Royal Marines Armoured Support Regiment (2RMAS) Juno, D-Day

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by 0xonian, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hello Mike,
    Yes your photo does show Nan Red.

    I have attached another photo showing the limits of Bernier s/m and St Aubin s/m in relation to your photo.

    This has caused me a few problems in the past when looking for things.

    Regards

    Danny

    Bernieres  St  Aubin  Limits.jpg
     
    0xonian likes this.
  2. Danny and Mike,

    Great aerial views of NAN RED!

    Frank,

    If your father did land from LCT(A) 2014 (Serial 1424), this would have him in the Left section of 'Z' Troop, 4 Battery, 2 RMASR, and so maybe in the very Centaur as seen exiting from the beach on the photo... or the other one.

    Michel
     
  3. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    Michel,

    Do you have any further info on which Troops in 2RMASR were in which craft? My father's Troop commander was a Capt. Kay(e) so I had tentatively assigned dad to T Tp on the basis of Danny's info. But if so, this would seem to place dad further West on the Right flank of Nan Red or L flank of Nan White, and in a different LST(A).

    I am also still unsure of the troop lettering for 2RMASR and 5th (Independent) Btty RMAS. As far as I can tell it was 3rd Btty: P,Q,S,T; 4th Btty: W,X,Y,Z. Is this correct? I don't know 5th (Ind) Btty Troop letters, though there seems to have also been a T tp in 5th.

    Frank
     
  4. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    Mike,

    I've just found this on the BBC WW2 People's War website. It is the personal recollection of R.G Watts who was a Wireman (Electrician) on LCT 2455 assigned to 2RMASR on Juno on D-Day. His recollection is of landing at 'Corsella' [Courseulles] which would be Nan White/Green sector. His LCT had 2 Centaurs and 2 jeeps behind, although I can't find a precise match to a serial in the loading tables. A fascinating account of the crossing and landings.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/23/a2096723.shtml
     
  5. Frank,

    Regrettably no definitive info on allocation of Troops per craft, only a possible deduction from your post #8 above:

    "Deploy on Beach at H. supporting Units as follows : -
    P & Q Tps. Royal Winnipeg Rifles. S & T Tps. Regina Rifles
    W & X Tps. Queens Own Rifles. Y & Z Tps. N. Shore Regt.
    All of 3rd Cdn Inf Div. In addition Z Tp supports 48 RM Cdo."

    So Y & Z Troops were planned for NAN RED, with Z Troop to support 48 RM Commando which was to swing left towards LANGRUNE. This makes it logical - but not necessarily true - that Z Troop was on the left and Y Troop on the right of NAN RED. Since LCT Serials on NAN RED were - from left to right - 1424, 1423, 1422 & 1421, Serial 1424 would be carrying Z Troop.

    It seems that at least at one given time the Batteries/Troops on JUNO were allocated in numerical/alphabetical sequence from right to left, but for MIKE Sector Q Troop apparently changed from MIKE RED to MIKE GREEN.

    Perhaps other archives might contain further information on this?

    Records of the Royal Marines:
    Subsubseries within ADM 202 Support Craft Regiment
    ADM 202/303 Headquarters 1943 Dec- 1944 Feb
    ADM 202/304 Armoured Support Craft Battery (later 5 Independent Armoured Support Battery) 1943 Dec- 1944 Sept
    ADM 202/305 2 Armoured Support Craft Battery (later 1 Armoured Support Regiment) 1943 Dec- 1944 Sept
    ADM 202/306 3 Support Craft Battery (later 2 Armoured Support Regiment, then formed 29 Battalion) 1944 Dec- 1944 Sept

    Records of the Historical Section:
    CAB 106/1040 Notes on operations of the Royal Marines armoured support group in operation "Overlord". 1944
    CAB 106/1147 Royal Marines Armoured Support Group in the invasion of Europe. [1949]
    CAB 106/1148 Characteristics and employment of Royal Marine Armoured Support Group in the invasion of Europe. 1944

    Michel
     
    0xonian and Aixman like this.
  6. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    This info from NavSource online on LCT(A) 2014:

