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John Holland SAUNDERS (228040) - 1 Troop, 80 Assault Squadron Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Michel Sabarly, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Michel you are making this thread better and better thank you very much for all your research and hard work.

    Now that you have written it all down I am now understanding everything a lot better thank you, I always thought John, Clarence and George were killed whilst they were in their Churchill AVRES's (am I correct in this thought).

    Regards Mike.
  2. John was killed whilst standing in (or near) LVT(2) 1F on board LCT 712, and Clarence & George in LVT(4) 1E on board LCT 892.

    80 Aslt Sqn RE, like 26, 77, 79 and 82 Sqns, had already exchanged their AVRE for LVT (and some Terrapins) during September 1944.

    The few AVRE which did land at Westkapelle were from 87 Aslt Sqn RE.

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  3. A nice movie (unfortunately marred by the Dutch subtitles) about Operation INFATUATE can be viewed here:

    Although the craft shown are those in the first waves, and therefore not those carrying 80 Aslt Sqn RE LVT, it gives a good idea of what the approach, the landings and the subsequent fighting was like.

    More or less the same footage, but without the annoying subtitles and rearranged with the landings at Westkapelle starting at 1:44:

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
    Aixman, Deacs, Tricky Dicky and 2 others like this.
  4. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    October the 10th was when Granda Albert was wounded but not yet diagnosed according to his service record, and this is when I am thinking that granda probably was the last time he was with the 80 Assault Squadron.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  5. JohnS

    JohnS Senior Member

    Interesting stuff guys.
  6. For his action on 1 Nov 44, Cpl MALCOLM was awarded the Military Medal:

    Recommendation for Award
    Military Medal

    79 Armd Division
    11 RTR (Att 80 Aslt Sqn RE)
    Cpl (L/Sjt) 4458424
    William George MALCOLM

    1 Nov 44 - Landing at Walcheren

    This NCO commanded an LVT which together with five
    .other LVTs and four weasels was loaded on an LCT.
    His LVT was to be second vehicle off on landing.
    The first LVT was going ashore when a shell hit the
    weasel next to Malcolm’s LVT. A terrific blaze started
    and all vehicles had to be evacuated.
    Malcolm quickly appreciated the difficult situation ,
    gathered his crew and got back on to his LVT, which
    was now also well ablaze. He..managed to get it
    through the LCT door and into the sea where it
    ...eventually foundered.
    ...By his gallantry and quick action he not only
    enabled two more LVT’s to land but undoubtedly saved
    many lives, as if his vehicle had been left any
    longer it would have probably blown up as LVT’s were
    carrying a lot of ammunition and explosives. The
    effect of his example did a lot to maintain calm.

    WO 373/52/728
    Recommendation for Award for Malcolm, William George Rank: Corporal, Lance... | The National Archives

    Supplement to the London Gazette, 22 March 1945, page 1543
    Page 1543 | Supplement 36994, 20 March 1945 | London Gazette | The Gazette


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
    Deacs likes this.
  7. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Michel I hope you don't mind me adding this newspaper clipping from The West Cumberland Times that I had forgot that I had taken.

    It is regarding a local Cockermouth man that served with the Spitfire squadron and helped at Welcheren.

    I haven't done any research on this chap so I can't tell you anything more about him apart from what is in the clipping.

    DARCYC New Member

    Hello everyone -Observations from color pictures of AVREs boarding landing craft- Deep wading stacks on 1D are of a different color from tank and other stacks. 1D letters in white outline only. Grey life-raft on top of log carpet or is it a fascine bundle. Red and white life rings or floats near engine deck. Tubing, probably Wade charge frame/platforms attached to side air inlets. Extra wheels and springs attached to rear deck in different orientation. Extra long cable for removing beach obstacles attached to side of hull. Wire reel, ammo cans for stowage attached to hull sides and turret, camouflage net and tarps on turret, Other photographs of 1D show Jerry cans, extra track segments on hull, details of log carpet platform, tank's markings on front plate, white star on turret top. What is the serial number of Captain Saunders' AVRE 1D? Number starts with 172XXX. Is it 172136? Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  9. Welcome to the forum!

    Thanks for these observations. I agree with most of them, but have the following comments:
    This is interesting. At first glance I thought it was just one more chespale bundle (small fascine) attached lengthwise, same as at the rear of 1C, but now I can see that it may look like the side of a collapsible boat, especially since no rope holding the bundle is visible.
    However, when looking at the various stills of 1D and 1E one can see that it cannot be such a boat.
    Or do you mean another object perhaps?

