JUNO BEACH.

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

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Assault Force ‘J’.
    Survey.
    After the initial assault one LCP(Sy) was transferred to Sword. The remainder carried surveying tasks on the Juno beaches. On the morning of D Day they examined the beaches in the Juno area in general. They were then to find the most suitable places for beaching LSTs at or near high water so they could discharge without drying out. They then reported to Naval Officer In Charge and Principal Beach Master.

    It had been hoped that the LCP(Sy) would find areas of beach suitable for beaching LSTs at high water. Such sites would 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. The only site found likely to be suitable was at the western end of Mike, to the west of Mike 2 exit.

    In the afternoon of D Day they were to locate the off lying areas of rocky ledge and buoy the following.
    - Mike Channel. Between Roches de la Margueritte and Roches de la Valette.
    - Nan Channel. Close to the west of Les Essarts de Langrune.
    - Gooseberry Anchorage. To the south of the Gooseberry position.
    - DUKW Channel. Across Les Essarts de Langrune where there is most water from Nan White to the Coaster Anchorage.

    Channels were to be two cables wide and two fathoms deep.

    On the morning of D+1 they surveyed and marked positions for Gooseberry 4 as required by the officer responsible for planting the ships. He arrived with the Corncob tugs at 0500. They then surveyed and marked out positions for the Coaster Hauling Off Buoys. Two trots of buoys, parallel to the shore and as close to it as possible, were to be marked with 400 feet between buoys.

    In the afternoon of D+1 they surveyed and marked the channel into Courseulles. It was hoped that the harbour could be used for unloading coasters and other craft.

    In addition the LCP(Sy) were available to locate and mark dangerous wrecks which they could reach while remaining afloat (those aground were the Beach Groups responsibility). If necessary they assisted in marking beach obstructions which had not been cleared.

    The LCP(Sy) remained responsible for the maintenance of all buoys, day and night, until the Naval Officer In Charge decided that they were no longer required.

    In much of the work they were assisted by LCP(L) which carried buoys and other equipment so that the survey craft need not interrupt their work. A reserve of buoys was carried on headquarters ships and warships.

    Mike.
     
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    And this because my dad was on one of the Calshot craft which operated off the beaches. His craft later picked up survivors when RAF Typhoons attacked a RN minesweeper flotilla in error but that is another story.

    Air Sea Rescue.
    The RAF Air Sea Rescue organisation was very active at this period. Most of the activity was on the flanks of the cross Channel sea routes since as far as possible aircraft avoided flying over shipping. Experience suggested that ships and craft were naturally nervous of any aircraft flying over them and were liable to open fire. It only needed one nervous gunner to fire and others would soon join in. Rescue in the swept channels was the task of US Coast Guard cutters.

    From first light on D Day there were RAF high speed launches operating off the Normandy coast. Each of the three Fighter Direction Tenders off the beaches had two of these craft attached to them. Their task was to rescue aircrew of aircraft engaged in the many support missions including fighter cover, reconnaissance, spotting, fighter bombers and light bombers. These aircraft were tracked by the Fighter Direction Tenders and Headquarters Craft and the Fighter Direction Tender dispatched launches if required. Fighter pilots were ordered to bale out rather than ditch since a fighter approaching at low level would attract fire from the ground and from shipping. Larger aircraft were to ditch.

    For the first three weeks the two RAF launches were relieved each day by fresh ones from Calshot on the Solent, the base of 32 Air Sea Rescue/Marine Craft Unit. There was no support organisation on the far side at this time. From 26 June two high speed launches were stationed at each of the British Gooseberries. A small maintenance party was established on HMS Adventure, a repair ship at Arromanches.

    From 7 July 32 and 33 Air Sea Rescue units were attached to Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Air Forces and gradually moved to the Continent.

    All the launches in the above two units were 68 foot British Power Boat craft, affectionately known as ‘Hants and Dorset’ because of a perceived similarity to busses operated by a company of that name. Their performance belied the nickname since they had a top speed of 28 knots.

    Mike.
     
  3. camal697

    camal697 Junior Member

    Hi Mike,
    The following list of "Corn cob" ships is from Wikipedia, so the source and accuracy is unclear:

    • Utah Beach (Gooseberry 1): Benjamin Contee, David O. Saylor, George S. Wasson, Matt W. Ransom,[8] West Cheswald, West Honaker, West Nohno, Willis A. Slater, Victory Sword and Vitruvius.
    • Omaha Beach (Gooseberry 2): Artemas Ward,[8] Audacious, Baialoide, HMS Centurion, Courageous, Flight-Command, Galveston, George W. Childs, James W. Marshall, James Iredell,[8] Olambala, Potter, West Grama andWilscox.
    • Gold Beach (Gooseberry 3): Alynbank, Alghios Spyridon, Elswick Park, Flowergate, Giorgios P., Ingman, Innerton, Lynghaug, Modlin, Njegos, Parkhaven, Parklaan, Saltersgate, Sirehei, Vinlake and Winha.
    • Juno Beach (Gooseberry 4): Belgique, Bendoran, Empire Bunting, Empire Flamingo, Empire Moorhen, Empire Waterhen, Formigny, Manchester Spinner, Mariposa, Panos and Vera Radcliffe.
    • Sword Beach (Gooseberry 5): Becheville, Courbet, Dover Hill, HMS Durban, Empire Defiance, Empire Tamar, Empire Tana, Forbin and HNLMS Sumatra.

    Cheers,
    Andrew.
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thanks Andrew.

    I have the lists somewhere in my filing system (or whatever the opposite of system is) but could not find Gooseberry 4. I came from Whitby and Gooseberry 3 contained two Whitby ships, Saltersgate and Flowergate, owned by Turnbulls, a friend of my fathers. At the time there were several small shipping companies based in Whitby although their ships could not get into the harbour any more. Two wars, a depression and nationalisation killed them off.

    Mike
     
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Naval Force ‘J’.
    Shore Organisation.

    Headquarters, Naval Officer in Charge.
    Some documents refer to this officer as Beach Area Naval Officer in Charge. On Landing Tables it is sometimes shortened to BAN. ONEAST documents refer to BAN/J. These are all the same person.

    When Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group J3 handed over responsibility for the group he went ashore to take over the role of Naval Officer in Charge. He was to coordinate the work of the Beach Masters, be responsible for the naval units ashore, for unloading and act as the naval link to Beach Group, later Beach Sub Area, Headquarters. Naval Officer in Charge landed on Nan Green at 1150 and his Advanced Headquarters was established near that of the Beach Sub Area Headquarters, just east of Courseulles, at 1330 .

    As the ferry organisation arrived and developed the Naval Officer in Charge assumed responsibility for the Ferry Service. He has a Principal Ferry Control Officer and two Senior Officers Ferry Control to assist.

    Each beach had a Royal Navy Beach Commando which was linked to an army Beach Group, the RN being responsible for a brigade landing beach below the high water mark and the army above it. Each Beach Commando had a Principal Beach Master who worked closely with the Beach Group Commander, a Deputy Principal Beach Master who was responsible for the day to day running of the Beach Commando, and three Beach Masters, each responsible for a beach party and a section of the beach.

    The beach organisation built up slowly with the first personnel landing with the assault battalions. These were to carry out reconnaissance, identify the sites allocated to the Beach Masters and assess the suitability of the beaches. Force ‘J’ decided that Royal Navy Beach Parties were unnecessarily large and reduced them by one third for the assault. The remaining one third was kept on the LCH of the Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group and landed later. Beach Parties were carried on the LCH and Navigation Leaders MLs so that there would be separate parties in case of casualties.

    An Advance Party landed with the reserve companies of the assault battalions at H+20. The first task was to dig in to the nearest suitable position and establish communications with the Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group and send him accurate situation reports.

    The main party landed from the LCH soon after the reserve battalion. They landed with stores to set up beach signs and establish visual signal and wireless communication to seaward in order to guide in following craft. The Principal Beach Masters first task was to carry out a reconnaissance of the beach, fix his position and set up Beach limit signs in the correct positions. He then carried out a reconnaissance of the sector for which he was responsible and returned to the Advanced Beach Group Headquarters where he rendezvoused with the Beach Group Commander. As a result of his reconnaissance and discussions he might wish to alter the position of the Beach Limit Signs to avoid obstructions or include particularly suitable beach exits.

    Royal Navy Beach Masters were responsible for activity up to the high tide mark. In effect this meant that they controlled naval activity including calling in landing craft to the beach using radio, signal lamps and loudhailers, unloading landing craft according to priorities, providing salvage parties to recover damaged landing craft, stores and equipment and providing fire fighting parties. Beach Masters were to carry out a survey of their beaches between high and low water and make a beach gradient chart. This was primarily in order to find suitable places where LSTs could beach at high water. LCP(Survey) were available to assist in this survey but Beach Masters were prepared to use simpler methods involving measuring and levelling poles.

    Beach Parties were employed immediately on landing in erecting signs, marking potholes and quicksand and marking any beach obstacles. They were also available to assist the waves of landing craft in beaching and unloading. After the assault they were also engaged in helping to clear obstacles, to construct the NL Pontoon Piers and building landing craft hards.

    Beach Signal Sections were an essential part of the NOICs command. These formed Beach Signal Units together with Beach Signal Section of the Royal Signals. One Beach Signal Unit was landed for each Brigade Front. They were to provide communications between the beach and the sea, between beaches and act as a link in the early stages as a link between the military inland and their headquarters afloat.

    An Advanced Beach Signal Station was established on each battalion front. Half of it landed with the Beachmaster and half with the Battalion Headquarters. The Advanced Beach Signal Stations should have been established ashore by H+30 minutes and two were. That on Mike Green was open at 0823 and that on Nan Green was open at 0831. Nan White was slightly behind schedule opening at 0850 and Nan Red was seriously delayed, not being open until 1004.

    Later additional personnel landed to develop a Main Beach Signal Station on each brigade front. This established communications to seawards and between the beaches. It also acted as a link between the army ashore and the navy afloat. After the assault the Main Beach Signal Station manned the following wireless waves.
    The Landing Wave maintained radio telephone communication with control craft etc. It was used for controlling the movement of craft off the beaches.

    The Unloading Wave. was used for radio telephone communication with control craft and parties boarding MT ships and coasters to carry out unloading. It was used for messages concerned with the discharge of cargoes. The MT Unloading Wave and the Stores Unloading Wave were for communication between the Senior Officer Ferry Control and the MT and Stores ships and coasters. The Principal Ferry Control Officer and the Senior Officer Ferry Base also manned both waves but Royal Marine signallers operated the sets on the Headquarters craft.

    The Naval Beach Wave had links to Deputy Senior Officer Assault Group on his Headquarters Ship, Naval Officer in Charge on shore and to other Main Beach Signal Stations This was Simplex wave for Morse.

    The VHF Lateral Wave was a duplex speech wave between Main Beach Signal Stations.

    Later a BAN/J Special Wave was introduced. This used US SCR 610 VHF sets for officer to officer speech communication between Naval Officer in Charge, Principal Ferry Control Officer, Senior Officers Ferry Control, Principal Beach Masters and Senior Officer Ferry Base.

    In addition there was the Common Landing Wave which controlled movements of all groups of Landing Craft arriving or departing after the initial assault when within five miles of the shore.

    A VHF Link to RN Radar was provided by the RN Radar unit. A VHF Link to RAF Group Control Centre was provided by Naval Liaison Officer (Air) Signals Section.


    The Naval Officer in Charge received lists of vessels and their loads by Morse, teleprinter or despatch boat from the UK. In the early stages this was simplified because the vessels and craft were preloaded and the landing tables already prepared. The Naval Officer in Charge coordinated the landing and unloading of vessels with the Principal Military Landing Officer at Headquarters Beach Sub Area. The detailed arrangements for landing and unloading were arranged by the RN Principal Beach Master and the Military Landing Officer at Beach Group level.

    Beach Commando.
    Naval Officer in Charge, Juno initially had three Beach Commandos, ‘P’, ‘S’ and ‘U’. On 7 July ‘W’ Beach Commando, the only Canadian unit of this type, arrived to relief ‘P’ Commando which returned to the UK for rest and regrouping.

    A Principal Beachmaster commanded a Beach Commando which as well as being trained in its duties on the beach had received some infantry training. The Principal Beachmaster worked closely with the Military Landing Officer from the Beach Group and was usually based at the Beach Group headquarters, leaving the day to day operation of the Beach Commando to his Deputy Principal Beach Master. The small headquarters also had an Administration and Stores Officer and an ordinary seaman as orderly for the Principal Beach Master. The orderly was a messenger and bodyguard. Communications were provided by a RN Beach Signals Section.

    Each Beach Commando had three Beach Parties consisting of a Beachmaster, two Assistant Beachmasters, two Petty Officers, two leading seamen, six able bodied seamen and fourteen ordinary seamen.

