Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ferguson73uk, Feb 18, 2009.
Thanks. Looks like 235 and 236 didn't come through (?)
Thanks. Looks like 235 and 236 didn't come through (?)
It didn't the first time. You'll find pages 235 & 236 at the top of page 2 of this thread.
Thanks. Looks like 235 and 236 didn't come through (?)
Post No. 11 mate
Excellent stuff. Thanks, Rob.
I happened upon these posts whilst researching my family tree. My Grandfather, Royal Marine Gunner Stanley Booth was one of the very few survivors from the explosion of the LCF1.
My grandfather survived to 79 years old & died 6 yrs ago now but i still remember the stories he told us of his 'war years'. I feel priveleged to have had such a wonderful & indeed lucky grandfather and will always feel very proud of him. I'm also very lucky to be here as there were only 6 survivors (from memory) from the explosion. He suffered Tintinitus from the blast which I only found out about when I read some of his memoirs, unfortunately this was a constant reminder throughout his life of that dreadful day when he lost nearly all of his comrades.
He wrote some memoirs, if you're interested I could send you them to you if you supply your address - I'll scan a photograph I have that was taken of all the crew docked in Portsmouth before the final voyage!
Hi and welcome to the forum. I am a bit of a LCT buff (Uncle died on a Mk3) and try to collect as much as I can about all LCTs and variants. I would be very interested to see what you have if you could scan (or photograph) and post here. My main interest is Mk3 LCTs but I am also currently helping people with research on LCMs and Mk1 LCTs. Also know an ex-RM gunner who was on LCGs on the Trout Lines.
Could you post the foto of LCF1 crew or PM me with it? My uncle, Temporary Lt Peter Fairhurst of the Royal Marines, was killed in the incident.
My father was one of those killed on HMLCF1 on 17th August 1944.
Does anyone have a picture or sketch of that craft?
I would greatly appreciate any information relating to the incident.
Thanks in advance,
Hi Phil and welcome to WW2Talk.
Have you read the whole thread? I think you will find most of your questions are addressed there, including a picture of a LCF but not LCF1.
Have you read the whole thread?
Ah I should have said I'd merged Phil's own thread into this older one on same topic so Phil wouldn't have read the whole thread until he'd seen my note on his profile saying I'd moved it.
My father served on HMLCF1 which I understand was originally Beach Patrol Craft 1 (BPC).
He was an Able Seaman and was involved in the Dieppe Raid and Operation Neptune when HMLCF1 was torpedoed and sank on 17/08/1944.
He does not talk to much about his experiences during the war but did say his best friend was killed when HMLCF1 was sunk and his name is John Herbert (Jack) Cornish.
My father will be 92 in July and lives in Adelaide South Australia
On D Day Landing Craft, Flak (Mk. II) 1 was part of 333 Support Flotilla, 1 Support Squadron, Group 311(f) of Assault Group J1 (Force J), providing close support for 7 Canadian Infantry Brigade.
The armament of LCF(2) 1 was closer to that of an LCG(L) than to any other LCF. It consisted of two twin 4-inch DP guns and three 20mm Oerlikons, comparable to the two 4.7-inch guns and seven Oerlikons of an LCG(L)(4). LCF(2) 1 was therefore given the same close support tasks as the LCG(L), rather than those alloted LCF. Together with LCG(L)(4) 831, her tasks were as follows (text in Courier type between quotation marks are verbatim extracts of ONEAST/J.2):
- "All L.C.G.(L) and L.C.F.(2) 1 cover the launch of D.D. tanks. If tanks are fired upon by shore batteries such fire is to be returned. If fire is not opened earlier, L.C.G.(L) [and L.C.F.(2) 1] engage beach defences from H - 30."
Target Areas: Beach Defences MIKE Beach (Map references 950862 to 970858), with particular targets in area possibly including 4 x 75mm guns at 965858.
- "After Our Troops Land. L.C.G.(L) and L.C.F.(1) [sic, L.C.F.(2) 1] continue to engage targets as ordered by D/S.O.A.Gs."
- "When L.C.G.(L) and L.C.F.(2) 1 are no longer required for close support duties, D/S.O.A.Gs are to inform the Naval Force Commander, who may attach them to F.Os.B. for indirect bombardment."
- "On completion of Assault and when L.C.T. on the Shuttle Service have sailed and ships have moved inshore. Proceed inshore and anchor as necessary to provide A/A support off MIKE Beaches."
