D Day Landing Craft Markings

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Noel Burgess, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Arty

    Arty Member

    And then there was the Reinforcement Company, which according to an unreliable source, didn't land until 2300hrs 14June.

    Notwithstanding the last sensible post (#200 from MS that is) I'm going to now make this completely ridiculous...by calculating an 'average' definitive time (& day) for the arrival of 2 RUR.

    The first officer of 2 RUR to step ashore on 06June was Capt Ryan (ie. OC HQ Coy/ULO) - in theory about 1135hrs from LCT LTIN 353 (but quite possibly earlier, on board an LCI(L) with 185 Bde, methinks).

    The last officer to step ashore was probably in the Reinforcement Company on the late evening of 14 June.

    'Average' definitive time was 'therefore' about afternoon tea-time on 10June. Which illogically means the entire Battalion missed D-Day.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  2. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Hi Michel

    Slight update on this photo, I have recently been contacted by the great Nephew of Rifleman Andrew Charles M.M. 6986230 of 2RUR (still living) who has the same photo hanging at his home and has confirmed that it is him stood on the far right with his Bren gun (which he subsequently used to great effect in securing his MM) so think it fair to now confirm this specific photo is 2RUR.


    Quis Separabit

    Troops of "A" Company, 2 RUR pause in La Brèche d'Hermanville during their move inland 6 June 1944 from Queen Red Beach. On the right are Rifleman McNaul from County Antrim and Rifleman Charles with his Bren Gun (subsequently awarded the Military Medal for his actions on 18th July outside Troarn (IWM image)
  3. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Back on to the subject of Landing Craft and landing sites, I have now established that my whilst attached to 2RUR, on DDay my dad was CO of 9th British Infantry Brigade Defence Platoon who according to Marcel's March timetable were originally scheduled to be on either LCT(4) 365 and LCT(4) 370 - would anyone have any idea as where they could have landed on Queen White?

    I have seen reference elsewhere to 2RUR leaving the beach at "Exit 11" before moving inland to the assembly area "North of Hermanville Sur Mer" but am not sure of specific location.

    I am making a flying (sailing) visit to Sword Queen beach tomorrow and would like to try and retrace some of steps if possible so any hints/tips/links to relevant details would be greatly appreciated.


    Quis Separabit

  4. Hi Quis,

    Great find, and nice to know that Andrew CHARLES is still with us. This settles the matter then.

    I attach his Recommendation for Award, which says he was in 'B' Coy on 19th July 1944, not 'A' Coy as per the caption above. It is however possible that he moved from 'A' to 'B' Coy in the meantime.


    Attached Files:

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  5. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Hi Michel

    Not entirely sure how you found that so quickly but excellent work!

    Recommendation has now been added to the website at 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles in WW2: 2 RUR Honours and Awards and I will forward on a copy to Rifleman Charles and his great Nephew...

    Many thanks.

    Quis Separabit

    P.S. I will do a bit more digging on the specific Company as the original description in Orr's "The Rifles Are There" book states "A Company, 2nd Battalion, inland from Queen Red...." and so with hindsight could simply be making reference to one of 2RUR Companies rather than "A" Company specifically....
  6. LTIN 365 was LCT(4) 675, and LTIN 370 was LCT(4) 612, the same as for Exercise FABIUS.

    LCT 675 (365) embarking troops during Exercise FABIUS IV:
    LCT(4) 675 (365), Ex FABIUS IV May 44 - IWM A23670.jpg
    Source: File:The Royal Navy during the Second World War A23670.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    LCT(4) 675 (365), Ex FABIUS IV May 44 - IWM A23671.jpg
    Source: File:Preparations For Operation Overlord (the Normandy Landings)- D-day 6 June 1944 A23671.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    LCT 612 (370), also during Exercise FABIUS IV (Source: IWM A23672). Note the bicycles loaded on the tank. Since, as per the Landing Table, 9 Br Inf Bde Def Pl is the only unit supposed to have bicycles, the tank-cum-bike riders must be your father's fellows. Maybe you father is among the group too. Pity that they turn their back at us:
    LCT(4) 612 (370), Ex FABIUS IV May 44 - IWM A23672.jpg

    Note that the load of these two craft was different on D Day, with at least several of the tanks being loaded on an LST instead. It is however probable that the other units listed remained in the same craft for D Day.


    PS - As much as I would love to write like Marcel Proust or play the guitar like Marcel Dadi, I share neither their gift nor their first name with them ;)
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  7. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Hi Michel

    Even more impressive response time and content!

