them.

    Regards

    Danny
     
  11. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

    Here are a few more.
    No idea where these were taken – any ideas?

    Stuart
     

    Attached Files:

  12. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Senior Member

    Without guarantee,the last card building could be in Trouville,kind of grand hotel on the beach promenade.One is similar on G.Earth.
     
  13. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    In he first set of pictures all the trees are bare [of leaves] so autumn or winter but the second post shows trees/shrubs with leaves also the first jeep in set two has typical "Dutch" stowage.
    Noel
    p.s. lack of leaves possibly due to shell or muzzle blast so my post is not very helpfull?
     
  14. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    The hotel is the Zeebrugge Palace. You can just make out the name painted on the wall.

    Some of the Normandy photos may have been taken after the fighting had moved on or after the war. Seems to be a lack of people and vehicles in the photos. I have seen similar photos taken in 1945.

    Photo No 7 with the LCT in it may have been taken in the Colleville sur Orne – Hermanville area. There was a Mk 4 on the beach for a long time after the landings.

    Regards

    Danny

    Zeebrugge  Palace  Hotel.jpg
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Apologies. I am a bit late replying.

    I think I have the answer. It seems that 1050 Port Maintenance Company supplied the RB10 and RB19 crawler cranes and crews that landed with the Port Operating Companies. These men and machines are listed with the Port Operating Companies in the same way that many dozers are listed with Field Companies although they came from Mechanical Equipment Units. This does make tracing small detachments a little difficult but I think it is correct that some the crawler cranes and crews landed on D Day. The men and vehicles of 1050 Port Maintenance Company landing on D+1 will be the administrative section.

    I hope reading this does not hurt your brain as much as I hurt mine working it out.

    Mike
     
  16. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

     
  17. Here are the photos as mentioned above.

    They are all printed on the same agfa postcard paper, so I’m assuming they were all taken around the same time or at least on the same roll of film. My uncle reckoned they were taken in the weeks after D-Day, on and around sword beach/ Ouistreham.
    Hope they’re of interest - Any input/feedback would be really appreciated.


    Stuart

    Hello Stuart,

    Great photos! Many thanks for posting them.

    DannyM is right: photo "normandy 7" shows the wreck of LCT 750 in front of Strongpoint COD. The houses in the background to the left are the famous "Twin Villas", which are still standing proudly on the beachfront at Hermanville-sur Mer. Between them and LCT 750 we can see the double embrasure bunker for a 5 cm anti tank gun. Unfortunately most bunkers on QUEEN sector, including this one, have been removed long ago by a very shortsighted municipality.

    The house on photo "normandy 1" (I'll call it "House 1") is located right behind the 5 cm bunker (see aerial photo attached). This house also survived, at least until 1962 when Captain Stephen Sykes of No. 5 Beach Gp took the attached photo published in the fantastic book "D-Day Now & Then" by After the Battle.

    The style of "House 5" is definitely of the so-called "Anglo-Normand" style characteristic of many seaside villas on the French Channel coast, but I couldn't find it on period or modern photos or pre-war postcards. However I think it is directly facing the sea, with an exit running along the side of the broken wall, because Sommerfeld tracking is visible on the sand in the foreground.

    Michel
     

    Attached Files:

  18. I've found it!

    "House 5" was indeed on the beachfront at Hermanville-sur-Mer, but does not exist any more.

    The partially demolished wall we can see on the photo runs along Exit 12 on QUEEN WHITE beach (now Rue Félix Faure) between the first lateral road along the beach (now the seaside promenade Boulevard de la Mer) and the second lateral (now rue du Docteur Turgis).

    This house is faintly visible on the extreme right of the attached postcard.


    Michel
     

    Attached Files:

  19. "House 5" was named Villa "Les Algues". See the attached postcards which give a good view of it and of its location by the beach.

    It was apparently one of the first to have the telephone ( N° 3 at Hermanvile-sur-Mer!).

    Michel

    Edit 7 Sept 2013: the original photo of "House5" (normandy5.jpg) having disappeared from Stuart's post during the website's changeover, I'm reposting it here:



    normandy 5.jpg 1 - front right - DUBRLesAlgues1sH.jpg 2 - front right - NGL17b1H.jpg 3 - front right - XXXCPhotLesAlgues01nH.jpg 4 - front - DELAUNAYAlgues1nH.jpg 5 - front left - DELAUNAYAlgues3nH.jpg 6 - back - DELAUNAYAlgues2nH.jpg
     
  20. Stuart.tdb

    Stuart.tdb Member

    Michel,

    Thank you for your efforts - its really appreciated
    The level of detail is amazing

    Thanks to Mike - Trux - I now know that this area was called Roger beach and was used for landing vehicles and personnel after D-day
    Shelling meant that it was short lived. No more LSTs arrived after D+8 since five were hit by shells in one day.

    Does this mean that the photos were taken at this time or later?

    'House 5' is of particular interest to me as my uncle talked of climbing onto the roof to watch the bombing of Caen - "An amazing and terrifying sight"

    Would anyone know how far the main unloading area was from here?

    Many thanks again

    Stuart
     

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