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? :)).

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

    Hi Michel - not sure of you can read the tiny print 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 ! »


    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.

    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
  6. James Angert

    James Angert Member

    I have been trying to assist my wife's family trying to learn more about her Uncle, AB Sidney Wilson and his part in D-Day. What we know: He joined Combined Operations and was stationed on River Hamble. He remembered their CO as LCDR George Timmerman which if my research is correct would put him in Flotilla 202. On D-Day he was involved in landing Royal Commandos, followed by Canadian Forces to Juno Beach Mike Section. He also participated in OP INFATUATE. With that info I have been trying to narrow down which specific landing craft he was assigned to, when I learned on this website that Les Jordan has put together a rather extensive list of the crewman aboard these landing craft. If it is not too much trouble I would ask that the list be reviewed to see if AB Sidney Wilson is listed.
    My wife is British and I am American. I have always been fascinated by D-Day. My Uncle came ashore with the 29th Infantry Division, at Omaha Beach aboard LCI(L)-94. I would love to be able to narrow down which specific vessel her Uncle served on.
    Thank you,
    Jim Angert
  7. Hello Jim,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Les Jordan lists an AB S.F. Wilson as a member of the crew of LCI(S) 525, which was the Craft of Acting Temporary Lieutenant-Commander Georges Gustave Charles Louis Timmermans, R.N.R. (seniority 14 July 1941), 202 LCI(S) Flotilla Officer.

    Can you confirm the middle name of your wife's uncle?

  8. James Angert

    James Angert Member

    Wow!, thank you, must be the same, Uncle's middle name was Frank. Does the listing also have him on the same vessel for the OP INFATUATE?
  9. Jim,

    Please excuse my belated answer.

    Unfortunately Les Jordan's listing is for D Day only, so I am unable to say whether A/B S.F. Wilson was still on LCI(S) 525's crew list on 1 Nov 44. It is however probable that he stayed in the same craft.

    Your wife should apply for her uncle's Service Record to learn more about his wartime service.

  10. James Angert

    James Angert Member

    Thank you for all your help. I have reviewed the form to request A/B Wilson's service record and saw that it is a requirement to include full name, DoB & service number. We are working on it, but not sure if we know his service number. Don't suppose Les Jordan's listing included that level of detail. I have been searching online, but so far have been unable to locate any photos of LCI(S) 525 or it's crew, aside from Timmermans. Thank again for all your help.
  11. Jim,

    No, Les' list does not have the Service Number, or rather, the "Official Number" as it was then known.

    But surely with the full name and DoB they should be able to find the right Record, provided your wife's uncle did not lie on his age!

  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Subject to the payment of an administration fee and provision of a copy of a death certificate (except where death was in service), certain information can be provided from the records of service of service personnel on request under the publication scheme.

    Nowhere does it say you need a service number - also a death certificate normally will provide the date of birth for that person.
    If you need help finding death certificate details just ask, that is of course assumimg he did not die in service

  13. James Angert

    James Angert Member

    I've been reviewing all the video of LCI(S) landing craft during D-Day and have a question concerning the flag hoist that would have been displayed on the Flotilla Commander's vessel. I know now that my wife's uncle, A/B S.F. Wilson was on LCI(S)-525 which was the command vessel of LCDR Timmerman, Commander of Flotilla 202. I managed to locate a video of LCI(S)-525 landing Canadian troops (I think) in the afternoon of D-day on JUNO. I have attached a screen shot from the video. Vessel seems to be flying a "Y" pennant flag?, along with another another flag. I can't find any info on what flag hoist would have been correct for the vessel of the Flotilla Commander on 202. Any help would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  14. Iain Wallace

    Iain Wallace New Member

  15. hello - I would like to know if there was any further detail on the names of 509? I have been focused on 501 - for various reasons. Finding the possibility that my uncle died in marshy fields flooded by Germans . But if there is further developments of crew names of 509 I’d be interested ?

  16. Christopher D Smith

    Christopher D Smith New Member

    Hi Colin

    My name is Chris from New Zealand. Im trying to find information on my Grandfather Albert Williams Edwards who may have been the coxswain on LCI(S) 503. He was my mother's father and she thinks his nickname was snowy as he was a bit older than the rest of the crew.

    How would I find information to confirm this? Is there a crew list kept somewhere? He died in 1977 so I never actually met him.

    Also my father Eric Reginald Smith was also a coxswain and Im hoping this is correct - the LCT635 which came from past correspondence with Tony Chapman of the LC Association (who I believe sadly passed away some years ago).

    Im new to this site so sorry to pester you.

  17. Hello Chris,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I have no additional info on LCI(S) 503, but regarding LCT 635, on D Day she was part of 23 LCT Flotilla, "U" LCT Squadron and one of the ten craft out of the twelwe in this Flotilla which carried Serials 2150 to 2159. She was commanded by Sub Lieutenant D. BOWDEN-DAN, RNVR and was the second divisional leader, with the Flotilla Officer Lieutenant Commander G.W. WELCH, RNVR embarked. Here is a crop from IWM photo A23730 showing 635 at Southampton shortly before D Day:
    635 LCT(4) Southampton - A_023730 [Hampton] (cropped).jpg

    The complete, hi res (3,315 × 2,480 pixels) version of A23730 is available here:
    File:Britain's Landing Craft Wait For D-day. June 1944. Southampton. A23730.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

  18. Christopher D Smith

    Christopher D Smith New Member

    Morning Michel,

    Thank you for the kind welcome and thanks so much for the photo of LCT635. My dad had just turned 19 when D-Day occurred and he never told us anything about it which I understand.

    Are there any other resources to find out where his craft went? I believe it was Gold Beach but it would be interesting to find out what unit his craft delivered. I have seen a table of Gold Beach on another site but the craft are serialised with LITN numbers not the LCT number

    I have some photos of LCI(S) 503 but I think these came off a film reel but would they be worth uploading?

    Thank you and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

  19. Chris,

    Craft loads 2150 to 2159 can be found here:

    Unfortunately the match between craft loads (Serial or Landing Table Index Numbers) and Hull Numbers for these craft is not known, so LCT 635 could have been any of these ten craft.

    Please do post any photos of LCI(L) 503 you may have.

  20. On second thoughts, because LCT 635 had the Flotilla Officer embarked, it is possible, even probable, that its LTIN was the first one in Group 11, i.e. Serial 2150. The ten craft of Group 11 (Assault Group "G" One) all came from 23 LCT Flotilla:

    Group 11 (LTIN 2150 to 2159):
    LCT 546 (Sub Lt W SCOTT RNVR) - possibly LTIN 2151
    LCT 555 (Sub Lt H SELBY RNVR) - possibly LTIN 2154
    LCT 576 (Sub Lt R MACKAY RNVR) - possibly LTIN 2155
    LCT 577 (Lt CW McGUIRE RNVR)
    LCT 635 (Sub Lt D BOWDEN-DAN RNVR) - probably LTIN 2150
    LCT 1164 (Sub Lt EE MILLS RNVR)

    The remaining two craft in 23 Flotilla were LCT 543 (Sub Lt LSW DYE RNVR) and LCT 901 (Sub Lt GG SMITH RNVR), but were not part of Group 11. Their LTINs are also unknown.

    Last edited: May 28, 2022

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