JUNO BEACH.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Royal Engineers and Royal Canadian Engineers.

    The following 3 Canadian Division engineer units are listed as having landed, at least in part, on D day.
    6 Canadian Field Company. Assault with 7 Canadian Brigade.
    16 Canadian Field Company. Assault with 8 Canadian Brigade.
    18 Canadian Field Company. Obstacle Clearance.
    235 Field Park Company.
    Under Command.
    26 Assault Squadron. Breaching Teams.
    80 Assault Squadron. Breaching Teams.
    262 Field Company. Obstacle Clearance.
    5 Canadian Field Company. Obstacle Clearance.

    Breaching Teams.
    The clearing of exits from the beaches was the task of 5 Assault Regiment RE together with Crabs from 22 Dragoons. Combined teams were organised to open and mark a total of eight exits as far as the first inland lateral road.

    26 Assault Squadron RE with two troops of ‘B’ Squadron 22 Dragoons would clear
    Two exits in Mike Sector
    Two exits on Nan Green

    80 Assault Squadron RE with two troops of ‘B’ Squadron 22 Dragoons would clear
    Two exits in Nan White
    Two exits on Nan Green

    All Breaching Teams were due to land at H Hour and just before they did so LCA(HR) were to fire 60lb spigot mortar bombs on the proposed exits.


    Obstacle Clearance.

    5 Canadian Field Company.
    5 Canadian Field Company was tasked with clearing underwater obstacles and creating four gaps. For this purpose it was equipped with explosives and bulldozers. The intention was to break the obstacles up and then collect them on the beaches above the high water mark where they would be out of the way of incoming craft and traffic. They were to be landed from the LCTs carrying Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment vehicles.

    5 Canadian Field Company would provide for each assault brigade front:
    four sections each of 13 men plus a jeep and 3 crew
    one platoon of 18 Canadian Field Company with six armoured D7 bulldozers
    two RN LCOCU.

    Two platoons of 262 Field Company RE per beach would land at H+20 minutes and reinforce the obstacle clearing parties.

    The gaps in the obstacles were to include
    Mike. A 600 yard wide gap.
    Nan Green. A 200 yard wide gap.
    Nan White. A 400 yard wide gap.
    Nan Red. A 400 yard wide gap.


    Landing Craft Obstacle Clearance Units.
    The army engineers were assisted in the task of clearing obstacles by RN Landing Craft Obstacle Clearance Units. These were specially trained and equipped to deal with obstacles in more than three foot of water. They were also to mark the gaps and any obstacles within them. 1 and 5 LCOCU landed on 7 Brigade front. 11 and 12 LCOCU landed on 8 Brigade front.


    6 Canadian Field Company.
    6 Canadian Field Company was attached to 7 Canadian Brigades. One platoon landed with the first wave of infantry to assist the infantry with demolition and mine clearance tasks among the beach obstacles. This platoon was very unfortunate, losing twenty two men on the beaches, and was not called on to perform engineering tasks.

    The remainder of the company should have landed with the reserve battalions from H+60 minutes onwards. They were to assist with work on the beach exits until relieved by sappers of the Beach Group. They were then to concentrate on opening of forward routes in their own brigade area. These included:
    - Gray sur Mer, Banville, Pont de Reviere, Amblie, Le Fresne Camilly, Bretteville l’Orgueilleuse.
    - Courseulles, Reviers ( where it joined the first route).
    When the forward routes were completed the following lateral routes were to be opened:
    - Bernieres, St Aubin.
    - Colombiere sur Seulles, La Deliverande.

    The platoons landed considerably behind schedule but quickly checked and cleared the two forward routes reaching as far as Le Fresne Camilly.

    16 Canadian Field Company.
    16 Canadian Field Company was attached to 8 Canadian Brigade. One platoon landed with the first wave of infantry to assist the infantry with demolition and mine clearance tasks among the beach obstacles. This platoon was not very busy. There was no demand for them to attack strongpoints and there few mines to be cleared. The platoon dealt with some booby trapped buildings in Berniers and then dealt with some steel road blocks in St Aubin which had been holding up tanks.

    The remaining platoons landed with the reserve battalions from H+60 minutes onwards. They were to assist with work on the beach exits until relieved by sappers of the Beach Group. They were then to concentrate on opening of forward routes in their own brigade area. These included:
    - Bernieres, Beny sur Mer, Basly, Villons les Buissons, Authie, Franqueville.
    - St Aubin sur Mer, Tailleville, Basley.
    When the forward routes were completed the following lateral routes were to be opened:
    - Camilly, Cairon, Buron.
    - Bretteville l’Orguelleuse, St. Germain la Blanche Herbe.

    These platoons did some mine clearance in Bernieres village and helped to clear routes in St Aubin. It then cleared the route from Bernieres to Beny sur Mer by bull dozing telegraph poles (French telegraph poles ended to be made of concrete) and clearing wires. It also cleared the road from St Aubin to Tailleville. Here the sappers became involved in fighting alongside the infantry.

    By the morning of D+1 it was planned to open a return route from La Villeneuve, Rots, Rosel, Cairon, Thaon, Reviers.

    Two Class 40 bridges were to be built over the River Seulles at
    - Colombiers by H+11 hours.
    - Pont de Reviere by H+7 hours.


    3 Canadian Division Special Bulldozer Increment.
    To land from LCTs carrying Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment vehicles at H Hour for obstacle clearance with 5 Canadian Field Company. The Landing Table shows eight D7 Armoured Bulldozers landing on each beach but other sources give the figure as six each. In any case it was reported that there were plenty of dozers ashore and there was not really work for them until the tide went down.

    18 Canadian Field Company RCE.
    A Divisional Field Company. One platoon was detached to assist 5 Canadian Field Company with the clearing of beach obstacles.

    The main body of the company had a variety of tasks inland.
    - The River Seulles could have been a major obstacle if the bridges had been blown. Reconnaissance parties were to check and classify the bridges if they were still standing and survey the site for bridge building if they were not. These parties advanced to Colombiers and Reviers with the infantry.
    - The lateral road between Colombiers and Reviers was checked.
    - Possible sites for an airfield near Benville were checked.
    - A site for a quarry south of Colombiers was reconnoitred.

    During the evening one platoon with armoured dozers was located at Reviers where it was on hand to join 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade should a column be despatched to cross the River Odon.

    3 Canadian Field Park Company.
    Divisional unit. Landed with dozers towing trailers loaded with trackway material. The first to land was an Armoured D7 dozer at H+60. A D4 dozer landed at H+105. Two more Armoured D7 dozers were scheduled landed later at D+7 hours.


    262 Field Company RE.
    Under command of 3 Canadian Division. To land at H+20 minutes and reinforce the obstacle clearing parties and clear mine fields. One platoon of 19 Field Company RE was under command

    This was a late addition and not included in the available landing tables. It is known that the company came from 12 Corps Engineers. Each platoon was to land in one LCM which crossed the Channel under its own power and carried an airborne trailer, tools and explosives. Personnel crossed the Channel by LSI and were collected at the Lowering Point by the LCMs. Some casualties were suffered while boarding the LCMs using scrambling nets. These were difficult to negotiate while carrying a full load even in good conditions. 3 Platoon’s LCM hit a mined obstacle causing further casualties.

    When the company landed the tide was too high to work on beach obstacles and it worked on its secondary tasks of mine clearing on the beach and exits. At 1500 the company returned to obstacle clearance. By this time the beach was to crowded with personnel and vehicles to allow explosives to be used and obstacles were towed away by tanks (presumably AVREs) and dozers.

    19 Field Company RE.
    A Corp Company under command 3 Canadian Division. One platoon landed under the command of 262 Company. The remainder did not land until D+1.


    102 Beach Sub Area Engineers.
    All the engineer units in the Beach Sub Area were Royal Engineers. They had the task of developing the beach and Beach Maintenance Areas.
    Field Companies and Pioneers of 102 Beach Sub Area would begin landing at H plus one hour. They would:
    - improve the beach exits
    - maintain the beach exits
    - surface beach areas that were soft through clay or peat
    - construct a 20 foot wide lateral road along the beach
    - convert the railway line between Courseulles and Bernieres to take road traffic
    - improve and maintain roads in the BMA.

    59 Mechanical Equipment Section.
    At H+75 minutes landed three Armoured D7 Angledozer each towing a Jahn trailer loaded with trackway material. At H+135 minutes landed a further Armoured D7 Angledozer towing a Jahn trailer.


