RAF Police Juno Beach

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by RAFPMike, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Hi All,

    I am currently serving as an RAF Policeman and have been looking into the history of the RAF Police.

    I am working on a project at them moment regarding 7 or 8 RAF Policemen led by a Sergeant who were attached to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division for the D-Day landings on Juno Beach.

    I was wondering if anyone had some more information on this?

    I am having trouble finding information and photos and would appreciate any help you can offer.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Mike - have you visited the RAF Beach Units site? R.A.F. Beach Units of the Second World War

    It might be of help.

    Here is an extract from the site of the memoirs of an RAAF officer on SWORD beach that mentions RAF Police (not the actual guys you are after but for background info. Maybe there is a similar memoir that does cover your guys):

    “Our first job was to dig slit trenches, and it was only a matter of minutes before we had holes for ourselves in the soft sand. With me were my batman, Little, a W.O. from the Transport Section, one of the Squadron Leader's sergeants, and five Service police.
    Once the slit trenches were dug I sent the W.O. to reccy a place where he could set up workshops, and told the Service Police and the sergeant to stay put while I reported to the Colonel. The Colonel told me that there was little I could do because the assaulting troops had not advanced far enough inland to allow a reconnaissance to be made for the Beach Maintenance Area.”


    (snip)


    “I put my Service Police on traffic duty and looked around to see what I could do myself. Still lying on the beach, and as far back as the second lateral road, were hundreds of our wounded. A P.O.W. cage had been put up on the beach and a lot of Jerries had been herded into this. I borrowed eight of the Jerries and went in search of stretchers.”



    (snip)



    Part of a longer entry in the Squadron Operations Record Book timed at 1230 on D Day reads as follows:
    [​IMG]Time

    Summary of Events
    1230
    The M.T. Repair Section ‘A’ Echelon under No.364056 W/O T Hughes established an emergency Drowned Vehicle Park almost immediately and rendered great assistance to the Army Recovery Sections of REME.

    The Landing Section under F/Lt G. McBride RAAF was fully occupied in assisting to restore order on the beaches and assisting the Army Beach Companies in clearing the beaches. F/Lt G. McBride and No. 644472 A/F/Sgt Fry H.C. being examples to all.

    The R.A.F. Police Section under No. 510810 Sgt Frost F.J. took up traffic control duties immediately on the beach and road laterals, rendering invaluable service. No. 1007284 Cpl Thorman H.L. displaying great devotion to duty during this period.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Hi DaveB,

    Thank you for your reply. I have been on that site, and thought I had read all that was to find however the two quotes your have given I did not see. This could be because i have been look at the screen far too long or I just haven't see the whole site yet.

    What I have found so far is:

    "The Signals Section opened a Wireless Watch on 3165 k/cs and a Provost section consisting of a Sergeant and six Corporals were attached to No. 2 Beach Squadron from H.Q. 2nd T.A.F. for operational duties in the R.A.F. Assembly Area during the invasion."
    "Bernard ‘Barney’ Hart-Hallam, who served as a policeman with the Provost Marshal’s Branch of the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force 2TAF. On D-Day, Barney was the first RAF man to set foot on ‘Juno’ beach. From then on, following close behind the front-line troops, he and his colleagues in No.6 RAF Security Section were responsible for maintaining security in the wake of the Allied advance across Europe. They rounded up collaborators, spies and fleeing Nazis and were entertained by gangsters and good-time girls."
    "For the invasion of N.W. Europe he was the leader of No. 6 R.A.F. Security Section, 83 Group, 2nd T.A.F. Hart-Hallam asserts that having landed at around 9am."
    I have also come across the name Sgt Frost as the Operation Record Book section says that you have quoted. This would tell me he was the Sgt leading but who is Bernard Hart-Hallam and what rank is he? Maybe there were more that 7 Service police on juno beach? So many questions not enough answers. :p

    I don't seem to be able to find any more information on "No.6 RAF Security Section" which is bugging me.

    I have also found out that these service police set up a CP inland in a farm and that they took out a German sniper but I cannot find any proof of this as of yet.
     
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Sgt Frost and his men were on Sword beach, I presume that Hart-Hallam and his group were doing an equivalant task on Juno

    Regarding Sword beach, both FLTLT McBride (RAAF) & 364056 W/O T Hughes received an MiD for their efforts. I just quickly checked the gazette for Hart-Hallam but no luck.
     
  5. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Thank you for this, that helps channel research on Juno.

    Wis this book would come sooner.
     