    Landing Craft Tank (Mark 5) Class:
    • Laid down in 1942 at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc WI.
    • Launched in 1942
    • Delivered in 1942
    • LCT-14 never saw service with the US Navy
    • Transferred to Great Britain and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HM LCT-2014
    • Final Disposition, fate unknown.
      Specifications:
      Displacement 286 short tons
      Length 114' 2" (ovl.)
      Beam 32' 8"
      Draft 3'
      Speed 10 kts.
      Range 700 nautical miles at 7 kts.
      Complement 13
      Cargo Capacity 150 short tons
      Armament 1 single 20mm AA gun mount, 2 .50 cal. machine guns
      Armor 2 1/2" wheelhouse, 2" gun shield
      Propulsion 3 Grey Marine Diesels, 3 propellers, Shaft horsepower 675 per shaft


    http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/18/180014.htm - the link has a photo of five LCTs in Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc WI, 1942. LCT-14 is bottom Left foreground.
     
  7. Frank,

    LCT(A) 2455 is given as Serial 1423, carrying the Right Section of the same Troop as carried by LCT(A) 2014 (Serial 1424).

    Here's another account of 2RMASR landing at JUNO:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/55/a2052055.shtml

    This account is by a Raymond MacMahon WINTER, Troop commander, which matches the Navy List of Jun 44. Here's a transcription of the complete listing for RMASG as of Jun 44 (pages 1095-1096, attached). Unfortunately the Troop letters and commanders are not given, and some of the officers mentioned in the War Diary extracts as per your post #8 are missing. I've highlighted those officers which are mentioned, adding between square brackets details of their Troop on D Day, when known:
    Navy List Jun 44 - 1.jpg Navy List Jun 44 - 2.jpg

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Navy List June 1944

    THE ROYAL MARINE FORCES

    ROYAL MARINE ARMOURED SUPPORT GROUP

    H.Q. R.M.
    C.R.A.
    Act. Brigadier D. C. W. Sanders, R.A.

    Deputy C.R.A. —
    Act. Lt.-Col. A. J. Harvey, O.B.E.

    G.S.O.(2) R.A.—
    Tempy. Maj. J. Dickson, R.A.

    G.S.O. (2)—
    Act. Tempy. Maj. P. J. R. Harding.

    Staff Captain —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. H. P. Morris.

    O.C. Signals —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. J. Bolingbroke.

    Transport Officer —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. S. R. Whitfield.

    Adm. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. (Qr.-Mr.) R. G. Docherty.

    Quartermaster —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. (Qr.-Mr.) A. W. Nash.

    Medical Officer —
    Tempy. Surg. Lt. R. P. M. Miles, M.B.,
    B.S., R.N.V.R.

    Chaplain —
    Rev. R. W. Pickard.

    H.Q. Wing & Holding Battery
    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. J. Brooksbank.

    2nd in Command —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. J. A. M. Thomas.

    Tempy. Lieut. M. J. Knowles.
    C. R. Lambert.
    R. G. Mullan, M.B.E.
    A. J. Roberts.
    A. D. Stoate.
    B. Davies.
    A. R. Thew.

    Tempy. 2nd Lieut. A. W. S. Bramwell.
    F. Smith.


    1st R.M. Armd. Supp. Regt.

    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Lt.-Col. S. V. Peskett.

    Battery Comdr. (2 Bty.)—
    Act. Tempy. Maj. B. J. Mabbott.

    (1 Bty.)—
    Act. Tempy. Maj. C. N. B. Aspinall.

    A dm. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. (Qr.-Mr.) L. Blow.

    Signal Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. G. F. Bevis.

    Medical Officer —
    Tempy. Surg. Lt. A. R. McGregor,
    M.B., Ch.B., R.N.V.R.

    Captains —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. H. C. McKew.
    S. T. Wigmore.
    A. T. Wallace.
    T. E. C. Porter.
    W. A. Hipwell.
    C. C. W. Swift.
    F. McG. Couper.
    Lieutenants —
    Tempy. Lieut. F. W. Smith.
    P. Casber.
    D. G. Cheeseman.
    J. Y. Scott.



    2nd R.M. Armd. Supp. Regt.

    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Lt.-Col. H. S. Stephens.

    Battery Comd. (3 Bty.) —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. M. B. Johnson. [OC 2 RMASR as Lt.Col.]

    (4 Bty.)—
    Act. Tempy. Maj. G. F. Gowland.

    Adjutant —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. W. T. Warren.

    Adm. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. (Qr.-Mr.) B. V. P. Kendall,

    Signal Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. E. M. Richardson.

