Sword Beach.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, May 4, 2012.

  1. John Redell

    John Redell Member

    Does anybody have circa 1944 maps or more photos of the harbor at Newhaven (where my dad's LCI(L) was berthed during the pre-Neptune build-up? I've only seen copies of the one posted by Arty above.
     
  2. John Redell

    John Redell Member

  3. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi,

    I see that 6 pdr guns were landed on 3 ton lorries with the Beach Group. Has anyone seen a photo of these - were they Portees like in North Africa? The original post says that the vehicles were RASC lorries? Does anyone know which unit?

    cheers

    Tom
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Tom,

    Not portees. The LCTs with stores also carried 3ton GS of the Beach Sub Area to unload the stores and carry them to the beach dumps. First though the 3ton GS carried the 6pdr AT guns ashore. They carried ramps to load/unload the guns. Tables and photographs suggest they were Austin K5.

    The only portees that I have come across in Normandy were used by the AOP squadrons to carry Austers.

    Mike
     
  5. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Mike,

    Thanks for the extra information. I've never seen any photos of these anti-tank gun/3-ton combinations. Have you seen any evidence of their use?

    Do you know if they were Austins with the Austers!!

    Cheers

    Tom
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    39 General Transport Company.
    This company landed on LCTs which each carried 200 tons of stores. This was mostly ammunition but included ten tons of roadway material for Royal Engineers. Two LCTs would land at H+120 and two more at H+240. The lorries of 39 GT Company would carry 6pdr anti tank guns of the Beach Groups. These would be carried forward to form part of the anti tank defence plan. The lorries would then transfer the ammunition to Sector Stores Dumps immediately behind the beach.

    Beach group battalions had very little transport since they were not mobile. Carriers and drivers were deleted from the establishment. Anti tank guns were carried ashore on normal RASC task vehicles. These vehicles carried ramps for loading and unloading the guns and these ramps seem to have been left with the guns so that they could be used if the guns were moved by lorry at a later date.

    H+120
    White Beach.
    15 men. Includes an officer.
    5 3ton 4 X 4 GS , Austin. Carry 3 6pdr Anti Tank guns from 1 Buckinghamshire Regiment. 6 Beach Group.
    Red Beach.
    15 men. Includes 2 NCOs.
    5 3ton 4 X 4 GS , Austin. Carry 3 6pdr Anti Tank guns from 1 Buckinghamshire Regiment. 6 Beach Group.

    H+240.
    White Beach.
    15 men.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 GS , Austin. Carry 3 6pdr Anti Tank guns from 5 Kings Regiment. 5 Beach Group.
    Red Beach.
    14 men.
    6 3ton 4 X 4 GS , Austin. Carry 3 6pdr Anti Tank guns from 5 Kings Regiment. 5 Beach Group.


    I do not have a digital photo of the 3ton Portee handy. I have some photos somewhere. The Austin K5 portee with short barrelled 6pdr was in the Trux catalogue at one time.

    The Portees were used in N Africa and Italy. Those in the UK were rebodied as normal GS lorries, except for those with AOP Squadrons.

    Mike
     
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  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    AT Portee with AOP Squadrons.

    I can only find references to QL Portees in this role. This does not mean that K5s were not also used. No photos have been found.

    The anti tank portee is specified in the War Establishment for AOP Squadrons. The 6pdr portee was obsolete and all unissued ones were converted to GS lorries. Those that had been issued to artillery units found other uses within the Royal Artillery. In the UK before D Day some were used as tractors for the 17 pdr anti tank gun.

    In AOP Squadrons four portees were held at headquarters in order to recover Austers that had suffered damage on landing, suffered battle damage or had been forced to land somewhere from where they could not take off. They could also be transported on the portee when deploying. The portee had a flat body. The Auster had readily removable wings and could easily fit on the flat bed, although there was some overhang.

    Mike
     
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  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Mike,

    As usual, fantastic information. I've got the War diary for 39 Coy RASC in my files somewhere, I'll see whether this is mentioned at all.

    Many thanks

    Tom
     
  9. Gavman

    Gavman New Member

    I recently paid a visit with a few pals on our motorbikes a couple of weeks ago to all the landing beaches and many of the numerous museums. We figured it would be a bit quieter and easier to navigate just before all the anniversary events. Spent some time up at Arromanches and Sword beach primarily because my grandad was a DUKW driver and was in 299 Coy RASC. I'd be eternally grateful for any information regarding his unit. He didnt talk to many people about his wartime experiences and i think this was quite common from his generation since after being demobbed they were just left to it, no modern day counselling services or support for the trauma they must have experienced. As ex RN myself and having seen active service in Bosnia and the Gulf Wars I think he confided in me because he knew I might understand it better. Im glad he did because he told me all sorts of tales, some quite harrowing such as his best mate disembarking and jumping over the side of his DUKW only for his sten gun strap to catch on something and tragically cause the weapon to discharge and shoot the poor fella through the neck fatally injuring him. I have a few photos of him in northern france and also a couple of him apparently in Hamburg, he also mentioned being at a concentration camp towards the end of his time in theatre and i think this may have been Bergen belsen?