    85 Field Company RE.
    A Beach Group Company.
    H+20 landed two six man reconnaissance parties.
    H+45 landed two parties each of 24 men with two handcarts.
    H+75 49 men landed.
    H+105 one M14 Halftrack with 3 crew. Officer Commanding.

    Apart from reconnaissance parties no further beach group or Beach Sub Area troops landed until the second tide.

    Mike
     
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Headquarters.

    3 Canadian Division Headquarters.
    Landing under the control of 9 Canadian Brigade.

    The Divisional Commander and his staff would travel in, and exercise command from, HMS Hilary.

    A Duplicate Divisional Staff on HMS Royal Ulsterman would land and set up Divisional Headquarters on the southern outskirts of Bernieres until approximately H+7 hours when it would move to Beny sur Mer. Headquarters was at Bernieres at 1435 when the Divisional Commander held an orders group with the commanders of 8 Canadian Brigade, 9 Canadian Brigade and 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade. At that time Beny sur Mer was not clear and most of 9 Canadian Brigade did not advance beyond it on D day.

    Landing Ship Headquarters Hilary carried Headquarters 3 Canadian Division and Headquarters I Corps. It was to land the following on Nan or Mike at the discretion of the Divisional Commander.

    Two DUKW with six crew from 297 GT Company RASC were carried in the Headquarters Ships davits. They each carried a jeep and driver to act as the Corps Commander’s and Division Commander’s Rovers.

    21 men from Headquarters I Corp Command Group landed to form a Tactical Headquarters. One of these was the Corps Commander who lands as he decides. The remainder of Corps Headquarters remained on the Headquarters Ship and manned Corp Headquarters afloat until a Headquarters was established ashore.

    23 men from Headquarters 3 Canadian Division Command Group. One of these was the Division Commander who lands as he decides. The remainder Divisional Headquarters remained on the Headquarters Ship and manned Division Headquarters afloat until a Headquarters was established ashore.

    The following are key Division Headquarters staff representing the most important arms and services in the landing.
    3 men from Headquarters Royal Canadian Artillery. Command Group
    3 men from Headquarters Royal Canadian Engineers. Command Group
    19 men from 3 Canadian Division Signals. Command Group
    2 men from Headquarters 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade
    2 men, Principal Military Landing Officer and staff
    2 men from Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area
    4 men from Detachment ‘A’, Troop 3, Bombardment Unit 4, J Force. Shore Bombardment Liaison Officer and party.



    Landing Ship Headquarters Royal Ulsterman carried Headquarters 9 Canadian Infantry Brigade, Standby Headquarters 3 Canadian Division and Stand By Headquarters 1 Corps. It was a larger ship than most Brigade Headquarters Ships.

    Twelve men from Headquarters I Corp Stand By Command Group. These were to take over as Corps Headquarters if the Headquarters Ship should suffer a mishap. Otherwise the personnel were to land and, together with vehicles landing separately, establish a headquarters ashore.

    Fifteen men from Headquarters 3 Canadian Division Stand By Command Group These were to take over as Division Headquarters if the Headquarters Ship should suffer a mishap. Otherwise the personnel were to land and, together with vehicles landing separately, establish a headquarters ashore.

    3 men from Headquarters Royal Canadian Artillery. Command Group
    2 men from Headquarters Royal Canadian Engineers. Command Group
    18 men from 3 Canadian Division Signals. Command Group
    2 men from Headquarters 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade
    1 man, Principal Military Landing Officer
    2 men from Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area
    2 men from Detachment 17 Movement Control Group. Military Landing Officer 9 Canadian Brigade.


    Headquarters I Corps.

    The Corps Commander and his staff would travel in, and exercise command from, HMS Hilary.

    A Duplicate Corps Staff, with the vehicles of Corps Headquarters First Flight, would land and set up Corps Headquarters at the South West outskirts of Douvre la Deliverande. This would be subject to reconnaissance and in the event the area was still in enemy hands at the time it was intended that the headquarters should land. Since 1 Corps was to exercise command over 3 British Division on Sword and 3 Canadian Division on Juno a headquarters close to the boundary between them was desirable.

    The Corps Commander himself intended to land from HMS Hilary at any time, together with his jeep and WT set. 3 Canadian Division was to provide a section of carriers at Nan Beach from H+4 hours onwards to act as escort to the Corp Commander.

    Landing Ship Headquarters Hilary will land the following on Nan or Mike. Hilary carries Headquarters 3 Canadian Division and Headquarters 1 Corps.

    1 Jeep with 1 crew from Headquarters I Corp. Command Group.
    This is the Corps Commanders Rover. It carries a wireless set and will land in a DUKW carried in the Headquarters Ship’s davits.
    21 men from Headquarters I Corp. Command Group
    One of these is the Corps Commander who will land as he decides. The remainder will remain on the Headquarters Ship and man Corp Headquarters until a Headquarters is established ashore.

    Landing Ship Headquarters Royal Ulsterman will land the following on Nan or Mike. This ship carries Headquarters 9 Canadian Infantry Brigade, Standby Headquarters 3 Canadian Division and Stand By Headquarters 1 Corps. It was a larger ship than most Brigade Headquarters Ships.

    12 men from Headquarters I Corp. Stand By Command Group
    These will take over as Corps Headquarters if the Headquarters Ship should suffer a mishap. Otherwise the personnel will land and, together with vehicles landing separately, establish a headquarters ashore.

    Due to land at H+23 hours but delayed.
    1 Amphibious Jeep.
    2 Car 4 seater 4 X 4, Humber.
    1 Car 4 seater, Ford, with 3 crew.
    1 15cwt GS, Bedford, with 2 crew.
    1 Ambulance, 4 stretcher, Austin K2, with 2 crew.
    20 men carried in the vehicles..

    77 men from Headquarters 1 Corp. Carried in vehicles of 777 Corps Car Company.

    777 Corps Car Company RASC.
    5 jeeps.
    12 Car 4 seater 4 X 4.
    1 15cwt water.
    9 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 20cwt trailer.
    32 men.

    1 Corps Defence Company.
    1 15cwt GS with 4 crew.

    1 Corps Signals
    1 M14 Halftrack.
    2 Jeep towing 1 trailer.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 Lorry Command Vehicle HP.
    1 Jeep.
    1 Car 4 seat.
    33 men with two handcarts.

    Attached.
    1 3ton Lorry Command Vehicle (Low Powered) with 6 crew from Counter Bombardment Officer, 1 Corps.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Inns of Court Regiment.

    Mike.
     
  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The LSTs arrive.

    Group 332 (or J13) of Assault Group J3 consisted of twelve LST(2)s, all towing Rhino Ferries. After loading at the Hards the LSTs moored in Area 22 of the Solent with the Rhinos moored alongside. They slipped their moorings at H-12 hours and 45 minutes, got the Rhinos in tow and were joined by an escort of three Corvettes and a trawler. The whole group passed the Spithead Gate at H-11 hours and 30 minutes and proceeded down Channel 7 at a speed of 6 knots. Although LSTs were capable of considerably more speed they were limited by the Rhino Ferries. The Fire Boat M.H. Stevens accompanied them.

    Group 333 (or J14) consisted of a further twelve LSTs towing three Rhino Ferries and fifteen Rhino tugs. This group slipped their moorings in Area 22 at H-10 hours and passed the Spithead gate at H-8 hours and 30 minutes. They were escorted by five trawlers and also used Channel 7 at 6 knots.

    A further eleven US LSTs arrived with Group L1. This sailed from the Thames.


    Naval sources suggest that the first group (Group 332 of Assault Group J3) of LSTs contained twelve LSTs towing eight Rhino Ferries. The April Landing Tables show fewer Rhinos assigned to this group but the additional Rhinos should not make any significant difference to the tables. Each of the LSTs towing the additional Rhinos would need to find room for a D8 dozer and twenty plus personnel. Still another source gives twelve LSTs and twelve Rhino Ferries.

    Since there were a total of 15 Rhino and Group 333 had seven it appears most likely that there were three LSTs with two Rhino Ferries for each of, Nan White, Nan Green, Nan Red and Mike.

    The first twelve LSTs arrived at 1120. All of their Rhinos had survived the passage. However no beaches were ready to receive Rhinos until 1445 when Nan White and Nan Green reported that they were ready. Mike sector reported ready at 1615. The first loaded Rhinos started into Nan Beaches at 1500 and into Mike Beaches at 1545. Progress was slow because of the weather and several Rhinos were damaged by hitting Teller mines on beach obstacles.

