249th (Airborne) Field Company RE on D-Day and Battle of Normandy

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by PRADELLES, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    We have exactly the same source Cee !! Enjoy !!
     
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    That's a big question and you would need to discover the kind of resistance encountered by various units as they approached the area. I do know it was no walk in the park and they had to deal with snipers on the way. The Germans were holding out in Le Port as they entered the village.

    Regards ...
     
  3. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    May be a REIS personal decision...
    May be an order from LOVAT...
    I know why they could'nt use the footbridge...but there is no reason to take the decision at 9.10 !!
     
  4. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Question...
    For the 6th Airborne, at what time is the H hour ?
    I research to understand at what time they should cross the canal, H + 3 hrs.
     
  5. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Cee,
    Where is the location of 093766 ?
    Thank in advance.
     
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    This from the 5 PARA BDE OO No.1 on H hour:

    5. Definition
    H hr is variable and is time at which seaborne assault lands. All timings connected with airborne ops are expressed in terms of plus or minus Civil Twilight - P hr.


    The Coordinates Translator places 093766 just east of Saint-Aubin-d' Arquenay on Google Maps.

    Google Maps

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    PRADELLES likes this.
  7. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Is there more information about the radio communications between the 6 Airborne Division and the 1 Special Service Brigade during the first hour of the Dday ?

    "SWORD BEACH.
    H + 105 MINUTES.

    1 Special Service Brigade lands. Headquarters was already ashore at this time.
    (...)
    1 Special Service Brigade Headquarters landed in two parts. Advanced Headquarters landed at H+30 on Queen Red and made contact with 2 East Yorkshire Regiment. Radio communications were established with 6 Airborne Division who confirmed that Orne bridges had been captured intact. Main Headquarters landed H+75 minutes."

    Extract from here : Sword Beach.
     
  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    The 1 SS Brigade HQ WD makes the same claim:

    6th June 1944 - D Day
    Place: France
    R/T contact by Bde HQ was made with 6 Airborne Div and it was learnt that the brs which the Bde intended to use were intact.


    The view from the the 6th Airborne side differs.The 6th Airborne Divisional Signals' WD makes no mention of 1 SS Brigade. According to the WD of 6th Airborne Divisional HQ:

    6th June 1944
    1230 - Sitrep.
    3 Para and 1 SS Bdes not yet contacted, but latter believed to be now approaching brs.


    In a post war Staff College report under "Establishment of Communications" radio contact with the 1 SS Brigade occurred on the evening of June 6th:

    "Communication with 1 SS Bde was established later in the day at 20:45 hours ...."

    The actual early radio contact with the 6th Airborne claimed by the 1 SS Brigade may have come indirectly through another unit? Also Lord Lovat and Lt. Col Pine-Coffin had pre-planned an exchange of signals as the Commandos approached the bridge. On hearing Millen's pipes 7 Para would respond by bugle if the way was clear.

    Regards ...
     
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  9. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Thank you Chuck,
    And "brs" refer to :
    Bénouville bridge (Pegasus)
    Ranville bridge (Ranville)
    ?? Footbridge (Amfreville) ??
    Regards,
    Xavier
     
  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    The footbridge was intact so "brs" may have also been referring to it, but I don't really know for certain.

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  11. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Chuck,

    What do you think of that ?
    5.30am, the 1st SS Brigade was informed that the bridges (Bénouville and Ranville) were intact...

    "At 5.30am on the 6th June we sniffed fresh air, real Continental sea air; not long now. Up on deck now, taking up our positions. The radio sets were switched to receive, on the allotted frequency. At H-Hour, it was essential to start listening watch in order to receive essential information as arranged. The sets worked well! The code names were Rugby and Cricket. As dawn broke, a glimmer from the East, on this "Our Longest Day", the sky lit up by gunfire flashes, we could see the size of the Armada of which we were a part, in the fore now, stretching as far as the eye could see."

    Extract from : Corporal Ron Pidgley
     
  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    A very good account by Corporal Ron Pidgley. I don't see there any indication that they were in contact with the 6th Airborne or they had received news that early that the bridges were captured from elsewhere. It just says they were listening in on certain frequencies in order to obtain the latest information. The Signals component at 6th AB HQ would still be setting up at 5:30 AM and were only listening in themselves. Radio silence wasn't broken until 7:15 after the coastal bombardment began at 7:00.

    6th AB-Div Troops-Signals.jpg

    Regards...
     