    The RN Beachmaster was responsible for the management of his beaches. He assigned landing areas for different types of ferry craft, including army DUKWs and Rhinos. He informed the Control Craft by Landing Wave when incoming craft could be released and proceed to the beach. He assigned landing places to individual incoming craft. He guided individual craft to their correct landing point using flags, signal lamps and loud hailers.


    Naval Beach Signs.
    For the guidance of incoming craft RN Commandos erected a variety of signs. Some of these were intended for the early stages when there could be considerable confusion. The centre of each beach was marked by a nine foot square the same colour as the beach (Green, White, Red). It had a six inch white border and had the sector letter in white. At night a light of the same colour of the beach flashing the sector letter in Morse was used.

    The limits of all beaches were marked by a white rectangle twelve foot by four foot. These were placed horizontally on the left limit and vertically on the right. The limits of Red and Green beaches were marked with twelve foot by four foot of the appropriate colour displayed alongside the white rectangle and with the same orientation. At night the limits of the beach were marked by two lights the same colour as the beach placed eight feet apart. They were placed horizontally on the left and vertically on the right limit.

    Transit beacons to guide craft were five foot sided equilateral triangles. These were placed one behind the other with the apex of the rear beacon apex down and the front beacon apex up. When the two were lined up the craft were on course for the correct beach. Where more than one transit was required, or numbered beaching berths were desired, each pair of beacons had a number painted in black, number one being on the right. At night fixed amber lights were used.

    Beaching positions for individual craft or flotilla officers were indicated by a square yellow flag waved from side to side by a member of the Beach Masters team. At night a light flashing the letter ‘Q’ was used. Danger points on the beach were marked by a red flag. A red light was used at night.

    All hazards on the beach were marked by the Beach Commandos wrecks, shoals or obstructions were marked with a buoy made of cross planks with a five foot wooden upright. The upright was painted in one foot green and white bands and flew a square green flag. At night a green light was shown. All landing craft were fitted with a buoy which automatically floated above a craft if it should sink. Survey teams working on shore displayed yellow poles with a yellow burgee.


    Naval Officer in Charge.with Commander Port Operating Group. Courseulles
    Juno9.jpg

    Mike
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Courseulles Harbour.
    The port of Courseulles had escaped damage from air and naval bombardment and had not been greatly damaged by the Germans. It was somewhat neglected and silted up as it had not been used for some time. The ancient lock gates, installed in 1874, were intact and in working order so the port was able to open for traffic on D+3. The first part to open was outside the lock gates where there were quays for mooring and unloading. This was tidal which was a minor inconvenience, and craft could not enter or leave for two hours either side of low water as it virtually dried out. This did not prevent the work of unloading and the outer harbour was found most suitable for LBVs, LCMs and other small craft.

    After bulldozers and scrapers had worked on the entrance to the inner harbour it was able to accept small coasters, of less than ten foot draught, and berthing and unloading them became a regular practice. Coasters entered at or near high tide and then the lock gates were closed thus maintaining the water level in the inner harbour. This greatly assisted efficient unloading. Small Port Party 1502 B was based at Courseulles and carried out repair work inside and outside the lock. This unit had trained personnel, including divers.

    The port as a whole was soon handling a thousand tons of stores a day. The limiting factor was the number of barges which could got in and out at high tide. Unloading of stores was carried out by a Port Operating Company with the assistance of RB 10 and RB 19 cranes.

    The port was found a convenient way of loading casualties onto water ambulances for transfer to hospital carriers. This was done in the outer harbour at high tide when it was possible to transfer casualties when the water ambulances were near level with the quayside.

    Three 300 ton dumb barges, which had been towed across the Channel, were discharged in the port and later assisted in clearing stores ships.

    The port had a Naval Officer in Charge. He was generally referred to as the Harbour Master to avoid confusion with the Naval Officer in Charge Juno and because that was an accurate description. His function was as for the Beach Masters.

    Juno8.jpg
    Courseulles.
    The Hotel de Paris. As the sign proclaims this is the causeway from the beach. Sharp eyes may see from left to right, a triple Oerliken AA gun, a tank transporter trailer on Orolo tracks, a jeep, a DUKW and an amphibious jeep.

    Juno12.jpg
    Courseulles outer harbour.
    Note an LCT 5 of the Ferry Service and a RB19 crane used for unloading on the right.

    Courseulles.jpg
    Courseulles.
    1. Outer Harbour.
    2. Inner Harbour.
    3. Swing Bridge and Lock Gates.
    4. Bailey Bridge erected as a relief road when the swing bridge was open.
    5. Bridge constructed over the River Seulles and leading to the Main Beach Exit.
    6. Harbour Masters Office.
    7. Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area from 18 June. 5 Rue de Bassin.
    8. Hotel de Paris.

    A. Route to Grayes sur Mer and Assembly Areas.
    B. Route to Main Beach exit.
    C. Route inland and to Dumps.

    Mike
     
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area.
    The task of 102 Beach Sub Area was ‘to maintain 3 Canadian Division in the assault phase and then establish a Beach Maintenance Area for the maintenance of three or more divisions’. This task was seen as having three main phases, which would necessarily overlap.


    The first phase was the assault during which personnel and vehicles of the Beach Sub Area would land and establish the beach organisation. The second phase was the establishment of the Beach Maintenance Area and the maintenance of the assault division. The third phase would see the phasing in of a third Beach Group, No 4, and the opening up of new beaches. If all went according to plan the first phase would be from H Hour to H plus four hours, the second phase would extend to midnight on D Day.

    The Beach Sub Area was commanded by a Brigadier. The Commander had a Staff to assist with the functions of the headquarters. This consisted of the Brigade Major, a General Staff Officer Grade III and in effect chief of staff. Brigade Major had an administrative staff of a lance corporal clerk RASC and a private clerk/draughtsman for the production on sketch maps and overlays etc.

    The Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General was responsible for personnel and supply matters and was assisted by a Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General. There were also a Staff Captain ‘A’ responsible for personnel matters and a Staff Captain ‘Q’ responsible for supply matters. The staff had nine clerks RASC including a Staff Quarter Master Serjeant, a Staff Serjeant, a serjeant, a corporal and five privates.

    Transport for the staff were a Car 4 seater 4 X 4 for the Brigadier and three Jeeps.

    In addition there are specialist officers attached to the staff. These are trained in the specialist operations of the Beach Sub Area.

    Principal Military Landing Officers Team was trained in Movement Control and was responsible for the organisation of the movement of personnel, vehicles and stores from the beaches to the dumps or assembly areas. It was commanded by a Principal Military Landing Officer assisted by a Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General (Movement). There were four Staff Captains, three for Shipping and Stores etc. and one to work with Senior Officer Ferry Craft (RN). There was also a RAF Movement Representative to advise on RAF matters.
    Clerical support was provided by five clerks RE (Movement Control) including a Serjeant, a corporal and three privates. There was also a Motor Cycle Orderly. Transport included two jeeps and three motorcycles.

    A Deputy Assistant Director of Supply and Transport was responsible for supply and transport. In effect this was RASC and therefor responsible for the supply of consumables, mainly fuel and supplies, and for transport, including DUKWs. There was one private clerk RASC and a jeep.

    An Assistant Director of Transportation and Deputy Assistant Director of Transportation were responsible for
    Transportation which was a Royal Engineer function concerned with rail and water transport. In this case the Inland Water Transport units. There were two clerks RE (Transportation), a corporal and a private
    And a jeep.

    Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services was responsible for the supply of those items not the responsibility of the RASC, mainly ammunition but also clothing and equipment. He was assisted by an Ordnance Officer 4th Class and four clerks RAOC including a Serjeant, a corporal and two privates and six storemen RAOC.
    Transport was one jeep.

    An Assistant Provost Marshall and a Deputy Assistant Provost Marshall were responsible for Provost duties in the Beach Sub Area, mainly traffic control. There were a private clerk RASC and a motorcycle orderly. Transport was one jeep and a motorcycle.

    A Deputy Assistant Director of Mechanical Engineering was responsible for REME matters, including the recovery, maintenance and repair of vehicles and signal equipment. There were a corporal clerk REME and a private clerk REME, plus a jeep.

    An Assistant Director of Medical Services was responsible for medical services in the Beach Sub Area. There were a corporal clerk RAMC and a private clerk RAMC plus a jeep.

    The Camp Commandant was responsible for the ‘housekeeping aspects’ of the headquarters. He found suitable accommodation for offices, messes etc., including catering and batmen. He was also responsible for the transport, drivers and maintenance. There was a pool of vehicles and drivers for administrative duties. Even though the various staff branches have assigned vehicles to ensure that they will be available and not diverted to other duties they remain the responsibility of the Camp Commandant who supplies drivers and maintenance. Key personnel were the Company Quartermaster Serjeant, the Motor Transport Corporal and the Corporal Clerk RASC. There were also a vehicle mechanic RASC, three cooks ACC, a storeman and two general dutymen.

    The Camp Commandant was also responsible for the eighteen drivers RASC for the headquarters vehicles including those of the staff, twelve batmen for the officers of the staff and ten orderlies for the attached Headquarters Signals.

    The Transport Pool included a 2 seater utility for the Camp Commandant, a 3 ton GS Lorry, a 15cwt GS Truck, a 180 gallon water trailer, a lightweight motorcycle and a 350cc motorcycle.


    According to the War Diary the Brigade Major and the Naval Officer in Charge landed on Nan Green at 1155 and carried out a reconnaissance of the headquarters sites. The Commander 102 Beach Sub Area landed and established an Advanced Headquarters at ref: 975855 at 1230. Rear Headquarters was prepared by the defence platoon, from 8 Kings Regiment, at 1400 at ref:975849. Other personnel and equipment arrived and at 1700 the Brigade Major opened Rear Headquarters. At 2100 the Commander and two Liaison Officers were at the Advanced Headquarters and the remainder of the staff were at the Rear Headquarters. Note that in this case the normal arrangement was reversed with the Advanced Headquarters near the beach and the Rear Headquarters nearer the enemy.

    The War Diary records little else apart from daily meetings and conferences until the 18th of June when Headquarters Beach Sub Area moved to 5 Rue de Bassin in Courseulles. This was convenient for the main road out of Courseulles, the lateral road along the beaches and the docks.

    Telephone line communication was soon established within the Beach Sub Area and with neighbouring sub areas. Communications were also established with the UK. Until these were operating communications passed through the headquarters ship Hilary. By the end of D Day two links were established ashore, one using a 30 watt set, believed to be a Canadian No 9, and a more powerful No 33 set. On D+3 a 100 watt VHF No26 set was operating. All of these were providing communications back to Combined Headquarters at Portsmouth.

    Wireless set Canadian No 9 was a good long range set when used by a skilled operator. In the cross Channel role it was used for Morse only. It was carried in a 15cwt truck and could be set up quickly, only needing a wire aerial to be erected between two sectional poles.

    Wireless set No33 was a more powerful set and was capable of being used more flexibly. It was carried in a Bedford QLR Wireless House lorry which housed the No 33 transmitter, a Receiver 106, a generator and operators. In the fixed crass Channel communications role it was used with a wire dipole aerial slung between forty eight foot sectional masts. An advantage was that the aerials could be erected some distance from the vehicle so that the latter could be sheltered from the elements as well as enemy observation. A second Receiver 106 was carried in cases and could be set up in the headquarters it was serving. This needed separate aerials. The whole could be operated from a remote location with the operator at the remote station using the second receiver and sending Morse signals by wire to the vehicle for automatic transmission. An operator in the vehicle was required only to supervise and maintain the equipment.

    Wireless set No 26 was an altogether more sophisticated equipment. The Transmitter and Receiver were carried in separate 3ton 6 X 4 vehicles and powered by two trailer mounted generators. Large rhomboid aerial arrays were used and these needed to be located some distance from the vehicles and from each other. When operating the set could provide six separate two way speech channels, in effect providing the equivalent of six telephone lines, which could be linked to exchanges on both sides of the Channel. When fully operational an officer in Normandy could speak direct to an officer in Portsmouth, and eventually London. A great advantage was that the aerials were directional so that there was little or no chance of the conversation being intercepted by the enemy.

    To mirror the naval system of despatch boats 102 Beach Sub Area established a regular system of Despatch Riders within the area. These operated two circular routes which between them served all sub unit headquarters, which in turn operated a service to their sub units. Each of the two routes took one and half hours and left 102 Beach Sub Area Headquarters at 0330, 0730, 0930, 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630, 1830 and 2230. Route ‘A’ included the Petrol Dump, 8 Beach Group, 86 HAA Operation Room and RE Dump. Route ‘B’ included Naval Officer in Charge, Rear HQ 3 Canadian Division, Flag Officer in Charge, 7 Beach Group and Headquarters 80 AA Brigade.


    102 HQ.jpg
    Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area.
    6 to 18 June.

    1. Royal Navy (Not identified on the original map).
    2. Royal Navy Signals.
    3. CRASC.
    4. Defence Platoon from 8 Kings Regiment.
    5. RAF.
    6. Signals.
    7. CRE.
    8. Officers.
    9. Office.
    10. Car Park.
    11. Rear HQ 3 Canadian Division.
    12. Port Operating Group.
    13. Headquarters Clerks.
    14. Reserve.

