24th Lancers - LST Query

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ramiles, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Possibly a rather wild shot in the dark, but I have this account of my grandfather's, 2nd tank 1st troop "C" squadron 24th Lancers on the Normandy crossing:

    "Loading at the docks was easy. We could load tanks in our sleep. I think the craft was L.C.T 285 but I could be wrong*. These tank landing craft are flat bottomed; the crew were American as also was the boat. We pulled away from the dock but we were too busy below to see anything until the anchor dropped and there we were, alone between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. We were there a week and watched the ships build up behind us until I swear we could have walked back to the docks without wetting our feet. About one in five of the ships had a barrage balloon to keep the dive bombers away. The food on board was good, the bread was really something. The coffee too was excellent. The ship’s Captain would keep us informed about lots of things and we were all a…

    … little startled the first time he spoke on the tannoy “Now hear this” he did say there was no need to hold the tanks and trucks with the securing chains.
    Eventually as everyone now knows we set off. We rounded the Isle of Wight and so far as we could see ships were moving into the channel from every direction. It must have been awfully lonely after we had gone. Everyone on board were (sic) interested for a while. The parts of the Mulbury Harbour interested us. I’m sure some of the parts had men aboard, in fact I saw one piece with two men, they wore very warm clothing and needed them. Another piece broke loose and our boat picked up the tow.
    Then the sea got up. Then the Captain came on “Now hear this” the tanks had to be chained. Chaining tanks when a ship is still is one thing, chaining on a rough sea is something else. Starting with all the crews picking up the chain put it around the track and wind it up. That ship rolled, it yawed, it pitched and it wasn’t many minutes before sea sickness took away my helpers. Eventually they were safe, but sleep was not for me, I could sleep other nights, tonight things were happening and I for one didn’t want to miss anything. So I wandered around having a look at the sea, couldn’t see very far, could hear ships, there was a rhythm and drone in the sea and sky. Eventually I smelled coffee and went along to see the cook, he never refused. With the first dawn streaks we knew the lid would be off, so all eyes were watching and soon we knew we were close, the tide turned bringing with it all manner of stuff floating by, one lot of sailors hats came by which didn’t do anything to cheer us, and yet they wouldn’t be wearing them and there were too many in a bunch. Then we saw our beach, there was no mistaking that tall house. We were reserve regiment so there was no rush to get us off. Battleships…

    … came up, turned around and started to fire over us, a troopship gently eased in, they took a rope to the shore and the men from the ship dropped into the water and waded ashore and walked away in single file up over the hill. When it was our turn our ship turned and slowly backed towards the shore and dropped the ramp. This was the moment of truth alright, if the sealing had gone they’d quickly fill with water, if there was a hole between ship and shore water would go in through the top where the tank commander was perched. So all crews were aboard except the tank commanders and we were clustered around the ramp watching Eric Hanson*** drop in, when he leveled he had a foot to spare and there was one big scamper back to our tanks. We were nose to tail going off and were very happy to get moving again."

    * I've looked into this number but from what I've seen this doesn't seem to quite fit. L.C.T 285 seems to have landed in the Canadian sector (if it was this one which I think is the closest one I could find) and it was a very much smaller vessel than one might first suppose from the description my grandfather gives.


    To quote: Participated in the Invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944, at either Nan White or Nan Red Sectors of Juno Beach

    However this LST... LST-285



    And for more info. on this type:

    Seems though more like it might quite possibly fit the bill, but I don't see anything yet to describe who it carried or what it did during the Normandy Invasion to verify anything there.

    All the best,

  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  3. Hello Ramiles,

    You're correct in thinking your grandfather did the crossing on board an LST. All LST of Force G were US LST, whereas all LCT were British. Furthermore, LCT usually did not drop anchor after loading, but were either tied in trots to a buoy or alongside quays.

    24 L tanks scheduled to land on D Day (Second Tide) were carried exclusively by five LST (Serials 2921 to 2925). Although I do not know for sure the Serial vs Hull Number match for any of these, it is certain that US LST 229 was one of them (either Serial 2921 or 2922), as was US LST 503 (either Serial 2923 or 2924). The remaining three Serials were most probably among the following Hull Numbers: 30, 52, 280, 287, 293.

    It could not have been US LST 285 which went to OMAHA (Army Serial 416).