    Anyway as its the anniversary i just wanted to find out more and honour his memory as he died in 2009.
     
  10. holyboy

    holyboy Member

    Any info regarding Railway Operating Coys. Dad landed on Gold Beach, king sector after D Day with No5 Railway Operating Coy. Spent time on mine clearance until the Railway became operational. Was with the Railways from Cherbourg right through to Nijmegen.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Their War Diary:

    WO 171/1434 5 Railway and Maintenance Group 1944 June- Dec.
     
  12. StevieS

    StevieS New Member

    Does anyone know what LCT945 (serial 217) was carrying to queen red Sword beach as I am trying to find information for my mother, as her uncle was apparently in command of her on D-day.
     
  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Stevie,

    The Landing Table gives the following.
    A warning. There would probably be some alterations but this would be largely correct for D day.

    Serial 217 was an LCT4 carrying
    4 Stuart Light Tanks from 13/18 Hussars.
    1 Carrier Universal from 13/18 Hussars.
    2 M14 Halftrack from 13/18 Hussars.
    31 crew from 13/18 Hussars.
    4 Motorcycles with 4 crew from 3 Division Provost Company. Attached to 8 Brigade. Carried on tanks above.
    1 Armoured D7 Angledozer from 246 Field Company RE.
    1 M14 Halftrack from 246 Field Company RE.
    10 crew from 246 Field Company RE.
    1 Sherman V with two crew from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 76 Field Regiment. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle with 2 crew from ‘F’ Section (76 Field Regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on above tank.
    5 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    1 Sherman V with 2 crew from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle from ‘G’ Section (33 Field regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on tank above.
    5 men from ‘G’ Section (33 Field Regiment), Divisional Signals.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Air Support Signals Unit tentacle. For Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 M14 Haltrack with 1 crew from 84 Field Company RE. Rover for Commander 5 Beach Group.
    2 men from 101 Beach Sub Area Signals. Carried in M14 above. Divisional A and B sets.
    1 M3A1 White 15cwt 4 X 4 with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    6 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment.
    Note: Sherman V OP tanks and M14 Rover will be on shore for the use of their Commanding Officers when they land from Headquarters Ships.

    Mike
     
  14. Stevie,

    Just adding a few details (in blue) to Mike's list below.

    Serial 217 was an LCT4 carrying
    4 Stuart Light Tanks from 13/18 Hussars.
    1 Carrier Universal from 13/18 Hussars.
    2 M14 Halftrack from 13/18 Hussars.
    31 crew from 13/18 Hussars. - including: Recce Tp Ldr, RMO, Sub 'C', Padre.
    4 Motorcycles with 4 crew from 3 Division Provost Company. Attached to 8 Brigade. Carried on tanks above. - Sgt Lessels (Craft party Comdr), L/c Scott, L/c Ridout, Cpl Povey, all from 6 Sec, 3 Div Pro Coy.
    1 Armoured D7 Angledozer from 246 Field Company RE.
    1 M14 Halftrack from 246 Field Company RE.
    10 crew from 246 Field Company RE.
    1 Sherman V with two crew from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 76 Field Regiment. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle with 2 crew from ‘F’ Section (76 Field Regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on above tank.
    5 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    1 Sherman V with 2 crew from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle from ‘G’ Section (33 Field regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on tank above.
    5 men from ‘G’ Section (33 Field Regiment), Divisional Signals.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Air Support Signals Unit tentacle. For Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 M14 Haltrack with 1 crew from 84 Field Company RE. Rover for Commander 5 Beach Group. - 1946664 Dvr Deeley H.G.
    2 men from 101 Beach Sub Area Signals. Carried in M14 above. Divisional A and B sets.
    1 M3A1 White 15cwt 4 X 4 with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    6 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment.
    Note: Sherman V OP tanks and M14 Rover will be on shore for the use of their Commanding Officers when they land from Headquarters Ships.

    On D Day LCT 945 (217) was apparently commanded by Temporary Lieutenant John YOUNG, R.N.V.R. (seniority 18.4.43). Does your mother have any photograph, or account / papers from her uncle?

    Michel
     
  15. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    If you google Austin K5 and look at the images there is an interesting photo of a porter conversion Austin K5 on what I think is Sword Beach? Perhaps 4th Armoured Brigade?

    I'm not very clever with photos - but someone might like to post it up?

    Regards

    Tom
     
  16. Tom,

    Could you post the link to the photo (or to the page where it appears)? There are too many results to scroll!

    Just copy the web address from the address bar and paste it into your post.

    Thanks,

    Michel
     
  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Voila.

    K5.jpg

    Mike
     
  18. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Mike,

    That's the one - thanks. Is that a 13/18!Hussars DD tank?