    Mike
     
  8. From ON 16 Appendix IIIA.- British Blockships (1.5.44):

    GOOSEBEERY 4
    C.O.B. I
    426 BENDORAN
    410 EMPIRE BUNTING
    306 EMPIRE FLAMINGO
    308 EMPIRE MOORHEN
    324 MANCHESTER SPINNER
    427 MARIPOSA
    205 PANOS
    328 VERA RADCLIFFE
    C.O.B. III
    409 EMPIRE WATERHEN
    325 INNERTON
    529 FORBIN
    232 FORMIGNY
    [last two ships added by Amendment No.3, undated]

    Apparently 529 FORBIN changed places with 419 BELGIQUE end of May, so the Wikipedia list seems correct after all. See page 30 of the following document:
    http://www.archeosousmarine.net/Pdf/blockships_normandie.pdf
     
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thank you Michel.

    Amendments are tricky things. Just when you think you have the most up to date information another one appears.

    I have dipped into the article in your link. I am rather slow at the French these days. Nouns, verbs and adjectives are fine but long sentences with many clauses and sub clauses, plus a touch of French style, need concentration.

    Interestingly I was only yesterday writing about 'La tempete du 22 Juin'. This is described in your link.

    Still looking at Water Ambulances and Hospital Carriers with the help of material from Danny.

    Mike
     
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The Beach Groups.
    Beach Groups were formed from an infantry battalion with a minimum of changes so that it could readily revert to its normal role, although most of the D Day battalions were disbanded and used as reinforcements. The Battalion Headquarters became the Headquarters of the Beach Group and controlled a variety of other units with specialist roles in the Beach Group area. The companies of the battalion retained their normal infantry roles but were further trained to work in the beach group areas.

    Battalion Headquarters. 6 Officers and 42 other ranks. This was the normal headquarters of an infantry battalion plus a Staff Captain and Camouflage Officer plus their small staffs. There was also a Military Landing Officer and two Assistant Landing Officers making 3 Officers and 8 other ranks.

    The Headquarters Company, including signals, had 3 Officers and 169 other ranks which provided the various administrative services for the Beach Group. On occasion they were called on to assist on beaches or in dumps.

    Of the four Beach Companies, each of 5 Officers and 119 other ranks, two were trained to manhandle stores from coasters to lorries, one was trained aas working parties for the Ordnance Dump and one was a reserve.

    The Support Company gave up its specialist weapons, except for anti tank guns, and its various carriers.
    Company Headquarters of 1 Officer and 10 other ranks and the Mortar Platoon of 1 Officer and 29 other ranks (no vehicles or drivers) were held in reserve. The Carrier Platoon of 2 Officers and 38 other ranks (no vehicles or drivers) provided a working party for the supply dump. The Anti Tank Platoon of 2 Officers and 32 other ranks (no vehicles or drivers) provided a working party for petrol dump but had to be ready to man the anti tank guns. The Pioneer Platoon of 1 Officer and 17 other ranks (no vehicles or drivers) provided a working party for the petrol dump.

    The Beach Battalion was responsible for providing working parties required on the beach or in the Beach Group Area, in emergencies providing men and weapons for the defence of the Beach Group Area, unloading all craft and coasters etc. and providing signal communication within the Beach Group.


    102 Beach Sub Area had three Beach Groups although initially only two were deployed, 7 Beach Group on Mike and 8 Beach Group on Nan. 4 Beach Group was held in reserve, possibly to open Nan Red. On D Day Mike and Nan beaches were used for the assault but the greater part of the assault forces landed on Nan. This meant that Nan required more resources than Mike and some reorganisation was required. Later Nan would be used for the landing of stores which were taken to dumps further inland. Again this meant that 8 Beach Group required more labour and specialist units which were transferred from 7 Beach Group.

    No 4 Beach Group landed and took over Nan Green on D+4. It was decided not to open Nan Red since it was not needed and the beach surface was poor.

    Note.
    More information on Beach Group organisation can be found on the Sword Beach thread. It seems pointless to simply repeat the material here. I will as time allows post details of the various units in the Juno Beach Groups, again trying not to repeat what has already been said but concentrating on either new and additional information or details specific to the operation of Juno.

    Mike.
     
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  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    7 Beach Group.
    7 Beach Group was landed on Mike Sector. The first personnel landed with the first assault waves.

    Mike Sector was to accept personnel and vehicles for the assault division plus 360 tons of stores landed by two LCT. These stores were to be transferred to two Beach Ammunition Dumps. The Commander of 7 Beach Group was also responsible for I Corps Assembly Area and a Casualty Evacuation Post. These were to be reconnoitred and established as soon as the situation allowed.

    7 Beach Group was formed around 8 Kings Regiment. On Mike it was to contain all of the 7 Beach Group units except that it transferred some units to 8 Beach Group for the operation of Nan Green. One company of 8 Kings Regiment, 242 Petrol Depot, 193 Detail Issuing Detachment and 14 Ordnance Beach Detachment were transferred. In addition one platoon of 8 Kings Regiment provided the defence for 102 Beach Sub Area Headquarters.

    Some extra units came under the command of 7 Beach Group. A half of 30 Field Dressing Station and three quarters of 293 Pioneer Company were to operate the Casualty Evacuation Post. Staff were attached to operate the Corps Assembly Area.

    The primary task of 7 Beach Group was the unloading of vehicles and guiding them on their way to the Assembly Area. The first tide saw units of 3 Canadian Division landing under the command and control of the division but it was planned that Mike Beach would receive six LSTs with four Rhino Ferries and 40 LCTs to be handled by the Beach Group. These craft should have landed some eight hundred vehicles. The second tide would see a further eleven LSTs with seven Rhino Ferries. These would carry a further six hundred and sixty vehicles. Of course unloading was badly behind schedule.

    Some idea of the size and complexity of the Beach Group can be seen in the order of battle for D Day when the following were scheduled to land.
    8 Kings Regiment. Headquarters and three companies. 501 men. 14 vehicles.
    One Company was with 8 Beach Group on Nan.

    Staff Captain’s Increment and staff. 21 men. 3 vehicles.
    Including Camouflage Officer and Principal Beach Master.
    14 Beach Signal Section. 29 men. 1 vehicle.

    85 Field Company RE. 224 men. 23 vehicles.
    19 Works Stores Section RE. 20 men. ` 1 vehicle.
    59 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. 24 men. 17 vehicles.
    670 Artisan Works Company RE. Recce. 6 men. 1 vehicle.

    961 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE. 125 men. 7 vehicles.
    966 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE. 101 men.
    1033 Port Operating Company RE. 16 men 7 vehicles.
    996 Port Operating Company RE. Recce. 4 men. 1 vehicle.
    998 Port Operating Company RE. Recce. 4 men. 1 vehicle.
    1018 Port Operating Company RE. Recce. 4 men. 1 vehicle.
    Most of the personnel of the Port Operating Companies were on board the coasters which they were discharging and so although present are not shown as having landed.
    44 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Coles Crane. 12 men.
    To work with the Port Operating Companies.

    1 Field dressing Station RAMC. 95 men. 9 vehicles.
    2 Field dressing Station RAMC. 91 men. 10 vehicles.
    30 Field dressing Station RAMC. 45 men. 4 vehicles.
    33 Field Surgical Unit RAMC. 9 men. 1 vehicle.
    34 Field Surgical Unit RAMC. 9 men. 1 vehicle.
    13 Field Transfusion Unit RAMC. 4 men. 1 vehicle.
    4 Field Hygiene Section RAMC. 2 men.

    22 Beach Recovery Section. 128 men. 20 vehicles.
    242 Provost Company. 73 men. 10 vehicles.

    103 RAF Beach Section. 75 men. 5 vehicles.
    51 RAF Balloon Unit. 37 men. 2 vehicles.

    297 GT Company RASC. 104 men. 31 vehicles.
    26 Army Tipper Company RASC. 6 men. 3 vehicles.
    633 GT Company RASC. 30 men. 12 vehicles.
    282 GT Company RASC. 30 men. 15 vehicles.
    290 Corps Composite Company RASC. 12 men 4 vehicles.

    115 Pioneer Company. 4 men. 2 vehicles.
    293 Pioneer Company. 217 men. 2 vehicles.
    243 Pioneer Company. 62 men.
    267 Pioneer Company. 46 men.
    190 Pioneer Company. 290 men. 3 vehicles.

    59 Transit Camp. 65 men.
    ‘A’ Echelon Movement Control Group. 24 men. 2 vehicles.

    Mike plan 1.jpg
    7 Beach Group. First Key Plan.

    7 (triangular flag). 7 Beach Group Advanced Headquarters.
    7 (square flag). 7 Beach Group Main Headquarters.
    DVP(W). Drowned Vehicle Park (Wheeled)
    DVP(T). Drowned Vehicle Park (Tracked)
    REME. REME Headquarters and bivouac area.
    BDS. Beach Dressing Station.
    CEP. Casualty Evacuation Post.
    + Walking Wounded Collection Point.
    MT. Transport Park.
    ME. Mechanical Equipment Park.
    BOD. Beach Ordnance Dump.
    Amn. Ammunition Dump.
    Tn Dump. Dump for Transportation Stores.
    RE. RE Stores Dump.
    Docks Op. Docks Operating Company bivouac area.

    LCRU. Landing Craft Recovery Unit RN
    RN. RN Headquarters and bivouac area.

    This was the plan which was prepared well in advance using maps, air photographs and any other intelligence to hand. It was subject to change if the reconnaissance parties from the various units found the assigned areas unsuitable for their task. In the event only the RAF Assembly Area had to be relocated as the enemy were still occupying part of it.

    The layout was logical and conformed to the ideal staff plan, except that Mike would not have stores dumps. Each beach exit had a route running from it to the lateral road and then further forward. These were one way forward routes, at least until and unless they were widened and developed for two way traffic under a later plan. There was a Drowned Vehicle Park next to each Beach Exit.

    Immediately behind the beach were the small detachments concerned with its operation, and the small dumps for use on D Day. Here were the Ordnance Dump, the Ammunition Dump, the RE Dump and Re equipment Centre. Medical units included the Beach Dressing Station and Casualty Evacuation Post. The Beach Group Advanced Headquarters, the RN Beach Headquarters, REME Headquarters and park and the Mechanical Equipment Park.

    Inland were the Assembly Areas, separate areas for personnel, wheeled vehicles and tracked vehicles, with separate routes leading to them. Here also were the MT Park, Beach Group Main Headquarters and the Field Dressing Station. Areas were set aside for the bivouac areas for the three Beach Companies.

    Near the harbour at Courseulles were the Transportation Stores Dump and the Dock Operating Company bivouac area.

    All of these units are described more fully below.


    The first Beach Group personnel to land were the reconnaissance parties that landed with the assault troops at H+20 minutes. 7 Beach Group, 8 Kings Regiment, landed a party from ‘A’ Company on Mike Green and from ‘B’ on Mike Red. Both landed with companies of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

    Each party was identical and consisted of seven men from a Beach Group company, a six man reconnaissance party from Field Company RE, four men from Beach Signals, two men from RN Beach Party (Assistant Beach Master) and three men from RN Beach Signals. These parties located the sites allocated them in the First Key Plan. If they were suitable and free of the enemy, then they set up an advanced headquarters which would gradually be added to as more personnel landed with subsequent waves. A separate party of seven men from the beach companies plus one man from Battalion Headquarters landed at H+20 minutes. All of the above parties landed under fire and the Officer Commanding 'B' Company was wounded.

    Personnel from the Beach Group companies were also scheduled to land with the LCT(A) and LCT(HE) which carried the Centaurs of Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment. 18 men were to land with each troop. Since not all the craft of this group arrived on time, and some not at all, it is not clear when or if the Beach Group personnel landed.

    At H+90 a patrol from 'A' Company was sent to clear snipers who were enfilading the right flank. This problem was to continue for much of the day.

    Subsequently 7 Beach Group landed personnel more or less on schedule as follows. Each company landed eight men and a handcart from LCT4 and sixteen men from LCI(L) at H+75 minutes. At H+105 minutes the following landed from LCT4s for Battalion Headquarters, the Intelligence Officer’s party of four men in a Loyd Carrier, eleven men and two jeeps from the Pioneer Platoon to prepare the Headquarters and four men including the Beach Group Commander in a Loyd Carrier plus one man with No 46 set from Signal Platoon to carry out a reconnaissance. Loyd Carriers were specified for the Beach Groups but some or all may have been replaced by Weasels.

    The following also landed from LCI(L), 19 men from ‘A’ Company, 19 men from ‘B’ Company and the Medical Officer’s party for 2 Field Dressing Station.

