D Day Landing Craft Markings

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

  1. Gavin,

    As Danny said above, LCI(L) 380 was part of 263 LCI(L) Flotilla (twelve craft) which apparently supplied the nine LCI(L) of Group 11, planned for Touch Down at H+150, and carrying mainly troops as follows:

    2 KSLI (LTIN 311-313) QUEEN WHITE
    1 NORFOLK (LTIN 317-319) QUEEN RED

    However, I don't know if LCI(L) 380 was among these nine craft of Group 11 or not. The only confirmed Hull No.-LTIN match I have is LCI(L) 164 (LTIN 313).

    On D Day LCI(L) 380 was commanded by Temporary Lieutenant Ronald CHAPMAN, R.N.V.R. (seniority 27.2.42).

    Force S Orders dated 21 May 44 state that LCI(L) 380 was to carry Lieutenant Commander M.O.W. MILLER, R.N. (Emergency, seniority 15.9.35), who was the Commander of 'I' LCT Squadron.

    LCI(L) 377 was to carry Temporary Lieutenant Frederick George NEWMAN (seniority 17.7.43), 263 LCI(L) Flotilla Officer.

    LCI(L) 380 was therefore to be Squadron Flagship, with LCI(L) 377 as Flotilla Flagship.

    If you can share some of your grandfather's memoirs, and even photos if you have any, we might be able to determine more precisely what LCI(L) 380 was up to on D Day.

  2. H2T OZ

    H2T OZ Member

    Upon reading my grandfather's memoirs once more, noted that his cousin George Walters was actually with the 2nd Warwicks.

    Hi Michel,

    Thank you for the above details, an incredible wealth of assistance with guidance and information.

    The following details are from his memoirs associated with Normandy landings and other movements thereafter on LCI (L) 380.

    From what I have on-hand, my grandfather's memoirs mention the following details;

    1. They commenced approach to Sword Beach at 07:15 hrs. (No mention of troops on board)

    2. LCI (L) 380 was at one stage was carrying the 2nd Warwicks to Sword Beach during Operation Overlord.

    3. That apparently a young inexperienced skipper onboard LCI (L) 380 panicked at one point drew his revolver and threatened the squadron commander,
    demanding that he turn the ship around and return to England. He was subdued and placed under arrest, and upon his arrival back in England he was
    sent for a psychiatric assessment.

    4. That when he was onboard LCI (L) 380 he did around 37 trips from Newhaven across the channel to France. Many of them to Sword, Juno & Gold beaches,
    Arromanches Beaches, Calais, Dieppe and many trips to "A" Mulberry Harbour. They would carry troops and supplies e.t.c., and return to England with P.O.W.

    5. The craft ran into a beach defence spike at one point, and took on water on the port bow. Delayed extraction from beach for around 45 mins.
    They used the stern kedge anchor to assist recovery. Slow but safe return to England.

    6. The crew talked about music to boost the troops enthusiasm when attacking the beach head, and that his selection of the Warsaw Concerto was
    played over the ships loudspeakers. (Very Apocalypse Now!!)

    7. His cousin was with the 2nd Warwicks onboard at one point during the Sword Beach landings. Doesn't mention with what group or division, his name was
    George Walters. He saw him disembark, run to the beach, then drop shortly after. He lost sight of him after that, however learned in later days back in
    England that he was only wounded and survived.

    8. The "watchkeeper" on LCI (L) 380 was a man by the name of Jock Whitehead.

    Unfortunately I don't have any photos of his that are associated with his time in LCI (L) 380, and there seems to be no images of her on the internet either.

    I am awaiting copies of some other memoirs of his, but the portion regarding his posting in LCI (L) 380 seems to be all there. I think!!

    Bunts likes this.
  3. Finally found it! LCI(L) 380 was alloted LTIN 311 during Exercise FABIUS IV, and most probably retained it for OVERLORD. Another Hull Number/LTIN for Group 11 is LCI(L) 278 378 (312), also seen on 5 May 44 during Ex FABIUS.

