Sword beach queen red beach group

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Johnny_a, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Johnny_a

    Johnny_a Member

    Could someone give me some advice on how to trace my dad's experience, when he landed on sword beach,queen red. He was a Sapper and part of the beach group. He didn't speak about it very often,but I know he was on the beach for three weeks.He had a shoulder flash with a white background and red fouled anchor. He was given a piece of cardboard with landing instructions which read. On landing go immediately to the beach command post and report to major Taylor beach superintendent.blue and white wind sock.
    Any information would be very helpfully.

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Johnny and welcome to the forum-If you can identify his actual unit then the unit war diaries would be a good start. I suspect Trux will be able to do that for you and he may even have the war diary for 1944.

    Failing all of the above I'd apply for a copy of his service records from the MoD if you haven't already :)

  3. Scutter

    Scutter Junior Member

    Hi johnny, if you search on this forum for "Sword Beach" there is a very informative thread written by Trux which should give you a start.
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    I would be happy to help. I have a lot of relevant material. Best idea would be to look at the Sword Beach thread first. If we can identify the exact unit then I can provide a lot of information. Unfortunately none of my documents will name individuals (except officers).

    CL1 likes this.
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

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

    It might be of help.

    F/Lt Glen McBride, Landing Officer, 101 Beach Flight
    No. 1 R.A.F. Beach Squadron

    He landed on Queen beach, Red section with his unit, 101 Beach Flight of No. 1 R.A.F. Beach Squadron, early on D-Day 6th June 1944. The unit worked in the SWORD assault
  6. Johnny_a

    Johnny_a Member

    Thanks for all the help. I've now discovered my father was in 1051 port maintenance coy. In Feb. 45 he was in Calais.( I found an old Docks Pass). I'm still trying to fill in the gap between D-Day and Calais. Any pointers would be very much appreciated.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here's the war diaries- It's interesting to note that the WO 172 series are classed as Burma at The National Archives. They cover all of SE Asia/India etc. So it looks like you can figure out what he was doing in Calais in Feb '45 - Deploying to Asia perhaps?

    WO 166/12333 1051 Company 1943 Nov.
    WO 171/1791 1051 Company 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 171/5740 1051 Company 1945 Jan., Feb.
    WO 172/7898 Companies: 1051 Company 1945 July, Sept.- Dec.
    WO 172/10390 1051 Company 1946 Jan.-Sept.
  8. Johnny_a

    Johnny_a Member

    Thanks Drew,

    My father suffered a spiral fracture of the left leg while serving in Singapore 1945.
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    1051 Port Maintenance Company RE were part of 102 Beach Sub Area which was responsible for Juno not Sword. I do not have War Diaries etc for Juno (yet). I have the War Diary for 1050 Company which did the same work on Sword.

    It may be that your father landed on Sword.

  10. Johnny_a

    Johnny_a Member

    Thanks Mike,

    I know my father landed on Sword, Queen, Red. I have the landing instructions ( report to Blue and White wind sock).

    I also have a pass for Caen, 1st. Dec. 44. 1050 port maintenance coy.

    A Pass for Calais Feb.45 1051 port maintenance coy.

    A Pass for Drummockloch camp Cairnryan 13th April 45 1051 -port maintenance coy.

    I take from that he may have been transferred from 1050 to 1051 port maintenance coy. in preparation for the far east

    Thanks for your help.

  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    Mystery solved then.

    I can supply information on 1050 Port Maintenance Company. It should be possible to pinpoint the blue/white windsock. It marked blue exit. More later.

  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A first instalment.

    1050 Port Maintenance and Repair Company. Operation Order No1. 29 May 1944.

    1050 Port Maintenance and Repair Company is in support of the Port Operating and Inland Water Transport Companies of 9 Port Operating Group.

    The Company will render all assistance possible and
    - Keep the cranes working
    - Keep the Port Operating Companies and Inland Water Transport Companoes supplied with all the gear they require, anticipating their requirements if possible.

    A Captain with a WO1 as his assistant will have under his command
    - ‘A’ Section
    - ‘B’ Section less chippie and shop sub section
    He will be responsible for the Stores Beach. He will establish 2 Beach Gear Stores on Queen Sector, probably in Sector Stores Dumps 1 and 3, to maintain working gear, and be responsible for equipment and maintenance of cranes in accordance with the general directions of the Port Superintendent at 5 Beach group Command Post who will allocate cranes to sectors. The Beach Company Commanders will state local requirements.

