LCT 864 on D-Day and beyond...

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by J Chaplain, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. J Chaplain

    J Chaplain Member

    I've recently been looking in to my Grandfather's service record, who served as a signaller aboard LCT 864 in the British Navy from 1943 until the end of the war. He died ten years before I was born without leaving any account of his time during the war, so I haven't really had an awful lot to go on, besides general family knowledge that he had been at D-Day.

    I've been trying to dig around a bit, but have found it difficult to come across particular information about a specific LCT - I've not even been able to work out which flotilla it would have been a part of during Operation Neptune, as I was hoping to work out which beach he was likely to have landed on etc.

    Beyond D-Day, it also states in his records that my Grandfather was Mentioned in Despatches on the 6th February 1945 - it is now unlikely I'll ever know precisely what action merited that, but I've been trying to work out a general idea of where he might have been at the time. The date makes me think it'd be something to do with the push through the low countries, but I can't be sure.

    As such, my research has hit a bit of a dead-end: I was wondering if anyone might have access to any information that would help me along, or knew of any sources (that I'm clearly missing!) that I could use to try and place LCT 864 both regarding Operation Neptune itself and then on through to the conclusion of the war.

    Many thanks in advance for any help or guidance you might be able to offer.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    One thing you really need to do (if you havent already) is to obtain his service records and they are only available from the MOD - the forms you need are here Request records of deceased service personnel these will provide you with the basic skeleton to which you can add details but will stop you going off down blind alleys

    Brief and basic info - HMS LCT 864 (LCT 864) of the Royal Navy - British Landing Craft Tank of the LCT (Mk 4) class - Allied Warships of WWII -


    Possibly involved in Operation Infatuate, Walcheren - 1 to 8 November 1944

    Till, Dennis (Oral history)
    1945-1946: appointment to LCT 864;
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  3. From what I have, LCT(4) 864 carried Landing Table Index Number (LTIN, aka Serial) 366 in SWORD Area for Operation NEPTUNE (Temporary Sub-Lieutenant Stephen CURRAN, RNVR, seniority 19.3.43, in command), part of 39 LCT Flotilla (Flotilla Officer: Temporary Acting Lieutenant Commander Charles Alexander SPILSBURY, RNVR, seniority 13.2.42 (as Lieutenant)), and LTIN 25 at Westkapelle for Operation INFATUATE II, still with the same skipper but this time a full Temporary Lieutenant RNVR with seniority 1.10.44, and part of 47 LCT Flotilla (FO Tempy Act Lt Cdr Basil COOKE, RNVR, seniority 21.11.42 (as Lt)).

    See the relevant Landing Tables for loads:
    Sword Beach.
    Updated Resource - Operation Infatuate Landing Table and Beaching Diagram V2

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  4. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    My father’s gun troop, F/92nd LAA, sailed from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Normandy for the D-Day invasion in two LCTs, which had been given the fleet numbers 405 and 408. Both LCTs landed on Queen Red, Sword Beach, around 2.30pm on June 6.

    I understand that the fleet numbers were designated just for the invasion and I now know that 405 was in fact LCT 627. But I have not been able to find the ‘identity’ of 408. I wonder if there is any way of finding out?
  5. Hello Tom,

    LTIN 408 was LCT 1003 (Tempy Sub-Lt Donald Albert FULLER, RNVR, 1.7.43) of 47 Flotilla.


    N.B. Fleet numbers, LTINs and Serials are generally different numbers, but that is another story...
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  6. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    Thanks, Michel, that's brilliant. Can you tell me what LTIN means and whether there's any further source of information on LCT 1003? Were the fleet numbers just allotted in numerical order to whatever LCT happened to be in the flotilla, or was it more methodical than that?
  7. Re: LTIN, see the first sentence in my post #3 above ;)

    Regrettably, I have nothing more on LCT 1003, not even a photo.

    Fleet numbers were used for the positions of craft within a Convoy. The term was sometimes used by the military in their reports or recollections instead of the correct one, LTIN or Serial.

    LTINs represent craft loads, and Serials are code numbers for individual ships or craft. For Op NEPTUNE, the Eastern Task Force used LTINs as Craft Serials, so both terms are equivalent.

