Operation Neptune - Wrecks of the Banc de Cardonnet, Normandy.

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Ali Mayor, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Dear all,

    In 2017 divers from Southsea Sub-Aqua Club were given permission by the French Ministry of Culture (DRASSM) to complete an archaeological diving project to survey a number of wrecks on the Banc de Cardonnet, to the west of the Baie de Seine. The wrecks were found to be LCTs and their cargo of M7 Priest and half tracks believed to be associated with the US Forces assault at UTAH beach on 6 June 1944.Our thanks to Chris Howlett for his help in this project.

    The sites were photographed and documented and research carried out to try to identify the craft. A copy of the report can be found at the Southsea Sub-Aqua Club web site ;

    Southsea Sub-Aqua Club - Project Cardonnet

    We would be delighted to hear from anyone with more information on these vessels or their loss or anyone who has any comments on the report and its findings.

    I hope you enjoy the report.

    Best wishes
  2. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Dear Ali Mayor.
    I attach a chapter about some of the ships wrecked during Operation Neptune. I appreciate that many of them are not on the Banc de Cardonnet. I have added a paragraph about HMRT Sesame at the end, I can provide dimensions etc if that helps. Good luck with the project.

    Attached Files:

  3. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Hi Ali,
    Don't forget that the Admiralty regards Sesame and the other HM ships as war graves. So you will need permission to dive on them.
    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  4. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Dear Roy,

    Thank you for this detailed summary of the many of the losses of both merchant and Royal Navy vessels during operation Neptune. We have several former military divers amongst our team and all 3 of the projects we have completed in Normandy have been with the permission of the French authorities (Ministry of Culture and Coast Guard). I have worked alongside the RN as a Civil Servant for 40 years and we are very sensitive to the fact that many wrecks are the last resting place of those who lost their lives when the ship sank. We take every care not to disturb the wrecks and nothing is removed. As with many ship losses, especially during wartime, often the story of the loss (particularly with smaller vessels) is lost over time and our aim is to bring these stories to life through our research and survey of wrecks.

    HMRT Sesame is just such a case in point. There is a very good book 'The Tattie Lads' by Ian Dear - The untold story of the Rescue Tug Service in two world wars and its battles to save cargoes, ships and lives. ISBN 798-1-84486-401-1 and includes archive accounts of the loss of Sesame if you can get hold of a copy. There is some debate as to whether the wrecks reported as Sesame and Partridge are actually the vessels in question. Often the identity of a ship can only be confirmed by visual survey … hence our plans to dive and record the wrecks and look for identifiable features which will confirm (or otherwise the identity).

    Thank you for your support for our project. We hope to hear soon that we have permission to carry out the project. Once we have completed our work I'll put a link to the final report on WW2 talk.

    Kind regards

    Roy Martin likes this.
  5. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    ...and if anyone has any ship's plans or images of towing bridles etc they can share with us, that would be marvellous!
  6. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Dear Alison,
    I don't have plans of the Assurance class (Sesame was one), but a Google search produces one profile and lines plan on a hobby site. Unfortunately it is a poor quality scan, but it gives a general layout. As for the bridle that would have been on the tow.
    Kind regards,

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