  6. Hi Mike,

    Attached is a portion of the 3rd Canadian's landing tables that another member sent me a while back - it was work in progress at the time and I only asked for any references to A Company 8th Kings as that was my grandfather's battalion. There's references to 51 RAF Balloon Unit but only by association to my request for 8th Kings - would imagine there'll be more in other serials.

    Good luck with images- I've got as many as I can for Juno and can't recall any with RAF units.

    Michael.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Thank you for this Michael.

    Any idea how I can go about finding the other serials?
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Mike,

    I have the landing tables for all three British beaches both as digital photographs of the original and as transcripts. I have so far only studied Sword in depth but it seems the RAF Provost and Security Sections were identical for each beach. The section for Juno would be busier as there were more RAF units there. On Sword there was little for them to do and they joined the CMP Provost units on traffic control.

    It seems that on Sword and Juno the RAF barrage balloons were not used as they acted as ranging points for enemy artillery. The balloon crews also joined the provosts in traffic control.

    I remember posting details of the RAF units landing on all three beaches somewhere on this forum.

    More later if you are interested.

    Mike.
     
  9. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Hi Mike,

    I definately am interested in more information.

    You have all been a great help and I really do appreciate it.

    Mike
     
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Mike,

    The digital photographs total about 1000 and the transcripts maybe 300 pages. I will put together a selection of bits about RAF units. Not difficult but may take a day or two.

    Mike.
     
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Mike,

    A first, small, item. The outline establishment for No1 Provost and Security Unit.

    No1 Provost and Security Unit consisted of a headquarters and six echelons.
    'A' Echelon for Juno.
    'B' Echelon for Gold.
    'C' Echelon for Sword.
    'D' Echelon. Spare.
    Each echelon consisted of ten men divided into two groups of a serjeant and four corporals.

    'E' and 'F' Echelons for Headquarters 83 Group, 2TAF

    'E' Echelon.
    Total vehicles
    2 X 3ton 4 X 4 Crossley.
    9 X 15cwt
    7 X jeep
    3 X Humber 4 X 4 Utility
    1 X Water Tender.
    73 men.


    More on the employment of the provost beach echelons follows.

    Mike.
     
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    RAF Beach Unit.
    There was one RAF Beach Unit for each beach, Gold, Juno and Sword. Each consisted of a Headquarters and two Beach Sections, one per Beach Group.

    Headquarters.
    Wing Commander.
    Flight Lieutenant
    serjeant clerk
    serjeant embarkation assistant
    clerk
    motorcyclist
    driver MT
    general dutyman

    2 X Beach Section each
    Headquarters.
    Squadron Leader.
    corporal clerk
    motorcyclist
    general dutyman
    corporal cook

    Landing personnel
    Flight Lieutenant
    flight serjeant
    serjeant
    2 X general dutyman

    Equipment Dump
    Flight Lieutenant
    serjeant
    corporal
    general dutyman

    Explosives
    Flight Lieutenant
    serjeant
    corporal
    general dutyman

    Petrol
    Flight Lieutenant
    serjeant
    general dutyman

    Provost
    serjeant
    4 X corporal

    RAF Technicians to work with REME
    Flight Lieutenant (Engineering)
    flight serjeant fitter
    2 X serjeant fitter
    3 X corporal fitter
    4 X mechanic MT
    blacksmith and welder
    coppersmith and sheet metal worker
    carpenter
    2 X electrician
    general dutyman
    2 X driver MT

    These units were to assist and advice the army on the handling of RAF equipment and stores landed at the beaches and on the movement of RAF transport.

    Mike
     
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  13. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Mike,

    The digital photographs total about 1000 and the transcripts maybe 300 pages. I will put together a selection of bits about RAF units. Not difficult but may take a day or two.

    Mike.

    No problem on taking a few days. It will be a huge help.
     
  14. RAFPMike

    RAFPMike Junior Member

    Thank you for all this Mike. starting to get my head round it now.
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Mike,

    Since your original query was about Juno I hope I have attached a map showing the 'Star' maintenance area which was the area served by Juno beach.

    The RAF had areas, not marked, in the personnel transit areas, the vehicle transit areas and the stores areas. RAF Provosts were responsible for signing and working with CMP provosts on traffic control for these areas, as well as for discipline of RAF personnel.

    Mike

    juno star.jpg
     
  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Mike,

    The Landing Tables list the following for Juno.

    To be ready to land from H+12 hours.
    From LST Serial 3500 by Rhino Ferry.
    'B' Echelon RAF Provost and Security
    1 Jeep
    1 Crossley 4 X 4 3ton Tender
    5 men

    From LST Serial 3502 by Rhino Ferry.
    'B' Echelon RAF Provost and Security
    1 Jeep
    1 Crossley 4 X 4 3ton Tender.
    5 men

    For Sword
    To be ready to land from H+12 hours
    From LST Serial 618 by Rhino Ferry
    'C' Echelon RAF Provost and Security
    1 jeep
    1 Crossley 4 X 4 3ton Tender
    5 men.