    Allocation of LTINs/Serials to hull numbers was done at Flotilla or maybe Squadron level, but unfortunately not using any systematic method, so that each Serial (or LTIN) / Hull number match has to be worked out, when at all possible, via photos, reports, documents etc., the major difficulty being that the Navy cared only about the hull number while the Army knew only the Serial, and either service seldom referred to the other's number in their reports. There are many examples on this forum of the laborious process involved in finding these matches.

    Luckily, the planned ship/craft Serial allocation table exists for the major craft of Force J, but not for Force S or Force G (or if they do, I'd love to see them!).

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  8. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    Thanks again, Michel - that's very helpful. I was lucky enough many years ago to find a lot of info about LCT 627 (serial 405), but never even knew LCT 408's proper name (LCT 1003) until now. My father was aboard this LCT.
  9. Ray G Dunn

    Ray G Dunn Member

    Hello, I hope this is the correct place to ask such a question, I am looking for the pennant numbers of the LCT 3’s which landed the DD Sherman tanks of ‘B’ Squadron of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards onto King sector of Gold beach on D-Day. My late father-in-law was in one of those DD Shermans. I think that LCT 647 was one of six which landed the regiment, and was on the east of the sector with ‘C’ Squadron. They may have bee part of the 12th LCT Flotilla. They were loaded into the LCT’s at Stanswood Bay Embarkation Hard Q2.
  10. Hello Ray,

    Welcome to the forum!

    LCT 647 was a Mark IV, and did not land DD tanks.

    As you said, the eight LCT(3) which carried the DD tanks of 4/7 DG to KING belonged to 12 LCT Flotilla, "L" LCT Squadron, which comprised twelve LCT(3) with pennant numbers as follows:
    LCT(3) 427, 428, 429, 430, 432, 433, 451, 453, 454, 463, 475 & 7012

    Of the above I can only confirm 453 as having carried DD tanks on D Day.

    They were indeed to be loaded at Stanswood Bay Embarkation Hard Q2 from 1800 hours D-2 (3 Jun 44).

    I regrettably do not know any Serial/Pennant match for these craft. However, NARA apparently has a "12th LCT Flotilla Report, Launching DD tanks on D-Day, 14 July 1944" in RG313 which would probably provide more details. I could not locate it more precisely though.

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  11. Ray G Dunn

    Ray G Dunn Member

    Wow !,
    Thank you for such a prompt and informative reply.
    The report I read from the commander of LCT 647 (Lt R. B. Davies) mentioned tanks, but I wasn't sure if they were standard Shermans or the DD version.
    Thank you for putting me straight on this.
    Now that I know where to look I will see what I can find about 12 LCT Flotilla, "L" LCT Squadron.
    There is always more to discover.

  12. Hi Ray,

    Do you have any additional information on your father-in-law's D Day, e.g.which Troop he was in, other tanks in his LCT, his landing, what he did on D Day, names of other crew members/tank commanders etc., and of course his full name?

    Thanks in advance,

  13. Ray G Dunn

    Ray G Dunn Member

    thank you for your interest in this, my father-in-law was known as 'CAB' Day. His full name is below.
    DD Sherman - 4/7 RDG - B Squadron
    1st Troop leader
    Lt C Charlton (injured)
    Lance Corporal Charles Arthur Basil Day (injured)
    Trooper A W B Mathews (killed)
    + 2

    I believe that his was the first of five tanks on the LCT. They did a 'deep wade' with the assistance of the screens rather than actually swim ashore.
    On landing at King (Green) sector on Gold beach they got off the beach fairly quickly and proceeded inland up the road past the 'Lavatory Pan villa'.
    His tank was hit later that morning a few more miles inland at Villiers-le-Sec, by a self-propelled gun.
    He and the tank commander were seriously injured, the driver was killed and the other two were found wandering back towards the beach.
    The other tanks of B squadron (on the right, as seen from the sea) had to knock out an 88mm gun in an emplacement set up to fire across the beach and not out to sea.
    This was a surprise to them as they thought that it was 'just' a machinegun position.
    C Squadron had a harder time of it with the 88mm gun emplacement causing bother.
    some of the tanks fell into shell-holes and sank

    I have the names of all the tank commanders of all three squadrons but I do not know which tanks were landed from the same LCT.

