LCS(L) gunboats

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Warlord, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


    yes service records are the the way to go





    Service No:

    PO/X 106354

    Date of Death:





    Royal Marines

    H.M.L.C.S. (L) 256.

    Panel Reference:

    Panel 87, Column 3.



    Additional Information:

    Son of James and Elizabeth Thompson, of Grays, Essex.,%20JOHN%20EDWARD
  2. Hi nemo,

    Welcome to the forum nemo

    It's not that it's too much to ask, but the starting point should really be there: that you apply for his service record.

    It will give you the answers to many of your questions, and probably point you in the right direction for the remaining ones.

  3. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    If it is of any use, I found this straight from Wikipedia:
    "Part of the naval Support Squadron of 27 small craft, under Commanders Sellar and Leefe, closed to engage the eleven still-operational German shore-based batteries, on the direction of Captain A.F. Pugsley, R.N., DSO, the naval commander of the amphibious landings. This they did with conspicuous gallantry, but with very heavy casualties. By 12.30pm, nine of the Support Squadron's craft had been sunk, eleven put out of action, and a high percentage of their crews killed or wounded. Ultimately the Support Squadron was recalled as so many of the craft had been damaged or destroyed, but their aim, of drawing the fire of the defending batteries from the landing craft making the primary assault, had succeeded.[5][6]

    Royal Marine Commandos landing at Walcheren using DUKW's, LVT, LCT's and Buffalo amphibians on 1 November 1944
    In a tribute to the bravery of the Support Squadron, General Laycock, Chief of Combined Operations, wrote to Captain A.F. Pugsley with the following words:

    "I understand that the success of the landings and the comparatively light casualties sustained by No. 4 Special Service Brigade at Walcheren was due largely to the heroic efforts of the Naval Support Craft who, at great cost to themselves, effectively silenced the coastal defences. I should like to express the appreciation of all ranks, Special Service Group, and particularly that of General Sturges and Brigadier Leicester and all ranks of No. 4 Special Service Brigade for the self-sacrifice shown by all naval personnel during the landings, which had such splendid results."[5]

    The naval haul of gallantry awards was significant. Of particular note were the actions of Leading Seaman Owen Joseph McGrath who was Coxswain of a Landing Craft (LCP(L) 144) during the assault on Westkapelle. McGrath's citation for the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (the highest award for gallantry available to non-commissioned naval personnel short of the Victoria Cross) reads as follows: "[LCP(L) 144's] duty was to make smoke on the Southern flank. Many craft were hit by the accurate enemy fire, and some blew up very close inshore under the enemy guns. LCP(L) 144 was ordered to close, make smoke and pick up survivors. This was done at point blank range with an off-shore wind making effective smoke difficult. By his courageous action Leading Seaman McGrath rescued over twenty survivors"."

    I would assume that the "Naval Support Squadron" included the LCS(L)
  4. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Yes, the 310th Support Flotilla was part of the Support Squadron Eastern Flank.

    There were six LCS(L) Mk 2 in 310th Support Flotilla in November 1944. They were 252, 254, 256, 258, 259 and 260.

    The other four, LCS(L) 251, 253, 255 and 257, were in the Pooled Reserve, Portsmouth Command, at the time of the Walcheren landings. They were part of the 310th Support Flotilla until October 1944 though.


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  5. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

  6. The Wikipedia caption mixes it up a bit, as does the original IWM one: there are no DUKWs on this photo, nor were there any during the initial assault on Westkapelle. Additionally, the LVT and the Buffalo is one and the same vehicle, with both Mark II and Mark IV types visible on the photo, together with some Water Weasels aka CCsL aka M29C.

    The Support Squadron craft effectively drew most of the fire from the shore guns onto themselves. Had all this firepower been allowed to be directed at the LCT carrying the assaulting Commandos, the outcome would have been very different indeed.

    The Recommendation for Award for Leading Seaman McGrath on board LCP(L) 144 and for Leading Motor Mechanic Cheeney (LCS(L) 260) were published in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 22 December 1944:
    Page 5879 | Supplement 36854, 19 December 1944 | London Gazette | The Gazette
    Page 5880 | Supplement 36854, 19 December 1944 | London Gazette | The Gazette

    As can be seen, many more awards were given to RN personnel taking part in the landings, starting with Pugsley, Sellar and Leefe.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  7. Gil

    Gil Member

    Hi Tippers,
    I would be very grateful to receive the information you have onWalchern.
    The Photo you put on the page is of LCS(L) 256 which my Father Douglas F M Sexton was in charge of that day and unfortunately was killed when a Shellhit the Wheelhouse.
  8. Gil

    Gil Member

    My mail is gilbertmccurdie AT and I would be VERY interested in having a copy of your Docs and Photos 'Tippers'.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Gil

    Looking at Tippers profile - the posting in this thread was his one and only so far, so it may take a while before he responds - maybe start a conversation with him (open up your profile page and click on 'conversations' it may or may not work

    PS Its a good idea NOT to leave email address's in posts as there are naughty things that wander around forum sites picking up such things then use them for spam mail and other bad things, you can replace the @ symbol with AT which tends to confuse the poor little slave animal sent to spy on us.
    Gil likes this.
  10. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    His service record has final arrived.
    The relevant images have been uploaded here: — free image hosting / image upload
    I'm also going to start a separate thread dealing with his record, as there was a short period that he wasn't with the LCS it appears, but hopefully most of the information is relevant, and I'm still trying to piece it together.
    At the time of his death, he would have been with 900 LCS(L) flotilla which I assume composed of LCS(256) and maybe the other craft, but the only mention of this flotilla anywhere I can find is here : Marines & Landing Craft.pdf
    which only acknowledges the flotilla's existence.
  11. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    900th Support Flotilla consisted of five Landing Craft Support (Large) Mk1 when your Uncle joined them. Numbered LCS(L) 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205.

