Combined Operations Pilotage Parties - Operation Postage Able

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Jonathan Ball, May 12, 2015.

  1. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    ADM 179/323
    Reconnaissance report on operation "Postage Able", from Naval Commander Force J. HMS VECTIS, Cowes

    On January 16, 1944, HMS X20 planned to spend four days off the French coast. Commanded by Lt KR Hudspeth DSC* RANVR and Sub. Lt. B. Enzer RNVR, with the COPP (Combined Ops Pilotage Party) comprising Lt. Cdr. Nigel Willmott DSO DSC RN, and two divers, Major Scott-Bowden and Sergeant Ogden-Smith.

    During the daytime, periscope-level reconnaissance of the shoreline and echo-soundings were performed. Each night, X20 would approach the beach, and the divers would swim ashore to take soil samples.

    The divers went ashore on two nights to survey the beaches at Vierville-sur-Mer, Moulins St Laurent and Colleville-sur-Mer in what became the American Omaha Beach. On the third night, they were due to go ashore off the Orne Estuary (Sword Beach), but by this stage fatigue (the crew and divers had been living on little more than benzedrine tablets) and the worsening weather caused Hudspeth to shorten the operation, returning to HMS Dolphin on January 21, 1944.
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  2. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    A bump for this one in the run up to the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Free to download if you want a copy.
    Aixman likes this.
  3. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    X20 and X23 were back off the beaches from 3 June, and spent miserable days submerged, especially on the 5 June, because D-Day was postponed due to weathjer.
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