HMLCF 1

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ferguson73uk, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    LCG(L) 831 was lost on the 11th July at 09.25 after striking a mine. She was part of the Trout Line when this happened.

    LCG(L) 831 was in 333 Support Flotilla, Unit Allocated to HMS Danae, Sword Area

    I would be interested in seeing images of the wrecks if you could post them.

    Regards

    Danny
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
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  2. CMH

    CMH Member

    Hello Danny,

    Here is the image I have of the wreck I believe to be LCF(2)-1. It is identified in the wreck record as a small coaster which is clearly wrong from the absolutely flat bottom. The wreck is also marked on the chart as Diving and Fishing prohibited. As you can see, the bow is relatively intact and the stern is almost completely obliterated which accords with the explosion of the aft magazine. The image is from a multi beam sonar and is coloured by depth (red being shallow and blue deep). I will post some images of other wrecks later.

    On LCG(L) 831, thanks for the info. Where did this come from? The reason I ask is that I have the Admiralty War Diary for July 1944 and there is no mention of LCG(L) 831 sinking on July 11th. Admittedly, as the vessel was minor one it would not have got much of a mention but LCG(L)s 1062 and 764 were mentioned as was LCF(2)-1!

    Many thanks and let me know which other wrecks anyone is interested in and I will see if I have any images of them.

    Cheers

    Chris

    LCF-1 image.JPG
     
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  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Very interesting, thanks for posting.
     
  4. CMH

    CMH Member

    Hello Danny,

    Here are the images of the 2 LCG(L) -4 wrecks that I think are 764 and 1062 (maybe 831 if I can not place that wreck somewhere else!). I do not know which wreck is which though? Both are quite degraded, the effect of many years under shallow water and possible the attentions of savage companies too.

    Cheers

    Chris

    LCG(L)764 image.JPG LCG(L)1062 image.JPG
     
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ahhhh - those savage companies - buggers:whistle:

    TD
     
  6. CMH

    CMH Member

    Sorry - salvage but savage could be more correct!!
     
  7. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hello Chris,
    Thanks very much for posting the images.

    This information came from a naval report covering this period.

    Interesting that the War Diary covers the other LCG(L) and not 831. I have found some information on LCG(L) 764 but nothing on LCG(L) 1062.

    LCG 764 sunk by Explosive Motor Boat on 3rd August. Sunk while anchored in E5. Two officers and 25 men were saved. Report “at 030503 struck twice by these boats

    Michel posted a copy of the Defence Lines chart in post #15 here HMT GAIRSAY

    Do you have any images of LCI(S) 513 or LCI(S) 540 lost off Nan Red, Juno Beach, St Aubin or LCI(S) 517 and LCI(S) 524 lost off Sword Beach at Ouistreham ?

    Regards

    Danny
     
  8. CMH

    CMH Member

    Hello Danny,

    Sorry, I do not have anything definitive for any of the LCI(S) that you mention. When we surveyed the region we used sidescan sonar to identify 'targets' then ran over interesting targets with the multi beam. The sidescan is great at finding objects but not so good at identifying them. Multibeam is rubbish at finding things LCG(L) wrecks they are quite eroded so any LCI(S) may not be recognisable at all anymore.

    I note on the Gairsay link you sent a request to identify the A11 berth. I have attached a plan showing the berth plan for the British Anchorage. Hope it helps

    Cheers

    Chris

    British Anchorages.JPG
     
  9. CMH

    CMH Member

    Hello Danny,
    Here is a page from the Admiralty War Diary relating to the loss of LCG(L) 1062. The H6 berth relates to the anchorage berth number as per my earlier e-mail. A depressingly small entry for the loss of a ship but I guess perceptions were different back then when casualty numbers were so high.
    Cheers
    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Hello Chris,

    These are very impressive photos of the wrecks! Thank you for showing them to us!

    Danny gave the location of LCG(L) 764 when sunk as E5, whereas you found that of LCG(L) 1062 as H6.
    Comparing the locations of the wrecks and those of the Berths, you might be able find out which is which?