    A Captain with a WO1 as his assistant will have under his command
    - ‘C’ Section less chippie and shop sub section
    He will be responsible for the MT Beach. He will establish 1 Beach Gear Stores on Roger Sector to maintain MT handling gear. He will carry out a reconnaissance with the Naval Beach Commando. On landing he will report to Company Headquarters to ascertain the rendezvous with the Naval Beach Commando, site the MT Beach Gear Stores, make his reconnaissance and report to Group Headquarters by midnight D+1/D+2.

    As soon as Beach Gear Stores are sited the location will be reported to Company Headquarters by runner.

    Company Headquarters will be established in or near 3 Sector Stores Dump.

    100 cargo nets will be landed. Each DUKW has three cargo nets. 2 Beach Gear Stores will establish a small cargo net store at or near the DUKW Control Post so that DUKWs going to see can be made up to three nets. Generally speaking the parties unloading the DUKWs should put three nets on before the DUKW leaves the BMA.

    Five cranes will land in advance of the main party and will be unloading LBVs loaded with urgently required bridging material. De waterproofing will be carried out as soon as possible but the bridging must be off loaded. Five cranes will land with the main party. These may be required to assist with the LBVs. Further cranes land on D+2.

    Captain in charge of ‘A’ and ‘B’ sections is responsible for the cranes, including de waterproofing, re fuelling, maintenance and repair. The Detail Issue Depot will hold stocks of fuel oil and grease from D+1. RE dumps will issue spares as and when available.

    Beach Gear Stores equipment will be labelled ‘F’ and ‘G’. These will be landed from coasters on D+1 or D+2. As soon as they show up the ship will wireless to the Port Operating Company ashore who will notify us to send guides to meet DUKWs. ‘F’ will go to ‘A’ Section. ‘G’ will go to ‘B’ Section.

    Initial locations:
    - ‘B’ Section. No1 Sector Stores Dump.
    - ‘C’ Section. Beyond 20 and 21 FDS.
    - ‘A’ Section and Company Headquarters. No3 Sector Stores Dump.

    DUKW exit will be marked by a yellow/light blue/yellow wind sock
    Beach Command Post will be marked by a red/light blue/dark blue wind sock.

    H+22 hours
    Serial 3109. OC and party, 15cwt, Jeep. Go to Company Headquarters.
    Serial 3110. ‘A’ Section, 2 3ton. Go to Company Headquarters.
    Serial 3111. ‘C’ Section. Go to Company Headquarters.
    Serial 3112. ‘B’ Section. No1 Sector Stores Depot.

    H+25½ hours
    Serial 3130. 2 3ton, Jeep, welding set. Go to Company Headquarters. ‘A’ Section will send guides.

    Later parties will be directed to Assembly Area Defoe.
    D+2 days. ‘D’ Section.
    D+21 days. CQMS and party.
    D+28 days. Rear Party.

  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    The 1050 Company War Diary for 1944 is 96 digital images (though D day is only a couple), each of them too large to upload here. It should be possible to send them by email attachments. Do not give your email address here. In a private message should be safe.

  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Forgot these.

    Excavators landed from a beached LST at about H+16 hours.

    On Queen Red
    Serial 627 carrying on the Tank Deck.
    1 Excavator 3/8 yard RB 10 from 1050 Port Maintenance Company for 1028 Port Operating Company RE.
    1 Excavator 5/8 yard RB 19 from 1050 Port Maintenance Company for 1028 Port Operating Company RE.
    3 men from 1050 Port Maintenance Company for 1028 Port Operating Company RE.
    The two excavators will be stored with jibs interlocking. The RB 10 will be nearest to the bow with the jib reversed. The RB 19 jib will be elevated to the maximum height of the deck with the jib of the RB 10 underneath. A Carrier Universal will be stowed between the excavators.

    These were to work with Port Operating Companies and were initially to unload beached Landing Barge Vehicles which were loaded with stores.

  15. Johnny_a

    Johnny_a Member

    Thanks so much this is so exiting.


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