WO171/2428 – 297 Coy RASC (GT) 1 June 1944 [no entry] 2 June 1944 AVELEY 1000 Craft loads assemble in camp. 1200 Craft loads assemble in vehicle parks. Weather warm, overcast at times. 3 June 1944 0500 Serial 3205 (main Coy serial) move to TILBURY dock. Later serials move throughout morning. 1100 [TILBURY] Serial 3205 commences loading; finished by 1530. 1605 LST 3205 moved to SOUTHEN mooring to join other craft. Weather fine, much sunshine. 4 June 1944 0830 Ship’s captain attends conference SOUTHEND area. Departure for channel rendezvous assumed for p.m. this day postponed 24 hrs. Weather mostly fine some dull periods. 5 June 1944 0845 Ship’s captain attends conference SOUTHEND area. Sailing for channel area fixed 1330 hrs; H hour 0730 6 June 44. 1340 Ship under way. Weather dull some bright periods. 6 June 1944 0900 Ship’s radio receives BBC reports of German news of Allied landings on N. coast France. D day. Vessel now off NEWHAVEN and heading for 1st rendezvous South of I of W. 2200 Serials on 3rd tide now at forward sea rendezvous. Weather cooler, overcast at times. 7 June 1944 1900 DUKW portion of serials landed. Contacted D day serials under Capt W in Tpt Pk. D day suffered landing casualties 1 OR killed, 1 Officer [&] 4 ORs wounded + absent – evacuated immediately to England – two DUKWs containing above hit sea mines. These serials landed 1500 D day off-loaded MIKE sector + gained Tpt Pk in NAN by re-entering sea to avoid road congestion. DUKW pool [??] established 2100 hrs D day. Coaster off-loading began 0400 7 Jun 44 and still continuing when D + 1 serials landed. Work often stopped by violent night air attacks + local sniping. 2359 7 ORs killed and 36 wounded by high explosive AP bombs in air attack. 47 DUKWs holed in body + tyres by shrapnel – park [??] congested: local mine fields prohibit expansion. Repairs delayed by non landing of W/S element of D _ 1 serials until 1800 D + 2. 8 June 1944 1200 CRASC gave permission for sound DUKWs to be taken to sea from 2200 hrs to avoid casualties due to congestion. No raid at night. Weather dull and some rain. 9 June 1944 DUKWs working on 6 coasters. Motor boat coy detachment used as sea report centre organised to coasters. 2230 Sharp raid. One DUKW badly damaged. 2 personnel wounded. Weather dull, heavy intermittent rain. 10 June 1944 Weather dull, some rain. Clearing at night. 11 June 1944 Weather fine, some dull periods. 12 June 1944 Weather fine: figures for 10 over beaches 3746 tons but heavy vehicle losses would indicate general underloading of vehicles. Weather fair much sun. 13 June 1944 4,000 tons exceeded in stores over beaches. Maintenance roster and rest period (1/2 day) now in being in Coy. Weather fair, heavy sea. 14 June 1944 2100 D + 6 parties arrived intact. Weather fair, some cloudy periods with heavy sea. 15 June 1944 Weather fair, heavy sea at times. 16 June 1944 ALMA begins issue – BERNIERES-SUR-MER. Coaster position over past two days rather unsatisfactory – spasmodic arrival & not enough of them in view of amount of transport available. Introduction of transhipment areas ie forward bulk dumps formed from beach dumps and as an intermediate step to a [??] as front deepens. Some beach dumps grouped to facilitate collection of stores to transhipment area. Weather dull, very heavy sea improving throughout day. Colder. 17 June 1944 Mainly fair, some cloud clearing at night. 18 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER Coaster position still unsatisfactory. Two platoons only working then not extended. Coasters arriving at night. Heavy morning sea improving. 2130 Received messages between Senior Naval Officers ashore + afloat congratulating DUKW drivers on working in heavy seas. 19 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0700 Full company earmarked for coaster programme delayed by rough weather and heavy seas. 0900 Recommended T/… CSM Cadwaladr J. for mention in despatches for work in organising evacuation of wounded on night 7/8 JUNE 44. Appx A Except when tide is out off-loading not practicable. Almost continuous rain with high wind. 20 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0700 High wind + sea soon bring off-loading from coasters to standstill. 