    Group 333 brought a further twelve LSTs of Force J together with seven Rhino Ferries plus tugs. Group L1 arrived with a further 13 LST, having lost one to mines. By 1630 there were 35 LST awaiting discharge but by 2300 only two LST had been completely discharged and others partly so.

    Northway with a load of DUKWs and four preloaded coasters arrived during the afternoon. Further vehicles were due to arrive on D+1 with convoys of MT coasters and ships.

    The delays in discharging and the growing backlog had implications not only for the tactical formations on shore who were waiting for their vehicles and beach groups and sub area units who needed equipment to clear and operate the beaches but also for the delayed return of the LSTs for use in the Shuttle Service.

    I Corps became concerned and at 2300 and 2350 they sent Priority Requests for the landing of 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade and anti tank guns. These were urgently needed for the defence of the beachhead and for the planned advances on D+1. Such requests however meant even longer delays in fully discharging the backlog of LSTs as the requested vehicles were located and landed out of sequence.

    It became increasingly clear that the Rhinos could not compete with the weather. Indeed at 2311 all Rhino operations on Nan Green were halted.

    It had been hoped that the LCPs(Survey) would find areas of beach suitable for beaching LSTs at high water. Such sites would need to have a steeper slope than was usual on the Normandy beaches so that the LST could remain afloat and have its ramp either on dry land, which was unlikely, or in three foot of water. Such sites would be found only near the high water mark and would therefor only be accessible for a short time. In the event the only site found likely to be suitable was at the western end of Mike, to the west of Mike 2 exit.

    By daylight on D+1 the position had worsened as four Rhinos had broached to and were stranded on each of Mike and Nan beaches. It was now clear that LSTs would have to be beached and dried out for unloading. This was not ideal since there was always the danger that the LST would be damaged on uneven ground and would be targets for artillery and air attack. It also meant a delay in the return of the LSTs since they would have to wait for the next tide to float them off. Fortunately there were suitably level beaches available

    At 0721 on D+1 Naval Commander Force ‘J’ asked Naval Commander Eastern Task Force to suspend further Build Up sailings from the UK until the weather improved. There were already further convoys en route including ETM1 (motor transport from the Thames) which arrived on schedule.

    At 0930 the first six empty LSTs sailed for the UK to join the Shuttle Service, eighteen hours late. Three more sailed during the afternoon and a further seven at 2140.

    By D+2 the weather had improved and the rate of build up was recovering. At 0800 on D+2 twelve LST on Mike and nine on Nan were dried out and unloading. Since the drying out was satisfactory and caused no damage LSTs were from this time on routinely beached and dried out at two hours after high water. Those Rhino ferries that were still serviceable were turned over to unloading MT ships.

    The beaching and drying out of LSTs solved the problem of unloading but the simultaneous arrival of a large number of vehicles on the beaches caused problems for traffic control personnel who were not prepared for such a surge.

    The delay in clearing LSTs also affected the evacuation of casualties. Arrangements had been made for certain LSTs to be fitted for casualty evacuation. The disruption of the schedule meant that these LSTs were not always available or identifiable and casualties were evacuated on LSTs not fitted to carry them. There was then further delay on return to the UK as these LSTs were not expected to be carrying casualties and arrangements for them were not in place.

    The evacuation of Prisoners of War was also affected. The plan was that prisoners would be evacuated to the UK, although some could be, and were, retained as labour. The War Office provided provost personnel to escort prisoners. They would arrive on a designated LST, locate the prisoners to be evacuated, escort them to the LST and return to Portsmouth with them. Two problems occurred, either LSTs were delayed and so the turn round of escorts was disrupted, or the confusion led to the escorts being unable to locate their prisoners in time and the LST sailed without them.

    Although the unloading of LSTs when dried out on the beach did not cause damage to the vessels it did cause problems for some of the equipment being unloaded. In particular trailers had difficulty negotiating the LST ramp which was mush steeper than had been planned for. Where Rhinos were used there was no slope on the ramp, it was lowered until horizontal and met the Rhino’s deck. When dried out the ramp caused the following difficulties for which drivers had not been trained:
    - The angle where the LST deck met the ramp was sharp enough to cause trailers to belly and become stuck.
    - The steep angle of the ramp needed careful driving, especially with a heavy trailer. Power was needed to get onto the ramp, then braking was needed to negotiate the ramp and finally a surge of power needed to exit the ramp and onto the beach.
    - The angle between the ramp and the beach was sharp. In this case not generally causing bellying but putting sufficient strain on drawbars and pintles to cause damage.
    - The heavy loads exiting the ramp caused deep potholes in the sand. This in turn caused further problems.

    It seems that the equipment causing the most serious problems were the low loading trailers loaded with trackway stores and the heavy AA guns. Several of each suffered damage. The trailers were simply moved aside and left. The HAA guns were recovered and parked just off the beach. The damaged drawbars could not easily be repaired so the gun was not available for AA defence and had eventually to be replaced. Since these items were generally the first off the LST their problems caused delay in discharging the rest of the load.


    The Landing Tables.
    The Landing Tables, dated 14 April 1944, are available for Group 332 and are given below in an abbreviated form. These give the vehicle and personnel loads for the twelve LST2 of this group. No tables have been found for Group 333. Tables for six LST2 and three LST1 of Group L1 are available but not given here. Yet.

    Mike.
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    LSTs. Mike
    Three LST(2)s, Serials 1562, 1563 and 1564 arrive carrying:

    3 Canadian Division.
    Headquarters 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade.
    2 Humber Scout Car.
    2 Jeeps.
    1 8cwt HUP.
    2 3ton.
    20 men.

    2 Canadian Brigade Signal Section.
    1 White Scout Car.
    1 15cwt WT.
    1 3ton GS.
    12 men.

    6 Canadian Armoured Regiment.
    1 Stuart.
    2 Humber Scout Cars.
    2 White Scout Car.
    13 men.

    10 Canadian Armoured Regiment.
    1 Stuart.
    2 Humber Scout Car.
    2 M14.
    5 15cwt.
    1 15cwt Battery Charger.
    1 15cwt water.
    31 men.

    22 Dragoons.
    10 Sherman Flail tanks.
    1 3ton GS.
    1 Jeep.
    1 Daimler Scout Car.
    56 men.

    14 Canadian Field Regiment RCA.
    12 M14 Halftrack.
    1 15cwt Water.
    3 15cwt Battery Charger.
    1 HU Computer.
    4 3ton GS.
    1 Carrier OP.
    126 men.

    19 Canadian Field Regiment RCA.
    12 M14 Halftrack.
    1 15cwt Water.
    3 15cwt Battery Charger.
    1 HU Computer.
    9 3ton GS.
    6 Carrier OP.
    146 men.

    12 Canadian LAD.
    1 3ton GS
    1 15cwt.
    1 15cwt KL.
    20 men.

    31 Canadian LAD.
    1 Tractor, Medium Breakdown with 5 crew.

    35 Canadian LAD.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL.
    4 15cwt GS.
    5 trailer 20cwt.
    5 Jeeps.
    36 men.

    33 Canadian LAD.
    1 3ton.
    1 15cwt GS.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL.
    20 men.

    37 Canadian LAD.
    1 3ton GS.
    1 3ton Stores.
    1 Jeep.
    11 men.

    16 Canadian Field Company.
    2 Humber Scout cars.
    1 3ton GS.
    17 men.

    9 Canadian Brigade Company RASC.
    24 3ton GS
    100 men.

    52 Canadian Composite Anti Tank Battery.
    3 3ton with 9 crew.

    176 Workshop and Park Company.
    42 men.


    Beach Group and Beach Sub Area.
    For Rhino Ferry.
    961 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE.
    1 Bulldozer D8 with 1 crew.
    13 men.
    267 Pioneer Company.
    7 men.

    255 Pioneer Company.
    2 15cwt with 4 crew.

    139 Detail Issue Depot RASC.
    1 Coles Crane. On the Rhino Ferry
    2 men.

    242 Petrol Depot RASC.
    1 Coles Crane. On the Rhino Ferry
    2 men.

    14 Ordnance Beach Detachment RAOC.
    1 Coles Crane. On the Rhino Ferry
    2 men.

    282 GT Company.
    12 3ton.
    1 White Scout Car.
    1 15cwt Compressor.
    1 15cwt GS.
    36 men.

    102 Beach Sub Area Signal Section.
    1 3ton with 10 crew.
    1 15cwt Office with 2 crew.

    255 Pioneer Company.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.
    130 men.


    Plus.
    Arriving at the same time as the LSTs were the following.

    Serial 1565 was LSD Northway carrying
    199 GT Company RASC.
    46 DUKW with 138 crew.