    I hope this helps

  14. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello Ray,
    I maybe able to help with identifying which tanks were landed from the same LCT because I have been studying the 4/7 DG for many years. My wargaming friends grandfather (Stevens) was a driver and landed on D-Day and I have also spoken with Cecil Newton and visited the museum in York. I would like to find a nominal roll for the landing but all I have so far are a few photos of troops taken before the landings. If you want to share information please let me know.

    Kind regards,

  15. Ray G Dunn

    Ray G Dunn Member

    Hello Will,
    I have a copy of 'The First and The Last' by Major J. D. P. Stirling which is the history of the regiment 1939-1945.
    It was published in 1946 for private circulation and is a very comprehensive account.
    It has a list of all the 'Key Posts in the Regiment on 6th June 1944, listing those in RHQ , A, B & C Squadrons.
    It looks to me as if there were three tanks per troop with five troops in a squadron.

    Cecil is a force of nature isn't he!
    My wife and eldest son have been to Normandy with the regiment on their pilgrimages and have paraded with him.
    As the years roll on, inevitably there are fewer of these brave souls around.
    they will, however, never be forgotten.

  16. Tom,

    You can now update your excellent website then ;)

    When you're at it, you may want to reorder the OOB of 27 Armd Bde by listing its regiments by order of precedence, i.e. 13/18 H, STAFFS YEO & 1 E RIDING YEO in that sequence. This would placate my manic side :D

  17. New information has surfaced since your last (and only) visit:
    864 LCT(4) (2160) - 2007_401.jpg

    A photo of the crew, including your grandfather:
    864 LCT(4) - crew - 2014_57_349.jpg

    The source is The D-Day Story Collection, and includes the monthly Log from 25 May 45 to 23 July 45.

    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  18. J Chaplain

    J Chaplain Member

    Hi Michel,

    Firstly, thank you so much for remembering I'd created this thread so long after the fact, and for coming back two years later with more information - how incredible thoughtful/diligent of you. The landing tables you provided me with in January 2021 were greatly appreciated, but this is beyond the call of duty.

    It's amazing to see LCT 864 itself - having been looking into it, it's incredible to finally set eyes on it. But the picture of the crew, including my Grandfather, is beyond anything I was hoping for when I started looking into his war records and created my original post. This probably sounds trite, but genuinely - you have no idea how much this is appreciated. I mentioned my Grandad died 10 years before I was born (so of course I never met him), but we actually don't have any photos of him - so this is the first time I've ever seen my Grandfather's face.

    Like I said, I'm so incredibly grateful to you for posting this here, and I know my Dad will be just as pleased, grateful and touched to have something to remember his Dad in this way. Thank you for including the source, and I look forward to reading through the monthly logs (again, something I wasn't sure I'd ever get my hands on).

    Again - thank you.

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  19. Hi Jim,

    I am glad you liked the info. It is very gratifying when one's research may be helpful to a veteran's family.

    Another view of LCT 864, this time in a movie clip. IWM Film ADM 1259 shows her astern of LCT(4) 675 (365) (recognizable by the Le Tourneau crane protruding from her after tank deck), on her way to SWORD Area in Convoy S.12 (code name UNAWARE):
    ADM 1259 Roll 1 - 480 - 1944-06-06 - 00.17 - 675, 864 LCT(4) - 02.jpg

    A similar but somewhat sharper view from British Pathé film 2115.10:

    Full port side view:
    ADM 1259 Roll 1 - 480 - 1944-06-06 - 00.27 - LCT(4) 864 - full.jpg

    Last edited: May 29, 2023
  20. J Chaplain

    J Chaplain Member

    Michel, this is incredible, thank you - I see the production date is given as 6/6/44, and you give SWORD Area as the destination, so I'm right in thinking that footage is actually from 'D-Day'/NEPTUNE itself?

    Completely lost for words!

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