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

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

  1. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Ted, you were quite correct in your interpretation of MSSU.

    Her's just a few more vehicles to add to the collection.

    The last one is of me with the Workshop van upon whose roof I was eventually destined to sleep some months later, as referred to in my earlier post. Note the Tow Chain still installed from the wet landing, but the snorkel exhaust had been removed. Note also just one (masked) headlight, no synchro-mesh but a 'crash' gearbox, removable side screens, with Jerry cans and spare wheel housed behind the cab.



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    View attachment 54938

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    Type 9 AMES Mobile.jpg

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    Service Visit July 1944 (2).jpg
     
  2. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    We were told that, quite logically, they were all written off as losses as soon as they were embarked in UK. But I know, from personal experience, that record cards for them all were kept at AHQ Command Signals, except for a few whose record cards had been 'lost'. But that's another story.

    Shortly after the cessation of hostilities and the disbandment of mobile signals and radar units, all of the hundreds of technical vehicles with which the MSU's were equipped were shipped to Stade, an extensive ex-Luftwaffe base about 35 miles west of Hamburg, that had been taken over by 6 BSRU, together with yours truly and most of the technically qualified MSU personnel, to maintain the equipment. This was the nearest I ever came to living in barracks on a proper "RAF" station. What luxury! Showers, proper cookhouse and mess halls, dentist and qualified MO. The Luftwaffe certainly knew how to live! Spring beds, straw paliasses replaced by three 'biscuits' - but still no sheets to sleep in!

    In March 1946, a small selection of the vehicles were sold to the newly resurrected French Air Force, to whom I was seconded for two or three weeks, near to the Swiss border, before being posted to Command Signals, Air HQ (ops) at Bad Eilsen, from where I was demobbed in 1948. Since nobody else was appointed to deal with the vehicle records before I left I presume they fell by the wayside.

    My photo with the FAF guys was taken on the banks of the Alster, in Hamburg, when they came to collect their vehicles.

    FAF on Alster 001.jpg
     
  3. Roger F

    Roger F Junior Member

    Hi, this is my first post on this thread, I was directed here by another user
    Re; Leading Aircraftsman Charles Durham.
    This is really fascinating stuff on here!
    I am carrying out research for a book that I am writing on the developement and deployment and men who operated mobile radar during WW2.
    Charles Durham is an uncle of mine was on these and has given me a fair amount of info. and photos etc.

    I am trying to trace any surviving members of his unit (15062 FDP ) to possibly have a chat with and who may have photographs that I could use for my book. Up until a few years ago there was a reunion every year for 15062 FDP and a magazine was produced so members could catch up and keep in contact, it was called GENMAG.

    Charles joined up in 1942 did his radar training at RAF Yatesbury before before going to Northern France,Belguim and Holland. The Radar units were protected by 3rd Royal Canadian Armoured Corp; any info on these would be of help

    He was part in the D Day Landings but as he is now in poor health he is not too clear exactly when he landed on the Normandy beaches.

    Any help, however small will be greatly appreciated because in my view these units seem to be almost overlooked when one talks of the war.

    The photos are 1950 15062 FDP reunion dinner, demob boys and TYPE 13
    radar
    Roger
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Roger F

    Roger F Junior Member

    My uncle told me that this was taken in Buckeberg in preparation for the victory parade in London
     

    Attached Files:

  5. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Roger, a belated welcome to the club, and best wishes to your Uncle Charles from one of his contemporaries.

    Thanks for the nice pictures you posted. The latter one is of the Air HQ (Operations) BAFO (British Air Forces of Occupation) contingency that took part in the London Victory Parade, from Bad Eilsen (where I was stationed at the time as the only O/R in Command Signals). I have the same photo, together with a few more. It had been remarked that I bore a remarkable resemblance to the guy on the far end of the front rank, which may be true!

    As evidenced by the presence of the London Bus Stop sign, it wasn't taken in Buckeberg, where Air HQ (Admin) was located, but either in the Mall, during the Victory Parade itself or, less likely, during the Dress Rehearsal in Hyde Park where the contingent was accommodated in bell tents for the occasion.

    The contingent is lead by Air Vice Marshall Wigglesworth, who was AOC Air HQ (Ops), my ultimate boss, who only appeared for the dress rehearsal and the parade proper, and must have been given a private refresher in marching, the rest having been subjected to a rigorous 'refresher' course in arms drill and square bashing - all of which had been alien to all of the participants for some years ;lol;. Everyone had been issued with brand spanking new uniforms for the occasion. A Senior NCO and two OR's were alleged to have been selected from every unit on active service.

    I'll see what gen I have, if any, on your Uncle's Radar Unit, but since he recalls being at Buckeberg, just a bus ride away from Bad Eilsen, it seems likely his unit was sited close by, at RAF Buckeberg airfield to provide Radar cover for air traffic control there; this airfield being brought into service for ferrying visitors and personnel between Air HQ BAFO and UK, or elsewhere. In fact, my late wife and I flew back from there for demob in December 1947.