  13. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Good information Chuck !
    "1 S.S. Brigade had landed from L.C.I.(S) at OUISTREHAM under similar conditions as 4 S.S. Bde. In their initial plan 45 R.M. Commando was intended to cross the ORNE estuary in rubber dinghies and proceed to attack MERVILLE. As the Airborne operation for seizing the ORNE bridges had been completely successful this was abandoned and the crossing was made by the bridges."
    Extract from : 4th Special Service Brigade
     
  14. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    First, I think there was only one Liaison Officer of the 1 SS Bde who was involved in this operation. In fact, they were two, one with the 3rd Parachute Brigade and one with the 5th Parachute Brigade.

    Extract of the 3rd Parachute Brigade HQ war diary : "18. LO's. (b) 1 SS Bde. One LO with 3 Para Bde HQ to meet 1 SS Bde on arrival at RANVILLE brs. One LO 45 (RM) Commando with 9 Para Bn to meet 45 (RM) Commando on crossing CANAL DE CAEN."

    Extract of the 5th Para HQ : LO, 1 SS Bde is dropping with HQ 5 Para Bde and is meeting 1 SS Bde at X rds 0937[66?] with infm regarding river crossings. Commandos crossing by brs 098748 and 104746 are moving direct from ST AUBIN D'ARQUENAY to assembly posn on EAST bank in QUARRY 113749. Routes are being kept clear for this move. Commando crossing at foot br 113762 is being protected by patrols from post at X rds 122755."
     
  15. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Xavier,

    I wasn't aware there was an LO 1 SS who dropped with the 5th Parachute Brigade HQ. They left from Fairford Airfield in Stirlings CN165-CN171. Only have a few names of those onboard and none was an LO. Brigadier Poett left with a 5 Para Brigade advanced party in Albemarle CN6 from Brize Norton. Once again only a few names with none being listed as an LO.

    Regards ...
     
  16. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Cee,

    From the 7th Parachute Battalion war diary...
    "20. L.O. LIEUT DUTTON, LO 1 SS Bde will jump with Rear Bn HQ and will remain with this party until br head is secured; he will then join the battle outpost on the SW approach to X rds 093766 and contact leading elements 1 SS Bde at first opportunity."
     
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  17. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    Good find! Dropping with 7 Para seems like the logical choice if he was headed for the crossroad at St. Aubin d'Arquenay. The Rear Bn HQ jumped from CN150 and probably carried Second-in-Command Major Steel-Baume who made it to the RV and eventually to the Bridge with the late arrivals.

    Did Lt. Dutton make it to the crossroads? I came across a Lt. Derek Alan Dutton, age 24 in the 6 Commando RoH who died on 17/06/44 and is listed on the Pontypridd Crematorim Panel, Wales.

    Regards ...
     
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  18. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

  19. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Xavier,

    The 6 Commando website won't load for me. According to the RoH page devoted Lt. Dutton on the CVA site:

    "Lieutenant Derek Dutton died in the UK of wounds inflicted on D Day."

    Regards ...
     
  20. PRADELLES

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Lt. Derek Alan Dutton
    (S/N 6827201/ 113480)

    Lt. Derek Alan Dutton, formerly of the Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry) and 4th Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment, South Wales Borderers, served with No.6 Commando from 1st July 1943.

    Prt. Derek Dutton (S/N 6827201), a ‘Meat Purveyor’ by registered trade, enlisted on 19th June 1939 and was sent on 13thNovember 1939 to the 169th OTU (Oudenarde Barracks, Aldershot) for initial officer training. Having completed the officer selection course he was posted on 14th January 1940 to 4th Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment, South Wales Borderers as a 2/Lt. (S/N 113480).

    Following a two-month admission to hospital for Rheumatic Fever, on 17th June 1940 he was described by his OC as “lacks self-confidence and enthusiasm. He does not appear amenable to discipline and is very casual in his attitude towards his superiors” and was consequently ordered back to 169th OTU for a further two-months of officer training from 19th July 1940.

    He was promoted to substantive Lieutenant on 14th July 1941 and became the Brigade Intelligence Officer at HQ 113thInfantry Brigade on 1st November 1941. Tiring of this role after nearly two years in the post he requested transfer to ‘Special Service’ on 25th February 1943 and was accepted in April 1943. However, at the request of OC 113th Infantry Brigade he had his transfer deferred until he had finished running a training course.

    Derek was Wounded in Action (WIA) on 6th June 1944 at Brevile-les-Monts, Normandy, France with ‘gun shot wounds’ to his left chest and was evacuated back to the UK. Whilst being treated in Southampton Borough General Hospital he died from his wounds, aged 24 years. He was the son of Charles Frederick and Dorothy Isobel Dutton, of Purley, Surrey. Derek was laid to rest in Pontypridd Crematorium (Glamorganshire, Wales, UK) Panel L.H.
     
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