    Medical Officer
    Tempy. Surg. Lieut. A. Tomney, M.B.,
    Ch.B., R.N.V.R.

    Captains —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. R. Kaye. [T Tp]
    J. Brown. [3 Bty in Oct 44]
    R. M. Winter. [4 Bty in Oct 44]
    K. Stead. [4 Bty in Oct 44]
    K. R. M. Perrott. [Q Tp & left Sec]

    Lieutenants —
    Tempy. Lieut. A. R. Brewer.
    G. A. Ames. [4 Bty in Oct 44]
    P. A. Wilkinson. [3 Bty in Oct 44]
    G. D. Bagley. [4 Bty in Oct 44]
    G. R. Wilcox. [3 Bty in Oct 44]
    R. E. Woods. [4 Bty in Oct 44]
    W. B. Young.



    5th R.M. Indep. Armd. Supp. Bty,

    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. R. J. Freeman.

    Battery Capt. —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. F. B. Marshall.
    Adm. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. (Qr.-Mr.) E. Parsons.

    Signal Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. W. S. Martin.

    Captains —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. J. L. Bryan.
    H. J. Crispin.
    J. D. Scott.
    E. Elliott. [T Tp]
    Lieutenants —
    Tempy. Lieut. J. Pogson.
    A. C. Badenoch.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I could not find the Navy List for Jul 44. Next one available is for Oct 44. Here's the part regarding 3 & 4 Bties only (complete pages 1099-1100 attached):
    Navy List Oct 44 - 1.jpg Navy List Oct 44 - 2.jpg
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Navy List Oct 1944
    (…)

    3rd R.M. Armd. Supp. Battery.

    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. M. B. Johnson.

    Admin. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. E. R. Brewer.

    Troop Commanders —
    Tempy. Capt. L. A. A. McKay.
    Act. Tempy. Capt. R. Kaye [T Tp & left Sec]
    J. D. Brown.
    K. R. M. Perrott, M.C. [Q Tp & left Sec]
    Troop Lieuts. —
    Tempy. Lieut. P. A. Wilkinson.
    G. R. Willcox.
    L. A. Hunt, R.A. [rt Sec P Tp]
    V. J. Syborne, R.A. [rt Sec Q Tp]

    4th R.M. Armd. Supp. Battery.

    Commander —
    Act. Tempy. Maj. G. F. Gowland.

    Admin. Officer —
    Tempy. Lieut. (Qr. Mr.) W. B. Young,
    B.E.M.

    Troop Commanders —
    Act. Tempy. Capt. R. M. Winter.
    K. Stead.
    E. B. Norton.
    Troop Lieuts. —
    Tempy. Lieut. G. A. Ames.
    G. D. Bagley.
    D. A. T. Atkins.
    R. E. Woods.
    E. J. Leopard, R.A.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Still no Troop letters, but at least we have the names of the Troop commanders, which may have been partly the same as in June. Capt E. Elliott was in 5 Indt Bty in both June and October, while in Oct Capt R.M. Winter was in 4 Bty and Capt R. Kaye in 3 Bty.

    Back to your father's Troop, if he's sure that his Troop Commander on D Day was Capt Kaye, then he must have been in 'T' Troop and thus, if he's also sure that no Sherman was in his LCT, either aboard LCT(A) 1014 or possibly LCT(HE) 1016. LCT(HE) 1016 is one of the oddities in the Landing Table, because she was planned to carry just 2 Centaurs, whereas Serial 1015 had 2 Centaurs, 1 Sherman and 2 Bulldozers (plus one Jeep)! In my opinion it's very possible that the 2 Bulldozers from 1015 were moved to 1016 for a more balanced load.

    I think the Troop Commander's name is a more reliable piece of evidence than the LCT load.

    Another two steps backwards...

    Michel
     
    Mike P, 0xonian and Aixman like this.
  8. An unusual carreer indeed, starting as a Private in N YEO, promoted directly to 2nd Lt in 7 W YORKS in October 1914, to rise to Brigadier (temp.) when he died 40 years later.

    Michel
     
  9. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    Now I've managed to figure out how to attach images, here is the 2 RMAS War Diary for 1-6 June (image 1) and 6-9 June (image 2).