- "At 2 hours before Sunset DAYLY, all L.C.F. are to close HILARY. They will be sailed in company to the eastern end of Area SWORD, arriving there at Sunset plus 30 minutes each night. They are to leave Area SWORD each morning at Sunrise minus 30 minutes and return to JUNO Beaches, taking up their positions as detailed above."
Unfortunately I do not know of any photo of LCF(2) 1.
Here's an extract which gives a slightly different cause for the loss of LCF 1, i.e. a (sunk!) explosive motorboat rather than a torpedo.
From The War of the Landing Craft, by Paul Lund and Harry Lundlam (W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd., 1976), chapter 15 Nights On the Trout Line, pages 194-195 of the paperback edition (New English Library, 1976 - 450 03039 3) – a must-read for any Landing Craft buff like me!:
“Before long the Germans tried a new ruse on the trout Line – explosive-filled motorboats. Lieutenant Parry of LCF 33: ‘One dark night a small craft with navigation lights entered from seaward and passed a few yards astern of us. It did not respond to challenging lamp signals but we were reluctant to fire in case it was a lost or disabled Allied vessel attempting to re-enter the anchorage. Night after night we had seen tracer fire outside our perimeter which we learnt were gunfights between E-boats and MGBs, and we thought our “stranger” could be an MGB. Suddenly with a roar the engines of the unknown vessel sprang to life and it sped towards the next ship in our column, where it exploded. Similar engine sounds were heard to seaward, but in spite of firing illumination shells we could see nothing. When calm was restored and we had picked up survivors, members of our crew reported that they had heard strange whistling noises. We learnt later that the enemy was now using explosive motorboats against us and we eventually saw a captured specimen. It was about 10 feet long, very rakish and powered by a German Ford engine with a “bumper” around the bows. The pilot directed the boat towards the target and opened the throttle when close, at the same time ejecting himself into the water. When the boat struck its target the “bumper” released a mine which exploded at a pre-determined depth. The pilot floated away with the tide, through the line of picket ships, to be picked up by a waiting “mother-ship”. The whistles we had heard were the pilot’s means of calling the mother ship. After this we had many brushes with these craft and quickly learnt to fire at anything approaching from seaward.’
The Germans sent in waves of these explosive motorboats or ‘Weasels’. One of their victims was LCF 1. The flak craft, on spotting an explosive motorboat sank it with gunfire, only to be sent tragically to the bottom herself when a time fuse detonated the wreck just beneath her hull. There were very few survivors. Another explosive motorboat sank an LCG. But the Trout Line held.”
The standard stock of ammo to be held by LCF 1 goes a long way towards explaining the atrocious loss of life when it was sunk: main armament: 100 CPBC or SAP, 100 HEDA, 200 HETF 4" rounds per gun (therefore to be multiplied by four). By way of comparison LCG(L)(4) of Force J each had respectively 140, 100 & 10 4.7" rpg (x2 guns per craft).
Source: Annexe IV to Appendix "G" to ONEAST/J.2 – Details of Bombarding Ships, Armament and Ammunition, 19.5.44 – Support Craft.
Another book (Les Rebelles de la Combattante) mentions an all-out raid by 42 human torpedoes on 17 Aug 44 resulting in the sinking of one landing craft (presumably LCF 1), with many of the attackers targeting the old French battleship Courbet, now a Gooseberry! It may be assumed that at least some of the so-called "human torpedoes" were in fact explosive motorboats, but that the loss of LCF 1 was attributed to a torpedo because human torpedoes might have been the majority of the attackers on that day.
If ramacal is reading this, could you please re-post some of the "Operation Neptune" pages which have now gone missing, I suspect after this website changed to a new format (it happened to me too, where several images being changed to copies of other ones, while some altogther disappeared ). The missing ones are pages 233, 234, 237 & 242.
233 now 235
237 now 243
242 now 243
Thanks in advance!
Due to family upheaval, I am not able to provide pictorial evidence, but my father James Craig served on a LCF which was armed with eight Oerlikon and two Bofors guns. She was assigned shore patrol duties at Normandy, collecting bodies, removing dog tags and sinking bodies with weights. She was also employed in providing AA cover to HMS Belfast and the photograph my father had of her was taken from HMS Belfast while under heavy aerial bombardment. Two very near( seawater still pouring off her) misses are shown in the shot and she is pouring everything she has into the sky. At that time, HMS Belfast also came under fire from German shore batteries and slipped her anchor leaving the poor LCF to her fate. She took several hits, one of which sent my father flying the length of the upper deck and grievously wounding him and killing the skipper. My father did not recover consciousness until in hospital in Portsmouth and to the day of his death in 1994 had trouble with recall of what had been for him an " easy berth" after previous exploits ( Loffotten Islands on a converted Belgian cruise ship/ troop carrier called Prince Leopold and a Dido Class destroyer name forgotten where he became a leading torpedoman).