    At H+135 minutes a further five men from Headquarters and three men from the Signal Platoon landed to set up a Beach Group Headquarter headquarters ashore on Mike Green beach about midday. Later in the day it moved to a crossroads near La Valette.

    During the afternoon a platoon from 8 Kings Regiment was sent to deal with enemy positions which were firing on, and interfering with the work of, the beach from somewhere on the right flank near Vaux and the nearby Chateau. The patrol was fired on with mortars and machine guns but could not locate the positions. It moved along to the hamlet of Le Buison, near the boundary with 50 Division, and met a party of 2 Hertfordshire Regiment from that division. The enemy seemed to be present in some strength and the platoon withdrew.

    Mike.

    Please excuse the quality of the sketch maps. They were made for my own use and are neither good examples of art nor craftmanship. They are redrawn from overlay traces in the War Diaries.
     
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  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    8 Beach Group.
    8 Beach Group was landed on Nan Sector. As on Mike the first personnel landed with the first assault waves but since there were three beaches in operation there were three parties each of three NCOs and fifteen other ranks to carry out a reconnaissance to find safe lanes across the beaches.

    Nan Sector was to initially accept personnel and vehicles for the assault division plus 360 tons of stores landed by two LCT. These stores were to be transferred to the Beach Ammunition Dumps. The Commander of 7 Beach Group was also responsible for the reconnaissance of the Dump Areas in conjunction with the heads of services. He was then responsible for the layout of the dumps and for a small Assembly Area for any vehicles and personnel that might land on Nan.

    8 Beach Group was formed around 5 Royal Berkshire Regiment and received the following in addition to its own integral units. One company of 8 Kings Regiment, 242 Petrol Depot, 193 Detail Issuing Detachment and 14 Ordnance Beach Detachment were transferred from 7 Beach Group. In addition I Corps provided 144 Pioneer Company, 255 Pioneer Company and 1013 Port Operating Company.

    On the first four tides Nan was to receive large numbers of vehicles. On the first tide six LSTs with four Rhino Ferries would carry 360 vehicles while seventy LCT would carry a further 770. On the second tide ten LSTs arrived with 630 vehicles. On the third tide nine LSTs, two Motor Transport Ships and two Motor Transport Coasters brought a total of 639 vehicles. The fourth tide brought a further two Motor Transport Ships and four Motor Transport Coasters with 306 vehicles. These vehicles passed through the ‘Knee’ Assembly Area which was then retained in case further vehicles should land on Nan although vehicles should now all pass through Mike beaches.

    8 Beach Group was to be responsible for the Dump Area until it was taken over by 102 Beach Sub Area. Apart from the preloaded LCTs it was planned that the following would arrive. Four coasters carried 1800 tons of stores of which 420 tons were priority stores to be unloaded on D Day. Nine preloaded LBV were to arrive on Nan Red carrying 453 tons of stores.

    Since 8 Beach Group would be handling stores, which required a considerable amount of manpower with the assistance of some machinery, while 7 Beach Group would be handling vehicles which were self unloading, resources were gradually transferred to the former from the latter. In addition 4 Beach Group was assigned to assist unloading on Nan when it arrived on D+4.

    There was a provisional plan to divert part of Force ‘S’ to Juno if Sword proved to be unsuitable or dangerous. In that case 6 Beach Group take over Oboe and Nan Red for the unloading of coasters and LBV. The stores unloaded would form a temporary maintenance area on the boundaries of Sword and Juno. In this case the reserve 4 Beach Group would be assigned to 101 Beach Sub Area on Sword.

    Initially ‘A’ Company Royal Berkshire Regiment was assigned to Nan Green, ‘B’ Company to Nan White and ‘C’ Company to Nan Red. ‘D’ Company together with ’C’ Company 5 Kings Regiment organised the dump areas. The Support Company worked in the petrol dump and the Carrier Platoon in the Detail Issue Depot.

    On D+4 4 Beach Group moved to Nan Green to relieve ‘A’ Company Royal Berkshire Regiment which then moved to Nan White. ‘C’ Company also moved to nan White since it was decided not to develop Nan Red. This simplified matters since now the whole of 8 Beach Group was working on Nan White, 7 Beach Group was working on Mike and 4 Beach Group was working on Nan Green.

    5 Royal Berkshire Regiment. 725 men. 21 vehicles.
    Staff Captain’s Increment and staff. 21 men. 3 vehicles.
    Including Camouflage Officer and Principal Beach Master.
    19 Beach Signal Section. 29 men. 1 vehicle.

    184 Field Company RE. 232 men. 23 vehicles.
    72 Field Company RE. 208 men. 6 vehicles.
    20 Works Stores Section RE. 20 men. ` 1 vehicle.
    204 Works Section. Recce. 9 men. 3 vehicles.
    59 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. 47 men. 36 vehicles.

    44 Mechanical Equipment Company. Coles cranes. 12 men.
    To work with Port Operating Companies.
    1034 Port Operating Company RE. 65 men 7 vehicles.
    1013 Port Operating Company RE. 6 men.
    1033 Port Operating Company RE. 157 men.
    946 Inland Waterway Operating Company RE. 21 men.
    961 Inland Waterway Operating Company RE. 14 men. 1 vehicle.
    966 Inland Waterway Operating Company RE. 146 men. 4 vehicles.

    33 Field Dressing Station RAMC. 91 men. 10 vehicles.
    34 Field Dressing Station RAMC. 96 men. 9 vehicles.
    45 Field Surgical Unit RAMC. 9 men. 1 vehicle.
    46 Field Surgical Unit RAMC. 9 men. 1 vehicle.
    14 Field Transfusion Unit RAMC. 4 men. 1 vehicle.
    3 Field Hygiene Section RAMC. 2 men.
    21 Port Medical Detachment. 3 men.

    23 Beach Recovery Section. 128 men. 20 vehicles.
    176 Workshop and Park Company. 80 men. 5 vehicles.
    244 Provost Company. 73 men. 10 vehicles.

    104 RAF Beach Section. 39 men. 4 vehicles.
    51 RAF Balloon Unit. 12 men.
    52 RAF Balloon Unit. 4 men. 2 vehicles.

    282 GT Company RASC. 82 men. 27 vehicles.
    633 GT Company RASC. Medical. 15 men. 6 vehicles.
    26 Army Tipper Company RASC. 9 men. 4 vehicles.
    139 Detail Issuing Detachment. 4 men. 1 vehicles.
    140 Detail Issuing Detachment. 42 men. 2 vehicles.
    240 Petrol Depot. 29 men. 3 vehicles.
    242 Petrol Depot. 4 men. 1 vehicles.

    14 Ordnance Beach Detachment. 6 men. 2 vehicles.
    45 Ordnance Ammunition Company. 48 men. 2 vehicles.

    170 Pioneer Company. 289 men. 3 vehicles.
    225 Pioneer Company. 289 men 3 vehicles.
    293 Pioneer Company. (Medical). 78 men. 1 vehicle.
    58 Pioneer Company. 289 men. 2 vehicles.
    267 Pioneer Company. 85 men.

    102 Beach Sub Area. 13 men. 1 vehicle.
    102 Beach Sub Area Signals. 30 men. 11 vehicles.
    8 Kings Regiment. 14 men. 4 vehicles.
    Postal Detachment. 2 men.
    Army Fire Service. 48 men. 12 vehicles.



    Nan Plan 1.jpg
    8 Beach Area. Nan Beach. First Key Plan.
    The beach areas of Nan Green and Nan White are shown on separate maps below.

    DUKW. The DUKW Park and bivouac area.
    MT. The MT Park and bivouac area.
    POW. Prisoner of War Cage.
    DID. Detail Issue Depot. Supply Dump.
    FDS. Field Dressing Station.
    CCS. Casualty Clearing Station.
    + Walking Wounded Collection Point.
    TC. Traffic Control Point.

    Nan was used for stores and so the area behind the beach was for dumps. There were Ordnance Dump, Ammunition Dump, Petrol Dump, RE Dump and Detail Issue Depot. The main lateral road which will run all the way from Bayeaux to Caen eventually runs across the southern limit of the area. Here there are Traffic Control Posts. There are forward routes and return routes to provide traffic circuits. Initially these are all one way.

    Nan Green Plan 1.jpg
    Nan Green. First Key Plan.

    RE. RE Dump.
    W. Wheeled Vehicle Assembly Area.
    T. Tracked Vehicle. Assembly Area.
    P. Personnel Assembly Area.
    DVP(T). Drowned Vehicle Park (Tracked)
    Main DVP. Main Drowned Vehicle Park.
    REME. REME Headquarters and bivouac area.
    MT. Motor Transport Park.
    BDS. Beach Dressing Station.
    LCRU. Landing Craft Recovery Unit.
    O. RN HQ RN Beachmaster.
    RN HQ. HQ NOIC.
    NOIC W/T. RN Rear Link wireless to UK.
    102 BSA HQ. HQ 102 Beach Sub Area.
    HQ. Headquarters bivouac area.


    Nan White Plan 1.jpg
    Nan White. First Key Plan.
     
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  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Field Engineers.
    (as opposed to Transportation)

    There was always plenty of work for engineers and their associated pioneer companies. When 102 Beach Sub Area assumed control the work of developing and improving beach exits and roads continued, as did mine clearance and obstacle clearance. Much has been written about the Mulberry Harbour but turning a strip of beach into a major port must rank as at least an equal achievement.

    Eventually CRE 102 Beach Sub Area found that he controlled some thirty units of various sizes.
    Headquarters CRE.
    Ten Field Companies.
    Two Mechanical Equipment Sections plus detachments from four others.
    Two Stores Sections.
    One Works Section.
    Two Artizan Works Companies.
    One Workshop and Park Company.
    One Bomb Disposal Section.

    Eight Pioneer Companies.
    One Tipper Company RASC.
    One Corps Composite Company.


    Mike.
    On D Day Mike Beach landed the following to work with 7 Beach Group, 85 Field Company, a detachment of 59 Mechanical Equipment Section, 19 Field Store Section and 190 Pioneer Company. These units remained under the command of 7 Beach Group until the Commander Royal Engineers landed and took over command of engineer units at about H+7 hours.

    19 Field Stores Section was responsible for the layout and operation of the RE Beach Dump at ref. 959856. It received and issued all the RE Stores which landed after the main body about H+180. During the day this amounted to some 150 tons with 60 tons landing in 3ton lorries, 36 tons being landed from beached LCTs and 49 tons being landed by preloaded DUKWs. A further 70 tons was available on coasters but unloading was slow. The layout of the dump included sufficient space for the stacking and re issue of 200 tons a day of airfield construction stores. These would pass through from D+2 to D+6 when a new RE Dump would be available. 190 Pioneer Company provided labour as required.

    85 Field Company, with the detachment of 59 Mechanical Equipment Section and 190 Pioneer Company under command, had a considerable list of tasks pre assigned for D Day. These included mine clearance, developing beach exits, clearing beach obstacles and constructing beach roadways.

    59 Mechanical Equipment Section landed six crawler tractors (bulldozers) including one Class II armoured, three Class II unarmoured, one Class III armoured and one Class III unarmoured. Each of the tractors towed a Jahn trailer with trackway stores. Later in the day two tippers and two dumpers were also landed. These were to be used as ordered by 85 Field Company.

    Detailed tasks included:
    Mine clearance, marking safe areas and marking mine fields. This was carried out on lanes from the waters edge to the beach exits, along the beach lateral above high water and on the verges of exit routes from the beach to the main coast lateral. Mine clearance was also carried out in the areas allocated to the RE Beach Dump, the Beach Ammunition Dump, the Transit Areas, the Drowned Vehicle Park and the beach minefields. The Sherman Flails of the Breaching Teams were available to assist in mine clearance after they had completed their Phase I tasks and until they were required to move inland.

    Beach exits. As a priority two wheeled exits were developed at ref: 949863 and 962858 and a tracked exit developed at ref:955860. Lower priorities were a further wheeled exit at ref:965860 and a beach entrance at 955861 to include a new road over marshy ground.

    Obstacle clearance. As the tide receded work continued to complete the clearance of beach obstacles from the beaches to be used for beaching Rhinos, LCTs and eventually LSTs.

    Beach roadways. A 20 foot wide beach lateral of Sommerfeld track laid on hessian was constructed across the beach above the high water mark. Pierced Steel Planking was laid over high traffic areas, especially where tracked vehicles would cross the track. A reconnaissance was carried out as the tide fell and any soft areas on the beach and any runnels etc had Pierced Steel Planking laid over them.

    190 Pioneer Company assisted in all the above as required.

    An additional task for 85 Field Company was the establishment of a water point to deliver 20,000 gallons a day by the evening of D Day.

    On D+1 670 Artisan Works Company arrived to join 7 Beach Group. The Beach Group engineers continued with their previous tasks until they were completed and started to construct a road over the marsh from the coast lateral at 955858 to the beach at 955861 and made a new beach exit. They also improved the route into Courseulles over the swing bridge and made a new beach exit at 965860. Any remaining resources were devoted to road maintenance in the Assembly Areas.