    Edit: Serials 2921 to 2925 add up to five Serials, not six as I first wrote! Got to seriously check my most basic maths!
    Ramiles likes this.
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I'm tempted to say that LST 287 (as a number at least - might look like my best / closest match?!)


    What do you make of those tanks (?) - possibly fireflys ? at the front there:

    There's a decent picture of LST 280: http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160280.htm

    too at: http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/1016028001.jpg

    Unloading trucks on the Normandy beach.

    Fascinating stuff :)

    All the best,


    Ps. Here's Hull 30 : http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160030.htm

    LSTs beached at Normandy, after 6 June 1944.

    And 52: http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160052.htm

    During the Normandy operation.
  6. Not tanks but AA guns! Additionally, this photo was not shot around D Day because the style of the Hull Number does not fit. Should have been the same as LST 52 etc.

    Additionally, I checked her War History again, and it says she was planned to land at H+6 hrs. If true, this means that she was not one of the five (not six as I mistakenly wrote above! - now corrected) LST carrying 24 L tanks, which would thus probably be among 30, 52, 229 (2921 or 2922), 280, 293 and 503 (2923 or 2924).

    Ramiles likes this.
  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Oops! Sorry about that, I noticed that these were pictured far more clearly here:

    And besides the tanks would have been on the lower level (tank deck?) anyhow:

    I was going to/but forgot to correct!

    I'll have a trawl through those others (kinda wish gd. had nailed it first time though! but at least he said "I think the craft was L.C.T 285 but I could be wrong" :)

    Ps. I think if for example he was one of the chaps on the deck in this photo

    I couldn't tell! It's enough to know that this is pretty much in the ballpark though!

    And this one is a pretty fair summation of what it would have looked like there a bit later when the tide had gone out a bit more...

    All the best,

  8. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Amazing what people remember! The photos above confirm that an LST would go in to beach forwards (and had no ramp at the back). But there was an LCT (I think) that had a ramp at both ends.

  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I've re-read it, and it does look like he writes that the ship he was in actually turned in order to bring them to the shore. I can only guess that for some reason it was some trick of perception. Which given that he was on a lower deck is forgivable perhaps?

    He probably drove onto it whilst it was facing the shore and for some reason he thereafter took that end (oddly? ;) ) to be the back?

    Years later when he was remembering / writing all of this down, he was probably more used to car ferries where you did then tend to load them more from the back?

    Presumably they (the LSTs) had little difficulty going in either direction - i.e. they must have been able to steam adequately in reverse in order to get quickly and safely off of the beach? But I would assume that for most of the journey there (i.e. to Normandy) they would have traveled in a bow rather than a stern facing direction, so he ought really to have know which end was the front?!

    I think he must have been on a one ramp, LST though, because unless the LCT with the ramp at both ends was fairly big it wouldn't seem to fit, though some of the later models here:

    Were starting to get pretty large. Particularly where they start to shift from naming them LCT's to LSM's

    LSM-285 sadly though:

    Laid down, 18 October 1944 - Definitely would be made too late to fit.

    Bit of a surprising mascot - "Lady luck" she sported though: ;)
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. the section in gd's account (in post # 1 above):

    "The parts of the Mulbury Harbour interested us. I’m sure some of the parts had men aboard, in fact I saw one piece with two men, they wore very warm clothing and needed them. Another piece broke loose and our boat picked up the tow."

    Looking at: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/56252-gold-beach/?p=655312
    Just now, which is the section about the 24 Lancers and Gold beach etc.

    I see that most of the 24th L carrying LSTs were LST's towing a Rhino Ferry - which when you google "Rhino Ferry" and look at images I can only assume is what he might quite possibly have meant by "Another piece broke loose and our boat picked up the tow."

    Now one of the 24th L carrying LST's: Serial 2925 was however an LST without Rhino Ferry carrying

    So I wonder, did they all perhaps pick up the Rhino Ferries out at sea rather than tow them out from Southampton docks? Because I guess Gd might have been on an LST that did so, or else perhaps he might have been on one that did not initially tow a Rhino, but subsequently did have to pick one up when it broke off from whatever was in fact giving it a tow.

