Sword Beach.

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

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Thanks for your patience!! The documents you have posted are just fine for me.
    Thank you for taking the time to post them.

  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    My father-in-law was in 966 Inland Water Transport and the documents Mike has posted are great for me. He has also sent me a lot of information which has helped me understand the work the men did with the port operating companies for which I am very grateful.

  3. diz

    diz Member

    .Text is the standard text program from windows. So it should run on more then 80% of the computers as about that number uses windows.

    Doesn't look that fancy but it works.
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Great stuff Mike, well researched.
  6. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Only just got round to reading this threas, great stuff, Mike; wagerly awaiting more.
    One question (up to now) - in the 3IWT details you mention "Three Rhinos and a PBR needed salvaging after the gales" - not sure what a PBR is

    Regards, Noel
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG


    I try to explain abbreviations. Missed that one.

    PBR is the army version of the navy's LBV. A steel Thames barge with engines and a ramp. Barges and TID tugs were the IWT Companies normal equipment.

    More, including photos, to follow.

  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Three photographs of Rhino Ferries.

    1. A busy beach scene with a beached Rhino in the foreground. A DUKW is setting off to sea with a load of personnel, probably from a Port Operating Company. More DUKWs are coming ashore. A Beach Group Command Post is in the foreground, well dug in. Beach Recovery is going on in the background and further out are LSTs unloading.

    2 and 3 are US Rhinos. These are identical to the British. The photos show the large outboard motors.


    rhino x.jpg


    View attachment 80374
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    To finish off this brief look at the ship to shore maintenance operation on Sword I offer some details of the Royal Navy involvement. The sources are mostly War Office and do not give as much detail as for the army.


    View attachment Royal Navy Ferry Organisation.doc

    Attached Files:

  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    A photo of Gooseberry 5.

    That is all for the time being. I am off to paint a Napoleonic figure.


    Gooseberry 4.jpg
  13. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Thanks Mike for the pictures.

  14. KGoddard

    KGoddard Junior Member

    Once again Mike many thanks for posting these.

  15. Here are the markings that would normally be worn by the vehicles from the units listed by Mike:

    1. Gen Tpt Coy number (itself a notable exception to the purposedly confusing British practice of NEVER using the unit number in vehicles markings), Platoon letter and Vehicle number.
    Example: 299/C27

    2. Mobilisation/Unit Serial Number, usually associated with the LTIN and Craft type to make up the Loading code.
    Example 33214/3113/LST(2).

    3. Arm of Service marking
    For GHQ or LofC troops this would be barred by a diagonal white bar from top left to right bottom ('backslash', indicated by '\' below).

    4. Beach Group 'Anchor' emblem

    Plus of course the vehicle individual War Department registration number, starting with a 'P' for amphibian.
    Example: P5477217

    101 Gen Tpt Coy (DUKW)
    Unit Serial #: 2242(A)
    AoS marking: 534\ (GHQ) in white over dark rectangle over RASC Flash

    299 Gen Tpt Coy (DUKW)
    Unit Serial #: 33214
    AoS marking: 1337\ (GHQ) in white over dark rectangle over RASC Flash

    633 Gen Tpt Coy (DUKW)
    Unit Serial #: 35863
    AoS marking: 1553 in white over dark rectangle over RASC Flash

    39 Gen Tpt Coy
    Unit Serial #: 33209
    AoS marking: 561 in white over Black Flash


    Edited July 2016 to remove "over dark rectangle" - actually no such thing, only an interrupted diagonal bar when present.
    Aixman likes this.
  16. 101 Gen Tpt Coy RASC (DUKW)

    The first photo (IWM negative number probably between H38971 and H39984) shows DUKW 101/A1 embarking into LST 361 (LTIN 381) on 1 Jun 44.
    Several markings are visible:
    Rear: A1 534\
    Right side top line: 15 (=handwritten loading serial) - 101/A1 - P-number - Emblem (does not look like Beach Group 'Anchor')
    Right side lower line: starts with a '2' (should be loading code = 2242(A) or 2242A/381/LST(2)) - AoS534\

    Second photo IWM B5014 (already posted by Mike on page 3 above) shows DUKW 101/A2? offloading from an LST (probably LST 361 (381)).