    LCS(L) 201 was lost in September 1943.

    The LCS(L) Mk1 had a crew of 13. 8 of the crew were Royal Marines.

    At least three of the four craft that were in the Flotilla in June 1944 were in Normandy for a period of time.

    The Flotilla Disbanded in September 1944.

    Photo of LCS(L) Mk1 below.

    He would have been part of 310th Support Flotilla when on LCS(L) Mk2 256.

    See post #24 for other craft in 310th Flotilla.



    A 10060  HSC  te.jpg
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  12. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    I've managed to dig up some more information relating to the role of the LCS(L) on Juno beach if it is of any interest.

    LCS(L) 254, 255, 257 were part of Group 301 on Juno as part of assault group J1. I think these were mk2s.
    it goes on to mention that LCS(L) 202 and 203 were part of group 313 , part assault group J2 and these were Mk1s, part of "333 support flotilla".
    LCS(L) mk1 204 and 205 are listed as part of group 323 but the flotilla is not listed.
    All of the mk1s "provided smoke and close support as ordered by Senior Officers Assault Groups".

    If LCS(L) 201 was lost in Sep 1943 then I think this includes all of the LCS(L) mk1s mentioned on this thread. (202-5).
    If 202 and 203 were from 333 flotilla then I would assume that 204 and 205 would have been part of 900 support flotilla, John's flotilla at this date.
    That is provided LCS(L) 202 through to 205 were the only mk1 craft built and 900 flotilla did not consist of other LCS(L) mk1 outside the aforementioned.

    LCS(L) mk1 202 and 203 supported the Canadian 7th Infantry brigade

    LCS(L) mk1 204 and 205 under group 323 supported the Canadian 8th Infantry brigade in the Nan white and Nan Red sectors, near Courseulles-sur-Mer, Bernières-sur-Mer and St Aubin-sur-Mer.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  13. Not to dampen your enthusiasm, but the largest part of the information in this file is simply a copy-paste of the fantastic work done by Mike/Trux in his JUNO thread, so you will understand if we are not really impressed by this hocus-pocus.

    I personally much prefer the original to this unhelpful copy.

  14. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    My apologies, I had no idea that thread was the original copy and had not come across it before, and nobody thought to post it.
    I've updated the link and the information is exactly the same but nobody had thought to post it before so I thought it would be of some use still.
  15. No problem! As for me, I did not post this info because (1) I assumed that you already knew about it and (2) I did not think it was relevant because I believed you were looking for info about LCS(L) 256. I had not read through your great uncle's service records which mention 900 Flotilla, so I am the one who should apologize here :blush:.

    Back to LCS(L) at JUNO, the mention that LCS(L) 202 & 203 were part of 333 Support Flotilla is a typo, because, as Danny said above, these two craft along with 204 and 205 constituted 900 Support Flotilla. But they did work closely together with craft of 333 Sp Flotilla though.

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  16. Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  17. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    Not a problem and thanks, some interesting stuff there!
    Could you point me in the right direction if there is anyway to find out about the other actions of the LCS(L) 1 ( Or 900 flotilla) before or after D-day up until walcheren, as I would have assumed they would have remained off the Normandy coast.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  18. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    Regarding LCS (L) mk1 201 sunk 1st Sept 1943 in a collision, I've found the wrecksite page here:
    Unfortunately to access most of the information you need a subscription but, you can just about make out that the craft was sunk off of the south coast about halfway between Rye and Hastings in Sussex.

    Looking on there doesn't appear to be any casualty records related to LCS(L) 201.

    Not too sure what the relationship is but starting on 1st Sept 43 until 11th Sept John was "Lent" to HMS Haig, which is based in Rye, so perhaps the LCS(L) mk1 were involved in some sort of exercise at this time.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  20. nemo120

    nemo120 Member

    Quite possibly, but I can't find any CWGC records with H.M.S Haig or LCS 201 in the unit text.

    If there were any RM casualties , there are 6 records in Sept 43 that are listed as "Royal Marines" and not part of a RM commando or other RM unit.
    Casualty Details
    Casualty Details
    Casualty Details
    Casualty Details
    Casualty Details
    Casualty Details
    Closest to the date of the collision is 6th Sept, but dates are varied.
    As for any RN casualties, LCS 201 still isn't found in the ship text for any record.
    I've used "Geoff's search engine" to look for records (Geoff's 1939-47 Search Engine), and the CWGC search engine to find the RM casualties for Sept 43.

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