    Since Serial 2925 was an LST without Rhino Ferry carrying to begin with, it might have been an LST that could pick up a passing Rhino actually in need of a tow? and take it to Normandy rather than leave it to just flounder in the wake :)

    Pure conjecture of course ;)

    I don't know if any LST could really tow a part of the Mulberry, some of it was pretty big.
  11. Ramiles,

    A few answers:
    - no LSM was at Normandy around D Day.
    - no LST loaded with troops scheduled for D Day would have been allowed to tow any MULBERRY component across the Channel, even if she could. I understand "our boat picked up the tow" as meaning "our boat" (i.e. not the LST herself, but one the boats or LCVP she carried) "picked up the tow line and gave it back to its tug". Alternatively, it might have been the tow line for her or another LST's Rhino as you suggested.
    - as far as I'm aware no LST of the first waves ever landed backwards. I did read about one LCT which did just that, but again, no LST. In any case the water depth would have been too much for any vehicle to land before the tide had completely receded.
    - as you said, tanks were loaded exclusively in the tank (lower) deck of an LST, never on the main (upper deck), for obvious reasons.

    Moreover, I just realised that the Naval Orders dated 20 May 44 mention a sixth LST Serial 2926 (not towing Rhino) in Group 18 for JIG, which was probably added to the Landing Table (as it appears on 6juin44.com) after it was issued, and possibly also carried tanks of 24 L. Or perhaps this Serial was not used after all.

    All six LST (Serials 2921 to 2926) were to embark their load on 1 Jun (D-4) at Southampton Hard S.1 & S.2. If only we knew the approximate time, Hard and location on the Hard ("inside" or "outside") we would know the Serial. The ship Captain's name would lead us to the Hull Number too...

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
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  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Michel,

    Actually I'm a little surprised that he (gd) didn't keep a special note (at least!) of the name of the ship's cook!

    I had wondered (mostly more in hope than almost anything else!) if logically they had just loaded and embarked 1 by 1 in squadron and troop order, filling the ships in such a way as HQ, A then B then C etc. - at least according to the 24th L war diary A and B were disembarked on the Normandy beaches first and I think perhaps HQ and C a little later. (disembarking might have no bearing on the original order of their loading though, i.e. as in the case so often of "first on last off" etc.)

    As regards the embarking this is what it says about that in my grandfather's later remembered account:

    There were highly secret huts on this camp (Camp 13 south of Newbury - Rm insert). Inside the walls were lined with maps and the latest aerial photographs of the sector we were to invade “Jig Beach” was ours. On a table was a layout in sand and papier-mâché of the very place and we were pumped so full of information and warnings that one wondered how it could all be contained, but it was. After this briefing no one even went near the wire. Then the final effort. You will convoy to the docks. On the way there will be stops and halts, these can’t be avoided. You must speak to no one, even if your parents are about don’t speak to them. M.P.’s will see you and they’ll be locked up until after the invasion. They were right about that. One man crossed the road strode by the tank ahead of me and said something (the tank crew couldn’t hear him anyway, they all wore headsets) a jeep came along, bundles him in and he was gone. Loading at the docks was easy. We could load tanks in our sleep.... (etc. then as in post #1 above)

    So not even a hint of a real timing detail, or fine pointing to the place of embarkation that I can see there. And afterwards once they had reached the beach at Normandy, continuing again from post #1 above...

    This was the moment of truth alright, if the sealing had gone they’d quickly fill with water, if there was a hole between ship and shore water would go in through the top where the tank commander was perched. So all crews were aboard except the tank commanders and we were clustered around the ramp watching Eric Hanson* drop in, when he levelled he had a foot to spare and there was one big scamper back to our tanks. We were nose to tail going off and were very happy to get moving again. We quickly dropped off the exhaust chute in the field already designated, blew off the gun covers with the small explosive fixed around it, these were electrically exploded by the driver. As I said we were reserve regiment so we weren’t pushed in yet. We hadn’t seen any enemy so we knew there wasn’t any panic about so pulling into a hedge I told the crew to get out and feel if French soil was different to English. I had a bottle of Whiskey and a glass and had just poured a good stiff one when from not far away a Spandau opened up, you never saw such a rush to get back inside no I didn’t spill the whiskey, I drank it.
    Before moving away I did manage to go to the big gun site, it didn’t seem as if it had been fired. The underground offices were well worth a visit.
    We then moved slowly inland. We were given a few places to check, a very big electrical station, there didn’t seem to be anybody about. There was some sniping from the odd German left behind but not much.

