LANDING CRAFT COLOURS FOR D-DAY.

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Norm D., Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Suzanne,

    In case you did not notice, it is possible to edit one's posts for some time after having written them, by clicking 'Edit' at the bottom of one's post (but one has to be logged in to see it). I'm using this feature all the time because I am a lousy typist :rolleyes:.

    For Serial 293 the Landing Table dated 19 Mar 44 (i.e. an early, if not the earliest, version of the LT) gives 89 men from 3 Commando, including 2 men 10 (IA) Commando, plus one MC airborne. There might (must) have been later modifications.

    I am not sure whether the 80+2 men Trux lists is a typo or comes from a more recent version of the LT or other docs (Commando embarkation lists hopefully? :)).

    Michel
     
  2. upload_2019-2-21_18-1-5.png

    Hi Michel - not sure of you can read the tiny print .....it describes how many crew and troops on a LCI s ?
    is this correct ? what are your thoughts? hope you can advise upload_2019-2-21_18-4-0.png upload_2019-2-21_18-5-40.png
     
  3. sorry for the amateur posting ....but trying to quickly get this on to catch you!
     
  4. ddaycolin

    ddaycolin Member

    Hello Suzanne and Michel,

    Sorry I've been out of reach for a while. I was abroad in January and I had a foot operation in February and am still
    armed with with a stick but moving around much better.

    I'll have to look through some documents to see whether they could be of help to you.

    Below I have posted three the 1st hand accounts from members of 3Tp 3 Commandos and 2 from the crew of LCI(s) 501.
    Lt Keith Ponsford said "We suffered remarkably few casualties. They included: ‑ Lt Ted Leks, Cpl White, L/cpl. Johnson, Troopers Dunlop and McMillan."
    So, no report of fatal casualties. The heaviest casualties were on LCI(s) 518 and 509.

    Your question about (Lt?) L.W. Bridger. He was in Signals Advanced HQ of 1st Special Service Brigade. They landed (I'll check later) at 0755 on extreme East
    of Queen Red (from a 4Cdo LCA I think). They had quite a few casualties. Lt Kennedy I think and others. Should be in their war diary. I met L W Bridger at the Standing down
    ceremony of the Commando Association at the RM Barracks in Portsmouth in late 2005. So there you have a possible connection between Bridger and your Uncle Charles.

    For Suzanne Vernon from Colin Henderson
    1st hand accounts from commandos and crew of LCI(s) 501 collected from Lt Keith Ponsford, Stan Scott, Sgt Jim Synott, Will Jullien, A.B LCI(s) 501, Fred Scholes. I corresponded with them for a few years
    Below are extracts from a book I have written on Commandos on Sword and which I hope to publish this year or beginning of next.



    3Tp 3Cdo lands from LCI(s) 501 at 09 :10

    Fred Scholes (Motor mechanicLCI(s) 501)

    We hit the beach at a good rate of knots giving the Commandos a dry landing. The bottom of the craft stopped and the upper deck strained forward giving the interior stanchions a permanent lean. The starboard rudder broke off leaving a hole in the steerage compartment.

    3 Troop (bicycles) of 3 Commando had already formed up before LCI(s) 501 hit the beach

    Stan ‘Scottie’ Scott (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    And we had bicycles, fold up bikes and all that and we come off our landing craft. The first bloke, Johnny Dowling, Scouse, DLI, from Liverpool, the second one, ‘tall’ McMillan, he's about 6 foot bloody four. McMillan, he's either Coldstream or Scots Guards, he was number two, and number three me. And we are all loaded with these blooming bikes. Now, each bike had a rucksack on it with three 3 inch mortar bombs and they weighed 10 pound each, that's 30 pound plus the other bits of kit and a bicycle you're lugging, right. No lightweight. Suddenly there was an explosion

    Stan ‘Scottie’ Scott (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    Bang goes the ramp. Well, Johnny Dowling went one way, McMillan went back in the hogging, in the sea , and I went over there somewhere.

    On the bows of 501, Will Julien was one of the ramp party. Once the ramps had been put out he was greeted with a surprising sight.

    Will Julien (LCI(s) 501)

    No sooner had we put the ramps out than three or four Germans appeared at the bottom of the ramps. They had a white flag and wanted to surrender. Looking behind me I saw our Skipper 'Johnny' Walker pull out his colt and I thought My God he's going to shoot them!