    Serials 1566 to 1585 are 20 LCM3 carrying
    199 GT Company RASC.
    20 DUKW with 60 crew.

    Serials 1586 to 1593 are 7 LCM carrying
    52 Canadian Composite AT Regiment.
    12 Carriers towing 12 6pdr AT guns.
    4 Carriers.
    32 men.

    The LCM crossed the Channel under their own power.

    Mike
     
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    LSTs. Nan Red.
    Three LST2 arrive.

    I Corps.
    Counter Bombardment Officer, 1 Corps.
    1 3ton Lorry Command Vehicle (Low Powered) with 6 crew.

    247/62 AT Regiment RA.
    1 M14 Halftrack.
    4 Crusader Tractors towing 4 17pdr AT guns and 4 No27 Trailers.
    1 Jeep.
    41 men.

    3 Canadian Division.
    Headquarters 8 Canadian Brigade.
    1 3ton with 2 crew.

    14 Canadian Field Regiment RCA.
    5 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 Carrier OP.
    16 men.
    4 Carriers OP from 14 Canadian Field Regiment RA.

    55 Canadian LAD.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    9 men.

    Canadian PR Service.
    2 Jeeps towing 1 10cwt trailer with 3 crew.

    16 Canadian Field Company RE.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.

    ‘A’ Troop, Bombardment Unit J.
    1 M14 Halftrack with 2 crew.


    For Sword.
    These were to land on Nan Red and drive along the coastal lateral road to Sword Beach. In the event the road was not open until D+2.

    273/86 HAA Regiment RA.
    7 Matador MAT from ‘B’ Troop.
    4 3.7” HAA guns from ‘B’ Troop.
    3 Radar Trailer from ‘B’ Troop.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS from ‘B’ Troop.
    1 Generator Trailer from ‘B’ Troop.
    107 men from ‘B’ Troop.

    218/73 LAA Regiment RA.
    6 40mm Self Propelled AA guns from ‘B’ Troop.
    3 Tractor LAA from ‘B’ Troop..
    64 men from ‘B’ Troop.

    652 AOP Squadron RA.
    1 Jeep.
    1 Car 4 seater.
    1 15cwt.
    2 3ton.
    27 men.

    324/103 HAA Regiment.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 Car 4 seater 4 X 4.
    2 15cwt GS.
    1 15cwt Water.
    15 men.

    220/73 LAA Regiment.
    1 Jeep.
    1 3ton.
    1 15cwt FFW.
    1 14cwt Water.
    19 men.

    218/73 LAA Regiment RA.
    1 Jeep with 6 men from ‘B’ Troop.

    474 Searchlight Battery RA.
    6 Lorry, Searchlight with 24 crew.


    80 AA Brigade.
    160 AAOR.
    1 15cwt WT.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    2 3ton RAF Type 145.
    65 men.

    RHQ 86 HAA Regiment.
    1 Jeep.
    1 15cwt.
    1 3ton.
    1 water trailer.
    1 15cwt FFW.
    30 men.

    375/114 LAA Regiment RA.
    1 3ton.
    1 15cwt FFW.
    1 15cwt Water.
    9 men.

    474 Searchlight Battery RA.
    27 men.

    112 Pioneer Smoke Company.
    4 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 Motorcycle..
    137 men.


    Beach Group and Beach Sub Area.
    Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area.
    1 Car 4 seater 4 X 4.

    For Rhino Ferry.
    966 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE.
    1 Tractor D8 with 1 crew.
    13 men.
    267 Pioneer Company.
    7 men.

    ‘R’ Pioneer Company.
    2 15cwt GS with 4 crew.

    23 Beach Recovery Section REME.
    4 Scammel Breakdown Tractors.
    2 Matador MAT.
    2 Bulldozer Class 1.
    1 Jeep with.
    77 men.
    Note: The Landing Table lists Bulldozer Class I but these were in fact D8 Recovery Tractors, probably waterproofed. Matador MAT were probably replaced by Ward La France.

    45 Ammunition Ordnance Company RAOC.
    21 men.

    140 Detail Issue Depot RASC.
    1 Coles Crane. On the Rhino Ferry.
    2 men. For Coles Crane.

    15 Ordnance Beach Detachment RAOC.
    1 Coles Crane. On the Rhino Ferry.
    2 men. For Coles Crane.

    1034 Port Operating Company RE.
    1 Excavator RB19. On the Rhino Ferry.
    2 men. For RB 19 Excavator.

    199 GT Company RASC.
    1 15cwt.
    1 15cwt Water.
    1 3ton Workshop.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    17 men.

    282 GT Company RASC.
    10 3ton with 34 crew.

    8 Kings Regiment. Beach Group.
    4 3ton with 8 crew.

    176 Workshop and Park Company.
    2 15cwt with 4 crew.

    104 RAF Beach Section.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.

    5 Royal Berkshire Regiment. Beach Group.
    1 Jeep.
    1 15cwt.
    4 3ton.
    12 men.

    Camouflage Increment, 8 Beach Group.
    1 Jeep with 3 crew.

    1034 Port Operating Company RE.
    1 Jeep.
    1 3ton.
    8 men.

    33 Field Dressing Station RAMC.
    2 3ton.
    2 Light Utility.
    6 men.

    34 Field Dressing Station RAMC.
    2 3ton.
    1 15cwt Water.
    11 men.

    Mike
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    LSTs. Nan White
    On the April Landing table three LST arrive at H+7 hours with vehicles for 8 Canadian Brigade plus advance parties for units landing from a further three LST landing at H+12 hours. The naval orders and reports suggest that all six LST arrived at the same time, and on the first tide. It is possible therefor that some rearrangements of loads was made although the numbers would remain much the same. Vehicles and personnel carried are given in abbreviated form and in the original two parts.

    I Corps.
    1 Corps Signals.
    2 M14 Halftrack.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    2 Jeep with 10cwt trailers.
    1 Jeep.
    1 Car 4 seat.
    1 Lorry Command Vehicle HP.
    51 men and 2 handcart.


    3 Canadian Division.
    Headquarters 8 Canadian Brigade.
    2 3ton with 16 crew from
    1 3ton with 4 crew from Headquarters 8 Canadian Brigade Defence Platoon.
    1 HU Computer with 4 crew from Headquarters 8 Canadian Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Headquarters 8 Canadian Brigade.
    3 Jeeps towing a 10cwt trailer with 7 crew from ‘K’ Section 3 Canadian Division Signals.

    10 Canadian Armoured Regiment.
    2 Sherman III
    1 Sherman Vc Firefly.
    1 Stuart.
    2 Humber Scout Car.
    11 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    2 Jeep.
    73 men.

    Cameron Highlanders of Ontario.
    1 Jeep with 3 crew. Commander Beach Exit Control.
    1 3ton with 12 crew from ‘B’ Company.

    Queens Own Regiment of Canada.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.
    1 3ton with 2 crew.

    Regiment de la Chaudiere.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.

    North Shore Regiment.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.

    3 Canadian Division Signals.
    1 15cwt FFW with 3 crew from ‘N’ Section.

    5 Canadian Field Company.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 8 men.

    4 Canadian Provost Company.
    1 15cwt with 2 crew from ‘C’ Section.
    2 Jeeps with 2 crew from ‘C’ Section.
    4 men with 4 motorcycles from ‘A’ Section.

    22 Canadian Field Ambulance.
    4 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 15cwt Water.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 Ambulance.
    83 men.

    9 Canadian Infantry Brigade Company RCASC.
    10 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 32crew.

    3 Canadian Division CRASC.
    36 trailers 10cwt.

    37 Canadian LAD.
    1 Breakdown Light or Medium with 5 crew.
    1 Heavy Breakdown Tractor with 5 crew.

    Inns of Court Regiment.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.

    Headquarters 4 Special Service Brigade.
    2 men with 2 motorcycles.
    2 men with 2 motorcycles from 4 Special Service Brigade Signal Troop.


    80 AA Brigade.
    155 AAOR RA.
    1 Radar AA No4 with 5 crew.

    RHQ 86 HAA RA.
    1 Jeep with 5 crew from Second in Command’s party

    273/86 HAA Battery RA.
    1 Jeep with 5 crew. Battery Command Reconnaissance.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.
    13 men.

    321/93 LAA Battery RA.
    3 Crusader SP 20mm AA from ‘E’ Troop.
    3 Triple 20mm AA. from ‘E’ Troop.
    1 Tractor LAA 66 men from ‘E’ Troop.
    66 men from ‘E’ Troop.
    The Crusader SPs towed the triple 20mm ashore. The Tractor LAA was used to position the towed guns.