    Kind regards

    Les
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    RAF Signals Vehicle Types.

    I have posted a question and a list of RAF Signal Vehicle Types in the Weapons, Technology and Equipment section. All the Signal Types are listed in the Landing Tables for D Day and D+1. Who knows what they were, what they carried, what they did etc?

    Mike
     
  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi, this is my first post on this thread, I was directed here by another user
    Re; Leading Aircraftsman Charles Durham.
    This is really fascinating stuff on here!
    I am carrying out research for a book that I am writing on the developement and deployment and men who operated mobile radar during WW2.
    Charles Durham is an uncle of mine was on these and has given me a fair amount of info. and photos etc.

    I am trying to trace any surviving members of his unit (15062 FDP ) to possibly have a chat with and who may have photographs that I could use for my book. Up until a few years ago there was a reunion every year for 15062 FDP and a magazine was produced so members could catch up and keep in contact, it was called GENMAG.

    Charles joined up in 1942 did his radar training at RAF Yatesbury before before going to Northern France,Belguim and Holland. The Radar units were protected by 3rd Royal Canadian Armoured Corp; any info on these would be of help

    He was part in the D Day Landings but as he is now in poor health he is not too clear exactly when he landed on the Normandy beaches.

    Any help, however small will be greatly appreciated because in my view these units seem to be almost overlooked when one talks of the war.

    The photos are 1950 15062 FDP reunion dinner, demob boys and TYPE 13
    radar
    Roger

    Hi Roger

    Just had a look at my copy of "2nd TAF" Vol 4. Page 706 which shows the deployment of all units within 2nd TAF on 25th July 1944 (D+51), being the Location Statement for that date and where 15062 is listed as a GCI. This shows 15062 located with 11075GCI & 22004GCI overlooking the sea at Peacehaven, on the edge of what Google Maps now shows as a housing estate.

    This is the only reference I have to this unit; but if you're seeking more detailed information I would suggest you refer to the unit's Operational Record Book (O.R.B.), which should be available for perusal at Public Records Office at Kew. I don't know how many pages their ORB would run to, but Andy (Drew5233) provides an excellent copying service (at 10p per page).

    Sorry, I made a rubbish reference to Brussels Iver Airport in an earlier Post to you, I've edited it to correct my faux pas.

    Regards

    Les



    That's the only reference I have to this unit.

    Les
     
  8. Roger F

    Roger F Junior Member

    Hi Doctor D,
    Thanks for the info. I do plan a visit to Kew and also Hendon in the near future.
    Roger
     
  9. Roger F

    Roger F Junior Member

    Hi Les, (if you are out there!)

    Here are a couple of reunion dinners for FDP 15062, both in London. The one with the blue tablecloth is from 1990 and the other one would be only a year or two either way I would imagine.

    My uncle tells me that his mobile units were protected by Canadian Royal Armoured Corp but can't recall much else. I contacted the RCAC but they told me they haven't kept records! Would you, or anyone else,[
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Les, (if you are out there!)

    Here are a couple of reunion dinners for FDP 15062, both in London. The one with the blue tablecloth is from 1990 and the other one would be only a year or two either way I would imagine.

    My uncle tells me that his mobile units were protected by Canadian Royal Armoured Corp but can't recall much else. I contacted the RCAC but they told me they haven't kept records! Would you, or anyone else,[

    Hi Roger (I'm still around, but not contributing anything new these days!)

    I'm afraid the only info I have on 15062 derives from 2nd TAF Location Statement No 20 dated 25th July 1944, shown on Pages 704-707 of Vol 4 of 2nd TAF, by Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas where on that date, as previously posted, the Unit was shown to be located at Peacehaven.

    Unfortunately, no clue is given to source the PRO file reference where these weekly or fortnightly Statements are located; but Andy is doing his best to track down this valuable information, without too much success so far, with so little to go on. :( I don't know if anybody else can help in the quest.

    Les
     
  11. Roger F

    Roger F Junior Member

    Hi all,
    I visited RAF Neatishead Radar museum in Norfolk last week and got some great stuff for my research. One of the items is a six page (A4) hand written account of one mans experience on the mobile radar units. The only trouble is is that it just has three initials of the person who wrote it.

    He was in Radar and Mobile signals Unit 5320 and his initials are HGM.

    Would anyone have any info. on this unit and who was in it?

