LCP(L) Survey

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Trux, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Is this an LCP(L) Survey. Both the photo title and the pennant say it is a survey craft and I cannot think of anything else it could be. I have never seen a photo of one so far.

    LCP(L) Survey.jpg

  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The superstructure looks narrow enough to be based on an LCP(L) and it doesn't look quite like an LCN:

    LCN 1.JPG

    But there is a resemblance, which tallies with the hint in ONI 226 Supplement No.1 that LCN and LCP(SY) were created around the same time.
  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Thanks Idler,

    My photo shows a simpler conversion certainly. There is no Decca navigation equipment. LCP(L) Survey were pretty rare but were kept busy off the Normandy beaches. Your LCN looks pretty unstable but the LCPs were generally good sea boats.

    My interest is the craft used in Operation Neptune. I think that all the navigation craft there were LCP(L) Navigation which retained both the LCP(L) designation and numbers. Still lots of obscure backwaters to explore.

  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    If you're not aware of it, there is a photo of the "LCP(L) fitted with navigational aids" in CAB 44/270 Technical Photographs World War II Landing Craft. It's not quite as detailed as it sounds and is also missing the LCP(SY). The curled, glossy photos were also a sod to photograph so I only grabbed a handful on my last visit.
  5. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Mike your photo is of “LCP sy 177”.

    Believe it was initially used at Gold Beach. May have been the Navigational Leader for the DD tanks. Need to check a few things for confirmation of this.

    I don’t have any details about when your photo was taken so it could be anywhere in the anchorage after D Day.

    The first LCN was LCN 1037. Converted from a LCP(L) in mid 1944 by Thornycroft.


  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Thanks Danny,

    I think I have the numbers and the roles for LCP(L) on Sword and Juno but not Gold. Force G is some time in the future yet.

    I did not realise that the LCP(L) Survey were so well protected, but they did spend a lot of time in the danger zone.

  7. Arty

    Arty Member


    These are the first actual pics I’ve ever seen of a LCP(Sy) or LCN - aside from scale models that is. Interesting that the Navigation craft depicted is marked “LCN.I.” Question is, what does the “I” indicate? I don’t believe it’s number “1” - converted LCP(L)s seemed to have retained their original pennant numbers.

    Another puzzler is the use of different designations in historic docs for Navigation craft based on the LCP(L) ie. LCP(L) Navigation, &, LCN. Different equipment thereon?

    Meanwhile, LCP(Sy) 177 was indeed in action in the Gold area - specifically off the Jig Sector. The DD’s in the Gold area were to be led in by LCP(A)s, backed up by the LCP(Sy)s. I think we can safely assume that LCP(A) indicates “armoured” - though I‘m yet to see a pic.

    The LCP(Sy)s off Jig sector were 177 & 291, the LCP(A)s were 165 & 208.
    The LCP(Sy) off King sector was 281, the LCP(A)s were 176 & 199.

    Attached are three chunks from Force G orders relevant to LCP(Sy) 177’s activities.


    Attached Files:

  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Hoping to go to Kew this Saturday. If I have time, I will try to get the photo of the LCP(L) with navigational aids. I think we have at least three types to untangle, the lightly-modifoed LCP(L) above, plus the LCN and LCP(Sy) conversions.
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Thanks Arty,

    I have not got as far as Gold. There are still plenty of puzzles regarding Sword and Juno. All three naval Forces had slightly different ideas. All the small craft were very busy and there were a lot of them. Room for much research here.

    I wondered if the LCP(L) used by artillery FOOs off Sword were armoured at all. Juno used LCS(M).

    Thanks Idler,

    I am sure many people would like to see pictures, or other details, of these craft. I am re reading what I have about the uses of small craft off Sword and Juno.

    Plenty more to look at. I have just refreshed, and added to, my limited knowledge of TIDs, Chants and Empire 'F' Class prefabricated vessels. I have also found two mentions of US LCT(6) on Juno. No more today though. The sun is out and is forecast to be so all day.

  10. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Thanks for posting those extracts.

    LCP(L) 1037 was converted to LCN and later had her Pennant Number changed to “N1”.

    It looks like LCP(A) was an unofficial designation used in the orders to show that they were armoured. Officially they are LCP(L) but fitted out with different kit.

    There were only ten LCP(SY) in service in June 1944.

    Below is some information on the craft mentioned and a screen grab from a German film showing 208 on the beach at Merville sometime shortly after the 6th June. There are some other photos around showing this LCP(L).

    If you have the Pennant Numbers of the FOO LCP(L) I can find out if they were armoured.


    0  LCP L  Gold.jpg 0  LCP L  208.JPG
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Thanks again Danny.

    I see that not all the LCP(Sy) were fitted with 'Special Protection'. I also see some LCP(L) had silencers. I have seen photos of these on LCAs. I have no pennant numbers for Sword I am afraid.

    Some gleanings.

    Juno seems to have six LCP(Sy). Presumably the need here was greatest because of the offshore rocks.