    474 Searchlight Battery RA.
    1 15cwt FFW with 3 crew. Battery Commander.


    6 Airborne Division.
    It was intended that these vehicles would land on Nan White and then travel by the main lateral road behind Juno and Sword beaches, over the Orne bridges and thus to the airborne division area. In the event neither the main lateral road nor the coastal road were open on D Day. As the LSTs were delayed in discharging the lack of roads was not serious.

    4 Air Landing Anti Tank Battery.
    16 Jeeps towing 8 6pdr Anti Tank guns.
    12 Jeeps.
    10 motorcycles.
    106 men.

    195 Airlanding Field Ambulance.
    19 Jeep.
    1 100 gallon water trailer.
    5 ambulance cars 2 stretcher.
    48 men.

    249 Field Company (Airborne) RE.
    2 15cwt.
    8 jeeps towing 4 airborne trailers.
    1 15cwt compressor.
    18 motorcycles.
    40 men.

    9 Airlanding LAD.
    4 Jeep.
    2 motorcycles.
    16 men.

    716 Light Composite Company RASC.
    10 Jeeps with 30 crew.


    Beach Group and Beach Sub Area Units.
    5 Royal Berkshire Regiment.
    2 Carrier Loyd with 4 crew.
    8 men with 2 handcarts.
    2 Jeeps
    12 men.
    Loyd Carriers were specified for the Beach Groups. The alternative was a 4 X 4 15cwt. It seems that some Weasels were in fact issued.

    59 Mechanical Equipment Section.
    1 3 ton tipper
    1 Water trailer.
    3 Bulldozer Class III towing 3 Trailer Jahn.
    1 Bulldozer Class II towing Trailer Jahn.
    3 Tractor Scammel towing 3 Trailer 20 ton.
    1 Excavator RB10 carried on the Rhino Ferry.
    1 Jeep.
    44 men.

    112 Pioneer Smoke Company
    3 men from. Reconnaissance Party.

    72 Field Company RE.
    1 White Scout Car
    3 3 ton 4 X 4 GS.
    8 men.

    65 Field Company RE.
    1 3ton winch with 3 crew.

    184 Field Company RE.
    2 3ton Winch
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS towing Trailer, Water Purification.
    1 15cwt.
    14 men.

    To operate the Rhino ferries.
    966 Inland Waterway Operating Company RE.
    Each Rhino had the following:
    1 Tractor D8 with 1 crew.
    15 men from 966 Inland Waterway Operating Company RE.
    267 Pioneer Company.
    8 men..

    15 Ordnance Beach Detachment.
    1 Coles Crane.
    2 men.

    45 Ordnance Ammunition Company.
    1 15cwt with 2 crew.
    1 man with a motorcycle.

    72 Field Company RE.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.

    34 Field Dressing Station RAMC.
    3 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 Ambulance 4 stretcher.
    1 Jeep.
    68 men with 3 handcarts.

    46 Field Surgical Unit RAMC.
    1 3ton with 9 crew.


    52 Beach Balloon Unit.
    2 3ton with 4 crew.
    2 men with a balloon.
    2 men with a balloon.
    2 men with a balloon.

    199 GT Company RASC.
    Each of the two Rhinos each carried 3 DUKW and the towing LSTs each carried 9 crew for them.
    3 DUKW on Rhino.
    3 DUKW on Rhino.
    9 men for DUKWs on Rhino Ferry.
    9 men for DUKWs on Rhino Ferry.
    21 DUKW with 78 crew.

    184 Field Company RE.
    1 Coles Crane. On Rhino.
    2 men. For Coles Crane on Rhino Ferry.

    104 RAF Beach Section.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.

    633 GT Company RASC.
    These DUKWs were for medical evacuation. Two were carried on the davits of each of the three LSTs in lieu of LCVPs. They could be launched from the davits immediately on arrival.
    2 DUKWs with 5 crew.
    2 DUKWs with 5 crew.
    2 DUKWs with 5 crew.

    144 Pioneer Company.
    1 15cwt with 2 crew.

    59 Mechanical Equipment Section.
    1 Crane RB10. On the Rhino Ferry.

    20 Works Stores Section.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.

    Nucleus BAN.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew.

    21 Army Group Movement Control Pool.
    1 Jeep with 3 crew.
    1 man with a motorcycle.
    For Principal Military Landing Officer.

    Mike.
     
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    LSTs. Nan White (Part 2).

    I Corps.
    Two troops from I Corps Anti Tank Regiment.
    247/62 Anti Tank Regiment RA.
    4 Crusader Tractor towing 4 17 pdr Anti Tank Guns and 4 Trailer No27.
    2 Jeeps.
    2 Carrier.
    42 men.

    4 Crusader Tractors towing 4 17pdr AT guns and 4 No27 trailers.
    2 Carriers.
    1 Jeep.
    40 men.

    3 Canadian Division.
    Queens Own Regiment of Canada.
    14 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 Medical.
    1 Carrier Mortar.
    1 15cwt GS.
    1 Jeep.
    101 men.

    North Shore Regiment.
    13 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 3 ton 4 X 4 Medical.
    1 Carrier Universal.
    1 15cwt GS.
    103 men.

    Regiment de la Chaudriere.
    13 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 Medical.
    1 Carrier Mortar.
    1 15cwt.
    114 men.

    Cameron Highlanders of Ontario.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew from ‘B’ Company.
    1 Jeep with 3 crew from ‘B’ Company.

    10 Canadian Armoured Regiment.
    5 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    7 Stuart Light Tanks.
    1 15cwt.
    54 men.

    16 Canadian Field Company.
    1 15cwt Compressor with 2 crew.
    3 M14 Halftracks with 10 crew.

    106 Bridge Company RASC.
    1 3ton.
    2 motorcycles.
    1 15cwt GS.
    1 15cwt Water.
    24 men.


    80 AA Brigade.
    276/86 Heavy AA Regiment RA.
    7 Matador MAT.
    3 Trailers.
    4 3.7” HAA guns.
    2 3ton GS.
    1 Generator Trailer.
    1 15cwt water.
    1 3ton Machinery.
    107 men from 276/86 Heavy AA Regiment RA.

    273/86 HAA Regiment RA.
    1 Jeep
    1 15cwt.
    1 3ton.
    12 men.

    230/73 LAA Regiment RA.
    6 40mm SP.
    2 Tractor LAA.
    64 men.

    474 Searchlight Battery RA.
    2 Lorry, Searchlight.
    2 15cwt GS.
    1 15cwt Water.
    11 men.


    6 Airborne Division.
    6 Airborne Division Signals.
    10 Jeeps
    6 Motorcycles
    40 men.

    Headquarters 6 Airborne Division.
    6 Jeeps with 24 crew.

    Headquarters 6 Airlanding Brigade.
    4 Jeeps with 24 crew.

    6 Airborne Division Provost Company.
    6 Motorcycles with 12 men.


    Beach Group and Beach Sub Area.
    199 GT Company RASC.
    3 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 Stores.
    1 Car 4 seater.
    15 men.

    282 General Transport Company RASC.
    6 3ton with 20 crew.

    23 Beach Recovery Section REME.
    1 DUKW with 4 crew.

    199 GT Company RASC.
    2 3ton with 5 crew.

    240 Field Company RE.
    4 M14 Halftrack.
    1 15cwt Water.
    1 15cwt Compressor.
    1 15cwt WT.
    3 3 ton.
    4 3ton winch.
    139 men.

    104 RAF Beach Section.
    2 Jeeps.
    8 Motorcycles..
    22 men.

    102 Beach Sub Area Signal Section.
    6 Jeeps with 12 crew.
    3 15cwt with 6 crew.

    RN Beach Commando.
    2 Jeeps towing 2 trailers with 2 crew.

    For Rhino Ferry
    966 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE.
    1 D8 Tractor with 1 crew.
    13 men.
    267 Pioneer Company.
    7 men.

    240 Petrol Depot
    1 Coles Crane. On Rhino.
    2 men.

    14 Ordnance Beach Detachment
    1 Coles Crane. On Rhino.
    2 men

    1034 Port Operating Company.
    1 Excavator RB19.
    3 Crane RB 10.
    8 men.

    Mike.
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The following is listed in the Landing Tables for 9 Canadian Brigade. It was to land as soon as it was safe and practicable. A similar unit landing in the US sector was sent in too early and suffered considerable casualties.

    RAF.
    85 Group Ground Controlled Interception Unit.
    Landing under the control of 9 Canadian Brigade.

