Dismiss Notice
A reminder that, as is traditional around here, the forum will close for 20 minutes (11/11/19) around 1100, for Armistice Day.
~A

Bazenville, Normandy (B2)

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi all,

    A place for some info and association on the topic of the village of Bazenville (a few miles inland from Gold Beach) in Normandy during World War 2, and the site of B2 Advanced Landing Ground (ALG). (Nb. Bazenville is also sometimes spelt Brazenville).

    (Nb. still in progress/building - but feel free to add posts - or pm early corrections / comments etc. all the best, Rm)

    Especially if someone "knows" which spelling Bazenville/Brazenville they prefer* ! ;) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazenville

    * "Bazenville as per 127 Wing Memorials - if that is how it is spelt on the Spitfire wing memorial outside the church, and the other two memorial plaques. Nb. Bazenville was extensively used for casevac - very brave nurses on the Dakota's as they had no protection from displaying a red cross, it was just a normal invasion striped Dak, that could be shot down if it met the opposition - they bought in supplies and personnel from the UK, and took out the sick and wounded." Thanks Allan. & There is apparently a load table for one coming in to B.11 with 125 Wing personnel, showing the names and weights of all, and naming the nurse, and her weight as well."
    (Not sure if that breaks official secrets and the 100 year rule and all that.... :blush: Rm)
    Rm.

    Some specific questions / queries at the moment:

    # Is there perhaps a picture of the damaged B-24 that crash-landed and ripped up a lot of SMT tracking?

    # Can't see an actual date for this but it is a nice picture of some evac Dakotas at Bazenville: Douglas Dakota Mark IIIs of No. 46 Group at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, loading casualties for evacuation to the United Kingdom. Identifiable aircraft include KG432 'H' of No. 512 Squadron RAF (centre), and KG320 'B1' of No. 575 Squadron RAF (extreme right). : http://www.iwm.org.uk//collections/item/object/205211773

    Interesting finds: (??? but hard to "verify" ???)

    # There's a picture here listed as a Spitfire on B2 with what looks like some fine detail of the B2 runway's square mesh track : https://georgesnadon.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/spitfire-on-b2-france.jpeg

    And some interesting "colour" to add to that here: "The SMT tracking was easier to manage than one might expect until some of the pilots acquired magnificent horses abandoned by the Germans and the pilots learned that horse-shoes slid precariously on this surface! The airstrips and adjacent fields were extremely dusty -- a particularly hard fine dust that played hell with engine parts. In addition to the dust, there were wasps - millions of them." Close Look at B.2 Bazenville
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Links for this topic (Nb. still in progress/building - but feel free to add posts - or pm early corrections / comments etc. all the best, Rm)

    War diaries : 127 Wing RCAF, the Royal Engineers 16th Airfield Construction Group together with the RAF's 3207 and 3209 Servicing Commandos, 24th L , 1st Dorsets

    Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Normandy (descriptions & map) : Advanced Landing Grounds -- ALGs

    A close look at B2 : Close Look at B.2 Bazenville

    Bazenville memorial : 127 Wing Memorials

    No. 127 Wing RCAF : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._127_Wing_RCAF

    Forgotten Airfields in Europe has a section on Bazenville (B-2) here: Bazenville (B.2)

    Books:

    "None Had Lances" - The story of the 24th Lancers by Leonard Willis

    "Monty's Marauders" by Patrick Delaforce (and with an account of the 24th L actions there) - Monty’s Marauders

    Images:

    There's a nice mix of pics and detail of American and RAF Overlord ALGs here: http://www.globalaviationresource.c...-operation-overlord-advanced-landing-grounds/

    As well as some of these from the IWM I've picked out below:

    Mail being loaded into a Hawker Hurricane Mark IIC of No. 1697 (Air Despatch Letter Service) Flight, at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, for despatch to the United Kingdom. : ROYAL AIR FORCE TRANSPORT COMMAND, 1943-1945. (IWM FLM 2579) (Well the mail must get through :pipe: )

    Hawker Typhoon pilots of No. 181 Squadron RAF leave the briefing tent at B2/Bazenville, for a midday sortie over the Normandy battlefield. :ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945. (CL 175)