    * Sgt.Hanson was the tank commander of the second tank in the 5th troop of "C" squadron 24th Lancers.
    5th troop of "C" squadron 24th Lancers was this squadron's firefly troop and was led by Lieutenant Bertram Garai. There's an IWM audio recording (unfortunately not yet available online) at: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80015847
    And what looks like some quite interesting detail about his embarkation and landing (at least from the content description) in there i.e.:

    ..arrival of new equipment prior to D-Day in Winchester area; embarkation at Southampton, 6/1944. Recollections of operations as troop commander with 5 Troop, C Squadron 24th Lancers in Normandy. 6/1944: character of Channel crossing; use of Rhinos to disembark tanks; landing on beaches, 7/6/1944. REEL 5 Continues: waterproofing of tanks; situation on beach; advance inland to Le Hamel; role of military police; Richard Leather's winning of Military Cross; advance to Creuilly; reaction to sight of dead British troops; German use of snipers; advance to Point 103 above Tilly-sur-Seulles; use of Sherman Firefly; results of unit's initial contact with German armour during advance to St Pierre; wounding during knocking out of his tank by German tank.

    For example he clearly has talked about the "use of Rhinos to disembark tanks" and "landing on beaches" but for all that the actual description might or might not be detailed in there.


    However, from what I have heard and seen there is some hope that some of the elements of the 24th L that were loaded on which other ships might be known, so it might in some ways be possible (if the urge remains persistent enough!) to find these out. And from what is known, know better what is still unknown and thereby through processes of elimination etc. work out what ships of the 24th L group have their cargoes in terms of troops/squadrons as yet unclear. And thereby workout perhaps which ship my gd (and Eric!) actually took ;)

    (I think that should probably only take about 20 years or so!) :pipe: - if nothing else gets in the way first of course! :rolleyes:
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I was trying to see if there was some actual footage of some of the type of LST's that the 24th Lancers actually used on line and found the following

    D-Day Normandy Invasion: "Eve of Battle" 1944-06-06 Universal Newsreel World War II

    That covers a lot of Eve of Battle D-day info, including some general tank loading and unloading, I think American generally, with the following description below it:

    "Universal Newsreel, in full co-operation with the War Department, presents official pictures of the final military preparations for the launching of D-Day. A host of nations engage in the huge task. The invasion, in truth, is a United Nation's effort."

    A Reupload of a previously uploaded film, in one piece instead of multiple parts.

    Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
    The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


    The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval.

    The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France starting at 6:30 AM. There were also decoy operations under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.

    Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces was General Dwight Eisenhower while overall command of ground forces (21st Army Group) was given to General Bernard Montgomery. The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea, and air elements under direct British command with over 160,000 troops landing on June 6, 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword...

    The success of the amphibious landings depended on the establishment of a secure lodgement from which to expand the beachhead to allow the build up of a well-supplied force capable of breaking out. The amphibious forces were especially vulnerable to strong enemy counter-attacks before the build up of sufficient forces in the beachhead could be accomplished. To slow or eliminate the enemy's ability to organize and launch counter-attacks during this critical period, airborne operations were used to seize key objectives, such as bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the eastern and western flanks of the landing areas...

    The assault on Sword Beach began at about 03:00 with an aerial bombardment of the German coastal defences and artillery sites. The naval bombardment began a few hours later. At 07:30, the first units reached the beach. These were the DD tanks of 13th/18th Hussars followed closely by the infantry of 8th Brigade...

    The Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach faced 2 heavy batteries of 155 mm guns and 9 medium batteries of 75 mm guns, as well as machine-gun nests, pillboxes, other concrete fortifications, and a seawall twice the height of the one at Omaha Beach. The first wave suffered 50% casualties, the second highest of the five D-Day beachheads. The use of armour was successful at Juno, in some instances actually landing ahead of the infantry as intended and helping clear a path inland...

    At Gold Beach, 25,000 men were landed, under the command of Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, Commander of the British 2nd Army...

    Omaha Beach

    Elements of the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division (US) faced the recently formed German 352nd Infantry Division, a mixed group of Russian "volunteers" and teenagers stiffened with a cadre of east front veterans, unusual in the fact that it was one of the few German divisions remaining with a full complement of three regiments albeit at reduced strength; fifty percent of its officers had no combat experience...

    The massive concrete cliff-top gun emplacement at Pointe du Hoc was the target of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by James Earl Rudder...

    Casualties on Utah Beach, the westernmost landing zone, were the lightest of any beach, with 197 out of the roughly 23,000 troops that landed...

