R.A.F. Units in D-Day landings on Omaha Beach

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by DoctorD, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Klondyke Ron

    Klondyke Ron New Member

    I have just read the post by Robbozinoz dated 2016 so am a bit late in replying. Your relative certainly seems to have landed on Omaha on 6-6-1944 as witness the entry on his record stating Emb 6-6-1944. The Mobile Signals Unit he belonged to would have been attached to GCI15082 which was the Mobile Radar Unit selected to provide ground interception radar coverage for Allied fighters over the American landing beaches. GCI15082 was a constituent part of No. 21 Base Defence Wing which was itself part of No. 85 (Base) Group which were formed at RAF Church Fenton from 1-1-1944 onwards under he command of Group Captain Moseby. Prior to D-Day 21 Sector, as it had then become in May 1944, moved from Church Fenton in two stages via Lutterworth and RAF Zeals to Camp D2 at Sopley Park. From there GCI15082 and it's attached units moved to Poole Harbour and left on the evening of 4th/5th June 1944 only for the whole Armada to return because of poor weather conditions in the Channel. They set off again on the evening of 5th/6th June 1944 reaching the Normandy coast in the early morning. GCI15082 was scheduled to land at around 11.00hrs but as the beach was still under fire having not been taken they withdrew and waited until about 17.00hrs when they were ordered in. Out of 30 vehicles which landed only 8 were capable of being driven off the beach, the rest having been 'drowned' or damaged by enemy fire. Approximately 25% of those who went in to land were casualties with 1 officer, Flight Lieutenant Highfield and 10 known Other Ranks being killed. Among the 10 killed are believed to have been 4 soldiers from No. 16 Air Formation Signals as well as 6 airmen from GCI15082 and it's other attached units. The officer in command of the landing was Wing Commander Anderson who was wounded during the landing and eventually returned to England leaving Squadron Leader Trollope as O.C.
    For a full account of the above I would recommend the website "The RAF at Omaha Beach" which has a wealth of detail on this subject.
    As regards the statement that your relative watched the Liberation Parade after being in Paris for 3 days, that coincides with what my father told me. He was an ACH/GD with 21 Sector and he told me that 21 Sector (in fact it was GCI15082) entered Paris before the Allied troops had liberated it and he watched the Liberation Parade from the vicinity of Longchamps Racecourse where GCI15082 had initially set up. I have seen a report that MSU 5285G were ordered to rendezvous with GCI15082 under the command of Wing Commander Brown (who was later killed at Arnhem) at Le Mans and then to proceed to Paris. The German Commander of Paris did not surrender the city until 25th August 1944 so this dates events very accurately. As events turned out, I believe that reception was not very good at Longchamps and so GCI15082 moved to a new position south of Paris at Morangis and went on air there. Eventually, 21 Sector 's GCI's and COL's were sent back to England at the end of September 1944 when the Americans began operating their own radar system but all of the attached Mobile Signals Units were re-allocated to other units on the Continent. Hope this helps?
    Klondyke Ron
  2. Sky

    Sky Member

    Hello Roger... did you ever complete your book? Was it only about 15o62 or was there anything about 15081 in it. Please advise..
    Lengthy threads elsewhere on this site about my father William Wortley.
    Thanks Aileen ( sky)
  3. Sky

    Sky Member

    Hi Roger. Did you ever complete your book? Like you I find it so frustrating there is so little available about mobile radar units and especially 15081 GCI in which my Dad seved ( see William Wortley elsewhere on this site)
    Cheers Aileen
  4. Alan Rose

    Alan Rose New Member

    Hello everyone. Just picked up on this thread and haven't had the opportunity to read all the information, but from what I've seen so far it provides a lot of information about my father's war service. He landed on Sword Beach and was a member of 15053 FDP/GCI. He didn't talk about his experience but I do have his diary. It gives some detail about training - where and when, but has very little after landing. However it has a great final entry which is a list of all intercepts made by his unit that led to destroying / damaging enemy aircraft. I always found it amusing though that he volunteered for aircrew but the RAF in it's wisdom, having found he had been a trade apprentice in civvy street, thought he would be better employed in an RAF trade, so trained him on radar when he had been an apprentice... printer.
    dbf likes this.
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    He was obviously just the right bloke of type they were looking for...

    Glad you've found the thread, enjoy the rest of it.
  6. Matty2007

    Matty2007 Junior Member

    Hi, it has been a few years since I last posted a message. I was interested to read your comments about 15081. My grandfather (Leonard William Martin - known as Billy) was in 15081 and I have been trying for many years to get information. Have you been successful? Look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks Barry

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