    The Germans who wanted to surrender seemed anxious to help Johnny Dowling who had been blown into the sea

    Stan ‘Scottie’ Scott (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    Johnny Dowling was picked up by two Germans and they run back on the bloody boat with him, two prisoners, McMillan got fished out of the sea by a matelot with a gaffe and someone said to me " Get up Scottie, you're not hurt". So I got up, picked me bike up, up the beach.

    The sight of burly commandos about to bound down the ramps with their bicycles and equipment probably helped the other Germans to change their minds - but not to give up on the idea of a ticket to England. Will Julien also noticed somebody else at the bottom of the ramps.

    Will Julien (LCI(s) 501)

    There was a photographer in the sea at the bottom of the ramps taking photos. Suddenly a shell exploded and he disappeared but then immediately afterwards I saw him again [or another photographer ?] continuing to take photos.

    This photographer was probably the one for whom Private Bert Beddows had been detailed to act as bodyguard. Bill Beedle had also seen this photographer earlier in the wardroom of LCI(s) 535 and Jack Bartle had seen him taking some shots from the starboard side of LCI(s) 535. Back on LCI(s) 501, 3 Troop of 3 Commando were having a hard time manoeuvring their bicycles.

    Lt Keith Ponsford (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    The landing from our boat was almost dry but particularly slow. The bikes proved a great hindrance at a time when speed was essential. However, although the boat was a sitting target, as were our men , they struggled up the beach. We suffered remarkably few casualties. They included: ‑ Lt Ted Leks, Cpl White, L/cpl. Johnson, Troopers Dunlop and McMillan.

    Sgt Jim Synnott was one of the 3 Troop Sergeants

    Sgt Jim Synnott (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    We landed near the blockhouse which is still there today with a house on top. This was on my left and I cleared the beach of all 3 Troop Personnel. I left Lewis, my Lieutenant, on the beach. Dunlop, one of my men, had a broken chain on his bike. I told him to push on as he had three 3" mortar bombs.

    Once clear of the beach, Jim Synnott had something of a shock

    Sgt Jim Synnott (3 Troop 3 Commando LCI(s) 501)

    I saw the Abbé de Naurois [the French Commando Chaplain] brandishing his Colt .45 and firing at some Germans. I said “You, a priest, shooting people. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” and he replied “God defends those who defend themselves ! »

    (INLAND)

    Stan Scott (3 troop 3 Commando)

    We came on to the road at Colleville, what is now Colleville-Montgomery, and like Ossie [Osborne] says “ What's the first thing you did after coming out of that flooded area, all that marsh because some of us were up to our knees, some of us were up to our waist and we was lugging this ruddy bike all the time and we got on the road, eventually, he said "What's the first thing you did?” I said, "I don’t know, we got on our bikes and went down the road”. He said, "No you didn't, think about it, we had to clean our bikes, get all the mud and the grass all that out of the pedals and all that, out of the chains and wheels. We did that and then we went. And from there on, from Colleville right down to Le Port which is a little village as you go further down, turn left, down to Peggy Bridge.

    Report on the Activities of 3 Troop, No 3 Commando in Normandy, on "D" Day - 6 June 1944 (signed by Lt K. D Ponsford)

    Once across the swamps the Troop infiltrated inland along hedges and fields until our forward tanks were contacted.

    A path fit for cycling was reached near ST AUBIN d'ARQUENAY (0977).

    Jim Synnott of 3 Troop indicated on a D Day map the actual route followed by 3 Troop 3 Commando once they had finished cleaning their bikes. It led round the north of Colleville and joined the main road just before St Aubin D’Arquenay

    I'll have to check how to upload Synott's map...


    The ‘path’, according to the route traced by Jim Synnott was in fact the main road between Colleville and St Aubin d’Arquenay. Manhandling the heavily laden bicycles over this distance from before Colleville must certainly have been exhausting but it gave 3 Troop the opportunity to get ahead of quite a few formations that were sticking to the main road.

    [​IMG]
     
    4jonboy likes this.
  5. Colin I hope your foot is getting better! I look forward to your book.
    Can u clarify the numbers of crew in board LCI S 501. Also if my uncle was very fresh faced newbie straight from training from Achnacarry into troop 3 ... he wouldn't of been familiar to these guys? The letter from Bridger acknowledged he didn't know Chas but did wonder why he wrote the fateful letter. I have the confusion of Chas address in his letters.. noting HQ signals on it. But he wasn't trained as signals according to his war records..he did a basic course before joining Commandos.
    Peter Young refers to Chas being there one minute then gone. He died early on post beach.
    But the leads on the names and accounts you have given might reveal something more or a photo if I keep searching like I do over and over. I will no doubt have many more questions for you Colin... so thank ful for your reply. X
     

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