    These are mine gap markers. See:
    Allied WWII AFV Discussion Group: Churchill AVRE "Cheetah" Q. again
    and Trux' post:
    ROYAL ENGINEERS - Introduction

    It's 172136. See the full sized version (right click on image, then "Display Image" or any similar choice) of the last pic in Post #4 above:
    John Holland SAUNDERS (228040) - 1 Troop, 80 Assault Squadron Royal Engineers

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  10. DARCYC

    DARCYC New Member

    Hello Michel- Thank you for the clarification. AVREs fascinate me and the color footage was an outstanding source of information. The grey objects are very uniform in color and appear folded, could they be some type of fabric carpet roll? Thank you.- CD
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  12. Sorry for the long delay in replying.

    They do indeed look like folded fabric with some strengthening poles or tubes inside, so maybe a small version of coir carpet bundles, but none of this type is mentioned anywhere while chespale bundles are, so I really do not know. o_O

  13. Henk Z

    Henk Z Member

    I am new on this forum, and i have a question ?
    I read that there were 5 LVT,s on the LCT mk 4 with the number 712.
    I am modeling a LCT mk 4 with LVT (scale 1/35), I only can get 4 of them on board.
    Where was standing number 5 ?
    I have steen pictures only with 4 of them.
    Sorry for my Englisch writing, my computer Translate everything in Dutch.

    I am een volenteer by Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland in Nieuwdorp. The have een LVT scale 1/1, weasels en other vehicles.
    CL1 and Aixman like this.
  14. Hello Henk,

    Welcome to the forum!

    You can actually load up to 6 LVsT in the tank deck of an LCT(4): two ranks of two vehicles side by side aft, and then two more vehicles, one following the other, loaded centrally fore. The same principle was used on LCT(4) of the Breaching Teams in Operation Overlord, with AVsRE/Flails in lieu of LVsT:




    In an LCT(4) the maximum loads for LVT + Weasel combinations are as follows:

    6 LVsT + 4 Weasels
    5 LVsT + 8 Weasels
    4 LVsT + 10 Weasels

    Once the number of LVsT has been chosen, you can then fill the available spaces each side of the foremost LVsT with the much smaller Weasels.

    All of these combinations were used at Westkapelle, although never with more than 7 Weasels.

    If you can fit only four LVsT on board your LCT(4), this means that the LCT is underscale or the LVsT overscale, or both!

    Usable width of tank deck in LCT(4) = 25' 3"
    Width of LVT(2) or LVT(4) as used for loading purposes = 10' 8"
    Thus, width of 2xLVT(2) or LVT(4) = 21' 4"
    There remains a space of 3' 11" / 3 = around 1' 4" each side of the two LVsT loaded side by side, which is more than sufficient.

    Here is a view of the tank deck of LCT 839, which carried five LVsT: the one on the left is an LVT(4), and to its right side we can see the track guard of an LVT(2). Ahead of this pair of LVsT is LVT(4) call sign 3C, loaded centrally. There were two more LVsT afore 3C:
    1969_09_053 LVT4 3C on board LCT 829.jpg


    P.S. Since you have the luxury of having access to a real LVT, you can check its actual overall width. Lucky you!
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Michel - nice to see your skills have not diminished in the feet & inches area 10/10

  16. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    A simply superb thread. Very many thanks.

    ramacal and CL1 like this.
  17. Henk Z

    Henk Z Member

    Tanks for the picture, I ditnot see this in the film. I only sas pictures of LVT in onze Row.
  18. Henk Z

    Henk Z Member

    741A5B2C-24CD-4368-A69B-79925B417000.jpeg 62712968-0FDA-4F8F-B12B-CFE74E971FC1.jpeg 3109FFE9-C4F1-4E5C-B9FE-49ED54F13FEB.jpeg

    Thanks for the picture, i through that LVT can not manoeuvre on board with full load.
    The picture you posted say the can.
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  19. Impressive build Henk!

    Do you plan to portray a specific LCT during Operation INFATUATE II? As far as I could find out, there were only two LCT loaded with three LVT(4) and two LVT(2): LCT 1133 (Serial 13), which also had four Weasels, and LCT 839 (Serial 16), without any Weasel.

    Aixman likes this.
  20. Henk Z

    Henk Z Member

    I do not now, witch LCT I am gone build.
    I have 2 other LVT 4 witch I am buiding but the are not ready. these where.
    I think I want to build somthing from the 11 RTR with "STEENDORP" but I do not now if the where used and on which LCT.
    Perhaps LCT 712 from this story.
    It would be 5 LVsT and .. Weasels.
    A other nice LCT would be the LCT witch transported the LVT4 ambulance "SPHINX" 4E.
    But I do not have loading tabels.

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