    After the initial assault one LCP(Sy) was transferred to Sword. The remainder carried out the following tasks.

    D Day am.
    Examine the beaches in the Juno area in general.
    Find the most suitable places for beaching LSTs at or near high water so they can discharge without drying out. Report 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.

    D Day pm.
    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.

    D+1 am.
    Survey and mark positions for the Gooseberry as required by the officer responsible for planting the ships. He will arrive in Corncob tugs at 0500.
    Survey and mark out position 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.

    D+1 pm.
    Survey and mark the channel into Courseulles.

    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.

    Initially Sword did not have any LCP(Sy), which is why I have not studied them before. Their place seems to have been taken by LCP(L) Navigation.

    After leading DD tanks one LCP(L) Navigation was to proceed to the mark dinghy and transfer the Combined Operations Pilotage Party to X23, escort X23 to the Lowering Position and then report to DSOAG One. The second LCP(L) Navigation remained with DSOAG One. Both LCP(L) Navigation were to be ready to carry out inshore survey and were not be used for despatch boat duties.

    One LCP(L) Survey from each of Force ‘J’ and Force ‘G’ were to be sent to Sword area as soon as practicable after the initial landings. These craft were to be used for surveying the site of Gooseberry 5 and the coaster hauling off slot.

    Gold presumably needed fewer survey craft after the assault since it would have the services of larger survey vessels intended for Mulberry B. I have not looked at this in any depth but the following seem to have been available.
    HMS Scott
    HMS Astral
    HMS Franklin
    HDML 1001
    HDML 1053.

  12. Arty

    Arty Member


    I’ve been trying to determine the pennant numbers of the LCP(L)(N)s that led in the DDs in the Sword area, and the FOOs craft for a long while - without success.

    Hence, lots of conjecture follows…

    Firstly, regards the elusive LCP(Sy) your compendium of info on Sword lists under 704 Assault Flotilla. “4 X LCP(L). 2 X LCP(Sy)” - whereas there is no mention of LCP(L)(Navigation) or LCN in the order of battle. Later the LCP(L)(Navigation) craft appear in their DD navigation role. Assuming it wasn’t an error in the transcription process on your part this may reflect a change of craft allocation at the time. Or, just possibly, the LCP(L)(Navigation) in the Sword area were in fact LCP(Sy)?. The LCP(L)(Navigation) strikes me as being a very valuable and vulnerable resource to be so far up front (not to mention a very obvious target).

    Secondly, Michel S has recently dug up from the Green List the composition of 704 LCP(L) Flotilla which was: “6 LCP(L) 21, 22, 51, 121, 139, 289” - might 2 of these craft might be the LCP(Sy) or LCP(L)(N)?

    Thirdly, regards the FOO’s craft they apparently also came from 704 LCP(L) Flotilla. But of course Captain Bruce of 7 Fd Regt in his detailed memoirs states he was on board “LCP(L) 282” - which is one of the craft listed with 707 Flotilla!!


    Thanks for clearing up the change of pennant number on LCN1.

    Regards your info on the LCP(Sy) & LCP(L) in the Gold area I noticed that LCP(L)178 & 199 were listed - which made me look at the original Force G orders again. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s an old document the craft mentioned in the King sector (three times) are LCP(A) 176 & 199. The document dates from 20May44 - either 178 took the place of 176, or there’s a typo somewhere.

    Back to the FOO’s craft in the Sword area, they were either from 704 or 707 Flotilla (incidentally, there’s no mention from Capt Bruce about his craft being armoured).
    Thanks again to Michel S the numbers are…

    704 Assault Flotilla - 6 LCP(L) 21, 22, 51, 121, 139, 289
    707 Assault Flotilla - 12 LCP(L) 189, 197, 272, 279, 280, 282 285, 286, 309, 310, 311, 312
  13. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    This is turning out to be a very interesting thread (well, for those of us into Landing Craft!).

    I am surprised to see the Hall Scott engines still being used in '44, they were used in the Mk1 LCTs and proved to be something of a maintenance and reliability problem on extended operations. Being a modified aircraft engine they were somwhat delicate (and noisy - hence the silencers?) and spares were not easy to come by for the Navy.

    But I suppose when such large numbers of vessels were needed any source of engine would be used - and if vessels such as the survey ones had a 'limited' usefulness (or life expectancy) the Hall Scotts could be a calculated risk.
  14. Good point Arty. My mistake! I visibly copied the Green List too hastily, since it actually says:
    704 Assault Flotilla - LCP(L) 21, 22, 51, 121; LCP(SY) 139, 289
    (707 list is correct)

    The Green List to 5 June 1944 listing of Landing Craft types does not include any "LCP(A)", "LCP(N)" nor "LCN". Neither does any 'Glossary of Terms - Ships and Craft' in the Naval Orders, but LCP(L) 176 and 199 are referred to in the text as "LCP(Armoured) 176, 199", which confirm Arty's interpretation of "LCP(A)" and Danny's view that they were unofficial designations. Here are the parts regarding KING Sector and LCP(Armoured) 176 & 199 plus LCP(Sy) 281.