    A Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX of No. 443 Squadron RCAF taxies to dispersal along the perimeter track at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, alongside a cornfield where French farmers are gathering in the wheat with a horse-drawn harvester and binder. : http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205211620
    (Almost looks like the spitfire pilot is offering to "cut" some of the corn for them with his prop there ;) )

    And many more here too: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search...nce&query=

    Johnnie Johnson (RAF officer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Johnson_%28RAF_officer%29#Normandy_Front ) pictured in colour here at Bazenville 31/7/1944) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnni...ing_Ground,_Normandy,_31_July_1944_TR2145.jpg

    ww2talk threads

    2nd Tactical air force: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/23810-2nd-tactical-air-force/
    Advanced Landing Grounds were all 40 metres wide and either 1200 or 1700 metres long. They were of either welded steel mesh or pierced steel plates. The first strips were operational on 10 June when the following opened:
    B1 Asnelles. 600m emergency landing strip of compacted earth. 10 June
    B2 Bazenville (Brazenville). 1700m long, 40m wide. Square Mesh Track. 10 June
    B3 St. Croix sur Mer. 1200m long, 40m wide. Square Mesh Track. 10 June


    The Battle of Putot-en-Bessin (7th-11th June 1944) : http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57068-battle-of-putot-en-bessin-7th-11th-june-1944/

    The Attacks on Cristot : http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57114-the-attacks-on-cristot-10th-to-11th-16th-june-1944/
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Events for this topic (Nb. still in progress/building - but feel free to add posts - or pm early corrections / comments etc. all the best, Rm)

    pre-6th June 1944 : Neptune Outline (draft) The operation of sqns from two refuelling and re-arming strips will commence from one R & RS on D + 3 and from a second on D + 3 or D + 4. These strips will be located in the vicinity of ST CROIX-SUR-MER, 9383, and BAZENVILLE, 8982.

    Nb. There is an animated map of the Normandy campaign here: The Normandy Campaign with an idea of the allied area of control given for some specific dates.

    Tuesday 6th June 1944 - The 3rd Canadian Division landed at JUNO Beach, next to the 50th British Division at GOLD.

    Wednesday 7th June 1944 - The ground commandos for 127 Wing landed at Vers the next day, climbed the fifty metres (150 feet) and began to build Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) B.2 at Bazenville." : Close Look at B.2 Bazenville . construction of B2 Bazenville was started just after midnight D-Day (and would have been completed by 9 June, if a B-24 hadn't crash-landed and ripped up a lot of SMT tracking).

    24th L - " ‘B’ Sqn 24th L together with eight tanks of ‘A’ Sqn were used during the day for mopping up operations in the area Bazenville in which the Regiment were later to concentrate. It was revealed later that ‘B’ Sqn killed or captured over 100 German Infantrymen in this operation. Meanwhile further vehicles of the 24th L disembarked and by 2300 hours, the whole Regimental Assault party had landed.

    "According to the war diaries of the 24th Lancers ‘B’ Sqn 24th Lancers captured or killed over 100 German Infantrymen in the Bazenville area. Brazenville, three miles inland from Asnelles had been marked down for Brigade HQ. After 24th Lancers and 1st Dorsets had cleared the area, Captain Maurice Lobb i/c the Protection Troop wrote: “The Brigadier Cracroft was very fair complexion and when he flushed it rose from under his collar. The Brigade Major climbed on to Maurice’s tank and said: “I have told the Brigadier this is no place for Bde HQ. Cover us out and then get out yourself.”

    Apparently ;) : "The occupants of the village were two little French schoolgirls walking down the main street hand in hand!"
    For which see: "Monty's Marauders" by Patrick Delaforce (and with an account of the 24th L "B" squadron actions there) - Monty’s Marauders

    Thursday 8th June 1944 - At 0770 hours the 24th L assembled in the Martragny area and prepared to advance down the main Bayeux-Caen road just East of St Leger towards Loucelles and Putot-en-Bessin. (See also thread for the Battle of Putot-en-Bessin : http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/570...-bessin-7th-11th-june-1944/?hl=+putot++bessin )