    (I'll keep an eye out for some more specific LST containing reels and I think probably edit them into this post - if I find any)
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There is a bit more info here about the arrival etc. of another 24th Lancer in Normandy:

    D-DAY AND BEYOND WITH A TANK CREW by George Ames (24th Lancers)

    "I then went straight down to Southampton to an assembly area and boarded the Landing Ship Tank (LST) which is the forerunner of the roll-on roll-off ferries and one of my jobs was to load one of these.
    D-Day - 1
    The Americans were running this and they weren’t a lot of help, then there was a hold up because of bad weather and we were sitting on this ship off the Isle of Wight towing two things called Rhino rafts. The idea was that you drove from your tank onto the Rhino raft, and then it went into the beach. The first wave went in three miles out, or two miles out as it were and swam in, and we, the backup troops, were supposed to go onto the Rhino rafts and then in shore, but it went horribly wrong because the Rhino rafts were very unseaworthy and in the Channel on the way over these rafts came adrift from the towing boat and so some poor people were stuck on them. The LSTs were very precious because they had to be used again and again and there were so few of them to go round we had to wait until we got a Rhino raft before we could get ashore. Rhinos were about 50 or 60 yards square and were very under-engined so were very unwieldy in the Channel.
    An LST wasn’t as substantial as the modern ferry and took about 16 tanks so you needed quite a few of LSTs to get a squadron of tanks, or a regiment of tanks on the shore. A regiment of tanks in those days was 52 fighting tanks, and then you’d to add to that eleven reccy tanks and six anti-aircraft tanks as well as an armoured recovery vehicle (ARV). Our tanks were American made Shermans armed with a 75mm gun and also a new invention: the 17-pounder gun. When you put a 17-pounder on a tank it was called a Firefly. We had four tanks that had these 17-pounder guns which would knock out the most formidable of the German tanks. Otherwise the Germans had very much better tanks than us, and very much better guns.
    When we eventually got off the coast of Normandy on the morning of D-Day, being the second wave we came in an hour or two hours later than the swimming tanks, and when we arrived off the beach it was a wonderful sight. It was a job to take it all in, it was a complete kaleidoscope of everything and you could see shell bursts and everything on the beach. We were very much aware of the Rodney and the Warspite which were shelling from just beside us. They were about two miles offshore and there was a hell of a whirring noise and one of my memories was seeing all these strange things like DUKWs going past. They were very much in evidence ferrying to and fro and when we arrived off the beach there was a lot going on around us, these battleships with the terrific banging and bombardment. Not only battleships of course but cruisers, destroyers and rocket ships.
    Beach Landings
    We were nearly two miles off shore and we had to wait there all night because with no Rhino raft we didn’t get ashore really until the morning of D+1, and then of course we pushed inland. This beach was called Juno and it was always referred to as Jacob Green because it was split up into coloured sectors and the beach we landed on was at Le Hamel just outside of Arromaches. There were the odd snipers, in fact quite a few of them, and the beach was being shelled too. The first wave of tanks had broken out of the beachhead and were a little way inland and so it was very difficult for some of our regiments."

    A few things... he says his LST towed 2 Rhino craft - and that they were "very unseaworthy and in the Channel" and came adrift" and "so some poor people were stuck on them"

    On his particular LST he was "nearly two miles off shore and we had to wait there all night because with no Rhino raft we didn’t get ashore really until the morning of D+1,".

    Some pics...


    And also see related objects there, i.e.

    Rhino raft: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205156117

    Rhino raft: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205156115

    Rhino raft: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205187146
  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BTW... oddly I noticed in NHL it does mention that they (the 24th Lancers) trained in loading LCTs and on page 82 it says that a Troop of 1st Line reinforcements including 2nd Lt. John Money came across to Normandy from the Hards at Gosport on a much smaller LCT (which was not designed to carry Sherman tanks), and that they had to "stagger them slightly" as they "would not fit side by side".

    When the ramp was lowered for disembarkation John Money waved his next door neighbour, at the head of the que, ahead, the ramp however slewed to port and the tank disappeared from sight, it must have fallen into a hole in the sea bed, and there was only one survivor.

    I haven't yet managed to tie down a specific date for this "event" - although the account states that they set off from Gosport on D-day itself, and doesn't seem to suggest that, severe sea-sickness aside nevertheless, they were at sea for long in their LCT with the LSTs, and ought to have come ashore I suspect not much later than D+2, or even with the rest of the Regiment on D+1 (before that).