    We therefore have all three LCI(L) of 263 LCI(L) Flotilla which were planned to land 2 KSLI on QUEEN WHITE at H+150, assuming they kept their FABIUS LTINs:

    LTIN 311 - LCI(L) 380 ("I" Squadron Commander on board)
    LTIN 312 - LCI(L) 278 378 [Edit: typo corrected, see Posts # 65 & 67 below]
    LTIN 313 - LCI(L) 164

    Source: IWM H 38213 here:

    Now as for the troops LCI(L) 380 carried, your grandfathers' memoirs mentioning 2 WARWICK (point 2 in your post, see below) and not 2 KSLI is not necessarily in contradiction with LTIN 311, because of your point 4 below:

    It wouldn't be surprising that in one of these 37 trips some 2 WARWICK personnel was carried.

  4. H2T OZ

    H2T OZ Member

    Hi Michel,

    Thank you for the above update, and photo information. I have sent an e-mail to your private address,
    and would be extremely grateful for a copy of that pic.

  5. Arty

    Arty Member


    Far be it for me to nitpick your great work, however regards LTIN 312 are you sure that the pennant no. was 278 or was that a typo? Or have you found another pic?

    In the IWM photo H38213 - the LCI(L) on the right with the LTIN 312 is a ‘late’ production craft (ie. from pennant 351 on). Notwithstanding the fact that we can’t see the craft’s pennant number in the photo it couldn’t be 278. Is it possibly 378?

    The 263 Flotilla list I have doesn’t have 278 but there is a 378.…

  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  7. Arty,

    You're absolutely correct again, that's a (double !) typo. The Hull Number is indeed 378, not 278, and is inferred from the Flotilla list and what little can be seen on the photo: look at each side of the LTIN panel and you'll see part of a "3" on the left (starboard) and of an "8" on the right (port). Thus the Hull Number is 3x8, and the only craft to match this in 263 Flotilla is 378:

    LCI(L) 380 (311) & 378 (312) - Notes.jpg

    Thanks for this correction!

  8. Lawrence,

    The 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos (1er BFMC) was carried by LCI(S) 527 (LTIN 190) and 523 (LTIN 191), both of 201 LCI(S) Flotilla.
    LCI(S) 527 was commanded by Tempy. Lt. Charles Frederick CRAVEN, R.N.V.R. (seniority 11.6.43) and carried No.1 Troop.
    LCI(S) 523 was commanded by Tempy. Sub-Lt. John William Henry "Jack" BERRY, R.N.V.R. (seniority 1.7.43) and carried No.8 Troop.
    HQ and K-Guns Sections were split between the two craft.

    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  9. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

    As a novice researcher looking into the history of my late grandfather's WW2 service, (SD&G Highlanders), I follow the path of where the "evidence" takes me. I too want to find out which landing craft he was aboard on D-Day. If I could share what I have learned .... Each soldier, (in this instance my research focused on Canadian material), was issued an Embarkation Tag prior to boarding their specific craft. The Canadian Embarkation Tag includes the following: 1)Name or Serial of Ship or Craft 2)Unit Serial 3)Corps 4)Regimental No. 5)Rank 6)Name 7)Trade, Appointment or Specialist Qual. At the bottom of the Embarkation Tag there are specific instructions for the officer collecting the tags from each soldier as they boarded their craft, that detailed where the tags were to be forwarded. The destination according to the tag was, 2nd Echelon.
    I went to LAC and accessed the War Diaries of the 'Canadian Section G.H.Q. 2 Echelon - 21 Army Group'.
    In the War Diaries I found detailed information about how the information based on the collected Embarkation Tags was to be handled. Nominal Rolls were created and sent to 6 different locations:
    1)Original Copy-went with Landing Craft / Landing Ship
    2)2nd Copy-went to AAG-Pers
    3)3rd Copy- went to Casualties & Effects Section
    4)4th Copy-kept on a master file in the main office
    5)5th Copy-went to Statistics & WE Section
    6)6th Copy-unit clerks copy

    I do not know if I am on the correct path, (following the documents based on Embarkation Tag returns), as I have hit a road block at LAC in finding these Nominal Rolls. I have sent the Archives a question about this topic in the hopes I receive some guidance / assistance in this matter.
    I would be grateful for any expertise or suggestions in this forum as well .... but please remember, I'm just an amateur at this. Thank you so much.
  10. Welcome to the forum prairie4me,

    Thank you for sharing your findings. You certainly did a great job so far in tracing how the Embarkation Tags were processed. Now unfortunately I can't help you find where to get the Nominal Rolls, supposing (and hoping) that they were archived somewhere, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to know it, and hopefully some other forum member can set you in the right direction.