    If OK with you I will post the images and your observations on to the new 9th Infantry Brigade blog I am putting together at 9th British Infantry Brigade During World War 2

    I will take a closer look at the images but as you say will be a challenge to ID anyone in particular.....

    As you are clearly expert on the landings and craft, any idea whereabouts on Queen White they may have landed on D-Day?

    In the meantime, Rifleman Andy Charles' great nephew (Andrew) is also very grateful for the copy of the M.M. recommendation.....

    "That’s great. I am being interviewed by the BBC this afternoon about him.

    I have never seen this version of the recommendation.

    This is fantastic.

    Thanks very much!

    Andrew "​

    Thanks again.

    Quis Separabit

    P.S. Marcel Marceau more my level/style....
  8. Quis,

    You're welcome to use the images and observations as you see fit. I'm glad Andrew liked the Recommendation.

    Quis Separabit likes this.
  9. adcharles

    adcharles New Member

    As a Great Nephew of Rifleman Andy Charles MM I'd like to thank you for the signed recommendation of the award of Military Medal. There's a photo on me on the road to Troarn where he won his MM.

    Attached is a photo of Andy in his youth and a photo which hangs in his hallway of him with 'Monty' when he was awarded his MM. Also attached is a photo of him taken July 2017 with me and my father. He's aged well! I also include a photo of his MM citation (probably wrong word).

    Thank you once again!

    He had a half-brother in the 1st Bn. RUR (6th Airborne) who was killed by 'friendly fire' on 8th June 1944 at Longueval. I've attached a photo of his grave in Ranville. 40555932_2064052193909091_3101485889776254976_n.jpg 40784114_2088534497832815_4603338530444279808_n.jpg IMG_4607.JPG IMG_4588 (Edited).jpg IMG_5147.jpg IMG_5186.jpg
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  10. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Hi Michel

    Huge thanks once again for turning an aimless wonder around Normandy in to a target and (surprisingly for me) walk/cycle in my father's footsteps...

    End result, no time wasted during a mad 36 hour trip and even had time to spot and photograph buildings that had been suspected to be backdrop to 2RUR photos (in short, circa 150 metres inland from where they landed to just reinforces theories).

    On the final leg home but will post some stuff when I have recovered....

    Quis Separabit
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  11. Arty

    Arty Member

    Regards IWM photo A23672, this nicely illustrates two very tiny pieces of the bigger plan. Firstly, the cluster of guys with their bicycles are hitching a ride onto LCT 612 (LTIN 370) are quite probably from 9 Inf Bde HQ Def Pl) as per the March 44 Landing Table. Secondly, the armoured vehicle they’re riding on is not technically a tank – it’s an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (Sherman III ARV) – also as per the March 44 Landing table…

    As for the specific arrival location of the LCTs of Group 18 carrying the East Riding Yeomanry and 9 Inf Bde HQ Def Pl...
    One of the many aerial photographs taken on 06June is particular handy. That is, from Sortie US7-1751. Frame No. 2103 is the clearest. The photo was probably taken about 1400hrs (the War Diary of the ERY states: “1315 LCTs came under fire from enemy coast guns. The craft withdrew out of range. 1412 LCTs touched down…”). The photo shows LCTs landing elements of ERY on Queen White adjacent Exit #15.

    NB. The LCT’s carrying ERY were due to land on Queen White and Queen Red – however there are no LCT’s seen offloading on Queen Red at the time.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  12. adcharles

    adcharles New Member

    Does anyone know where you can access the RUR Journal, Quis Separabit?
  13. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Hi Arty

    Thanks for this, and all seems to tie in with other comments made previously.

    Excuse my ignorance, but where can I find the photo from Sortie US7-1751. Frame No. 2103?

    Many thanks.

  14. Arty

    Arty Member


    Don’t get too excited – this pic was taken from 20,000 feet - so you’re not going to see a lot of detail!

    This is a screen grab, with relevant details that I’ve added. Nb. I’m also sending you a short PM.

    This grab shows the full width of Queen White – marked by Exit #18 (eastern edge) and Exit #11 (western edge). Queen Red is further to the left (east) of this pic.

    The time is about 1400 hrs – the tide is now receding very quickly – making it very ‘dodgy’ for craft now arriving ie. they are likely to get stuck on the beach as they land their respective vehicles/troops.

    Adjacent Exit #11 are three of the nine LCI(L)’s of Group 16, which landed the infantry battalions of 9 Inf Bde about 1200hrs ie. including the main body of 2 RUR. These three LCI(L)s remained stuck onto the beach until the second tide came in later in the day.