Your father's craft must have been LCF(4) 42 of 330 Support Flotilla, for which three fatal casualties are recorded on Friday, 30 june 1944 as follows:
BARCLAY, John A, Ty/Lieutenant, RM, killed
DAWSON, Douglas A, Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander, RNVR, killed
WOODHEAD, Harold W, Engine Room Mechanic 5c, C/MX 119054, (in Danae), DOW
Source: HMS Blackwood, Mourne, Sickle, Elba Landings killed and died, also other RN casualties June 1944
Temporary Acting Lieutenant-Commander Douglas Algernon DAWSON, RNVR (seniority 1.9.39) was the Flotilla Officer for 330 Support Flotilla. I believe he is the one referred to as "the skipper" by your father, because the Commanding Officer of LCF 42 was Temporary Lieutenant James Henry WELTON, RNVR (seniority 16.1.42).
Lieutenant John Alexander BARCLAY, RM was probably the officer commanding the Royal Marines who manned the AA guns on board LCF 42:
Engine Room Mechanic 5th Class Harold Winston WOODHEAD C/MX.119054:
The armament of an LCF Mark IV was normally four (not two) 2-pdrs, Mark VIII, on mountings, Mark VIII* (Single) (40-mm "Pom-poms", but not Bofors) plus eight Oerlikons on mountings, IIA or IIIA (Single) ("20-mm Oerlikons"). In actual fact, at least one LCF(4) had twin Oerlikons mounted in lieu of some of the standard single, adding up to a total of twelve Oerlikons and possibly even more:
Caption: Landing Craft, Flak (LCF) near France - D-Day, June 6, 1944
Photo as found in Combined Operations (page 108) by C. Marks
Source: 1000 Men, 1000 Stories : March 2016
Phil, are you there ? There has been no word from you despite all the information posted which I suppose at least partly answered your query...
Many thanks for the input Michel. I'm afraid I am quoting from memories of long ago, but the LCF my father was on literally bristled with Oerlikons end to end and probably had PomPoms rather than the suggested Bofors. As to the casualties, you have made for me a positive identification of the vessel with the inclusion of " Woody" as my father called him. I'm also doubting my recollections of my father's previous service. Prince Leopold is definite, but 'Dido' was a light cruiser and my father definitely served on and was wounded on a destroyer lost in an arctic convoy; this lead to his posting to the "easy berth". Dido sounded right, but obviously isn't the case. More searching required. In the meantime, I might just burgal my sister's house and recover the splendid photograph of an LCF in the thick off it.
While I still could not find any good, clear photo showing LCF(2) 1 by herself, she does appear in a couple of film clips and at least one, more general, photo:
The following photo from the Robert O. Bare Collection shows LCF(2) 1 alongside another LCF of the same 333 Support Flotilla, 1st Support Squadron, therefore either LCF(4) 33 or LCF(4) 37. On the left is LST 215 (LTIN 1147) and on the right LST 180 (LTIN 1148), both planned to unload at H+4 on D Day in MIKE Sector, and both of 9 LST(2) Flotilla, part of Assault Group "J" 3. In the forefront is a British Rhino Ferry. Its marking looks like F18 or F19, but both RHF-18 and RHF-19 are identifiable on other photos and I am not sure whether Rhino numbers were duplicated across British and US forces, so it might be Rhino F16 (or even F10) instead. Behind it is a Rhino Tug, possibly with the same number (Rhino Ferries and Tugs usually came in pairs):
PS: The Rhino Ferry is more likely to be F113 because Rhino Ferry number were apparently not duplicated across British & US forces
Apologies for the empty reply above - I pressed Post reply by mistake.
This thread has been very interesting for me. I am a hydrographic surveyor and I think I have located the wreck of LCF(2) 1 off Ouistreham. I have also located 2 LCT Mk4 hulls that I think are probably LCG(L) 1062 and LCG(L) 764. However, LCG(L) 831 is also reported as sunk and I do not know when or where this happened. Does anyone have any details on LCG(L)831's loss - particularly the date and location. I will post the images of the wrecks if anyone is interested.
Separate names with a comma.