    2 RMASG War Diary 1-6 june 44  copy.jpg
    2 RMASG War Diary 6-9 june 44 copy.jpg

    Images kindly sent to me by Ali Mayor (who led the Southsea Subaqua Club's dive on 'Neptune Wrecks' (LCT(A) 2428 - carrying the 2 Centaurs (& 2 D7 Bulldozers) of R Section, Q Tp).

    If anyone has copies of the rest of the 2RMASR Diary, especially pertaining to Troop reports, and "Annex A" referring to report of Operation Overlord, I would be eternally grateful :)

    Frank
     
  10. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    From the War Dairy, we can now at least say with certainty that 2 RMASR comprised P,Q,S,T troops (3rd Bty) and W,X,Y,Z Tps (4th Bty).

    Added to Michel's Navy Lists, we can also say that for 3rd Battery of 2RMASR:-

    Q Tp was commanded by Capt. K.R.M. Perrott RM (L Sctn.)
    Lt. V.J Syborne RA (R Sctn) (LCT(A) 2428 (LTIN 1008))

    S Tp " " " Capt. J. Brown RM

    T Tp " " " Capt. R. Kaye RM (& L Sctn.)

    That leaves Capt L.L.A McKay and P Tp. (Does anyone know what SAUDF means - re: WD entry for 9 June 1800hrs "Capt L.L.A McKay SAUDF" - South African .. Defence Force perhaps?).
    we also know that Lt. L.A. Hunt RA was in R Section, P Tp.

    Y Tp was absorbed into the other troops owing to casualties to itself and deficiencies in other troops.
     
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    South African Union Defence Force.

    Mike
     
  12. Arty

    Arty Member

    Folks,

    There was apparently a S Troop and a T Troop in both 2 RMASR and 5 Independent Battery. I'd been under the impression that the oft repeated reference to Centaurs of S Troop operating in Courseulles was simply a typo! Here's some more info.......

    From WO 291/246 regards the assault in the Sword area : “Two half troops broke down and did not arrive on D day. The remainder were all able to fire on direct targets in the run in but two more half-troops were drowned in trying to land. This left two complete troops which landed and were able to continue fire support. One of these, S troop, was drowned by the rising tide on the beach after having carried out some indirect shoots in support of 4 Cdo while partially immersed, and only one, T Troop, out of the four remained mobile and in action.”

    From Lt Lambton Burn RNVR (on board LCT947 LTIN 109 - Sword area): “Six LCT(A)s carrying men of the Royal Marine Armoured support Group came under heavy fire as they rushed in to support the Lovat Commandoes…Two Centaurs of Lieut. John Pogson’s Troop, on the westward flank, tore their waterproofing in the rush ashore and were drowned. Two more, under Lieut. C.K. Brown, and yet another three under Captain J.D. Scott, nosed from their ramps into deep water and met the same fate. Under a hail of fire, Brown and his gun crews swam ashore covered by Lieut A.C. Badenoch’s Centaur, which drew the enemy’s fire. The two LCTs of T Troop landed their Centaurs safely, and these grazed their way up the beach to the aid of the AVREs, many of which were pinned-down with smashed tracks and holed hulls.”


    Arty
     
  13. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    Just had another chat with dad, so a little more info to add to the pot ...

    Dad is certain that his troop commander was Captain Kaye so that confirms he was in T Tp. He also now remembers that Courseulles was his objective and it was slightly to his right as he went in. That puts him on Nan Green sector, perhaps on the inside right (western) flank. He remembers that the only other tank he saw on the beach was a Sherman (perhaps Captain Kaye's). This fits with his recollection of being the first tank off his LCT, and is also consistent with the WD report that 3 tanks of T Tp suffered track damage on the beach.

    This suggests that his LCT(A) might well have been Serial 1014 as Michel suggested. Michel, do you have a bow number for serial 1014? Would you be able to tell if this craft carried a Left or Right section of T Tp? (I'm guessing my father was in Right section, since all the other info I have is that Tp commanders were in L sections of their troops.)

    Nan Green.
    Serial 1014. LCT(A).
    2 RMASR.
    2 Tanks Centaur. 10 men vehicle party (crew)
    5 men (ammunition handlers)
    Space for additional ammunition.

    HQ RCE 3 Canadian Infantry Division (Special Bulldozer Increment).
    2 D7 Bulldozer Armoured. 4 men vehicle party.

