D day mystery units.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. elyncho

    elyncho Member

    Interesting suggestion Mike but very near Bdr Hall is the grave of Den Brotheridge, the guy usually claimed as the first casualty of D-Day, killed just after midnight in the attack on Pegasus Bridge. His date of death is very definitely given as 6th June.

    I suspect Hall was involved in special ops and landed on the 5th. No doubt someone out there will have the answer!

    Tim
     
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Just a thought. I have been struggling with the different timings for D day. Troops used H Hour which was slightly different for each beach. Naval bombardment units used Twilight as a datum but there is Civil Twilight set as 30 minutes before twilight and Nautical Twilight which is when you can clearly see the horizon. Airborne of course use P as a datum. When you add in Double Summer Time it makes your head hurt.

    Mike.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I have a silly thought.

    I have no idea as to how War Graves did things but when the first airborne troops landed just after midnight on the 6th they were using Double British Summer Time so it was still the 5th in France.

    This sort of thing causes confusion in the Pacific Campaign when crossing the International Date Line.

    How did they decide the date of deaths in other theatres?

    Mike

    I gave up trying to understand the times in the 1940 campaign. I think there was around 5 different times being used by all sides with the Dutch being 40 minutes behind the Belgiums, I think. Ie 9pm in Belgium and 8.20pm in Holland :lol:
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thanks to a number of suggestions, snippets of information (some very substantial) and looking at other landing tables I can partly answer my own question.

    CRU is a Landing Craft Recovery Unit (LCRU) RN which worked in conjunction with Landing Barges Emergency Repair (LBE). The units function was to refloat stranded minor landing craft.

    The other mystery units and vehicles are all RN Signals including
    VHF Simplex
    VHF Duplex
    Heavy Mobile Signal Section
    Light Mobile Signal Section
    VHF D/F
    VHF Maintenance Section
    Radar.

    Can any one identify the functions of these units?
    Can any one suggest what the vehicle might be?
    Does anyone understand the technology and organisation of RN signals?

    Mike
     
  5. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Mike (and any other interested parties)
    Do you know the website of the "Royal Navy Museum of Radar & Communications"?
    It's a little difficult to navigate arround [perhaps because it's not the museum of navigation:rolleyes:] but if you go to this page you will see several links near the bottom of the page - look particularly at "Naval Radio Vans pt1" and find NRV34 and NRV42 - these might be something like what we are looking for.

    One the whole, my opinion is that most of the units described were designed for FAA operations in the far east with Mobile Naval Air Bases {MONABs} but something similar might have been used for Overlord/Neptune.

    Noel
    p.s. there's something in there which might be a Golden Arrow
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thanks Noel.

    This is a very useful link. I have visited this site before but I did not manage to navigate to the vehicles. I read some pages but words like megahertz and centimetric make me run for cover.

    Mike
     
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Yes Noel there is a nice picture of Wireless Transmitter SWB8E which is the main component of Golden Arrow. (A two semi trailer set of high powered wireless equipment used in 21 Army Group).

    A careful study of a thread on Maple Leaf Up (am I allowed to mention them) shows that several ex Royal Navy Morris Commercial 8cwt PUs still exist. It seems there were quite a few landing on D day with Royal Navy signals.

    On Sword there were four PUs carrying 'Local VHF Duplex' and one with VHF Repair Section. Similar vehicles landed on Gold/Mike. Presumably Juno had them as well. These are voice sets but the precise function is as yet unknown.


    The mystery 30cwt Austin listed as landing with the Landing Craft Recovery Unit will probably remain a mystery since a post action report suggests that it was replaced by a 3ton 4 X 4 before D Day.
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Stranger and stranger.

    I seem to have strayed from mystery units to mystery vehicles landing on D Day. Landing from motor transport coasters with 1 Corps vehicles are two RN vehicles listed as 30cwt Dodge. The only vehicle fitting this description seems to be Dodge T203 30cwt 4 X 4 which was an ex French contract vehicle delivered in 1940. It also fits the dimensions of the 30cwt, 21 foot 4inches long, in Post 1. If Morris 8cwt PUs were landing on D day the Dodge T203 is at least possible. Is it likely? Does anyone know?

    If the Morris and Dodge 1940 vehicles were there then the earlier reference to 30cwt Austin could be correct also.