    There might however be an additional way of finding your grandfather's landing craft, and that would be from the detailed Battalion Landing Tables that were attached to the Operation Order for D Day, and which are sometimes included in the War Diary of the Battalion or their parent Brigade, or sometimes even Division. These would usually not show individual names, but should at least specify which Company, if not which Platoon, went to which craft, so if you know some such detail about your grandfather's position within SD&G Highrs, AND you can find these Tables, then you would maybe get the landing craft Serial too.

    On D Day the SD&G Highrs landed from a variety of craft:

    LCI(L) Serials 1709, 1710, 1711
    LCT(4) Serials 1715, 1726, 1727, 1728, 1729
    LST(2) Serials 1740, 1741, 1743

    Do you know if your grandad was on foot or with a vehicle?

  11. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

    Thank you much Michel for your reply - very much appreciated. I must admit, I feel a little timid about contributing to forums where there are members that are so very knowledgeable and have far more information than myself.
    I have indeed spent numerous hours at LAC going through the SD&G War Diaries page by page. I discovered the Landing Tables that you made reference to and they just name the Serial Command person. My grandfather was a CQMS in charge of 3 trucks but my father tells me his dad carried a bike to shore, so it sounds like he may not have actually been with his vehicles. I should mention that I am in contact with a WW2 D-Day veteran, (94 years young and sharp as a tack!), who knew my grandfather as they were both members of HQ Coy.
    The War Diaries I mentioned in my first posting also talk about the handling of British Embarkation Tags. They were to be forwarded to GHQ British 2nd Ech 21 A Group. A plan had to be established and details had to be worked out especially where boatloads contained a mix of British and Canadian soldiers. I just assumed that when so much detailed documentation in the War Diaries was discussed, the Nominal Rolls must exist somewhere.
    I shall keep looking and if I discover anything that may help others, I will share the information immediately.
    Kind Regards,
  12. Well, don't! :) We all started knowing nothing or worse, having flawed information, and what little knowledge we might have gathered comes in a large part through the help of others, plus you have already done a great deal of homework all by yourself, much more than can be said of some newcomers who seem to expect existing forum members to do all the work for them :rolleyes:.

    This would mean that he landed in one of the three LCI(L), the only ones listed as also carrying bicycles (the only 'vehicles' which could be landed from such craft, apart from 'Motorcycle, Airborne' i.e. 'light' motorcycles, and handcarts). But even this is not 100% certain, as the landing tables I refer to date back to 13 April 1944, and probably underwent a number of minor changes before D Day. The ones you have seen as part of the Battalion War Diary are certainly more recent, thus more accurate. Did you by any chance make copies or photos of them?

    Here's the load for these three LCI(L) (from Trux' great thread on JUNO here: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/51316-juno-beach/?p=603846):

    Although scheduled to land on Nan Red this wave was diverted to Nan White Beach and was also delayed for almost an hour.

    Three LCI(L) carry Stormont, Dundas and Glengary Highlanders.
    *Serial 1709 is an LCI(L) carrying
    182 men with 11 bicycles GS and 120 bicycles folding from Stormont, Dundas and Glengary Highlanders.

    *Serial 1710 is an LCI(L) carrying
    180 men with 11 bicycles GS and 120 bicycles folding from Stormont, Dundas and Glengary Highlanders.
    2 men. Contact Detachment

    *Serial 1711 is an LCI(L) carrying
    180 men with 120 bicycles folding from Stormont, Dundas and Glengary Highlanders.

    Can you disclose the full name, rank and service number of your grandfather?

    Finally, the D Day veteran you're in contact with might know which type of craft you father landed from, or at least some details which could enable us to identify the type.

