LST 165, June 1944

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Spitfires of the Sea, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    Hi all,

    Whilst researching LCT 7074, I’ve been trying to find out more about LST 165. Part of the Royal Navy’s 8th LST Flotilla, 165 was assigned to Group L1 of Force L and carried troops and vehicles of 22nd Armoured Brigade to Gold Beach.

    On the 7th June at around 5pm, she was filmed taking on board numerous German PoWs. This footage can be seen in a number of reels in the IWM collection, but is best illustrated by this one (from 9:30). The notes on some reels claim it is LST 406, but I’ve compared markings on the hull to confirm it is in fact 165.

    The next time she appears in the media record of D-Day is at Gosport GH Hard, disembarking PoWs. The pictures are best viewed here at the Library and Archives Canada site. There are very few details attached to them, but I’ve traced the location of the entire series of pictures and can confirm it is Gosport and GH Hard (short thread on some of the locations here).

    The pictures appear elsewhere and on some (not especially reliable) sites I’ve seen the date given as the 12th June. This does actually conform to the data given in a curious document held in The D-Day Story archives: the diary of a woman who lived in a property overlooking the hard who noted the date, time and identity of every berthing at the hard in June and July. Clearly she wasn’t supposed to do this, but it’s an interesting source and at least a few other LST arrivals fit with what I’ve been able to compare with other sources.

    So, my question is, are these the same PoWs? On the face of it, it seems unlikely. Taking PoWs on board on the afternoon of the 7th, it seems unlikely that they could still have been on board 5 days later. On the other hand, it seems surprising that 165 would have ended up with PoWs on board on two separate occasions.

    Does anyone know any way to establish 165’s movements to see if she did indeed go somewhere else in between these two events, or if the date of the 12th is wrong? I’ve had no luck with logs, Force reports or Portsmouth reports, and if there was, by some miracle, a log of all arrivals and sailings in Portsmouth Command still surviving, I’ve yet to find it (I’ve found one for Portland though as it happens).

    Any help is, as always, much appreciated!



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