    Here's the direct link to my post showing a detailed map of the Anchorage and Defence Lines, with reference longitude and latitude coordinates included (as already linked by Danny in his post quoted above):
    HMT GAIRSAY

    Of course one has to allow for drift and currents while sinking, but since these two anchor points are not very close to each other, it might still work?

    If one of the two LCG(L) wrecks you found is nowhere close to either of E5 of H6, then it might be LCG(L) 831.

    Michel

    PS - By the way, did you find the wreck of HMT GAIRSAY during your survey? If so, Roger Coupe would be extremely pleased to know the coordinates and see any photo you might have of the ship where his father died. As found by Danny, HMT GAIRSAY was sunk while anchored at A11, i.e. approx 49° 25' N, 00° 17' 19" W according to the map of the anchorage.
     
  11. CMH

    CMH Member

    Hello Michel,

    Here is what I have on HMT Gairsay. "HMS Gairsay was sunk by a human torpedo whiles anchored at the A.12 berth. One officer and 12 ratings were saved". I think we covered HMT Gairsay during our survey. I have attached the image we made of the wreck and I have also attached an overview showing where the wreck is. In the overview image the limits of our survey are overlaid on the anchorage plot. The dark area is the main survey area covered by sidescan sonar. A few of the wrecks were also covered by multi beam sonar and this is where the wreck images come from. On the overview, red dots are ship wrecks, other types of debris are shown by other symbols but are mainly undefined debris piles. The wreck we think is HMT Gairsay is the red dot outside the dark main survey area just below the 15 - sort of in the A/B 15 berth. The wreck near the A.12 berth is thought to be the Lord Austin.

    I will have look at the possible locations for the LCG(L)s but there is some confusing and conflicting locations in the records as to what was where when sunk.

    Cheers

    Chris


    HMS Gairsay image.JPG Overview.JPG
     
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  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    I hadn't seen this thread before. It answers a family story. My aunt's brother was a stoker on H.M.L.C.F. (L) 1
    Casualty
     
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  13. CMH

    CMH Member

    Glad it was of some help to you. LCF 1 was misidentified in the wreck record for a long time. It was recorded as a small merchant ship. It is still not confirmed but its position and dimensions give a lot of weight to it now being identified correctly.
     
  14. Paul Robinson

    Paul Robinson New Member

    Hi, I'm new to this forum but picked up on this thread as my dad served on LCF 42. Incredible to hear John relaying the story of his dad being injured when the German shore battery hit them as my dad told me he would have been killed if he'd been a few moments quicker getting onto the bridge! He was Reginald Keith Robinson and was Temporary sub-lieutenant, RNVR, appointed to LCF 42 as First Lieutenant on 17 Sept 1943. Prior to that he'd been a gunner (4") on HMS Cairo (an AA Cruiser) and had been to Murmansk, various Atlantic convoy protection duties but critically 2 Malta convoys, Harpoon and Pedestal. Cairo was sunk on the Pedestal convoy after which he went to Naval College at HMS King Alfred. Perhaps it was because of his gunnery experience that when commissioned he was assigned to an LCF (after the loss of LCF 42 he was assigned to HMLCG(L) 893 which saw him through to the end of the war).

    The detail I have was told to me when I was quite young but remembered it well as I was always interested in his navy stories. He told me a lot more shortly before he died (about 11 years ago now) with a lot more detail this time and I wrote much of this up for our family history. Unfortunately we had to stop talking about his recollections as he started getting nightmares again. Anyway the details as he told me tie in with much of what I have read since and what has been said in this thread. There are bits I'm not clear about which some of you may be able to clarify.