    Serial 1730 and 1731 are LCT4s landing on the order of the Force Commander.

    85 Group.
    85 Group was responsible for Air Defence of the beach head. It landed units which were to be ready to control aircraft over the area on the night of D Day/D+1. A controller guided the interceptor to a point where visual contact was made and the interception continued without further ground control. Normally a Type 15 radar was used for surveillance and distant tracking, with a Type 11 as back up. Radar Type 13 was used to track the aircraft. Normally two sets were required. Radar 14 gave accurate height information. Not all elements were ashore and working on the night of D Day/D+1 and Type 15 was being used for interception control.


    85 Group Base Air Staff.
    Advanced Party.
    2 Humber Utility with 6 crew.

    85 Group Ground Controlled Interception Unit.
    Reconnaissance Party.
    1 Jeep with 3 crew. Reconnaissance party

    ‘A’ Echelon.
    This is the heart (or brain) of the Ground Controlled Interception Unit. This is only the advanced group.

    1 Signals Type 405. Crossley Q 4 X 4. Transmitter Vehicle for Type 15 Radar.
    1 Signals Type 409. Crossley Q 4 X 4. Receiver/Operations for Type 15 Radar.
    1 Signals Type 416. Austin K6 6 X 4. Carries spares and AI Beacon for Type 15.
    1 Signals Type 457A. Austin K6 6 X 4. Carries Type 15 Radar.
    1 Signals Type 460. Thorneycroft Nubian 4 X 4 Winch Lorry for erecting the Type 15 aerial.
    28 men.

    When operating the Type 15 Radar should be some distance from the other vehicles to avoid interference with radar signals. It is also probably wise to have the operations vehicles well away from such an obvious target as the Type 15 aerial array which was large and difficult to conceal.

    The controller is in the Receiver/Operations vehicle. He sits in front of the PPI (Plan Position Indicator) screen. An assistant sits on his left in front of a Height/Range screen. A teller sits behind to report to Control Centre. The Type 409 has an opening to accommodate this third member. The flap can be lowered and a canvas screen erected, or another vehicle can be backed up to the opening. Type 405 is similar to 409 but does not have the side opening.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘P’.
    MSU Type ‘P’s function was to provide VHF communications to aircraft.
    1 Signals Type 100. Austin K6 6 X 4 with ‘F’ Type body. Twin VHF transmitters.
    1 Signals Type 150. Austin K6 6 X 4 with ‘F’ Type body. Four VHF receivers.
    6 men.

    In the early days in Normandy communications to the UK and to incoming aircraft were through the offshore Headquarters Ships and Fighter Direction Tenders.


    Radar Unit Type 21.
    A five vehicle GCI set containing the Type 13 and 14 radars.

    1 Signals Type 462. Austin K6 6 X 4 with Type 14 radar.
    2 Signals Type 456. Austin K6 6 X 4 with 20Kva Generator.
    1 Signals Type 432. Austin K6 6 X 4 Receiver/Operations Room.
    1 Signals Type 461. Austin K6 6 X 4 with Type 13 radar.
    7 men.


    Radar Unit Type 11.
    1 Signals Type 456. Austin K6 6 X 4 with 20Kva Generator.
    1 Signals Type 432. Austin K6 6 X 4 Receiver/Operations Room.
    1 Signals Type 433A. Austin K6 6 X 4 with Type 11 Radar.
    4 men.

    Type 11 was a backup in case of jamming or interference on the Type 15 , which used a longer wavelength.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘Q’.
    A VHF Direction Finding Unit.
    1 Signals Type 105.
    2 men.

    VHF Direction Finder. Commer Q2 15cwt with folding, rotating dipole aerial.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘B’.
    Group Headquarters Signals. This was only one vehicle. The whole unit numbered 55 men.
    2 Signals Type 306.
    4 men.

    Signals Type 306 is a large and heavy vehicle. 22’ 6” X 8’ 1” X 12’ 2”. 8.56 tons.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘T’.
    Only used by 85 Group for liaison with 83 and 84 Group.
    1 Signals Type 398A. Austin K6 6 X 4 with ‘F’ body.
    1 Signals Type 346. Fordson WOT3 with twin generators.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘A’.
    Type ‘A’ was a larger unit with 75 men. Only one section landed here.

    1 Signals Type 460. Thorneycroft Nubian Winch Lorry for erecting the aerial.
    1 Signals Type 100. Austin K6 with ‘F’ Type body. Twin VHF transmitters.
    1 Signals Type 150. Austin K6 with ‘F’ Type body. Four VHF receivers.
    22 men from Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘A’. 85 Group GCI.

    Presumably for longer range VHF communication with aircraft. The winch lorry suggests tall aerial masts with wire aerial.


    Mobile Signals Unit Type ‘C’.
    MSU Type C was the most numerous signals unit. It should have only 36 personnel so possibly there are personnel from more than one included here..

    3 3ton tender.
    1 15cwt Van.
    2 tender signals type 314. Bedford MW with ‘E’ Type body. Short range VHF transmitter.
    2 tender signals type 315. Bedford MW with ‘E’ Type body. VHF receiver.
    1 tender signals type 346. Fordson WOT3 with twin generators.
    2 tender signals type 347. Fordson WOT3 with Shell body.
    2 tender signals type 372. Crossley Q 4 X 4.
    1 tender signals type 430. Bedford MW with ‘E’ Type body.
    49 men.

    Mike.
     
  9. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    What can I say Mike but this is the best thing that I have read on this forum for ages cheers. All I need to know now is which troop my granda was in and what Churchill AVRE he was driving.

    Regards Michael.
     
  10. Agreed! As usual Mike has regaled us with a thorough and fascinating thread!

    Michael, do you have any clue which could help in finding your grandfather's position, such as names of fellow crewmembers, officers in his troop, device he was carrying if any etc. Anything, even the smallest piece of information, might be of use.

    Michel
     
  11. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Woderful Mike !! it gives so many answers !

    regards TED
     
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thank you for your kind words. I have to point out that I have drawn on material, brainpower and experience of many forum members. From the thousand word document to the snippet which makes things fall into place, from the link to a website or a word of encouragement, it is surely a communal effort.

    More still to come.

    Mike
     
    stolpi likes this.
  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Michel,

    As one who never mastered a second language, and makes no great claim to mastery of a first one, I looked up 'regale'.

    'to provide with great enjoyment'.
    'to entertain sumptuously.'

    I can hardly hope to do better than that. Thank you.

    Mike
     
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Force ‘J’ Post Assault.

    By H+360 minutes the assault forces were ashore and heading inland. The beach exits were generally clear and traffic was moving through them. As the tide turned and receded it was possible to restart work on clearing beach obstacles and recovering many of the stranded craft. The Beach Groups had assumed responsibility for the beach areas and were steadily implementing the First Key Plan and considering what modifications were required.

    In most accounts of D Day the naval forces disappear from history at this point. Of course for most of the ships and craft, as for the troops ashore, the assault was only the beginning. Most of the larger craft would make the crossing many times in the weeks ahead. Most of the smaller craft would be fully employed off the beaches. Below is the story of ships and craft immediately after the assault.

    The first return convoys were code named ‘Bluesky’. The first was scheduled to sail at H+1 Hour so that the area offshore would be busy with ships and craft still arriving as the first were returning. Craft remaining off the beaches are listed after the returning convoys.

    The LSIs.
    It is a principle of amphibious landings that personnel ships should clear the area as soon as possible. Sea room and speed offer the best protection. Anchoring off an enemy shore is hazardous. On completion of discharge of personnel and the hoisting of LCAs and LCA(HR)s the LSIs were to sail for the UK as Convoy ‘Bluesky 22’ under escort. All Commanding Officers of LSIs were ordered to make every effort to clear their ships as soon as possible. When ready to sail they hoisted a signal. Senior Officers of LSI Divisions were then ordered to sail their groups as soon as their ships were ready but not to delay sailing on account of an individual ship. Such ships would sail when they were ready and catch up the convoy. The LSIs of Divisions 3 and 4 joined the ships of Divisions 1 and 2 as they passed Position QQ. The ships sailed along Channel 6 as a complete convoy until those for Newhaven, Portland and Plymouth parted company at Area Z. ‘Bluesky 22’ was to aim to be ready to sail at H+3 hours and arrive at the Isle of Wight at H+11hours.

    The Hunt Class destroyers escorted ‘Bluesky 22’. Versatile escorted ‘Bluesky 22’ to Solent, arriving at Portsmouth to embark the staff of 30 Corps at 1700. Wrestler escorted ‘Bluesky 22’ and then joined an escort group.


