3 Commando.

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by colinhotham, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member

    I am researching Operation Husky, Sicily July 10th to August 17th 1943.
    3 Commando landed at Agnone on the east coast of Sicily on 13th July in order to secure the Malati bridge above the town of Lentini. (later to be known as 3 Commando bridge on Monty's instructions).
    I would like to hear from any veterans of this action or their families/friends to help with this research. There was a North Irish Horse officer attached to 3 Commando for this action and I am trying to establish the reason for this.


    Attached Files:

  2. BeppoSapone

    BeppoSapone Senior Member

    There was a North Irish Horse officer attached to 3 Commando for this action and I am trying to establish the reason for this.

    [post=28264]Quoted post[/post]


    Try a search of this site. Member Gerry Chester served in Italy with the North Irish Horse.

    IIRC another member recently took him a photo of the grave of the North Irish Horse officer who was killed in Sicily.
  3. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The British official history will help a little bit.

    A lot has been written about the Commandos, for obvious reasons. Their feats of derring-do had a big impact on morale.
  4. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member

    Thanks Beppo,

    I have been in contact with Gerry for many moons and it is I who took the photo of the North Irish Horse officer's headstone in Catania War Cemetery.

    Thanks Kiwiwriter,

    My research has bought me the full story of the Malati Bridge action from various sources, but I have been unable to find the reason for the involvement of Lt Butler the NIH officer (the NIH were still in North Africa). He is one of three men killed during Husky that I am featuring for a Remembrance Day display in November in my local library. Like Gerry Chester I do everything I can to raise the profile of the Italian Campaign which has been to some degree forgotton.

  5. BeppoSapone

    BeppoSapone Senior Member

  6. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    Colin, re Lt. Tony Butler, he was not ‘attached’ to No.3 Commando as in with them on behalf of the North Irish Horse, he was a Commando officer of No.3.

    The Army Commandos were never regimented and remained a volunteer force throughout their existence during the war. Soldiers volunteered for the Commandos and, if passed training and accepted, remained on the payroll of their original regiment. Hence when looking at such as headstones and related records you will see the person sited by their original regiment and then the Commando they joined.

    Lt. Tony Butler originally joined the North Irish Horse and then elected to volunteer for the Commandos where he was accepted. His personal Army record will show the date he transferred as should the North Irish Hose records if this can be accessed. Generally speaking he would have been assigned to a Commando as suited the needs at the time. Depending on when he volunteered he may have undergone training at Achnacarry or may have been trained by No.3 - Achnacarry was not established as a training centre until 1942. Some Commandos also recruited in their theatre of operation at various stages and then undertook training of candidates themselves.

    Tony Butler was with No.3 on Sicily as a section commander in 5 Troop. On approaching the bridge a German Mk.VI Tiger was seen on the far bank which opened fire on 5 Troop with a heavy machinegun. 5 Troop were in a corner of a field with no proper cover and ran to the wall side of the road for cover. Among those hit was Tony Butler who was killed outright.

  7. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member


    Thank you so very much for clearing up the Lt Butler story, I can now amend my research with all the information you have given. I will now look back through the various books I have on Op Husky to find the incident you refer to.
    As with all research you have now raised more questions for me. Are you a WW2 veteran, how did you know about Lt Butler, do you have a connection with the NIH or the Italian Campaign or like me just researching WW2?

  8. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    Glad the info was of use Colin. Re your questions, my service was during the ‘Cold’ (or ‘Pointless’) War, not W.W.II in which most of my family served including the Commandos and Military Intelligence. This forum is about W.W.II hence what I did is irrelevant. I have a formal involvement with Commando Veterans though I post here as an individual. I’m very pleased to be acquainted with Gerry of the NIH over the net for several years, and we both share a great interest in battle specifics of the Italian Campaign.

  9. mattgibbs

    mattgibbs Senior Member

    Great piece of onfo and co-operation there!
    I have a question about the training grounds in Scotland. If you know much about this subject could you PM me and I will go into detail. Don't want to add to this thread soemthing that is off topic.
  10. brooks1943

    brooks1943 Junior Member

    My Father Ernest Terrance Brooks 5958422 ( Beds & Herts ) was in 3 commando and was badly wounded on the way to the bridge.He was operated on in the chapel of La Cassella Monastery were his leg was amputed.

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