    Friday 9th June 1944 - The B2 airfield at Bazenville "was bulldozed, to level it out (the south-west end to the right, was 20 feet higher than the north-east end to the left) and was covered with a Square Mesh Tracking (SMT) held to the ground with long staples. It was built by the Royal Engineers 16th Airfield Construction Group together with the RAF's 3207 and 3209 Servicing Commandos. These three groups built runways, dispersal areas, communications facilities, landing lights (and the power facilities to light them) plus the many other camp requirements. Construction was started just after midnight D-Day and would have been completed by 9 June, if a B-24 hadn't crash-landed and ripped up a lot of SMT tracking. B.2 Bazenville first serviced the 36 aircraft of 127 Wing on 11 June and the wing moved in fully on 16th June. : Close Look at B.2 Bazenville

    Saturday 10th June 1944 - Some refs. to B2 being "deemed" operational here.

    Sunday 11th June 1944 - B2 Bazenville first serviced the 36 aircraft of 127 Wing on 11 June.

    Wednesday 14th June 1944 - Hawker Typhoon pilots of Nos. 121 and 124 Wings discuss operations at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, on the evening of 14 June 1944. In the foreground, standing on the left, are five pilots of No. 175 Squadron RAF, including the Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader M R Ingle-Finch (fourth from left): on the right stand members of No. 181 Squadron RAF with their commander, Squadron Leader C D 'Kit' North-Lewis sitting on the far right. In the farthest group, those identified include Wing Commander C L Green (wearing helmet) leader of No. 121 Wing, and Squadron Leader W Pitt-Brown, commander of No. 174 Squadron RAF (on the right, wearing a lanyard). In the background, Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXs of No. 66 Squadron RAF stand at their dispersal points. : ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945. (CL 151)

    Thursday 15th June 1944 - Nearby - B6 ALG Coulombs (village between Martragny and Cully) completed. 1700m long, 40m wide. Square Mesh Track.

    Friday 16th June 1944 - 127 Wing moved in fully to Bazenville on 16th June

    19th-22nd June 1944 - Nb. Terribly stormy weather extensively damages the Mulberry harbours on the Normandy Landing beaches and restricts a lot of activity at this stage.

    Tuesday 20th June 1944 - Nearby - B7 ALG Martragny completed, 1200m long, 40m wide, (122 Wing(19,65,122), 123 Wing(198,609), 136 Wing(164,183) and 160 Squadron).

    July 1944

    Wednesday 5th July 1944 - Nearby - B15 ALG Ryes completed. 1200m long, 40m wide. Compacted earth.

    Tuesday 25th July 1944 - Nearby - B18 ALG Cristot completed, 1200m long, 40m wide, compacted earth. Runway 110.

    Monday 31st July 1944 - Johnnie Johnson (RAF officer ( http://en.wikipedia....#Normandy_Front ) pictured in colour here at Bazenville 31/7/1944) :http://en.wikipedia....1944_TR2145.jpg

    August 1944

    Sunday 6th August 1944 - Nearby - B19 ALG Lingevres (west of Tilly-sur-Seulles) completed. 1700m long, 40m wide. Compacted earth.

    Monday 28th August 1944 - "While 127 Wing operated from B.2, thousands of injured soldiers, sailors and airmen were evacuated from the base, and a constant stream of aircraft from other squadrons landed for fuel, ammunition or repair. The base was used until 28 August 1944. Today, a monument in the shape of a Spitfire wing is located in front of the church in the town of Bazenville. The location of the monument is indicated on the maps. It commemorates their stay." : Close Look at B.2 Bazenville
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  4. SeanD

    SeanD Junior Member

    I'm afraid I don't have a picture of the B24 crash but I do have a page from 689 Coy RE's war dairy which mentions it and also a side note of bravery but I'm having problems posting the image in this reply, bear with me...


    Finally !!!


    [​IMG]
     
    Ramiles, Drew5233 and Owen like this.
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Map.jpg

    Below is a map from the war diary of the SRY - which shows the intended concentration areas for the 8th Armoured Brigade regiments in Normandy.


    Sketch.jpg

    The sketch superimposed on the map above...

    Not_Pretty.jpg

    With... (From - Close Look at B.2 Bazenville )

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page