    The LCTs.
    The LCTs sailed as groups. They were to tow any casualties which were not destroyed or beached.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 21’ consisted of the eight LCT(3) of Group 311 and the eight LCT(3) of Group 321. These had carried the DD tanks. Flotilla Officer 11 LCT Flotilla in ML903 commanded. They were to be ready to sail at H+1 hour and arrive at the Solent at H+16 hours.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 23’ consisted of sixteen LCT(4) of Group 324, seven LCT(4) and three LCI(L) of Group 325 and the LCT(R) of Group 323. Flotilla Officer LCT Flotilla 36 in ML 269 commanded. They were to be ready to sail at H+2 hours and arrive at the Solent at H+17 hours.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 24’ consisted of fifteen LCT(4) of Group 313, twelve LCT(4) and three LCI(L) of Group 315 and the LCT(R) of Group 312. Flotilla Officer LCT Flotilla 31 in ML 146 commanded. They were to be ready to sail at H+2½ hours and arrive at the Solent at H+17½ hours.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 25’ consisted of six LCI(L) of Group 331. They were to be ready to sail at H+3hours and arrive at the Solent at H+12 hours.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 26’ consisted of twenty LCT(4) and three LCI(L) of Group 331. They were to be ready to sail at H+4 hours and arrive at the Solent at H+19 hours.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 30’ consisted of seven LCI(L) of Force L. They were to be ready to sail at H+11 hours and arrive at the Solent at H+20 hours.

    All the LST(5) variants remained to join the ship to shore Ferry Service.


    The LSTs.
    The return sailing of LST groups was more uncertain as far as time and composition was concerned. It was acknowledged that there could be delays in discharging, as indeed there were.

    Convoy ‘Bluesky 27’ consisted of the twelve LST of group 332. They were to be ready to sail at H+7 hours. Two LST (100 and 238) were available to remain and embark casualties. ‘Bluesky 27’ was escorted by the Flower Class corvettes Petunia, Clarkia and Pink which then joined escort groups.


    Convoy ‘Bluesky 28’ consisted of the ten LST of group 333. They were to be ready to sail at H+10 hours. Two LST were available to remain and embark casualties. Veleta and Lord Austin returned to the Solent as escort to ‘Bluesky 28’.


    Convoy ‘FTL1’ (from France, to Thames, Force L, convoy 1) consisted of the seven LST of Force L. They were to be ready to sail for Tilbury at H+14 hours. Cotswold, Narcissus and Oxlip escorted ‘FTL1.

    All of these sailings were greatly delayed as none were completely discharged by the scheduled times.


    Bombardment Destroyers.
    Kempenfelt, Venus, Vigilant, Algonquin, Sioux, Faulkner and Fury remained and continued to answer calls for bombardment. They were sailed as necessary to Portsmouth for re ammunitioning.

    The Hunt class escorted LSIs returning to the Solent and Newhaven after the assault. They then went to Portsmouth for re ammunitioning.

    La Combattante remained on call for bombardment until H+12 hours and then escorted LSD Northway to the Solent. It was emphasised that LSD Northway was not to be put at risk as it was the only LSD available at the time.

    Beagle sailed for Portsmouth at H Hour so as to embark GOC 30 Corps at 1700.

    Versatile escorted ‘Bluesky 22’ to the Solent arriving at Portsmouth to embark staff of 30 Corps at 1700.

    Wrestler escorted ‘Bluesky 22’ to Portland and Portsmouth and then joined an escort group.


    Escorts.
    Northern Foam went to Sword area. Northern Sun, Northern Spring and Northern Pride joined the anti submarine patrol.

    Veleta and Lord Austin returned to the Solent as escort to the LSTs of convoy Bluesky 28.
    Petunia, Clarkia and Pink escorted the LSTs of convoy Bluesky 27 and then joined escort groups.

    Cotswold, Narcissus and Oxlip sailed with seven LST to rendezvous with Convoy FTL1 at H+14 hours.


    Coastal Craft.
    ML 902. After assisting in the launch of DD tanks ML 902 escorted X20.
    ML 903, 146 and 269 sailed with LCT convoys Bluesky 21, 24 and 23.
    ML 151 reported to Captain Patrols on Lawford.
    ML 123, 147, 198, 247, 246 and 205 joined the anti submarine patrol.
    ML 297 joined Senior Officer LCP(L) smoke and acted as Smoke Control.

    HDML 1393 and 1407, which had been marking channels, reported to Captain Southbound Sailings.
    MGBs and US CGCs reported to Scylla.


    Support Craft.
    Landing Craft Flak.
    On completion of the assault and when the LCTs of the Shuttle Service had sailed the LCF moved to specific areas to give AA protection.
    LCF 33 anchored in the Coaster Anchorage.
    LCF 37 anchored in the LST Discharging Anchorage.
    LCF 21 anchored in the MT Ship Anchorage.
    LCF 32 anchored in the Sailing Area Anchorage.
    LCF 24 anchored off Nan beaches.
    LCF 1 anchored off Mike beaches.
    LCF 29 remained with HQ Ship Hilary.

    Two hours before sunset each day all LCF closed Hilary and sailed in company to the eastern end of Sword area, arriving at sunset plus 30 minutes. They left Sword each morning at sunrise minus 30 minutes and returned to the above positions.

    Most LCT(R) returned to the UK with the LCT groups but two remained and were reloaded from LCT(R) 215. They remained in the LCT Anchorage until required to support forces ashore.

    On completion of firing the surviving LCA(HR) returned to the LSIs for hoisting and return passage to the UK. Those of J1 proceeded to the LSI of 1 and 2 Divisions at Position QQ. Those of J2 proceeded to LSI of 3 and 4 Divisions at Position PP. Each LSI hoisted one LCA(HR) and left one LCA behind for duty off the beaches. The LCAs left behind were attached to Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group.


    Other Craft.
    On completion of the assault and the discharge of the LSIs the surviving Landing Craft Infantry (Small) anchored around Hilary to provide a physical screen. At 1500 D Day LCI(S) 514 and 537 reported to Waveney for duty with Senior Officer Ferry control. At 1800 D Day four LCI(S) reported to the anchorages, one each to the Coaster Anchorage, LST Anchorage, MT Anchorage and Sailing Anchorage, to control Duty Patrol Boats LCP(L).

    Each day the remaining LCI(S) except the two with Senior Officer Ferry Control were to await the arrival of the early morning LSI convoy and proceed alongside them to assist in their discharge.

    Three LCI(L) of Group 331B were detailed to remain when the rest returned to the UK with LCT convoys. They anchored close to Hilary and were used for discharge of LSIs of the Build Up. It was laid down that all LCT convoys should be accompanied by LCI(L) ‘for navigation purposes’.

    The Landing Craft Support (Large) were attached to HQ ships Lawford and Waveney. They were to be used mainly for smoke.

    LCA(Obstacle Clearance) remained to carry on with beach clearance.

    All LCT(5) variants, including LCT(A), LCT(HE), LCT(CB), remained for duty with the Ferry Service and anchored in the Ferry Craft Anchorage.

    Landing Craft Headquarters 98 and 167 on completion of duties with Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group reported to Waveney for duty with Principal Ferry Craft Officer.

    LCP(L) remained for smoke duties. 702 Flotilla reported to Hilary at 1030 and transferred to Sword area.
    703 and 705 Flotillas remained off Juno under the Senior Officer LCP(L) in ML 297 for smoke duties.

    On completion of the assault Landing Craft Support (Medium) reported to Senior Officers Assault Groups to augment the smoke laying craft

    Motor Mine Sweepers reported to Captain Mine Sweepers in Scylla (Flag Eastern Task Force). There would be plenty of work for them in the coming weeks.

    LCM of the assault groups, which had carried carrying REs, reported to Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group for duty off the beaches.

    LCVP arriving with the LSTs of Force L reported to Principal Ferry Control Officer in Waveney.


    Force J would now reorganise itself from an assault force to being responsible for the naval part of the follow up operation. This and the work of 102 Beach Sub Area ashore will form a separate and later account.

    Mike.
     
  15. Trux

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    A well known diagram of the assault groups at H-30 minutes on Nan White and Nan Red. This has appeared in several versions, I have three. This one is from Naval Staff History. Battle Summary No39. Operation Neptune.

    Juno diagram.jpg

    Of course the reality was not as neat as this suggests.

    Mike.
     
  16. Trux

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    Three nice photos of Royal Canadian Navy units off Juno.