    Third photo IWM B5016 shows DUKW 101/A18 (I first thought it was 'A10', but on another print of this photo it looks like it must be 'A18') offloading from the same LST. The marking '101/A18' is visible both on the top of the engine ventilation cover near the windscreen and on the raised wave splash guard plate.

    Fourth photo shows DUKW 101/A5 wreck presumaby on QUEEN.
    Right side top line: Allied Star - 101/A5 - P-number - (possibly emblem)
    Right side lower line: AoS - Weight disc ('9' in yellow disc)
    101/A5 is also repeated on the wave guard plate.

    Fifth photo (British Pathe frame 1951.06.52):
    Rear: B26 - AoS 534\
    Left side: (P-number?) - (101/B26?) - Allied Star

    Attached Files:

  17. 299 Gen Tpt Coy RASC (DUKW)

    The first photo, a montage of British Pathe frames 1951.06.35 and 38, shows:
    Side top line: 299/A25 - P 5477217
    Side: Allied Star (pointing downwards) - AoS 1337\ - (9)

    Next, H38991 (cropped) shows:
    Cabin front left: 33214 3113/2/LST
    Left side top line: 299/A26
    Left side lower line: (Beach Group 'Anchor') - Allied Star (pointing downwards)

    H38992 (cropped):
    Notice the vehicle number stencilled on the jerrycan in the bottom left corner of the photo!
    Splash guard plate: C 299 27
    Cabin front right: T (meaning Tank deck of LST)
    Cabin front left: LST (2) 3113 33214
    Left side top line: 299/A27 - Allied Star (pointing upwards)
    Left side lower line: (Beach Group 'Anchor')

    Splash guard plate: C 299 28
    Cabin front left: 33214 3313/2/LST
    Left side top line: 299/A28 - Allied Star
    Left side lower line: (Beach Group 'Anchor')

    It looks like it took all of 'A' and 'B' platoons, plus the 26 first vehicles of 'C' platoon for the painter to realise his Allied Stars were upside down - and too low to be seen in the water!

    Attached Files:

  18. 633 Gen Tpt Coy RASC (DUKW)

    Not many good photos here I'm afraid, apart from IWM B7812 already posted by Mike, showing DUKW 633-A-1:


    plus those on British Pathe (and one IWM photo) showing DUKW 633 B 19 with the name 'MARIA' painted on top of the windscreen frame (no doubt an unofficial nickname), ferrying Monty and other top brass to the beach.

    The AoS 1553 does not seem to have any diagonal bar, nor upper horizontal white line, but might be underlined (indicating Army troops).

    Notice the apparent absence of the Beach Group 'Anchor' emblem, the different style of the number ('633-B-19' using characters of equal size, vs '101/A5' or '299/A25' using much larger characters for '/A5' or '/A25'), and the smaller size and higher location of the Allied Star.

    The usual dark background seems absent behind '633-B-19', but the distinct difference of shade between these characters and the white of the Allied Star fits with the yellow colour seen on the colour photo of a 199 Gen Tpt Coy DUKW.






    IWM B5174:

  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Nice pictures and lots of detailed information Michel.

    One thing worth mentioning. As shown in the first three photos on Post 36 DUKWs reversed out of LSTs. This was because the propellers and rudders were at the rear and without these in the water first there would be no means of controlling the DUKW at the crucial moment when it enters wind, tide, current and waves. When entering the water from a beach or river bank the DUKW entered normally as the wheels were still in contact with the sea or river bed and gave power and steering until the propellers and rudders took over.

    This was useful when transferring casualties to LSTs at sea. DUKWs could drive up the LST ramp, unload casualties inside the tank deck and then reverse out.

  20. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    I thought I'd add my appreciation to the good work on this thread - all very interesting stuff. I've got my last OU exam in a couple of weeks, but on completion of that will try to post some details from the war diaries of the RASC companies concerned.



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