    Mike was to be developed for personnel and vehicles. On D+4 a NL Pontoon Causeway was constructed in the centre of Mike Red. This work only took two days and was carried out by 582 Field Company. It was not constructed immediately as the maximum amount of beaching space was required for the landing of vehicles from beached LSTs and from coasters by Rhino Ferry. When it was operational vehicles could disembark their load of vehicles onto the NL Pontoon Causeway from where they were driven straight up the beach, over a bridge over the River Seulles and then along a concrete road to the de waterproofing point near Graye sur Mer. The Causeway was also the only way in which personnel could be landed dryshod, but LCI(L) found it difficult to use because of the cross current.

    There had been a bridge over the Seulles but this was not sufficiently strong to carry tracked vehicles. A new bridge had to be built. Bailey bridge equipment was in demand for use in forward areas and there was a lack of timber and RSJs so initiative and engineer ingenuity was used. A precast, reinforced concrete bridge was designed and built by 85 Field Company RE. The main joists were built on the side of the river and then rolled out into position. This was a standard means of launching beams without heavy cranes. A reinforced concrete road was then built on top of the beams. The work of building the bridge and approaches was helped by the fact that two large mechanically driven concrete mixers had been left by the Germans, who had been using them in the construction of shore defences. The mixers and a considerable amount of aggregate and sand were a mile to the west of the bridging point so the concrete was mixed on the German site and rushed to the bridge site by tippers. If the road was kept clear the journey took ten minutes and the concrete could be readily poured. The whole construction took some five weeks to build.

    In the meantime two other exits were used. One exit was nearer to Courseulles and led onto the concrete lateral road behind the dunes that had been built by the Germans. The other exit was the original main exit some two hundred yards to the west. The bridge, which was formed over a ditched AVRE and improved with fascines and logs, was further improved by concreting it over.

    On D+3 it was reported that some sections of Mike Beach were suffering from craft using their engines when aground. This was understandable since craft were beaching on a rising tide and needed to move forward as the tide rose. The craft were also reluctant to use their kedge anchors to hold the craft in position and to assist with retracting from the beach since this involved considerable effort on the shallow sloping beaches and there was always the danger of getting the cable round a propeller. They preferred to use their engines. The pot holes that the use of engines caused needed to be filled. The simplest way of doing this was to rest the beach and allow the tide to fill in the potholes.

    Love Beach was cleared with a view to developing it for unloading and on D+5 Mike Beach was closed due to the potholes and Love Beach replaced it temporarily with five exits working. On D+6 Mike Red was back in use with four exits but with bulldozers levelling the potholes since the tide had not done so.



    Nan.
    On D Day Nan Beach landed the following to work with 8 Beach Group, 184 Field Company, 59 Mechanical Equipment Section (less the detachment on Mike), 20 Field Store Section and 170 Pioneer Company. These units remained under the command of 8 Beach Group until the Commander Royal Engineers landed and took over command of engineer units at about H+7 hours. Because Nan handled stores and initially covered a larger beach area it had the following additional resources, 72 Field Company, a detachment of 240 Field Company, a detachment of tippers from 290 Corps Troops Company RASC and two park sections of 176 Workshop and Park Company.

    When Commander RE 102 Beach Sub Area landed, about H+7 hours, 72 Field Company and 58 Pioneer Company came under his command. 72 Field Company was to be employed on road clearance work. The detachment of 240 Field Company remained with 8 Beach Group until it was required by CRE I Corps for work forward.

    59 Mechanical Equipment Section landed eight crawler tractors including two Class I, one Class II armoured, three Class II unarmoured, one Class III armoured and one Class III unarmoured. Each of the tractors towed a Jahn trailer with trackway stores. Later in the day two tippers, two dumpers and two RB 10 excavators with draglines attached were also landed. Later a reserve of two crawler tractor Class IV and two Jahn trailers were landed. These were to be used as ordered by 184 Field Company.

    Detailed tasks included:
    Mine clearance, marking safe areas and marking mine fields. This was carried out on lanes from the waters edge to the beach exits, along the beach lateral above high water or over the groynes found in some areas, on the verges of exit routes from the beach to the main coast lateral and on the railway line from Courseulles Station to ref:995855. Mine clearance was also carried out in the areas allocated to the RE Beach Dump, the Beach Ammunition Dump, the Transit Areas, the Drowned Vehicle Park and the beach minefields. The Sherman Flails of the Breaching Teams were available to assist in mine clearance after they had completed their Phase I tasks and until they were required to move inland.

    Beach exits. As a priority three wheeled exits were developed at ref: 975856, 993855 and 009852 and three tracked exits developed at ref: 874856, 992855 and 006853. Lower priorities were a further wheeled exit at ref:995855 and a beach entrance at 977855 to include a new road over marshes from road at 977852 to the beach at 977855. On D+5 Nan Green and Nan White each had two exits working and on D+6 Nan Green had three exits and Nan White had two.

    Obstacle clearance. As the tide receded work continued to complete the clearance of beach obstacles from the beaches.

    Beach roadways. A 20 foot wide beach lateral of Sommerfeld track laid on hessian was constructed across the beach above the high water mark.

    The main link between Bernieres and Courseulles was the beach lateral running some distance inland. It had been planned to take up the railway line along the coast and lay a road over the rail bed. Engineers had been trained in the rapid removal of the rails. Reconnaissance and survey showed that the foundations were soft sand and not suitable for a road which would inevitably have heavy use. Make the line into an acceptable road would require more work than was thought to be worthwhile. The lateral road was improved by rounding off corners to allow passage for DUKWs. The beach lateral of Sommerfeld track built well above the high water mark proved to be adequate.

    A reconnaissance was carried out as the tide fell and any soft areas on the beach and any runnels etc had Pierced Steel Planking laid over them.

    170 Pioneer Company assisted in all the above as required.

    20 Field Stores Section was responsible for the layout and operation of the RE Beach Dump at ref. 992854. It received and issued all the RE Stores which landed after the main body about H+180. During the day this amounted to some 200 tons including 166 tons on 3ton lorries, 36 tons on LCTs and 74 tons on DUKWs. 20 Field Stores Section was also to arrange for personnel to supervise the unloading of bridging material from craft after D Day to ensure that stores were not damaged by careless handling and that small components were included with larger items despatched to the Main RE Dump. 170 Pioneer Company provided labour as required.

    184 Field Company was responsible for providing a water point to provide 20,000 gallons a day in the Beach Maintenance Area

    Headquarters 176 Workshop and Park Company RE was responsible for the control of all RE stores and for the final layout of the Main RE Dump. It was assisted by its two park sections and by 240 Field Company until it was required elsewhere and by personnel from 58 and 66 Pioneer Companies, which were also employed on making temporary tracks in the Beach Maintenance Area.

    On D+1 204 Works Section, 66 Pioneer Company, a detachment of 48 Bomb Disposal Section and two sections from 26 Army Tipper Company landed. Priority tasks on D+1 were to work on the road across the marshes, maintain forward routes in the Beach Maintenance Area, maintain the beach exits and to develop Nan Red. Survey revealed that Nan Red suffered from runnels and uneven surfaces. Since Sword Beach seemed secure and Nan White promised to be able to handle all stores Nan Red was not in fact developed.

    On D+2 710 Artisan Works Company and 257 Pioneer Company landed and were to develop the Beach Maintenance Area westwards.

    On D+3 the NL Pontoon sections which had been towed behind coasters were used to construct a 700 foot causeway at the west end of Nan Green, near the harbour entrance.


    Nan was to be developed as the commodity beach. Behind the beach were the dumps and DUKWs worked from ships to the dumps. Initially Nan White was developed. The beach here was good and the exit was quickly put into a useable state and then developed as resources allowed. By D+1 it was an excellent exit and there was felt to be no need to develop Nan Red.

    184 Field company RE was a Beach Group unit which was responsible for much of the work, having other units placed under command as required. An engineer beach dump was established in the field behind the railway station. The Mechanical Equipment Section was nearby and 184 Field Company in a small field east of Bernieres.

    Eventually the main beach exit was developed on Nan White. At first this looked unpromising as it had to cross marshes just inland. However it did provide a direct route inland and was developed by 213 Field Company in two weeks. This was a good road and carried DUKW convoys for as long as the beach operated. The DUKW transhipment point was built at the top of the hill on this road. Here DUKWs unloaded stores onto platforms and GS lorries collected the stores for delivery to the dumps. There was then little need to use the lateral road.


    I Corps Engineers.
    I Corps Engineers did not normally operate in the Beach Sub Area but did assume responsibility for the main lateral road which ran along the southern edge of the area and linked all the dumps as well as giving access to them from forward units. This road ran from Creully to Tailleville and then on to Colleville behind Sword Beach. It also linked to Bayeaux to the west and to Caen in the east. This road would be needed for beach maintenance traffic, corps administrative traffic and for corps operational traffic. Inspection revealed that it would soon break up under this weight of traffic and I Corps Engineer carried out work to improve it.

    Two tracks with a total length of twenty two miles were constructed alongside the existing road, each to take one way traffic. Twelve miles of the track was of single width Sommerfeld track laid on a graded foundation across fields. Bulldozers, a single grader, two rollers and a lot of Pioneer manpower were used. Much of the track was tarred over using captured enemy stocks.

    Since tanks were destructive of tracks they used a separate track either side of the laid track.

    Mike.
     
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  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Port Operating Groups.
    No2 Port Operating Group.
    The first personnel of Headquarters No2 Port Operating Group landed on Mike on D+2 when four officers, 18 other ranks and three vehicles arrived. They were to take over control of all Port Operating Companies on Mike Sector, most of which had already arrived. The remainder of the Headquarters landed later.

    The Port Operating Companies of No2 Port Operating Group were trained in unloading vehicles from Motor Transport Ships and Motor Transport Coasters. Most of the personnel would arrive with the ships and coasters that they were to unload.

    996 Port Operating Company.
    998 Port Operating Company.
    1018 Port Operating Company.
    1057 Port Operating Company.
    All four of these companies were identical in role and composition. They also had identical instructions for landing apart from some variation in times.

    Each company landed one officer, three other ranks and one vehicle as a reconnaissance party on the second tide. Each then landed a party of one officer, twenty other ranks and three vehicles to prepare the bivouac areas for the 318 personnel to arrive on ships and coasters. The only significant variation was that 1057 Port Operating Company would land reconnaissance and preparation parties on D+2 and the remaining personnel would arrive on MT ships and coasters from D+2 onwards.

    995 Port Maintenance Company landed five officers, 79 other ranks and five vehicles on D+1 to man the Beach Gear Section and to maintain equipment. A further officer and 36 other ranks landed on D+2.


    11 Port Operating Group.
    An advanced party from Headquarters 11 Port Operating Group landed Nan. Three officers and seven other ranks remained on Nan while one officer and three other ranks proceeded to Mike. On arrival at Beach group Headquarters they were responsible for the co ordination and control of transportation units in their sector. On the second tide a further party of five officers and eleven other ranks with two vehicles landed to establish a Transportation Headquarters at Headquarters 102 Beach Sub Area.

    Port Operating Companies were responsible for the actual unloading of coasters and ships. On Nan they were trained in the unloading of stores while on Mike they were trained in the unloading of vehicles. Nan was allocated three and a half companies for unloading plus part of a 1051 Company most of which operated cranes.

    1033 Port Operating Company.
    One officer and three other ranks landed on Mike about H+4 hours and then proceeded to Nan to carry out a reconnaissance of the bivouac area. (They must have passed the party from group headquarters going the other way!). On the second tide a party of one officer, seventeen other ranks and seven vehicles landed to prepare the bivouac area for the rest of the company. A final administrative party of ten other ranks and three vehicles landed on the third tide. The actual working personnel arrived on the store coasters which they would unload. Eight gangs with a total of three officers and 154 other ranks arrived on D+1 and unloaded their coasters before going ashore. The remaining three officers and 153 other ranks landed from personnel ships, initially to act as reliefs and then the company operated a duty rota system to maintain 24 hour working.

    1034 Port Operating Company.
    The advanced parties landed as for 1033 Company except that they all landed on Nan. Thirteen gangs with a total of four officers and 251 other ranks arrived on coasters on the second tide. Three gangs with one officer and 57 other ranks landed by LCI(L).

    1013 Port Operating Company.
    This company arrived later with the advanced party of one officer and five other ranks landing on the second tide to prepare the bivouac and one officer, nine other ranks and three vehicles landing on the third tide. The remainder of the administrative personnel and vehicles landed from D+2 onwards. Sixteen gangs with five officers and 308 other ranks arrived on coasters on D+2.

    1055 Port Operating Company.
    Only half of this company was allocated to Nan. One officer, fifteen other ranks and one vehicle landed on the third tide. Three gangs with one officer and 58 other ranks arrived with coasters on D+1. Two gangs with 38 other ranks arrived on coasters on D+2. Three gangs with one officer and 58 other ranks landed from personnel ships on D+1.