    In the centre of the pic (circled) are five LCT 4’s. These are almost certainly from Group 18 – due to land at H+330 (ie.1255hrs) - though delayed by congestion on the beaches/shelling.

    By the time the next photo sortie arrived overhead about 20 to 30 minutes later, the five LCT’s had landed their cargo. At least another five LCT’s had also arrived and landed their cargo, also on Queen White.

    The original plan was that Group 18, consisting of twelve LCTs, was to land the RHQ & the three squadrons of the East Riding Yeomanry (ERY) in one wave. On board the same group were elements of various other units including 21 men of the 9 Inf Bde HQ Defence Platoon. However, as the plan evolved (as mentioned by Michel in previous posts) there were numerous changes eg. A Squadron & 1 Troop of B Squadron ERY apparently ended up onboard LSTs (Landing Ship Tank).

    According to the original plan six of the twelve LCT’s of Group 18 were due to land on Queen White ie. LTIN’s 365 to 370. The other six LCT’s of Group 18 were due land on Queen Red ie. LTIN’s 371 to 375. This is reflected in the original Landing Table on19Mar44, and, still the plan according to ONEAST/S7B on 21May44. By 06June this had quite probably changed.

    Group 18 arrives.jpg
    Back to the grab…Although this photo was taken from high altitude, we can we be 99% sure that the many of the vehicles sitting on the decks of these particular LCT’s are Shermans. That is, given the approximate time, and the physical size of the vehicles onboard, they can only be the Shermans of the East Riding Yeomanry.

    Now I’m going out on a very, very long and very, very shaky limb. On one of these LCT’s we can actually count 7 Shermans, with three smaller vehicles behind them on the tank deck - universal carriers perhaps. In the original Landing Tables this was the exact vehicle load of LTIN 365 (excluding motorcycles and bicycles). This LCT was one of the two LCT’s that was carrying 9 Inf Bde Def Pl. Too good to be true perhaps?

    I’m going to add…I’m yet to see any real evidence that 2 RUR landed anywhere but on Queen White.

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  15. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    Many thanks once again to Michel and Arty for filling the gaps and bringing my visit to life.

    The end result was that I was able to head straight to Queen White from the ferry on my trusty (and dusty) bicycle, en route bumping in to more than 80 pipers retracing Bill Millin's steps and tunes, some Royal Signals re-enacting the release of pigeons by Exit 11 on Queen White, and finally re-tracing the exact locations where 2 RUR and the rest of the 9th Brigade landed and made their way inland.

    On the way I managed to take some current day photos which try to match IWM versions as below, including a couple appearing on signs in Hermanville Sur Mer (one wrongly identifying 2RUR as part of 185th Infantry Brigade?) and one photo-shopped by Andrew Charles to show past and present combined with his Great Uncle and other 2RUR.... all taken from the area around the crossroads circa 100 metres directly inland from Exit 11 - see Google Maps

    I can see a new rabbit hole opening up for me to disappear down and will go back through all of the previous posts to try and formulate as complete a picture as possible.

    Thanks again.


    P.S. I also took a few snaps of other buildings on the Queen White beachfront including "Les Sables" and "Pergola" plus some video of the Sword Queen panorama from the beach due North of Exit 11 if of any interest, though not sure if this is right place to post....








  16. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member Patron

    In case of any interest, I've enclosed a link to some photos and video taken of Sword Queen Red/White and Hermanville on 6 June 2019 as below:


    including photo and video taken from the beach almost directly opposite Exit 11. There was a bit of hurried to-ing and fro-ing and I avoided what looked like modern buildings so not necessarily in order but clicking on Info icon shows time and location of photo and generally order goes:
    • Sword beach East to West
    • photo of Exit 11 from beach
    • back along Sword for a bit from West to East (to take photos of some I had missed)
    • Hermanville-Sur-Mer
    with a bit of video of pipers on beach commemorating Bill Millin's arrival (which for some reason is shown with incorrect time and out of synch?).

    Hopefully is of interest and can be matched up with older photos already posted....

  17. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    adcharles Great to see a picture of your great uncle and good to know that he is still with us. I was staying in a hotel just up the Troarn Escoville road during the recent celebrations, not far from the brickworks and close to where my grandfather Lt H.D.D.Oneill 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles was wounded and where your uncle won his award. Please send him my best regards if you get the chance. Cheers, Ed

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