1830[?] Work resumed on dried-out coasters by DUKWs until 2030 hrs. Weather dull, clearing at times with high wind + heavy sea. 21 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0900 Extracts from War Diary sent CRASC 30 Tpt Coln for inclusion in report on RASC units up to D + 14 – to be forwarded by him to 102 Sub Area (Beach). Inclement weather precludes any off-loading. Small amount still to be taken from beached coaster not allotted as task to this coy. Dull, high wind, heavy sea. 22 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER No off-loading owing to high wind. Promise of abatement later in day. 23 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0500 1 Pln began off-loading; by 1430 all DUKWs working at full pressure. Weather abated, plenty of coasters in. Record number of load journeys made = 350 by coy. totalling 1050 tons. Weather fair, wind abated. 24 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER As on 23rd, sudden call for DUKWs to work until 2300. CRASC ordered that in future 2 Pls of DUKWs only will be on road at once – then if running time is lengthened reserve platoon can be substituted. Plenty of coasters available for off-loading. Work proceeding steadily from 0500. 25 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0500 Off-loading continues in full swing. 1730 O.C. discussed with CRASC 30 Tpt Coln the proposed circuiting for DUKWs to avoid BERNIERES. Proposal reserves one circuit reports [??] lay-out with required to report centre + w/S and takes up valuable parking space. Record off-loading figures of 4700 tons achieved by 102 Sub Area. 2100 CRASC conference. Proposed channeling of Nan Green beach explained by CRASC to obviate running over rocks of Nan White beach where damage to shafts + propellers of DUKWs is mounting. This is bound up with Bye-passing BERNIERES described above. Weather fine, much sunshine, clouding over in evening. 26 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0800 DUKW on detachment to IWT Group COURSEULLES holed and sunk off MIKE RED. Cause unknown. Reported by driver of another of these DUKWs returning to location 1015 hrs for relief. Visit of O.C. + O i/c w/s to beach, Group HQ, 966 IWT Coy (actual location of detachment) fails to determine position of DUKW as this had only been verbally to R.E. Group + coy, + not at all to this coy. Valuable time for salvage lost as must [??] another tide. 1330 RE officer from 966 IWT Coy arrives to give first official information re loss of DUKW. 1400 O i/c W/S makes arrangements with P.B.M. 7 Beach Group and 23 B.R.S. REME to attempt salvage at next low tide ie between 2000 + 2100 hrs. 2100 DUKW not located. Weather [??] much thundery rain. 27 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 0800 Further time spent searching for lost DUKW. Not located + written off. 1100 O.C. (Major G.M. Bridges) recced with O.C. 199 G.T. Coy area of responsibilities allotted in 9 Beach Group defence plan. 1200 Capt. C.E. LIMTORN [??] appointed P.A.D. + [??} ordered to revise Coy Standing Orders to agree with 21 A.G. P.A.D. orders. 1800 O.C. recced proposed site with representative 199 G.T. Coy and 2 i/c 30 Tpt Coln RASC for new DUKW Control; so sited as to avoid passing over rocks on NAN GREEN. To be taken into use by agreement with 8 Beach Group from 0900 28 June 44. New high record of 5,300 tons discharged in 102 Sub-Area beaches. Weather mainly fiar, heavy showers, sultry. 28 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER 1000 Revised Stand-By + defence plan issued to agree with 8 Beach Group defence plan. Appx B 1600 Received warning order of arrival 31 ORs from RHU sometime after 1800 hrs today. 2300 1 Officer and 30 ORs arrived from 34 RHU. Mainly fair, much cloud at times; slight rain. 29 June 1944 BERNIERES-SUR-MER Thundery weather with very heavy rain. 30 June 1944 Weather continued unsettled. The diary is hand-written and difficult to read in a couple of places hence the occasional [??]!