    The other three sections seem to be included in the serials for the RAF Beach Section and can not be identified. They are unlikely to differ from those above.

    A 3ton 4 X 4 seems excessive but presumably it carries a lot of signs.

    Actual time of landing is difficult to find. It could take four hours to unload a LST using Rhinos and on D Day they were running late. The RAF Provost and Security vehicles were on the top deck and would unload last.

    I have to own up to an earlier error. The list I gave for the total vehicles is in fact that for 'E' Echelon which also landed on Juno on the second tide (after H+12 hours). This large unit was for the large number of radar, control and headquarters vehicles landing on Juno at the same time. I have corrected the earlier post.

    If the landing tables for other RAF units is of interest this can be sent by email. It is beyond my technological skills to post here. Some can be found on the thread Weapons, technology and Equipment/RAF Signal Vehicle Types.

    Mike
     
  17. nofnet

    nofnet Junior Member

    RAFPMIKE

    If you look on the Books page of my RAF Beach Units website you will see an entry about the book 'Nobody's Hero' by Bernard Hart-Hallam, an RAF policeman of 83 Group whose section landed in the JUNO assault area.

    Books on subjects related to RAF Beach Units

    Mike (another Mike!)
     
  18. nofnet

    nofnet Junior Member

    Sorry, Just realised you have seen this. Seems to relate to what you are looking for, though.
     
  19. nofnet

    nofnet Junior Member

    Mike

    The information you mention about Hart-Hallam is all found in his book (see my previous post). It is an interesting personal memoir but is a bit short on information about the organisation to which his section belonged.
    I don't doubt that he landed early in the MIKE sector of the JUNO area (Mike again!) but In my experience, claims to be the 'first' or 'only' to have done something are often not accurate or are hard to prove. People may genuinely have been led to believe that they or their unit was the 'first' or 'only' but were often not aware of the bigger picture and that other individuals or units were doing a similar thing at a similar time.

    Hart-Hallam's Provost section may have been temporarily attached to an RAF Beach Squadron but it was not part of an RAF Beach Squadron.

    Each Beach Group had an Army Provost Company consisting of HQ and four sections. This Provost Company was assisted by a section of the RAF Beach Flight associated with that Beach Group. The Provost personnel had an important role in keeping traffic flowing smoothly in the Beach Group Area. The RAF Provost Section consisted of five RAF Police N.C.Os. (One sergeant and four corporals).
    Corporal Thorman from the Provost Section of 101 RAF Beach Flight in the SWORD area (as mentioned in an earlier post) was awarded a Mention in Despatches (London Gazette, 29 December 1944, Issue number: 36866, Page 91). I’ll post a photo of him when I have time to sort it out.
    The RAF Beach Squadrons had a number of personnel attached to them for the landings and the early period in the beach-head. These included liaison officers, press correspondents and information officers as well as the 83 Group Provost Sections.
    These personnel were not part of the Beach Squadron establishment or under the operational command of the Beach Squadrons, they were attached for RAF administrative purposes only. In fact, each RAF Beach Balloon Squadron was under the command of an RAF Beach Squadron for RAF administrative purposes - in spite of the Beach Balloon Squadron being a large, separate entity with a different purpose, operationally under the command of the Beach Sub Area’s (Army) anti-aircraft commander.
    The reasons for these attachments and the administrative control were, I believe:
    · As a Wing Commander, the Beach Squadron commanding officer was the senior RAF officer in a Beach Sub Area and was designated “Commander, RAF” (CRAF) in the Beach Sub Area organisation. (The Beach Balloon Squadron was commanded by a Squadron Leader)
    · The Beach Squadron was a unit of the RAF that began landing early on D-Day, quickly became complete and established a static administrative headquarters in the beach-head. Therefore, some individuals or small sections that were to land early, without the support of a HQ from their own RAF organisation, were temporarily attached to a Beach Squadron.
    Regards

    Mike F.
     
  20. nofnet

    nofnet Junior Member

    Here is the photo of Corporal Norman Thorman of No. 101 RAF Beach Flight, No. 1 RAF Beach Squadron who was awarded a MiD for his actions on 6th June 1944. The photo was taken in the German bunker on Queen Red beach that was commandeered by 101 Beach Flight for their HQ. Cpl Thorman, who was from manchester, is standing and Cpl Dan Deighton of Gateshead is using the field telephone.

    Photo © IWM (CL 227)
     

    Attached Files:

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