  13. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

    The full name, rank and service number for my grandfather is: Charles R. Dunk, Company Quarter Master Sergeant, C-53108, SD&G Highlanders. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for his actions near Deventer, the Netherlands.
    I did photograph the 2 pages of Landing Tables, (dated 16 May 1944), for the SD&G.
    From research in many places, I have been able to cross-reference a few Craft Serial Numbers with the Craft Number:
    LCI-L 299 ... Craft Serial 1709
    LCI-L 306 ... Craft Serial 1708
    LCI-L 276 ... Craft Serial 1705
    LCT 636 ... Craft Serial 1729
    I found an article about the Landing Ship Tank, HMS Royal Ulsterman and learned it carried amongst others, HLI, NNSH and SD&G on D-Day. From Report # 147 Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters, the roll of the Royal Ulsterman was to be an alternate headquarters ship as a precautionary measure on D-Day. The Landing Table for the SDG includes 3 LST's so one of them must be the Royal Ulsterman, (Craft Serials 1740, 1741 & 1743).
    My D-Day veteran friend states with certainty that he was aboard LCI-L 299 (Craft Serial 1709). Several Detachment Commands are named in the Landing Tables. Sadly, I never showed any interest in all of this when my grandfather was alive and I have deep regret about that.
    I am still awaiting a response from Library & Archives Canada to see if they can help me discover the "trail of Embarkation Tags" documents. Thank you so much for all of the information you have supplied Michel ...... very much appreciated.
  14. Thank you for the details about your grandfather Cathy.

    The Serial-Hull number matches you found are correct. The two additional LCI(L) carrying SD&G Highrs are:

    Serial 1710 - LCI(L) 270
    Serial 1711 - LCI(L) 115

    These are numerous photos showing most of these LCI(L) before, during and after D Day at LAC.

    HMS Royal Ulsterman was not an LST (Landing Ship, Tank), but an LSI(H) ((Landing Ship, Infantry (Hand-Hoisting)), carrying six LCA ((Landing Craft, Assault) on hand-operated davits. She was Serial 1701, and the April Landing Tables do not show any SD&G Highrs personnel on board. See:

    However, it is possible that SD&G Highrs were added before D Day.

    Could you kindly post the photos you took of the Landing Table in the War Diary? Click on the "More Reply Options" button at the bottom right of the page, then the "Browse..." button just below the Message Editing box, select the photos, OK, then "Attach This File", and repeat until you're done. Hopefully we might find some hint about who went to which craft.

  15. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

  16. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

    The article I read about the Royal Ulsterman was from the CombinedOps website. I'm unsure as to the accuracy plus I found this information early on in my research. Thank you for correcting the information .... it's a learning process for me!
    Page 2 of SD&G Landing Tables to follow.
  17. prairie4me

    prairie4me Junior Member

  18. Not to worry, mixing up the many sorts of landing craft and ships happens all the time. Just one letter makes all the difference, so it's easy to misread.

    Thanks for posting the Landing Table. It's very detailed so we can proceed by elimination, and rule out:
    - all Serials which do not include HQ Coy: 1715, 1726, 1727 & 1740
    - Serial(s) where there's only one OR per one vehicle of HQ Coy (since a CMQS did not drive himself), and no other OR: 1741
    - probably also Serial 1743, since the HQ Coy Detachment Commander is given as "CQMS Fairs", thus not your grandfather who, had he been in this ship, would I believe have been considered senior to the other CQMS and therefore given the command of the detachment.

    There still remain five possible Serials:
    - LCI(L) Serials 1705, 1709, 1710 & 1711
    - LCT(4) Serials 1728 (then he would be the one OR listed last on the Landing Table for this craft) and 1729

    Not really a progress, but at least we know that your grandfather was (most probably) not in an LST.

    Does your veteran friend know with certainty that your grandfather did not do the passage in the same craft? In that case we would be able to eliminate Serial 1709 as well.

  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Perusing one of those 'D-Day photos you haven't seen' type threads and saw this which may be of interest; I'm not sure if that's really a 3 Div sign on it's stern:

    LCM 1241 Sword Beach.jpg
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Mike (Trux) may be the best person to ask but I'm sure in some of the diaries I've copied the Landing Tables showed beaches or sectors were allocated coloured shapes could this be the case this was a coloured triangle indicating a specific location? I've seen lists of Landing Craft allocated to specific units so it may be possible to ID who was in it at Battalion level, may be down to a Company.

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