    1051 Port Maintenance Company.
    Five officers and 76 other ranks with four vehicles landed on D+1 to man the Beach Gear Store and carry out maintenance work on cranes. One officer and 51 other ranks followed on D+2.

    37 Port Ammunition Detachment RAOC was responsible for supervising the unloading of ammunition and two men were present on each coaster carrying ammunition. One officer and 15 other ranks arrived on D Day and D+1.

    When the shore organisation was established the company organisation was four sections of four sub sections or working gangs. Each gang was organised to work a hold and consisted of fourteen men, a NCO hatchman, a checker, two winch drivers, six men in the hold and four men on the craft or shore. Army stevedores were trained to unload vessels by manhandling cargo into cargo nets or onto pallets in the ships holds. The nets were then hoisted using the ships own derricks, booms and winches. In some cases, especially when unloading into DUKWs, the cargo net was placed directly into an RASC vehicle. More usually cargo was loaded into vehicles by hand.

    Vehicles going into Europe were mostly fitted with flanged hubs to make the unloading of vehicles simpler and quicker. A rope loop was placed round each hub flange (6 X 4 vehicles only used four) and the vehicle was then lifted by ships winch. The alternative was to use nets which were fitted under the wheels but this meant pushing the vehicle onto the nets while in the ships hold and then pushing it off them again when it was on the craft. Motor

    Some Stores Coasters were beached for unloading, MT coasters were not. Stores coasters were beached as the tide went out and could then be unloaded directly into lorries. This proved an extremely valuable means of rapidly unloading stores. Interestingly although most sources say the decision to beach coasters was an innovation made necessary by delays in unloading with craft in 1943 beaching was seen as the standard way of unloading coasters

    Port Operating Companies were provided with No 46 wireless sets so that progress could be reported and the efficient use of craft organised. There was also a pool of fourteen No38 sets and five No18 sets held by each Beach Group for issue to Port Operating Companies as required.

    The system worked well in general with one serious lapse on D+3. Convoy ETM5 arrived at 0805 and at 1230 the Principal Ferry Control Officer reported that some of the MT coasters were without Dock Operating personnel and could not be unloaded. Parties of seamen were provided as an emergency measure but there was a serious loss of unloading time and the schedule was already behind. It seems there was a lack of liaison and the Commander Port Operating group was unaware that personnel were required and had assigned them to other tasks.

    Mike
     
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  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Inland Water Transport Companies.
    961 and 966 Inland Water Transport Companies, plus part of 946 Inland Water Transport Company, operated Rhino ferries with the assistance of 243 and 207 Pioneer Companies. 972 Inland Water Transport Light Aid Workshop provided maintenance and repair.

    The slope of the Normandy beaches was too shallow for normal beaching and it was intended that LSTs would unload using Rhino Ferries. This proved to be too slow and as described above it was soon found that LSTs could be beached, dried out and unloaded without Rhinos, which were then used to unload MT coasters and ships. Rhino ferries were 175 foot long, 43 foot wide and 5 foot deep, with a ramp at the bow. They were powered by two 160 horse power outboard motors and there was a separate tug of similar construction with a further two 160 horse power outboard motors. The ferry could unload and retract itself on a falling tide. When used to unload MT coasters and ships only one round trip per shift could be made, the controlling factor being the slowness of hoisting vehicles from the ship to the ferry.

    Most of the personnel arrived on the LSTs which towed their Rhino ferries but on the first tide of D Day two advanced parties landed to carry out a reconnaissance and prepare bivouac areas. Mike and Nan beaches each landed 38 personnel and two vehicles from the Inland Water Transport Companies plus 16 men from the Pioneer Company. Both bivouac areas were to be just on the Nan side of the boundary between Mike and Nan.

    The following were also to be found bivouacs near the boundary between Mike and Nan. On the second tide Mike received 188 personnel and 4 vehicles from Inland Water Transport Company and 108 personnel from the Pioneer Company. Nan received 178 personnel and 5 vehicles from Inland Water Transport Company and 93 personnel from the Pioneer Company. On D+1 54 personnel with 7 vehicles from a Port Construction and Repair Company arrived and were accommodated near the boundary of Mike and Nan.

    Each Rhino Ferry carried a Caterpillar D8 Angledozer to make a level sand ramp for the vehicles to use after leaving the Rhino. They could also be used to help in manoeuvring and anchoring the Rhino since they were equipped with a heavy duty winch. The D8s were operated by 42 Mechanical Equipment (Transportation) Section which also landed 17 personnel with 11 vehicles later.


    966 Inland Water Transport Company
    966 Inland Water Transport Company was the company initially operating Rhino ferries on Mike while 961 operated on Nan. After D Day they worked together under 102 Beach Sub Area and worked more flexibly and eventually 966 Company took over all the Rhinos remaining on Juno. The following from the War Diary of 966 gives an idea of the workings of the Rhino units.

    The Company did not receive its last two Rhino Ferries until the 31st May, five days before the planned D Day, four days before they were scheduled to set sail. This did not allow much time for preparation. Personnel had at least trained on other craft. Even then the company was still short of six Rhino tugs.

    The Company embarked on LSTs on June 4th. The Rhinos and tugs were moored alongside the LSTs which would tow them across the Channel. Eight Rhinos were to be towed by LSTs. Two of these also towed a tug behind the Rhinos. Six more tugs were towed behind other LSTs. The personnel provided fifteen craft crews, one for each Rhino ferry, one for each tug being towed separately and one to work with 961 Company.

    The convoy of LSTs and their Rhinos set sail at 2200 hours on D-1. The two tugs being towed behind Rhinos broke adrift on the crossing due to bad weather and too high a speed. The convoy arrived off Courseulles about 1200 hours on D Day. Bad weather conditions delayed operations, and prevented the use of tugs, so that the first Rhino load was not disembarked until 1700 hours. By midnight one Rhino was aground and no tugs were serviceable.

    On D+1 the Company bivouacked in Courseulles sur Mer. Weather still rough and unloading slow. At 2230 hours there was a heavy bombing and machine gun attack on bivouac area. Casualties were heavy with12 killed and 31 wounded, plus 1 killed and 15 wounded in the attached 26 Company Pioneer Corps. The wounded were evacuated to the Beach Dressing Station and 33/34 Field Dressing Station.

    The Company moved billets at the top of the town on D+2. Slit trenches were dug and the Company accommodated in them. One Rhino was unserviceable because of engine trouble but the first PBR (Powered Barge, Ramped) arrived. These barges were more reliable than Rhinos but could not carry such large numbers of vehicles.

    As the beach operation was developed craft were used more flexibly. On D+3 two crews were sent to work on Sword Beach and two Rhinos were sent to Gold Beach. There were now four Rhinos, two tugs and eight crews working at Courseulles, Nan Beach. Two Rhinos were unserviceable as were the remainder of the tugs. The administrative personnel remained in their billets ashore but the Rhino crews were now accommodated on the LST HMS Tasajera which was acting as Depot Ship. Rhinos moored near by, in the shelter of Gooseberry 4.

    As the beach developed further vehicles were landed on Mike Beach and the remaining four serviceable Rhinos moved there on D+4. One Rhino struck a mine so that there were now only three working.

    A Beach Party was organised to control ferries, bulldozers and keep check on tugs. Two men were sent aboard each unserviceable tug and four on board each unserviceable Rhino. In addition to the problems with ferries and tugs the company reported problems with its land transport. The headquarters Hillman Utility arrived from the Drowned Vehicle Park, having being drowned on landing. The units 15cwt and 3 tonner also arrived but the company typewriter had been stolen from 15cwt. The company was short of office equipment which was on board one of the tugs when it broke adrift. One 15cwt was borrowed from Headquarters 3 Inland Water Transport Group. Finally there were administrative problems because a large proportion of the Orderly Room Staff and cooks became casualties in the air raids. However on 15th June a DUKW allotted to company for general duty arrived with a crew of two.

    Officers Commanding 961 and 966 IWT Companies agreed to set up a joint Beach Party which would consist of two officers, a serjeant and six lightermen plus maintenance parties.

    Despite all problems the company discharged 276 vehicles by Rhino Ferry on 17th, 18th and 19th June. A gale then brought operations to a halt. The Rhinos were unable to operate and all were driven ashore, the majority being damaged.

    On 23rd June, with the storm over, all Rhino Ferries operating on Mike and Nan Beaches taken over by the Company. Six Rhino Ferries, two of which were beached, were taken over from 961 Company. All Rhinos were now operating Mike Beach only and a special section of the beach was allocated to Rhinos. The entire Company was now bivouacked and operating from ashore and was all together. The depot ship HMS Tasajera had been damaged in the gale and returned to the UK.

    On 26th June there were only two Rhinos working with engines. Three Rhinos were being used as dumb barges and were being towed by two TID tugs attached to the Company.

    At the end of the month nine Rhino Ferries were beached and under repair, one was moored at the Gooseberry and in use as dumb barge and six were working normally.

    The Bulldozers attached to the company were also causing problems. No figures are available for June but at the end of he first week of July of the eight dozers five were in RE workshops awaiting repair, the repairs held up for a lack of spares, two were awaiting repair but the workshops would not accept them until they had the spares, one required repair by unit fitter and one was working.

    Mike
     
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  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The Motor Transport Ships.
    MT Ships carried 135 vehicles when pre loaded and 120 vehicles subsequently. They should have had 66% of vehicles up to 5ton and 33% over 5ton and up to 40 ton. However vehicles of 40 ton could only be carried after a port was available. 33% of vehicles had to be under 6’ 9” high.

    In addition motorcycles could be carried up to 10% of the lift. Over that proportion they should be counted as 6 motorcycles equals one vehicle.

    Heavy and awkward loads were to be carried in LCTs and LSTs since otherwise they presented problems in unloading. Tanks were to be carried in LCTs as they were an uneconomic load for LSTs.


    Group L5.
    Force ‘L’ was a Naval Force designed to fill the gap between the Assault Forces ‘S’, ‘J’ and ‘G’ and the Build Up timetable. It sailed from the Thames and East Coast ports with vehicles and personnel for all three beaches.

    The following are two Motor Transport Ships timed to arrive at H+23 Hours and discharge onto Ferry Craft. Given the number of vehicles carried this would take some time. In the event discharging was well behind schedule due to the bad weather and shortage of ferry craft. All the first group of MT ships were US built Liberty Class.