    HMCS Algonquin firing in support of troops ashore. Actually just finished a shoot since they are cleaning the barrel.
    can 50.png

    Two views of troops waiting to board LCAs on HMCS Prince Henry.
    can26.png can28.png

    British and Canadian troops boarded LCAs in some style and comfort. US APAs required troops to use scambling nets but LSIs could lower loaded LCAs.

    Mike
     
  17. Trux

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    Naval Force ‘J’.
    Post Assault Organisation.

    The Transitional Period.
    As soon as the assault troops landed on the beaches the naval organisation began to transform itself from Assault Force ‘J’ tasked with landing the assault troops on the beaches to Naval Force ‘J’ tasked with organising the ship to shore movement of stores and equipment. There were many changes in title and function over the period D Day and D+1 and there is plenty of scope for confusion with different documents using different terms. Fortunately there was no such confusion in reality on D Day.

    Very quickly there would emerge an organisation which included the Cross Channel Shuttle Service, the ship to shore Ferry Service, a defence organisation, a complex administrative and ‘housekeeping’ organisation and a shore organisation. In addition there were the complexities of coordinating with the army beach organisation and ship to shore units. It was emphasized in orders that all the various organisations were to ‘work in the closest harmony to achieve the main objectives which are the rapid unloading of stores and equipment on the beaches and the orderly clearance of these from the beaches by the Beach Groups’

    Provisional plans were made in case Force ‘S’ experienced problems and had to divert part of it to Juno. It was envisaged that heavy enemy shore batteries could make it too hazardous. In this case some of the assault groups of Force ‘S’ would land on Nan Red under the control of Force ‘J’ and 102 Beach Sub Area. One Senior Officer Assault Group from Force ‘S’ was to position himself alongside Captain Senior Officer Assault Group J2. It was also envisaged that Oboe Sector could be developed as part of Sword Beach if necessary. This would be operated by Force ‘S’ Beach Parties. In the event these were not necessary although Sword Beach was forced to progressively move westwards and finally close altogether at the end of June.


    Senior Officers Assault Group.
    The Senior Officers Assault Group had been responsible for commanding Assault Groups J1 and J2 for the assembly and crossing the Channel. On arrival off the beach they continued to command Assault Groups J1 and J2, and to provide the naval link with the three army Brigade Commanders. Once the first landing craft of the assault brigades had touched down they were responsible for coordinating the activities of the Deputy Senior Officers Assault Groups, directing craft to them as necessary depending on the situation ashore. They would decide on any alteration to the timetable, and in fact they did hold some groups back for a hour when the beaches were congested. They could also divert groups to a different beach than that planned.

    The Senior Officer Assault Group J3, carrying the Reserve Brigade, remained in control of the group until it was ordered to land at which point he turned over the group to Senior Officer Assault Group J2. He then went ashore to assume the duty of Naval Officer in Charge. His Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group became his deputy as Deputy Naval Officer in Charge.

    After the assault phase, about H+5 hours when the assault was complete and the Reserve Brigade had landed, the Senior Officers Assault Groups J1 and J2 took over control of the inner area from their Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group. One Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group from each sector, Mike and Nan, was withdrawn and the remaining Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group remained as deputy to his Senior Officer Assault Group. The Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group who were withdrawn were in fact the commanders of LCT Flotillas who had assumed the additional role for the assault but now returned to their primary duty with the Shuttle Service.

    In the late afternoon of D Day, when ordered by the Naval Force Commander, the Senior Officer Assault Group J1 assumed command of the seaward patrols across the whole of the Eastern Task Force area with the title of Captain, Patrols. The Senior Officer Assault Group J2 remained and was in charge of all the Juno beaches and of unloading.

    Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group.
    The Senior Officers Assault Group each had two Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group, who commanded the groups landing the assault battalions. They maintained communication with the Senior Officers Assault Group and provided the naval link to the assault battalion commanders. Once the first craft touched down their role changed to that of being responsible for the sector on which their own assault battalion was landing. They were responsible now for the inshore control of such naval forces as the Senior Officers Assault Group assigned to them.

    Mike
     
  18. Trux

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    Naval Force ‘J’.
    The Final Organisation.

    Assault Force Commander.
    The Commander Assault Force ‘J’ was in overall command of naval units and operations up to two miles offshore. He commanded the onshore organisation through the Naval Officer in Charge, and the offshore organisation through the Senior Officer Assault Group. He had operational control over all naval and merchant shipping in his area and was responsible for giving authority for the return sailings of convoys. He was also responsible for the defence of the inner anchorage area. HMS Hilary was the headquarters ship for the Commander Assault Force. It was anchored to the seaward of the anchorages, some two miles off shore.

    Eventually the Assault Force Commander, now known as Naval Force Commander since the assault was long over, was withdrawn. This was about to happen around D+10, at which time the beaches seemed to be running smoothly. However a two day storm caused damage and delays and the withdrawal was postponed. Captain, Senior Officer Assault Group (previously SOAG J2) remained and assumed the duties of Naval Force Commander. It was a policy to withdraw key personnel as soon as was practicable in order to have a pool of trained and experienced officers who could plan and command any further amphibious landings that might be ordered in support of the army as it moved up the coast. It was not envisaged that the army would spend three months fighting in Normandy.

    Senior Officer Assault Group.
    The Senior Officer was responsible for the operational control of ships and craft in the inner anchorage, controlling the movement between the arrival, discharging and sailing anchorages and was responsible for the defence of the inner anchorage under the Assault Force Commander. The Senior Officer Assault Group had his headquarters on HMS Waveney. This was anchored in the centre of the anchorages, inshore of HMS Hilary and the Commander Assault Force.


    Deputy Senior Officer Assault Groups.
    The Deputy Senior Officers Assault Groups were responsible for the various groups of LCI(L)s, LCTs and eventually LSTs landing personnel and vehicles across their beach sectors. At about H+8 hours Captain, Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group J1 left the anchorage in his headquarters ship to take over his duties as Captain, Patrols. With the assault phase over the responsibilities of the two remaining Deputy Senior Officers Assault Groups changed again. They were no longer responsible for a sector. One was responsible for controlling the arrival and despatch of the Personnel Ships, LSTs and LCTs of the Cross Channel Shuttle Service. The other was responsible for controlling the arrival and despatch of other shipping including the Motor Transport Coasters. Stores Coasters, Motor Transport Ships, Stores Ships and tankers. Responsibilities for the onshore areas was passed to the Naval Officer in Charge and his Beach Masters.

    Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group Mike Sector had his headquarters on Landing Craft Headquarters 158. This was anchored further in shore and to the west of the Ferry Craft anchorage and close to the LCI(S), headquarters of Senior Officer Ferry Control MT. Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group Mike Sector had his headquarters on Landing Craft Headquarters 239. This was anchored further in shore and to the east of the Ferry Craft anchorage and close to the LCI(S), headquarters of Senior Officer Ferry Control Stores.

    Confusingly Deputy Senior Officers Assault Group retained their original titles even though the assault groups no longer existed and their duties were quite different.


    Naval officer in Charge.
    On shore there was a Naval Officer in Charge. He set up his headquarters next to that of the Beach Sub Area. The Naval Officer in Charge controlled two organisations, which necessarily worked closely together and with the Beach Sub Area. These were the Beach Masters and the Ferry Service.

    The Beach Masters.
    On Juno there were three Principal Beach Masters. Initially there was one for each of the beach sectors, Mike and Nan. As the beaches developed Mike became the sector for motor transport and personnel while Nan became the sector for stores. The third Principal Beach Master was held in reserve. Each Principal Beach Master had three Beach Masters and their parties.

    Principal Beach Master Mike Sector had his headquarters next to that of 7 Beach Group while Principal Beach Master Nan Sector had his headquarters next to that of 8 Beach Group. Each had executive command of all naval personnel on their beach sector. The Reserve Principal Beach Master remained on HMS Royal Ulsterman until it was decided where he would be employed. The provisional plan was for him to develop Nan Red.

    All of these organisations are enlarged upon below.

    download.jpg
    HMS Hilary.

    Mike
     
  19. canuck

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    Mike

    Great thread. Well done.
    The degree of complexity and the planning required for Overlord comes through on every page.
     
  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thank you Canuck.

    The degree of planning was indeed awesome but even more I admire the ability of fairly junior officers. Staff planners had time and a comfortable office. Officers on the spot had neither but amended plans and changed roles under difficult conditions, and usually made good decisions.

    I like your quote something similar to 'you should never do anything for the first time, it is so much easier the second time'.

    Mike.
     

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