    Regards

    Tom
     
  19. Tom,

    Thanks for sharing this superb photo, and thanks to Mike for posting it.

    A larger version can be seen here (twelfth post or so):
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/433829/thread/1378862195/last-1379610586/Are+these+trucks+Austin+K5%27s+-

    The DD is visibly not a Sherman II, so this eliminates GOLD Area. The large two-digit number '42' also eliminates JUNO DDs, which had Sqn number+2 digits combinations. There remains 13/18 Hussars, with which the style of the digits is consistent.

    What is puzzling is that I always thought that 13/18 H's No.42 was Lt William Wormald's (2nd Capt, 'B' Sqn) mount, and that it was not left on the beach. Or maybe the tank Lt W. Wormald said "was disabled on the beach by shell fire" was actually his own.

    The other strange thing is the presence of the lorry. I agree with the "Mike" who posted the photo on the referred thread that this lorry probably belongs to RHQ 3 CLY, but their War Diary says that they landed in KING Sector:
    Source: http://www.warlinks.com/armour/3_cly/3cly_44.php

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6/6/44
    The Regiment left the Marshalling Area and moved down to GOSPORT to embark. The move was made in LCT packets, the packets being mixed, containing a portion of Shermans, AA tanks, Recce and Ech, also all HQs were split. The move to the 'hards' began at 0530 and each packet moved at varying intervals, the last leaving in the afternoon.
    There was considerable congestion at the hards, as two embarkation points previously allotted were at the last moment used for the landing of casualties. Vehicles were embarked in LCTs Mk 4 which carried 9 vehicles of which 8 could be Shermans. When loaded the LCTs joined a much larger convoy and lay off shore from 1 to 3 hours, finally sailing sometime during the afternoon. Two LCTs had to return to the hards owing to excessive loading and these unfortunately included both B & C Sqns troops of 'Fireflys' and the COs tank. Both the CO and the Adjt overcame the peril of the sea by jumping from their LCT to another ship and there joining the 2i/c (Major AW Grant MC) on his LCT, whilst on the move.
    We sailed throughout the hours of darkness and had an uneventful crossing except that one LCT containing RAF personnel was sunk, believed by an E-Boat.


    7/6/44
    At first light, about 0500, land was sighted and the convoy was now amid a mass of other shipping lying offshore. Moreover, we lay off the American sector, some miles to the West of 'M' & 'O' beaches which were at GRAYE-SUR-MER, and where we scheduled to land. Coasting East we were finally told to go in off MONT FLEURY LA RIVIERE, about 5 kilos West of our allotted beach. This caused some confusion, the tide being on the make but about half way up.
    With the exception of one scout car and three 3-ton lorries all vehicles landed safely, the deepest wade being about 4ft 6ins. All LCTs did not beach on exactly the same part of the beach but eventually all assembled in the Assembly area at BANVILLE (9483) and de-waterproofing was completed.
    Apart from one Firefly A Sqn was the only complete Sqn ashore and was detached from the Regiment for a special mission (see A Sqn Appendix).
    In the evening B Sqn were ordered to report to OC 1st Gordon Highlanders who were at COLOMBIERS SUR SEULLES (9280) and then took up position in support if their two forward Coys in that area.
    C Sqn were in support of the 5/7 Black Watch and took up defensive positions 935776. At nightfall they leaguered at LE FRESNE CAMILLY, 947778. At this stage we were supposed to have contacted the small advance party with Capt. Crowley MM, i/c but something had gone wrong.


    8/6/44
    At first light C Sqn again took up positions at 035776 and B Sqn took up battle positions North of PIERREPONT 7397 facing SSW. B Sqn and RHQ were fired on by AP and HE from the South by what eventually transpired to be Canadian Shermans.
    At about 1000 the two remaining LCT loads joined the Regiment.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Perhaps the lorry was precisely part on one of those two late LCT loads and landed on SWORD on 8 Jun. This is quite possible because this is an RHQ vehicle and the Regt CO was on one of the two LCT.

    Michel
     
  20. StevieS

    StevieS New Member

    Mike & Micheal
    I can not thank you enough for the information that you have given.

    Since sending the E-mail to this forum I received some more information from my uncle that shows his uncle Midshipman Craddock Jones RNVR was in fact appointed as First Lieutenant to L.C.T 945 and not in command as we thought. We also know that Craddock was awarded Oak leaf emblem and mentioned in dispatches for removing a Teller mine that had become jammed in the starboard ramp when the door was being lowered as I have a copy of the letter sent to his mother from the Admiralty.

    Craddock is listed as being killed on the 22nd of June 1944. We are not sure how as various family members state that he died from his wounds caused by the mine going off, but the war commision has recorded his death as drowning.
    I have copies of his appointment to join LCT 803 at Hms Dinosaur and also to join Lct 945 (I think at the builders in Middlesbrough ) if you want them and also the letter to his mother.
    Again Many thanks
    Stevie
     

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