    Sound Ranging Troop, ‘A’ Battery, 9 Survey Regiment RA.
    1 Jeep, Ford.
    1 15cwt, FFW.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford.
    28 men.
    Commandos.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, Ford (CMP), with 2 crew from 3 Commando.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, Ford (CMP), with 2 crew from 4 Commando.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, Ford (CMP), with 2 crew from 6 Commando.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, Ford (CMP), with 2 crew from 45 RM Commando.
    14 Canadian Field Ambulance.
    6 3ton GS with 27 crew.
    67 Anti Tank Battery RA.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    2 15cwt GS.
    15 men.
    101 Anti Tank Battery RA.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    2 15cwt GS.
    15 men.
    20 Anti Tank Regiment LAD.
    4 15cwt 4 X 4 GS CMP.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS Austin.
    34 men.
    1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    13 men.
    3 Division Signals.
    1 Jeep from ‘L’ Section,
    2 Car 4 seater 4 X 4 from ‘L’ Section.
    6 men from ‘L’ Section.
    Headquarters 185 Brigade.
    1 Car 4 seater 4 X 4, Humber.
    2 15cwt GS, Bedford.
    1 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP.
    1 15cwt Water.
    9 men.
    2 Warwickshire Regiment.
    5 15cwt GS, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austi.
    14 men.
    1 Norfolk Regiment.
    5 15cwt GS, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    14 men.
    2 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.
    5 15cwt GS, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    14 men.
    2 Middlesex Regiment.
    2 15cwt GS, Bedford.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    18 men.
    27 Armoured Brigade Workshop REME.
    4 Breakdown Tractor, Scammell.
    1 7½ ton recovery trailer.
    1 Car 4 seater 4 X 4, Humber.
    1 15cwt gas welding trailer.
    1 15cwt repair trailer.
    1 15cwt water trailer.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 Stores, Austin.
    84 men.
    Headquarters CRE 3 Division.
    1 3ton 4 X 2 GS towing a 1 ton trailer with 4 crew.
    33 Brigade Company RASC.
    1 Jeep.
    18 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    52 men.
    19 Field Company RE.
    4 3ton Winch, Karrier, with 12 crew.
    Headquarters 92 LAA Regiment RA.
    1 Heavy Utility, Humber.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP..
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    1 15cwt GS, Ford.
    32 men.
    92 LAA Regiment RA.
    1 15cwt Water.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    4 LAA Tractors, Bedford QLB.
    12 SP Bofors, Morris 9/B.
    2 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    134 men.
    1 Suffolk Regiment.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    15 men.
    2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    13 men.
    2 Lincolnshire Regiment.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    12 men.
    1 Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    12 men.
    2 Royal Ulster Rifles.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    5 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    12 men.
    8 Field Ambulance RAMC.
    1 15cwt Water.
    2 Heavy Ambulance,4 stretcher, Bedford ML.
    6 men.
    9 Field Ambulance RAMC.
    1 15cwt Water.
    2 Heavy Ambulance, 4 stretcher, Bedford ML.
    6 men.
    Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    2 Jeeps.
    3 Car 4 seater 4 X 4, Humber.
    1 15cwt Water.
    1 10cwt trailer.
    2 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    10 men.
    85 Canadian LAD.
    1 Heavy Breakdown Tractor.
    1 3ton stores.
    8 men.
    2 Canadian Armoured Brigade RCASC.
    33 3ton GS.
    1 15cwt Workshop.
    124 men..
    591 Parachute Squadron RE.
    4 Jeeps and 1 airborne trailer with 10 crew.
    966 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 15cwt GS.
    1 Car 2 seater.
    10 men.
    1024 Port Operating Company RE.
    1 Amphibious jeep.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS.
    1 15cwt water trailer.
    1 fire pump trailer.
    4 men.
    1018 Port Operating Company RE.
    211 men.
    Naval Liaison Officer Signal Section RN.
    1 8cwt 4 X 2, Morris PU.
    1 30cwt, Dodge.
    9 men.
    Although unusual at this late date the 8cwt Morris PU was actually landed. The Dodge may have been replaced by a 3 ton 4 X 4.
    Landing Craft Recovery, Unit RN.
    1 jeep, Ford.
    1 30cwt, Dodge.
    1 DUKW.
    1 water trailer.
    1 Heavy Pump trailer, Dennis.
    1 Crane, Le Tourneau.
    1 D8 Tractor, without blade.
    15 men.
    It is known that the Dodge was replaced by a 3ton 4 X 4 and that the DUKW was replaced by a Terrapin.
    102 Beach Section RAF.
    2 Jeeps.
    1 3ton Winch, Karrier.
    4 Motorcycles .
    9 men.
    39 GT Company RASC.
    2 Jeeps.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    6 men.
    101 GT Company RASC.
    1 15cwt Water.
    3 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    8 men.
    50 Beach Balloon Unit RAF.
    3 ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford QL, with 2 crew.
    9 Stores Section RE.
    1 15cwt 4 X 2 Bedford with 2 crew.
    297 GT Company.
    10 DUKW with 20 crew.
    53 Pioneer Company.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 4 crew.
    ‘X’ Pioneer Company.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 4 crew.
    ‘Y’ Pioneer Company.
    1 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 2 crew.
    245 Provost Company.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin, with 1 crew.
    53 Beach Balloon Unit RAF.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford QL, with 2 crew.

    Mike.
     
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    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Motor Transport Coasters
    Two Motor Transport Coasters arrive at H+23 hours and discharge into ferry craft.

    MT Coasters carried 30 to 40 vehicles according to the type of coaster. They should have carried 80% of their vehicles up to 5ton and 20% could be over 5ton but under 10ton.

    27 Armoured Brigade Workshop.
    1 15cwt 4 X 2 Machinery KL, Bedford.
    1 15cwt Machinery, Ford WOT2.
    6 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 Store, Bedford.
    13 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Ford WOT6.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 Stores, Austin.
    86 men.
    22 Dragoons.
    4 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    3 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    2 M14 Halftrack.
    36 men.
    Corps Prisoner of War Camp. For Refugees.
    4 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    64 men.
    961 Inland Water Transport Operating Company RE.
    1 3ton 4 X 2 GS with 2 crew.
    267 Pioneer Company.
    1 15cwt 4 X 2 GS with 2 crew.
    1055 Port Operating Company RE.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    1051 Port Maintenance Company RE.
    1 Car 2 seater.
    1 15cwt Compressor.
    2 3ton 4 X 2 GS.
    7 men.
    299 GT Company RASC.
    3 15cwt Water.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    7 men.
    9 Field Dressing Station RAMC.
    1 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 2 crew.
    12 Field Dressing Station RAMC.
    1 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 2 crew.
    112 Pioneer Company.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 4 crew.
    ’Y’ Pioneer Company.
    1 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP, with 2 crew.
    1018 Port Operating Company RE.
    27 men.
    223 Field Ambulance RAMC.
    1 15cwt Water.
    2 Heavy Ambulances.
    6 men.
    65 Field Company RE.
    3 ton 4 X 4 Winch, Karrier.
    1 15cwt Water.
    8 men.

    Four Motor Transport Coasters arrive at H+36 hours.
    I Corps Units.
    Air Support Signals Unit.
    5 15cwt WT with 20 crew. Five tentacles.
    Transportation Directorate.
    1 Amphibious Jeep with 1 crew.
    266 Forward Delivery Squadron.
    2 Jeeps, Ford.
    4 15cwt 4 X 4, Ford.
    1 M3A1 White.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 Store, Austin.
    1 Carrier Universal.
    6 6pdr AT guns.
    50 men.
    55 Field Regiment RA.
    1 Jeep.
    1 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Ford.
    1 15cwt WT Guy.
    3 15cwt Water.
    5 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Ford.
    1 3ton Breakdown 6 X 4, Leyland.
    59 men.
    Corp Meteorological Section, RAF.
    3 ton 4 X 4 Cipher Office, Bedford QL, with 5 crew.
    9 Survey Regiment.
    2 Jeeps from Headquarters.
    1 15cwt GS Bedford.
    2 15cwt FFW Bedford.
    2 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford QL.
    1 3ton Breakdown 6 X 4, Dodge.
    35 men.
    102 Provost Company.
    2 15cwt 4 X 4 GS, CMP.
    1 15cwt 4 X 2 GS, Bedford.
    6 men.
    1 Corps Postal Unit.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford QL, with 2 crew.

    3 Canadian Division Units.
    Royal Winnipeg Rifles.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    Regina Rifles.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    3 Canadian Division Signals.
    3 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 9 crew. From Headquarters
    1 Canadian Scottish.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    Queens Own Regiment of Canada.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    Regiment de Chaudiere.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 2 crew.
    22 Canadian Field Ambulance.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 GS with 27 crew from
    North Shore Regiment.
    3 3ton GS with 6 crew.
    HLI of Canada.
    2 3ton GS with 4 crew.
    SD & G Highlanders.
    2 3ton GS with 4 crew.
    North NS Highlanders.
    2 3ton GS with 4 crew.
    7 Brigade Company RCASC.
    34 3ton GS with 63 crew.
    1 15cwt Workshop.
    126 men.
    2 Canadian Armoured Brigade Workshop.
    1 3ton GS.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL.
    1 15cwt Machinery ZL.
    15 men.

    3 Division Units.
    1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.
    1 Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.
    2 Royal Ulster Rifles.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.
    2 Warwickshire Regiment.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.
    1 Norfolk Regiment.
    1 15cwt water with 2 crew.
    1 Suffolk Regiment.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    2 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    7 Field Regiment RA.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    33 Field Regiment RA.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    76 Field Regiment RA.
    1 15cwt Water with 2 crew.
    Headquarters CRÈME, 3 Division.
    1 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Bedford OY.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Bedford QL.
    16 men.
    13/18 Hussars LAD.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    6 men.
    Staffordshire Yeomanry LAD.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    6 men.
    East Riding Yeomanry LAD.
    1 15cwt Machinery KL, Bedford.
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin.
    6 men.
    3 Division Signals LAD.
    1 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Bedford OY.
    1 3ton 6 X 4 Breakdown, Crossley.
    10 men.
    15 Field Park Company LAD.
    2 3ton 4 X 2 GS, Bedford OY.
    1 3ton 6 X 4 Breakdown, Crossley.
    10 men.
    1018 Port Operating Company RE.
    26 men.
    27 men.
    112 Pioneer Company.
    1 Car 2 seater from Headquarters
    1 3ton 4 X 4 GS, Austin, from Headquarters.
    1 15cwt GS, Bedford, from Headquarters..
    6 men from Headquarters.

    Mike
     
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    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Transport.
    Headquarters CRASC. (30 Transport Column).
    199 GT Company. DUKWs.
    297 GT Company. DUKWs.
    633 GT Company. 1 Platoon medical DUKWs.
    282 GT Company. 3 ton 4 X 4.

    DUKWs were the first RASSC load carrying vehicles ashore. 21 DUKW from 199 GT Company landed from LSTs about H+7 hours. They were able to launch and swim ashore without delay since they did not need to wait for Rhino ferries. 66 more DUKWs of the same company landed about H+12, again not suffering delays. Medical DUKWs of 633 Company were also early arrivals, having being carried on the davits of LSTs.

    On D Day all RASC task vehicles were preloaded with 3tons of stores. The drivers of all preloaded vehicles carried a card giving precise directions for the disposal of their load. After unloading the vehicles went to the Transport Park for allocation to stores clearing tasks. Preloaded stores for use on the beaches was dumped under Beach Group arrangements. Preloaded divisional ammunition was unloaded in a Beach Dump or Divisional Ammunition Dump until the Ordnance Beach Depot was functioning. It was stressed that these vehicles were to be returned to the Transport Parks immediately that their contents had been off loaded. Experience had shown that local commanders tended to retain any vehicles and personnel that they thought might be useful.

    All preloaded DUKWs which landed by 1400 hours on D Day were made available for duty with Beach Groups by 1530 to ensure that there was no delay in unloading stores coasters when they arrived. At that time here was no other means of unloading coasters. So vital was the role of DUKWs in unloading stores that all drivers of DUKWs carried an order signed by the DA&QMG I Corps to the effect that any officer or other rank diverting DUKWs for tasks other than those laid down would be liable to trial by Courts Martial.

    For the landing RASC load carrying vehicles were to have the tilt in as low a position as possible. After the vehicles had unloaded preloaded stores they were to remove the tilts and tilt frames and leave them in the vehicle park. It was ordered that all RASC motorcycles should be carried ashore on RASC vehicles. Motorcycles were not allowed on the beach and attempting to ride them ashore through an unknown depth of water would be unwise.

    Vehicle parks were allocated to separate companies and company headquarters were established there. Here were the administrative personnel 282 Company’s park was also to accommodate 3 Canadian Divisions RCASC vehicles which were working on store clearance.

    In the early stages all RASC transport operated under the Beach Group of the sector where they landed. When the CRASC landed he assumed command of all RASC transport and allocated it to beach sectors as required. As the unloading of stores concentrated on Nan the transport parks and the greater part of the transport were concentrated there also. The DUKW platoon that landed on Mike on the first tide returned to Nan after discharging its preloaded stores. Presumably this movement was by water since the available lateral roads were busy and unsuitable for DUKWs. The twenty two lorries of 282 GT Company which landed on Mike on the second tide remained there until all the stores were cleared to Beach Dumps from beached LCTs and then they moved to Nan.

    As it was uncertain which exits would be available at any given time each Commanding Officer of transport companies in conjunction with Beach Group decided which exits should be used and established cushions and control points near by.

    1 Platoon, 633 GT Company was trained in casualty evacuation. Its DUKWs were early arrivals on LSTs, being carried in davits for a rapid launch. Like the other DUKWs they were preloaded with ammunition wjich was delivered to the dumps. They were to work from the Casualty Evacuation Point to certain LSTs which could be converted for casualty evacuation for the return journey to the UK. DUKWs had the advantages that by being amphibious they avoided the transfer of casualties from ambulance to boat and they could drive into a LSTs tank deck with the casualties. This role was regarded as being so important that if necessary DUKWs could be taken from other companies, taking priority over stores. Each DUKW control point carried a pool of twenty metal plates, eighteen inches square, marked with a red cross to hang on DUKWs temporarily employed on casualty evacuation.

    When separate DUKW beach exits were established they were marked with a yellow/light blue/yellow windsock. At night they were marked with an illuminated large white screen with a X on it.

    Four LCT, two per sector, arrived, beached and dried out. They carried mainly ammunition plus smaller amounts of RE stores and ordnance stores. RASC vehicles as available transported the stores to the appropriate dump. RE stores, mainly Bailey Bridging material went to the RE Dump, ordnance stores, mainly clothing and equipment for issue to replace any lost in landing, to a Re equipment Centre. Ammunition went to a Beach Dump or Divisional Ammunition Dump. Nine LBV preloaded with 450 tons of stores arrived on Nan White and RASC transport as available transported stores to Ordnance Dumps and RE Stores Dumps which by then were established in the Beach Maintenance Area. Until Beach Group transport was landed RCASC lorries of 3 Canadian Division were used to transfer these essential stores from LCT and barge to beach dumps.

    Four medium coasters, each with three hatches, carrying 1,800 tons of stores arrived of the beaches and were discharged by DUKWs which delivered direct to the dumps in the Beach Maintenance Area.

