LCTs at Gold Beach

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

  1. Steve Edwards

    Steve Edwards New Member

    My dad was a tank driver on D-Day and they eventually landed on La Rivière, he was lucky as he was the first tank off the LCT and they had an issue hitting a mine, but did mange to get moving despite German artillery. I often wonder which LCT my dad was on, he was in the 81st Assault Regiment, Royal Engineers
  2. Welcome to the forum Steve!

    Do you happen to know who was in command of your father's AVRE, or who the RE officer on board his LCT was? There were six LCT carrying 81 Aslt Sqn. The first AVRE off each LCT pushed a Roly Poly. Any other detail you might know would help finding out which LCT he was on.

  3. Steve Edwards

    Steve Edwards New Member

    Hi Michel, I will have a look through his paperwork to see what I can find. I know that he drove a Churchill AVRE tank that was equipped with large rolls of coconut matting that would unroll in front of the Churchill to help it over the soft terrain of the Normandy beaches, they were also equipped with the “Flying Dustbin” - the 40lb demolition bomb.

  4. Steve,

    The large roll of coconut matting is the Roly Poly, which was not a big success. You can do a search for Roly Poly on this forum if you want to know more about it.

    Please do look through your father's paperwork, I hope you can find some details and if you find typed orders or similar documents, please post them here.
  5. Steve Edwards

    Steve Edwards New Member

    IMG_0517.JPG IMG_0518.JPG Hi Michel,

    I couldn't find anything specific, I have attached a couple of reports that were taken at the time which may or not help !! It seems that the Sargent was Sgt Simpson, although my dad also made comments that a Sgt Sawyer was in the close proximity.

    I also found a number of documents that he wrote for the TV & Newspapers, but that doesn't give any evidence of a LCT number
  6. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    Hi Steve,
    If your father's tank commander was Sergeant Simpson, then he was in Lane 6 on King Beach. This will most likely have put him on board an LCT of the 34th LCT Flotilla, L Squadron. I'm not sure which one I'm afraid (Michel may know), but I can tell you the vessel's Landing Table Index Number was 2425. He embarked on his landing craft at Lepe, Q2 hard on the New Forest Coast at 3pm on 3 June, and then moored off the Beaulieu River whilst waiting to sail.
  7. Hello Steve,

    As Steve (Fisher) said, if your father's tank commander was L sjt Simpson, as apparent from the handwritten note in the report you posted, then his craft LTIN was 2425, i.e. LCT(4) 930 of 34 LCT Flotilla, "L" LCT Squadron. Her load was, in order of disembarkation:

    AVRE Pusher (pushing Roly Poly ) – Commander Lance serjeant SIMPSON, 81 Assault Squadron RE
    AVRE Bobbin – Captain James Martin BIRKBECK (219666), OC 1 Troop 81 Assault Squadron RE
    Sherman Crab – Captain (temp) Roger Francis BELL (143202), SHQ "C" Squadron Westminster Dragoons (second in command "Z" Breaching Squadron)
    Sherman Crab – No.14215948 Corporal Trevor Cecil THORPE, 1 Troop "C" Squadron Westminster Dragoons
    AVRE Fascine – Lance serjeant NIXON, 81 Assault Squadron RE
    Armoured Bulldozer (probably D7A) (probably Ralph RAYNER, 149 Assault Park Squadron RE)
    Two Folding Boat Equipments and two Handcarts from 280 Field Company RE​

    LCT 930 had two LCA(HR) (Landing Craft, Assault (Hedgerow)) attached which were each supposed to fire 24 spigot mortars on to the beach obstructions ahead of her between H-1 minute and H Hour: LCA(HR) 969 (Sub-Lieut ROBERTS), to be towed across the Channel by LCT 930, and LCA(HR) 1110 (Lieut IRWIN), to be towed by LCF 38. Both craft lost their tow during the passage but made their own way to the beach and released their mortars ahead of LCT 930.

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
    SDP likes this.
  8. DDay Dave

    DDay Dave New Member

    Hello, I've just joined the chat. I'm following up on some info from a friend. His grandad was Coxswain on a LCM on and around DDay. The details I have from them are that he was in flotilla 698. I have the following number PLY/X111648. He ferried in troops and supplies into Gold beach and Arromanches leaving from Southampton.
    I can see there is some extensive info on this chat so can anybody confirm if the details I have are correct and anything further, times, dates even photos but that's probably a stretch.
    Thanks for any help.
    SDP likes this.
  9. Welcome to the forum Dave!

    698 Build Up Flotilla, "E" Build Up Squadron, Force "G" had sixteen LCM Mark I:
    LCM(1) 193
    LCM(1) 203*, 231*, 240*, 241*, 246, 270*, 274 - Force G, Group 11e planned to reach Lowering Position at 0715 hrs D Day
    LMC(2) 303, 313, 364, 369, 372, 373, 374, 381 - Force G, Group 13g planned to reach Lowering Position at 0700 hrs D Day

    * = lost in Operation Neptune, Normandy Landings, N France, June-July 1944

    I have only a couple of photos showing craft from 698 Flotilla.

    LCM(1) 231:
    ADM 1275 - LCM(1) 231.jpg
    LCM(1) 274:
    LCM(1) 274 '8' 698 BU Fla, LCM(3) '6' 606 BU Fla - 1954_06_103 LCT(HE)2225 109.jpg

    Last edited: May 8, 2023
  10. DDay Dave

    DDay Dave New Member

    Hello Michel, that's incredible, bloody brilliant. thank you! He seemed to think he landed at about 0800, which would probably makes sense as I think the weather delayed most things on gold beach. Do you have any ideas what the PLY/X111648 is?
  11. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    Hi Dave,
    The weather did delay most thing on all beaches, but in 698 flotilla's case significantly more so. LCM 193 was taken over in the davits of a larger ship and arrived on time, but according to the report filed by their CO, Captain Yates RM, although the other two groups sailed with G11 and G13 on 5 June, the weather forced them back. Attempts to get tows onto Rhino ferries towed by LSTs were unsatisfactory. Later 9 of the LCMs were ordered to Chichester, arriving there at 1am on 6 June, while 6 remained in the Solent for repairs. The Chichester boats sailed later on D-Day, entering channel 6 through the minefield in the middle of the Channel at 4pm. Eventually 6 boats arrived at Juno at 8am on 7 June.
    Do you know your friend's grandfather's surname?
  12. DDay Dave

    DDay Dave New Member

    ah, ok thanks steve, I am aware of service numbers but didn't recognise the PLY as one of them. His name was S.A. Bennett (corporal)
  13. DDay Dave

    DDay Dave New Member

    Hi Steve, so the details I have sound all wrong. He probably landed on Juno on the 7th June, at 8am. Or worse still his boat was in the solent being repaired...

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