    Remember Sherlock Holmes 'When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth'.

    Any thoughts would be welcome.
     
  9. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I'l be watching this thread with interest as it may throw some light on a grave in Ranville churchyard that's mystified me for years.
    Bdr H Hall of 53rd Airlanding Light Reg RA is buried there with a gravestone that gives his date of death as 5th June. I assume he was attached to special forces, possibly on Op Titanic?

    Good luck with the research

    Tim
    Link here on op Titanic http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/general/21428-operation-titanic-paradummies.html however I think he was more than likely a FOO with one of the Para Battalions, and and given that most of those landed in France between 0020 hrs and 0100 hrs this would fit in nicely with the time diffrences, already mentioned hence the date of death as 5th June.[​IMG] Go To It Gunners - Home
     
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Strange how things turn up. A new page has been added in the last few days to the Naval-History.Net site This gives an apparently complete, and very long list, of Royal Navy shore parties including a surprising number of those which were present in Normandy. When I started this thread earlier this month I had no idea most of these existed.

    I now have details of a number of the units landing on Sword on D Day which I hope to post soon if anyone is interested. I also have a great many more questions.

    Mike
     
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Do these make sense to anyone? All landed on Sword on the first tide.

    Shown on Landing Tables but as yet unidentified.
    7 men from 175 'R' detachments. To report to HQ 101 Beach Sub Area.
    14 men from 178 'G' (R) detachment.

    22 men with 3 handcarts and a motorcycle from Nucleus BAN Section. For MBSS.
    15 men with 3 handcarts ans a motorcycle from Nucleus BAN Section. For MBSS.

    Known to have landed but not on the Landing Tables.
    Naval party 1574. Also known as 'P' Party No4.

    Mike.
     
  12. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Just been looking at the war diaries of HQ "R" Force from 1944 & 1945. The titles of these war diaries include the letters G (R) and (R) amongst the docs. I think 175 & 178 could be some of the units under command. The CO was Col Strangeways who dealt with matters of cammoflage & deception of the enemy.

    Will look through some more of the pages to see if I can identify what the 175 & 178 refer to.
     
  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I had hoped that 'R' referred to 'R' Force but the evidence was flimsy. I know they were active in SE England on deception work. Also 3 Division orders mention decoy sites in the Sword area. These were to include:
    a dummy beach layout
    a dummy beach exit
    dummy bridges over the Orne.

    Were these actually built? 21 men are not enough. Were they advisers using engineers and pioneers?

    Anyway this is a good lead and well worth following up.

    Mike
     
  14. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The main pages state they do not include the docs of the supporting units . It records that the main diary should be read in conjunction with the supporting unit diaries, but does not give you the names of these units. Not very helpful I'm afraid, but it does indicate that Royal Engineers & Royal Corps of Signals figure amongst them. Later on it does mention units such as RE Special Field Companys.
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Things begin to fit. It only needs a couple of stray facts to spark an idea and stir a memory. I remember now that deception included a lot of signals as well as camouflage engineers and I have a number of unidentified signals units. I will try a little cross referencing.

    Mike
     
  16. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Here is a copy of the war diary page with some of those units that were under command. Might give you some pointers on what to look for.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Fantastic.

    So 'R' Force personnel are a specialist headquarters section with engineers and signals (and RAF Regiment) under command.

    I can work with that. Thanks a lot. I like to learn something every day but don't always manage it.

    Mike
     
  18. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The original query on page one sounds mighty like some sort of sapper unit. There were several different units at that time, from our Field Companies to Assault companies to AVREs and many more odds and ends "Under Command" All with designated tasks that had to be fulfilled.
    For instance let me quote from my company ...The first mine and enemy free path from the beach to the road was created by using a "Armoured Bulldozer" Where did that came from????????
     
  19. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Trux

    I got these diaries for someone who knows a Vet who served in one of these units. I'll contact them to see if they can throw any more light on the subject.

    Talking of light, I read the diaries again and they mention beach light decoy units being attached to Beach Sub Areas. Will attach them in the next post

    Cheers - Rob
     
  20. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Looked the diaries again and have attached some pages.

    In the 3rd page, it states the difficulty of locating these units in the marshalling area due to their small size. This information might be sending you on a wild goose chase. I hope not.
     

    Attached Files:

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