    He told me about the build up to D Day and the anxiety etc but that it had been as bad as anticipated. He said the days that followed were much worse! He told me about the one man submarine/torpedoes for instance, where all that would be visible was a Perspex cover and that they came into the moorings at night. They prepared small packs of dynamite (as he called it) and would drop these over the side at the first hint these submersibles were about. He didn't say how successful they were however. He described what sounded like patrols where they would travel up the coast, one of their jobs apparently being to take on German snipers holed up in the ruins of the old hotels and big houses on the sea front. Got the impression they enjoyed that as they used their Oerlikons for such events. I'd assumed it was on one such patrol that they'd got hit by a German shore battery, so interesting to hear from John and Michel about covering for HMS Belfast etc. He said it was a 6" shell that hit the bridge and that it killed everyone there. The Naval Losses detail for 30 June seemed to confirm that. What isn't clear is that I'd assumed from what dad said that he was second in command. As lieutenant commander Dawson was Flotilla Officer, and reference has been made about the skipper being Lieutenant Welton, am I right in presuming that the Flotilla Officer was additional to LCF 42's normal complement? Dad did say that he 'had a difficult time' with his skipper, and that he was permanently inebriated! Seems dad was left to take on most of the day to day running of the ship, quite tough I'd imagine for a 22 year old. He did say the reason for his skippers sad state was that he'd been at Dieppe and that his nerves were shattered. Does anyone know what happened to Lieutenant Welton as the book mentioned earlier (The War of the Landing Craft, by Paul Lund and Harry Lundlam) refers to the commander of LCF42 at Walcheran being Lieutenant Francis Keep.

    When the shell hit the bridge it blew my dad backwards, much the same as poor John's dad! I know he got hit with a few minor bits of shrapnel at sometime so I'd guess it was here. As he's dead now I can say this but he did recount having to deal with dying wounded and administering morphine in large doses, presumably way more than he was supposed to. He also told me that they got alongside a bigger ship for help. The Naval losses account shows Engine Room Mechanic 5th Class Harold Winston WOODHEAD as having died of wounds on HMS Danae, so this all matches up. I've uploaded a picture of a rather grim artefact from that occasion. It's an Admiralty photo booklet with a coastal silhouette from Trouville to Franceville with details of German positions etc. The holes and damage to the spine occurred when the shell hit the bridge.

    If anyone is interested I can bore you with his experiences from walcheran too...….

    Looking forward to any further details anyone might have about LCF42, D Day, the 30th June incident or any of the crew.

    PS currently on holiday in France and just been exploring Houlgate and Villerville which are the 2 locations where the Germans had 6" (150mm) gun emplacements. Sword beach is very visible from Houlgate so seems most likely it was from there that the fatal shell came although records show that the Germans departed 'at the end of June'.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. MichaelB

    MichaelB New Member

    I know I am about 10 years late from when the HMLCF1 forum started. My interest in the LCF1 is that my Father (Fred BURGESS) was one of the few who survived the sinking of LCF1 on 17 Aug 1944.
     
  16. Pike1939

    Pike1939 New Member

    I'm also a late in joining this forum. I only recently discovered that a cousin of mine was killed when HMLCF1 sank. (Hubert Palmer) Marine buried at Hermanville War Cemetery.
     
  17. andrew chaplin

    andrew chaplin New Member

    Chris Hi,
    My great Uncle William James Chaplin was a Telegrapher, killed in action 3 Aug 1944. He was 20 and on the LCG (L) 764 craft. I gather this was a modified version to take larger guns. It was sunk, (so I have read elsewhere) by German suicide boat loaded with explosives. Any info on this craft would be appreciated - if it is the same craft you have identified in Ouistreham...odd that I've been to that port by ferry a couple of times and never knew about my great uncle until recently.There is an account online of the craft being attacked around 4am on the morning of 3 Aug. I am led to believe some troops survived.
    Andy Chaplin
     
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  19. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    On the 6th June LCG.(L) (4) 764 was part of the 331st Support Flotilla, 2nd Support Squadron, Assault Group “J” 2, Force “J”.

    On the night of 2/3rd August LCG.(L) (4) 764 was part of 333rd Support Flotilla, Expeditionary Force, Ferry Service, Support Flotillas.

    Attached is a photo taken in May 1944 of LCG 764. The other photo is of LCG 939 also in 331st Support Flotilla.

    Regards

    Danny

    Landing  Craft  Gun (Large) (Mark 4)  939.jpg LCG(L)(4)  764.jpg
     
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