    The museum is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

    I will post some more pictures as I clean them up and hope to have some more this coming week as I am visiting a surviving member of FDP 15062
    regards,
    Roger
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Name: NEWSON, STANLEY WILLIAM Initials: S W Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Leading Aircraftman Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Unit Text: 15082 G.C.I. Age: 22 Date of Death: 06/06/1944 Service No: 1612976 Additional information: Son of George Joseph and Rosina Newson, of Wallington, Surrey. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: X. B. 12. Cemetery: BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY

    I've never really looked at this thread - I wonder if he is a relation of mine :unsure:
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I hope I got this correct? Just let me know if I have. I pulled the file suggested by Ross (RAF Commands) and copied the following units for you, so many thanks to Ross if I've got it correct-I would never have found them if it wasn't for him. Anyway the units are as follows:

    Ground Control Interception Unit 8024 later named Forward Director Post 8024

    Ground Control Interception Unit 15053

    Ground Control Interception Unit 15054 later named Fighter Director Post 15054

    Ground Control Interception Unit 15055

    Ground Control Interception Unit 15056

    I also found this sheet left in the Operational Record Book and thought I'd post it incase it's of interest?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Andy

    Wow!! I've not been on for a few days, so only just picked up on your outstanding work.

    Once again important historic detail relies upon testimony of those directly involved. It is well known that Watson-Watt, at the Radio Research Establishment, Slough, started work in 1935 on the concept of what was eventually to become know as RADAR, from the first test carried out at Daventry on 14 February 1935. As one whose career has been spent on the design and development of electronic and radio equipment, it has always struck me as astounding that it took just five years for fully operational radar equipment to be up and running; and it's particularly interesting to be able to put names to those involved in events such as this.

    In this case, it seems from letters home, we're able to plot the progress of this particular GCI, although I can't easily decypher from your photo the written detail, that's obviously in pencil. I originally kept a note of all of the locations I visited from d-day onwards, but it got lost many years ago when I moved house.

    There is just one thing that puzzles me. The only reference I have been able to find regarding GCI's in the d-day landings is from Page 18 of the PDF downloadable from
    http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/jscsc/jscsc-library/archives/operation-overlord/CONF4171_AssaultLandNormandy.pdf. This show just 15082GCI landing with American First Army (on Omaha Beach), the unit with which I was associated, and 15083GCI that landed on a British Sector beach.

    However, 8024, 15053, 15054 & 15056GCI's are all listed in 2ndTAF Location Statement No.20, which shows the location of all 2ndTAF units on 25th July 1944.

    Was this just the one ORB you were looking at, or was there one for each of the units listed? Would it be too cheeky to ask whether you could PM a copy of the photo to me so that I can blow it up enough to read the detail?

    Very many thanks, Andy.

    Les
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just to clarify Les - You unit was in 15082 GCI ?

    I will of course send you all the information on a DVD but it appears I don't have the correct unit Orb at the moment - All the units I've listed that I copied were in one book. They appear to have been put together after the war.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  16. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Just to clarify Les - You unit was in 15082 GCI ?

    I will of course send you all the information on a DVD but it appears I don't have the correct unit Orb at the moment - All the units I've listed that I copied were in one book. They appear to have been put together after the war.

    Regards
    Andy

    No, Andy, my actual unit was 309 MSSU (Advance Echelon A). But the ORB for my unit is missing, although those for the other four MSSU's that served in other theatres are available. However, my Echelon was intended to provide technical backup for 15082 GCI and thus
    landed on Omaha Beach, which is what this thread is all about. In fact my sole objective was to see that the sacrifice of my mates 67 years ago, until now totally unrecorded, receives some permanent form of recognition. After seven years of persistent effort this is now nearing fruition; for on next years d day anniversary a 3-foot by 2-foot granite plaque is to be erected on a purpose-built wall adjacent to the steps that give access to Omaha Beach from the car park of the huge US National Guard memorial at Vierville sur Mer, and dedicated to 15082GCI.

    Nevertheless there seems to be a fair amount of interest in many other GCI's so if you've already got their ORB 's on disc I wouldn 't wish to put you to a
    great deal of extra effort. (BTW you must PM me with the cost). However I know that the son of the Squadron Leader who was awarded the MC is anxious to retrace his father's subsequent exploits; and since he is my source for much of this thread itt would seem churlish not to return the favour, if it's not too much trouble

    Again my thanks

    Les
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Les - Its no trouble.

    I'll see what Ross can come up with regarding any further ORB's and put them all together for you-I should be at Kew next month. The one's I copied were at the end of the book (The last 5). So I suspect the 15082GCI maybe in the next file.

    Ref cost: Don't worry about it, they are free mate - Its the least I could do.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
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  18. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Andy

    I'm overwhelmed by your kindness. If I can ever be of assistance please do not hesitate to be in touch directly.

    I'll PM my home address and look forward to receiving a great deal of interesting information to wade through to occupy (what looks like :) ) the rest of my life!!

    Kind regards

    Les
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Andy

    I'm overwhelmed by your kindness. If I can ever be of assistance please do not hesitate to be in touch directly.

    I'll PM my home address and look forward to receiving a great deal of interesting information to wade through to occupy (what looks like :) ) the rest of my life!!

    Kind regards

    Les

    Hi Les - 200 pages of info on their way to you in tomorrow's post. As it says on the disc - Enjoy ! ;)
     
  20. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

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