    5 Canadian Field Company RCE.
    13 men.
    1 Truck Airborne.

    (Interestingly, dad remembers that the configuration on his LCT was that the two centaurs were on the left of the craft, one behind the other, with the two D7 B/ds on the right: Centaur D7
    Centaur D7
    I'm not sure what to make of this since it implies that the decision not to fire on run-in was taken before crossing. Dad is pretty clear that is how he remembers it and it is one of those telling little details that varies with the official accounts.

    T Troop and Nan Green is also consistent with 2RMASR plan for Tp to support Regina Rifles, who also landed on Nan Green, at Courseulles.

    Frank
     
  14. Frank,

    LTIN 1014 is given as LCT(A) 2010, which would have carried the Right Section of either S or T Troop, whereas LTIN 1015 was carrying the Left Section. Regrettably I do not possess any photo of LCT(A) 2010.

    The configuration of Centaurs and Bulldozers as given by your father is rather puzzling, as it would result in a marked unbalance in the LCT load, with most of the weight on the port side of the craft. I can't see why that would have been, nor how the skipper (and the normally very strict Embarkation Officer) would have permitted that, except maybe as a way to compensate an existing list of the craft to starboard that could not be corrected otherwise.
    Could it not be that your dad might be talking about the order of disembarkation, with one Centaur first, then the second, and then the two Bulldozers, rather than about the loading configuration within the tank deck itself?

    Another interpretation could be that your father's craft was LTIN 1016 (Right Section as well), with initially two Centaurs only aboard, but then also loaded with the two Bulldozers from LTIN 1015 to reduce the overload on 1015. Rather than unloading one of the Centaurs, embark the two Dozers aft and then re-embark the unloaded Centaur, the Centaur on the right might have been reversed aft of the left one, and then the two Dozers embarked on the right.

    Perhaps your father remembers some detail about the embarkation process that might shed some light about this?

    As regards Left and Right Sections, the Troop Sherman tank in 4 Bty and 5 Indep Bty was not always in the Left Section, but it was indeed in 1 RMASR and 3 Bty.

    By the way, how did you get to the conclusion that Capt J. (or J. D. ?) Brown was in command of S Troop?

    Michel
     
  15. 0xonian

    0xonian Member

    Michel,

    This comes from the WD after-action troop report that Ali Mayor kindly sent to me. Unfortunately, this is the only page I have for troop reports.

    Frank
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Great report Frank! Thanks a lot! I wish we had the rest of it too...

    I just found a (not very good) photo of a RMASG Centaur stranded on a beach, with what looks like RN Beach Commandos in the foreground. What we have to find now is on what beach this was. The Centaur evidently broke a track (at least), and there might be another one on the right (just to the left of the man walking):
    Centaur UK Beach, 7 Jun 44 - Corbis-HU011665.jpg

    The date is given as 7 June, but no other indication is provided which could help us locate it:
    http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/HU011665/allied-soldiers-on-normandy-beaches-1944

    Michel
     
  17. Trying to answer my own question, I found a photo, shot somewhat to the left of the one with the Centaur, with the same group of LCT, here:
    beach_vehicles.jpg
    Source:
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.mod.uk/aboutus/dday60/beach_organisation.htm

    Unfortunately the location is not given here either, but then, IWM B5133 shows the same cluster of LST in the background as on the previous photo, and was shot by Sjt Laing from about the same location, this time clearly identified as GOLD:
    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944. © IWM (B 5133)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    The photo with the Centaur was therefore probably shot by Sjt Laing, who apparently walked along the beach taking shots. See the 'next' one B5140 shot from further left, travelling towards Le Hamel, and B5141 which I believe was again further left:
    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944. © IWM (B 5140)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944. © IWM (B 5141)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Michel
     
  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Now you might be able to help me with a little bir of research. THis is what I know about Gnr Holzman 13 RCA


    Any clues about which centeurs might have been the ones which Holzman used?
     
  19. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Michel,

    The complete photo is online at the IWM website.

    The photo is A 23944 “Commodore Douglas-Pennant, RN, chatting to Royal Marine obstacle clearing Commandos resting on one of the invasion beaches. Various vehicles and ships can be seen in the background

    Although you cannot see it that well in the online photo he has the 50th Infantry Division formation sign on his upper right arm.

    Regards

    Danny

    A 23944.jpg
     

Share This Page