    In order to move essential supplies rapidly off the beach and inland to forward units the CRASC 3 Canadian Division had thirty six 10cwt preloaded trailers. These would be manhandled onto the beach by Beach group personnel and collected as required by jeeps.

    After D day Nan was to accept all stores except for Airfield Construction Stores, which arrived on Mike from D+2 to D+6. All Transport Parks were then on Nan and any requirements for transport on Mike was allocated for specific tasks by CRASC.

    All stores load carrying vehicles were equipped with signs, made by the unit, to indicate the destination of the vehicle. On the completion of loading, either of DUKWs from coasters afloat or lorries from beached coasters or LBVs, the person in charge of the unloading party was to ensure that the appropriate signs were displayed. As soon as the vehicle had been unloaded at a depot or dump the personnel responsible for unloading ensured that the vehicle now displayed ‘Tpt Pk’ for Transport Park which was where the driver went next to await fresh instructions. On leaving the Transport Park for the beach the vehicle displayed ‘Beach’.

    When the whole beach organisation was established and working there was a daily Ferry Control Conference at 1800 hours which was attended by the CRASC. On the basis of decisions made at the conference CRASC allocated transport for the following day. Officers commanding GT companies maintained up to date records of the availability of vehicles so that accurate returns could be made to CRASC at any time.

    Vehicles drove on the right hand side of the road.

    Instructions for both Port Operating Companies and RASC GT Companies stressed the importance of cargo nets. These were essential for unloading coasters into DUKWS. Two nets were provided for each DUKW, a reserve was kept at the Beach Dump on each stores sector and all coasters carried some. However it was stressed that DUKWs must always retain their nets and if loads were transferred from DUKWs to motor transport the nets must not be transferred with it.

    When the system was fully established DUKWs ran a circuit which started at the Transport Park and went to the DUKW Control Point on the beach. Sections of DUKWs were guided by the section corporal on a motorcycle. The Control Point released them to a motor boat which guided them to the coaster which they were to unload. When loaded they were guided back to the Control Point where the motorcyclist met them and guided them to the DUKW Transfer Point where they were unloaded onto platforms, remembering to collect their nets. Lorries then collected the stores and moved them on a separate circuit to the correct dump.

    Coasters which were unloaded by beaching and drying out discharged their loads directly into lorries alongside them on the beach. Eventually Headquarters Line of Communications supplied some heavier transport. 10 ton lorries were found to be an efficient means of unloading beached coasters while 6ton articulated lorries worked well between DUCK Transfer Points and dumps.

    Mike.
     
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  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Provost.
    242 Provost Company of 7 Beach Group was responsible for provost duties on Mike except for I Corps Assembly Areas and the Prisoner of War cage. 244 Provost Company of 8 Beach Group was responsible for provost duties on Nan except for the small Assembly Area Knee. Two corporals from each company were detailed for duty at 102 Sub Beach Area.

    On D Day the following additional Provost units landed, one section of 102 Provost Company for duty at Headquarters I Corps, two sections of 13 Provost Company (Traffic Control) for Assembly Areas and two sections of 601 Provost Company (Vulnerable Points) for the Prisoner of War cage. On D+1 one section of 73 Provost Company (Traffic Control) arrived for Assembly Areas.

    Initially sections of 242 and 244 Companies were stationed at beach exits to assist the Exit Control Officers provided by 3 Canadian Division. They were to control traffic and erect appropriate signs at the beach exits. They erected windsocks which were black/white/black for tracked exits, dark blue for wheeled exits and yellow/pale blue/yellow for DUKW exits. Large signs with ‘Keep to the Right of the road’ were erected at beach exits and at points on the Beach Maintenance Area road circuit.

    Provosts were also responsible for traffic signs, point duty and Traffic Control Points. Traffic Control Points controlled access to the main traffic circuits. All traffic signs were illuminated by Traffic Control lights and small electric lamps, special, were available for marking beach exits.

    The production of road signs was a major task for Provost units and help was given where possible by painters from other units and by civilian labour. Eventually there was an over proliferation of signs and they had to be controlled.

    In the early days Provosts did not have much time to impose discipline but at the same time there was little opportunity for indiscipline. Later they did patrol populated areas and supervise ‘high value goods’. There were strict rules about behaviour and all personnel were made aware of the severe penalties for pilfering, looting and buying or bartering food stuffs from the locals. The last rule was not much observed.

    Late in June, when Civil Affairs staff were available in sufficient numbers, attempts were made to tighten up security by checking on civilians. Those with homes in the area or legitimate reasons for remaining were documented and any others were regarded as refugees and evacuated.

    RAF Provost units were responsible for controlling RAF traffic and producing RAF signs. They assisted army when they were not fully occupied

    Mike.
     
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  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Dumps and Depots.
    The three major categories of dump/depot, petrol, supplies and ordnance or fuel, food and ammunition, were organised in a similar manner. Since all stores were to be landed on Nan the two petrol, supply and ordnance depots from the two Beach Groups combined and operated as one unit.

    Petrol.
    The two petrol depots, 240 and 242, from 7 and 8 Beach Groups, operated as one unit. The senior of the two depot commanders commanded the joint unit while the junior commander was second in command and responsible for stock states and returns. The Petrol Depot was responsible for the receipt and issue of petrol to all units in the area.

    Reconnaissance parties of one officer and an orderly from each depot landed at different points and from different craft. They reconnoitred the sites and if they were suitable planned the layout. It was planned that the site would be ready to receive stores by 1800 hours on D Day and begin issues by first light on D+1. The Depot was organised to hold 1500 tons of petrol, with space to expand and double in size if required. There was an area allocated for the reception, stacking and proper dispersal of returned empty jerricans. The general rule was that a full jerrican was issued in exchange for an empty one returned.

    No petrol could be issued on D Day so all vehicles landed with tanks 90% full and carrying a reserve in jerricans. Vehicles under 3ton carried three jerricans while those over 3tons carried five. Motorcyles were normally carried ashore on unit vehicles. They had empty tanks and the carrying vehicle had a petrol can with which to fuel them on landing.

    The days supply of petrol was calculated on the basis of an amount for each vehicle ashore: tanks and Mechanical Equipment 50 gallons, DUKWs 35 gallons, Carriers 25 gallons and all B vehicles 5 gallons. For the petrol cookers an allowance of 5 gallons per hundred men was made.

    A strict timetable for the issue of petrol was introduced. It was only to be issued to units in bulk and not to individual vehicles. Initially 7 Canadian Brigade was issued petrol between 1300 and 1400, 8 Canadian Brigade between 1400 and 1500, 9 Canadian Brigade between 1500 and 1600, 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade/3 Canadian Division Troops/102 Beach Sub Area between 1600 and 1700 and Corps and Army troops between 1700 and 1800.

    A small Petrol Beach Dump was established on each sector for the refuelling of RN landing craft and for the filling of tanks of motorcycles which were shipped loose.


    Detail Issuing Depot.
    Supplies other than fuel were issued by the Detail Issuing Depot. The two depots, 139 and 140, from 7 and 8 Beach Groups, operated as one unit in a similar manner to the Petrol Depots. The senior of the two depot commanders commanded the joint unit while the junior commander was second in command and responsible for stock states and returns. The Petrol Depot was responsible for the receipt and issue of supplies to all units in the area.

    Reconnaissance parties of one officer and an orderly from each depot landed at different points and from different craft. They reconnoitred the sites and if they were suitable planned the layout. It was planned that the site would be ready to receive stores by 1800 hours on D Day and begin issues by first light on D+1. The Depot was organised to hold 800 tons of stores, with space to expand and double in size if required.

    No supplies could be issued on D Day so all personnel landed with two days rations plus an emergency reserve. Rations for consumption on the crossing were issued separately so that all personnel should have landed with two 24 hour rations (including 20 cigarettes), a tin of preserved meat, a tommy cooker and an emergency ration, mainly chocolate which was not to be consumed other than on the authority of an officer. As a further reserve all unit first line transport carried two days compo ration with another two days on second line transport. Units with AFVs carried three days AFV pack rations. All of these were only to be used when normal replenishment was not possible.

    On D+1 supplies were issued for consumption on D+2. Quantities for each unit were calculated using the daily ration strength returns. Amounts to be held in the depot as a daily maintenance issue was calculated as the number of men ashore plus 10%.

    From D+1 unit first line transport drew rations according to a timetable which was one hour behind that for drawing petrol thus allowing transport to load petrol, then rations and then form convoy for the return forward. Initially 7 Canadian Brigade was issued rations between 1400 and 1500, 8 Canadian Brigade between 1500 and 1600, 9 Canadian Brigade between 1600 and 1700, 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade/3 Canadian Division Troops/102 Beach Sub Area between 1700 and 1800 and Corps and Army troops between 1800 and 1900.

    Medical units carry their own supplies for fourteen days. Prisoners of War and civilian labour were fed on captured supplies where possible, otherwise on special ration scale.

    Small stocks of rum were stocked. These were for issue only on the orders of officers not below the rank of colonel and only to personnel who had undergone long periods of strenuous physical work, and then only when the work was finished and they could rest.

    Water in containers was held for issue to medical units only.


    Ordnance Dumps.
    14 and 15 Ordnance Beach Depots, with the assistance of 45 Ordnance Ammunition Company, combined to form one ammunition dump and one Ordnance Stores Dump. The Officer Commanding 14 Ordnance Beach Depot was in charge of the combined Ordnance Stores Dump with the stores officers from both 14 and 15 Ordnance Beach Depots. The Officer Commanding 15 Ordnance Beach Depot was in charge of the combined Ammunition Dump with the Ammunition Officers from both 14 and 15 Ordnance Beach Depots plus 45 Ordnance Ammunition Company. Officer Commanding 14 Ordnance Beach Depot was in overall command.

    Reconnaissance parties of one officer and an orderly from each of 14 and 15 Ordnance Beach Detachments were to land at different points. They reconnoitred the sites and if they were suitable planned the layout. It was planned that the site would be ready to receive stores by 1800 hours on D Day and begin issues by first light on D+1. The Depot was organised to hold 2500 tons of ammunition and 500 tons of ordnance stores, with space to expand and double in size if required. Both dumps came under the direct control of 102 Beach Sub Area as soon as they were established.

    The main body of 15 Ordnance Beach Depot landed on D Day with 14 Ordnance Beach Depot following on D+1. 45 Ordnance Ammunition Company landed on D Day.

    Initially maintenance was provided from Landing reserves which were scaled for each formation. AVRE, Flail and AA units had special Technical Landing Reserves. From D+10 maintenance changed to Beach Maintenance Packs which were landed as required.

    Unaccompanied G 1098 stores and equipment was received by the Ordnance Beach Depot and units were informed that they were ready for collection. These were a unit’s equipment that could not be carried by the unit when they landed.

    Re equipment of personnel who had been shipwrecked or otherwise lost their equipment was provided in the form of kit bags which contained a full set of kit and equipment. 750 such kitbags were landed, 350 for each Beach Group, and held at a centre on the beach near the Beach Dressing Station. This was organised by the Beach Group and manned by personnel provided by the Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services. Each kit bag contained battledress blouse and trousers, shirt, vest, drawers, socks, pullover, braces, boots with laces, helmet and a set of webbing equipment. There was also a water bottle, emergency ration, two 24 hour ration packs, a tin of self heating soup, field dressing, mess tin, knife, fork spoon, towel, razor with blade, shaving brush and clasp knife. One bag in every five contained a Sten gun and ammunition. 60% of bags contained medium size clothing, 20% small and 20% large.

    Soap and razor blades were stocked until NAAFI stocks became available and an allowance of two ounces of soap for laundry was made until field laundries or civilian laundries became available. Until Officers Shops could be opened officers could be issued with other ranks clothing items.


    Salvage.
    Salvage was an important part of the work of dumps and depots. Ammunition boxes and supply sacks were supposed to be returned when empty but considerable numbers were diverted to other uses. Deep wading equipment was supposed to be collected and stored until it could be returned to the UK but again much of it was diverted, mainly to make bivouacs more inhabitable.

    Jerricans were a particular concern. Initially large numbers of full cans were landed and issued. An empty can should have been returned for every one issued but many were not. It was clearly not possible to refuse to issue petrol so units were reminded that although the cans were not immediately needed there would be a time when bulk petrol arrived and the empty cans would be essential. In the meantime petrol depots collected the empty cans and used them to form a dummy dump with only partial camouflage.

    Captured enemy fuel could be used after it had been tested by a Chemical Officer RASC. Three grades of captured petrol could be used in ‘B’ vehicles. Tropenkraftstoff which was dyed violet, Falurbenzin which was dyed yellow and Gemesh, a petrol/benzene mix, which was dyed red. Aviation fuel was died blue and was not to be used.

    Captured enemy equipment was of particular interest and was not to be destroyed unless there was an immediate likelihood of it being recaptured. Intelligence Officers and Technical Intelligence staffs circulated information on new items of particular interest and these were to be guarded until handed over to Technical Intelligence staffs.

    Mike.
     
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