LCTs at Gold Beach

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by David Clements, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. David Clements

    David Clements New Member

    Does anyone have a list of which LCTs landed at Gold Beach? My father was the skipper of LCT 737. I'm pretty sure he went into Gold Beach. He also skippered the same craft in Infatuate 2 at Walcheren.
     
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Forum member Mike (Trux) is your man for answers. I have sent him a private message to alert him to your query.

    Lesley
     
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  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    David (and Lesley).

    I am sorry to disappoint you but I searched my files this morning and I do not have the pennant numbers for the LCTs on Gold. I have only the LTIN numbers. These are the numbers used on the landing tables and relate to craft loads rather than to a particular craft. I can confirm that 737 was assigned to Gold but cannot identify its role.

    Mike
     
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    a start perhaps - HMS LCT 737 (LCT 737) of the Royal Navy - British Landing Craft Tank of the LCT (Mk 4) class - Allied Warships of WWII - uboat.net

    TD

    HMS Blackwood, Mourne, Sickle, Elba Landings killed and died, also other RN casualties June 1944
    LCT.737
    GEE, Brian G H, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNZNVR (on books of Copra), second-in-command of LCT.737 serving off Normandy beaches. Crushed between two LCT's during storm on 19 June, and taken to US medical facility, but DOI (with thanks to David Clements, whose father was in command of LCT.737)
     
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  5. Hello David,

    Welcome to the forum!

    On D Day LCT(4) 737 was one of the twelve craft in 53 LCT Flotilla, "D" LCT Squadron, assigned to Assault Group "G" 1. I do not know what her Serial or LTIN was, but since at least three other craft in her flotilla have been identified as belonging to the LTIN block 2160 to 2169, she stands a good chance to also belong to that same block. She therefore possibly carried one of LTINs 2160 to 2162 or 2166 to 2169.
    For detailed loads see Trux' post GOLD BEACH.

    LCT 737 on 5 May 1944 during Exercise FABIUS II:
    LCT 737 during Ex FABIUS II, 4 May 44 - A70 14-7 06.54 [Walter].jpg

    Source: EXERCISE FABIUS II: AMPHIBIOUS LANDING PRACTICE BY 50TH NORTHUMBRIAN DIVISION AT HAYLING ISLAND, HAMPSHIRE [Allocated Title]
    between 06:34-07:06

    During the Westkapelle landings LCT 737 was part of 20 LCT Flotilla, "N" Squadron, was code named "BRAMBLE" and was assigned the Serial 5.
    IWM B11630:
    B_011630 - Story of 79 AD p164.jpg

    B11631:
    B11631.jpg

    B11632:
    B11632.jpg

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  6. David Clements

    David Clements New Member

    Thanks all for your responses. It's good to know that there is a lot of knowledge and expertise out there. Following on from Tricky Dicky's post, Brian Gee's CWGC entry had him shown as belonging to HMS Copra, the admin base. From my father's letters, I knew that Brian had been injured on 737 and died in a US hospital in Normandy. Fortunately, I was able to convince the CWGC to change his entry, so it could be seen that he died on active service.
     
  7. AnneR

    AnneR New Member

    Hi, my dad was also on 737 as a Sub Lieutenant (I think) John Revell, with Combined Ops. He migrated to Perth, West Australia so has not said a lot of what happened on DDay. He remembers your fathers name David when I asked him.
    He was on 737 for quite a while in Holland but a shrapnel thigh wound meant he left.
    I am interested in knowing more after reading what I can glean from many documents online. Does any one more detail about what they did on D Day after 1st assault onto Gold Beach. I understand that they did a few return trips??? Dad at 96 (Jly) is still alive but gets very confused about details. Regards Anne. Email: annerobinson@iinet.net.au
     
  8. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    As everyone else has already said, 737 was in the 53rd LCT Flotilla, D Squadron, G1 on D-Day (listed as such in the Force G orders). From a quick comparison of the orders and reports, I agree with Michel that the flotilla would almost certainly have been LTINs 2160 to 2169, carrying priority vehicles for 231 Brigade and its associated units (including the Sherwood Rangers).