    Ps. Thanks Michel (post#16) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_craft_tank#Mark_3

    I think wiki fails on a picture at the mo. of the Mark 3. But IWM has this: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205143818

    Things really looked tight though ^_^ - below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCT_7074

    U.S. Army M4 "Sherman" tanks of Company A, 741st Tank Battalion and other equipment loaded in an LCT, ready for the invasion of France, circa late May or early June 1944. One tank has a welded hull. The other (marked "USA 3036947") has a cast armor hull. Both have extended air intakes for operations in water. Note the markings "1A-741Δ" ("First Army - 741st Tank Bn") on the trailer are consistent with what should be found on a 741st vehicle. USS LCT-213 is tied up alongside and several LSTs are anchored out in the harbor of this southern English port.
  16. I suspect they must be talking about the Mark III LCT, which could theoratically carry two Sherman tanks side by side, but with a rather narrow clearance of only five inches between tanks and to the sides of the hold.

    Mark III craft were not used for landing vehicles during the assault phase because they had been designed for beaches with steeper gradients than those of the assault beaches, and their load would therefore have had to disembark into deeper water, plus the craft themselves would probably have been stranded until the next tide, not a good idea during the assault phase...

    Mark III craft were therefore used for the build-up phase onwards.

    Ramiles likes this.
  17. This wikipedia caption says the photo shows "Shermans loaded onto an LCT similar to LCT 7074" but this LCT, as well as LCT 213 alongside, is a Mark V, quite different from a Mark III.

  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Michel ;)

    I did say "I think wiki fails on a picture at the mo. of the Mark 3. But IWM has this": http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205143818

    The wiki page at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCT_7074

    Is/was a "curiosity" as its "LCT similar to LCT 7074" was a bit dissimilar to the example at the IWM.

    Some google pics of the LCT 7074 restoration here: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=LCT+7074+restoration&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA3J_Aj-PLAhUGnBoKHeQsCK4Q_AUIBygB&biw=1280&bih=685

    I found this for an example of a Mark V: http://ww2lct.org/mk5/mk5main.htm


    As I was looking for some nice scale comparison charts of the various types:

    And there was an LCT, LSM, LST one here: http://scubatechphilippines.com/scuba_blog/landing-ship-tank-lst-subic-bay-wrec/

    At: http://scubatechphilippines.com/scuba_blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/74848_10151193363633711_1588974377_n.jpg


    I'm sure I "ran" across a nice chart of all the LCT marks (scaled to compare) a few months ago. So if I find that too I'll post it in edit... unless I am beaten to it by someone quicker on the draw ;)

    Nb. There is this (with pics and specs for various LCT types) : http://ww2lct.org/history/stories/lctevolution.htm

    Albeit it at the mo. it seems to say; for the Mark3 " Hull Dimensions Beam 30 in." (Narrow indeed!)

    All the best,

  19. I only know of this one:
    Combined Operations Staff Notebook - Page 121 - CGSC 2377.jpg
    Beam was actually 31' 0" for the Mark III against 38' 8" (or 38' 9", depending on the source) for the Mark IV.

    Ramiles likes this.
  20. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    By the way there is another interesting account of a 24th Lancer tank commander's arrival in Normandy here: p41 -

    Gold Juno Sword: Volume 5
    By Martin Bowman
    Gold Juno Sword

    Where he talks about them losing their Rhinos on the way over - as they broke away from the tow - and his having "no idea where ours went".

    "Charles Wilmott" - who apparently landed at Arromanches and I think was perhaps in A squadron 24th L. (???)

    Oddly in NHL (None Had Lances - the Story of the 24th Lancers) there is a "Wilmot, C.F.E" credited with two entries in the Index - on pages 22 and 70.

    On page 22 of NHL however it has there a "Sgt.Willie Wilmot" - whereas the "same" - "Wilmot, C.F.E" from the index of NHL is called "Sgt. Charlie Wilmot" on page 70 and is remembered by Trooper Roy Tomalin - whom I think was in A squadron - hence my assumption that “Charles Wilmott” was perhaps in A squadron too.

    I don't see a Wilmot or a Wilmott on here: 24th Lancers Regimental Nominal Roll and Postings August 1944

    As, as is detailed in: Gold Juno Sword

    ...it is apparent he was wounded early in the Normandy campaign.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016

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