Truro area before D Day

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Gordon163, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. Gordon163

    Gordon163 Active Member


    Does anyone know if there were any British Army Units based around Truro, prior to D Day, please?

    I have seen that 115th and 116th US Divisions were in the vicinity. They landed at Omaha Beach.


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  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2023
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  3. Gordon163

    Gordon163 Active Member

    Very helpful. Thanks very much,

  4. "I have seen that 115th and 116th US Divisions"

    Just a correction:
    That should read "115th and 116th US Infantry Regiments". Think of them as UK infantry brigade equivalents. They were component parts of the US 29th Infantry Division.

  5. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    As Cornwall was in the American zone for the build up, training and embarkation for D-Day there were very few British units in the county prior to D-Day. The few that remained were guarding key installations like the cable stations at Porthcurno or Sennen, defending the airfields or manning the AA guns, or involved in specialist training like the Commando at St Ives which was the Commando Mountain Warfare Training Centre (for beach & cliff assaults, rock-climbing, etc.) I am not aware of any based in the Truro area which was awash with Americans. Truro was the Cornwall HQ of the Royal Observer Corps but these were civilians, not a British Army unit.

    The following American units were in or around Truro:
    375 Engineer General Service Regiment 1st Btn at Chacewater
    375 Engineer General Service Regiment 2nd Btn at Grampound
    3199, 3198, 3225, 3227 Quartermaster Service Companies at Grampound
    1314 Engineer General Service Regiment 1st Btn at Polwhele
    1314 Engineer General Service Regiment 2nd Btn at Truro
    3226 Quartermaster Service Company at Truro.
    All of the above were black units.
    1 Engineer Special Brigade HQ at Pencalenick
    165 Signal Photo Company Det E at Pencalenick
    4144 Quartermaster Service Company at Pencalenick
    531 Engineer Shore Regiment 3rd Btn HQ at Treliske
    8 Field Hospital HQ & Medical Detachment at Truro
    261 Medical Btn at Truro
    415 Military Police Escort Guard Company at Truro
    417 Military Police Escort Guard Company at Truro
    479 Ordnance Evacuation Company at Truro
    570 Ambulance Company (Motorized) at Truro.

    Pencalenick was a large house on an estate just east of Truro and had the secure map room that held the plans for D-Day and the maps that were issued for all the units of the US29th Infantry Division that embarked from the Fal and Helford estuaries. It was operated by the Intelligence (S2) Section of 1 Eng Special Brigade with 173 officers and enlisted men "classified" until D-Day. Some sources have suggested to me the outer ring of security for Pencalenick was British but I have yet to find any documentary evidence to support this. I do have a photograph of a British officer on a motorbike at Pencalenick but he may just have been a liaison officer visiting.

    I hope that helps. Any reason for the original inquiry, Gordon?
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  6. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

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