    The flotilla embarked their loads at S4 Hard on the River Itchen in Southampton (now sadly removed) between 12 midday and 7.30pm on D-3 (bearing in mind the delay, this will have been 2nd June) and moored off Calshot to wait, before sailing past the Needles at 3pm on the 5th.

    The flotilla beached at H+90 (ie. 8.55am) on Gold Jig beach. The flotilla leader, LCT 1078 "endeavoured to find a suitable space but failed" to find a way through the obstructions. Of the ten craft from the flotilla taking part, "8 craft were damaged by mines and other obstructions, the remaining two being undamaged." (D Squadron CO's report).

    I've attached the report for you.
    Cheers,
    Steve

    D Sqn Report.JPG
     
  9. David Clements

    David Clements New Member

    Thanks Steve
    As a matter of interest, do you have details of which LCTs were in the 53rd Flotilla?
    Regards
    Dave
     
  10. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    No problem Dave.

    According to the distribution list for the Force G orders the following were in the 53rd Flotilla, all LCT Mk IVs: 710, 737, 902, 928, 1034, 1074, 1076, 1078, 1079, 1118, 1119, 1009.
    That's twelve in total, so two were spare and almost certainly allocated to join the first follow up Starlight convoy.
     
  11. David Clements

    David Clements New Member

    Thanks!
     
  12. AnneR

    AnneR New Member

    Thanks for all the information. I have found some hand written information from my dad, that confirms what has been shared. There were 12 LCTs in the Flotilla. "The assembly of LC about 7 miles offshore was very difficult due to high seas. It was too rough to launch amphibious tanks due at the beach ahead of infantry. It was fortunate that due to sea sickness the infantry were held back from the initial landing to recover in the more sheltered water nearer the beaches and the LCTs carrying full loads of tanks were sent in first and were engaging the enemy positions by the time the infantry waded ashore weak from vomiting and thoroughly wet and cold. The flail tanks and AVRE (engineer clearance tanks) were a little late and arrived at same time as the infantry craft. LCTs landed 15 mins after first wave at Gold Jig beach but due to congestion beached to left of others. Had to wait 10 mins for a beach party to find a clear path thro' beach obstacles for our loads.Tanks were unloaded first and immediately went into action. We grounded well seawards of first beach defenses and vehicles could be safely landed. Each craft in our flotilla had a mix of 5 Sherman tanks and 10 replenishment supporting 3 ton trucks and 2 command vehicles (jeep type). We also carried an armoured bulldozer for the beach engineers. The trucks usually carried shells & ammo for tanks (3), jerrycans of fuel (3), spare parts, rations and self defense weapons incl light machine guns were carried in the other four. About 45 army personnel manned the vehicles. Army preferred a mix load of Shermans and trucks to be carried rather than just one type in each LCT. Half an hour after beaching, we hauled off and commenced our 20 hour return journey to England to pick up our first back up load. So we continued through June, all July and August taking loads of tanks and loaded trucks to Omaha and Utah in American Sector. Once over 300 soldiers bedded down on the tank deck or tank boards for the overnight trip in company with 9 other similarly loaded LCTs - about 3.5 thousand men altogether on one night about end of June. Towards end of August there was an attempt to launch DD amphibious tanks aginst coast NE of Le Havre which was abandoned, involved 4 LCTs & 8 DD (dual drives)." He also comments on coastal defenses in position that were made the areas "unhealthy", despite 2 hours of bombing. John Revell was Temp Sub-Lieutenant with Special Ops Overlord/Neptune and noted LCTs 1074, 682 and 737.
    I have no information on dates and no Service Record. Interesting and appreciative of you sharing your detailed knowledge of these times. Thanks Dave and Steve for LCTs list in that flotilla. Anne R
     
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