    1368_ONEAST-G4_PtIII_AppC_Detailed Orders for Gps on KING_Gp4.jpg 1369_ONEAST-G4_PtIII_AppC_Detailed Orders for Gps on KING_Gp4.jpg 1473_ONEAST-G9_PtII_ORDERS FOR SMOKE.jpg

    More Assault Flotillas from the Green List 5 Jun 44:

    Assault Group "J" 3 - continued
    "P" LCT Squadron - continued
    705 Assault Flotilla (Warsash)
    LCP(L) 167, 171, 172, 178, 179, 196, 202, 265, 266, 268, 270, 274

    Assault Group "J" 4 - continued [Note: probably an error, as it continued directly with:]
    Not Attached to Groups
    712 Assault Flotilla (Warsash):
    LCP(SY) 154, 177, 190, 201, 281, 290, 291, 292

    Force "G"
    Not Attached to Groups
    700 Assault Flotilla (Bursledon)
    LCP(L) 165, 168, 176, 199, 208, 273, 275, 278, 283, 284, 288, 296

  15. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Arty that was my error, I need new glasses.

    Attached is an updated sheet with the information on LCP(L) 176

    The “Special Protection” (armour) was fitted on the stern, along the hull and the cockpit area. Attached is another photo of 208.

    Off to see if I can find anything else to add to this topic.



    0 LCPL  Gold  Correceted.jpg 0 Merville  SP  Armour.jpg
  16. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    This thread has reminded me of a photo I saw online some years ago and I have managed to find it again. The photo shows LCP(L)566 wrecked after the storm and at Omaha Beach. What is interesting is the large "cabin a the front of the craft, also the rear of the craft also looks unusual to me. What is mounted on the roof - searchlight? Radar? It is surely a RN craft - Camo scheme and the style of pennant number are typically british and the number is within one of the range of numbers used by the Royal Navy
    There is some other interesting stuff on the photo but what is 566?

    Attached Files:

  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Nice picture Noel. I suspect a lot of LCP(L) were made more habitable with official or unofficial shelter. They performed a wide range of tasks. The object on the roof could be a loud hailer. Some craft were used to marshal shipping. I like the LBK labelled FOOD.

    The forum is good at this sort of topic. I am reminded of a poem from my school days.
    ' And still they gazed and still the wonder grew
    That one small head could carry all he knew.'
    Oliver Goldsmith. The Village Schoolmaster.

    Having set this ball rolling I am largely confined to watching it gather momentum.

  18. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    I believe it is “558 rather than “556”. Attached is a section from a larger copy of this photo. This craft has certainly taken a bit of a battering.

    LCP(L) 558 had a D/F outfit RH1 fitted along with extra fuel tanks.

    The frame at the back might be for the “Taut Wire” equipment.

    “The Taut Wire Machine had a drum on which was wound 140 miles of piano wire. During distance measuring operations one end of the wire was attached to an anchor, if measuring from the shore, or from a buoy if measuring off shore. The wire was then fed out from the drum over a dynamometer which measured the length of wire paid out. The wire was not recovered but cut free and abandoned.”

    Will have to do some more digging on the fittings used on this one though.

    558 was part of 409 Training Flotilla in the Clyde area just before Normandy. No idea what Flotilla she was in when in Normandy.



    0  LCP(L) 556  ed.jpg 0 omaha  edit.jpg
  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG


    I have a feeling that the taut wire gear that you describe was used on larger craft such as survey ships and minesweepers. The latter used it to measure distances for laying buoys on swept channels.

    MLs and small craft used smaller gear working on the same principles. They used 9 mile or 20 mile reels and did not need heavy frames.

    This seems to be Idlers LCN.
    Landing Craft Navigation. Based on LCVP (?) hull fitted with a superstructure to provide covered wireless room/control position. BO13 radar anrennae on a strut supported bipod mast aft. This could be lowered to stow on a deck house cradle. Carries WS radar, Decca navigator, echo sounder and 9 mile taut wire gear.

  20. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Mike thanks for the information on the length of the reels of the smaller craft. Don’t think I have any of photos of this gear fitted to a ML or LC.

    What made me put the bit about the larger gear is the attached photo from the Australian archives. The frame on the stern of 558 seems pretty big whatever it was used for.

    Wonder if 558 was involved with installing Mulberry “A” ?

    Idler’s LCN 1 photo.

    This was a new design to be used in the Far East. 100 to be built. Draft Staff Requirements for this craft were first circulated in October 1943.

    Part of the caption to the Australian photo. “On the left is Petty Officer Recorder E.W. Foster and Petty Officer Recorder N.R. (Norm) Laxton is standing behind the piano wire drum, the large wheel in the centre of the photograph. The rotating flyer arm, which can be seen as a blurr inside the drum, is spinning as wire is paid out.”



    0  omahal  stern.jpg 0 P02305.023.jpg

Share This Page