Princess Maud D Day

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by coldstreamer20, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. coldstreamer20

    coldstreamer20 Junior Member

    Hi, Simple question regarding Princess Maud on D Day please, i know Princess Maud transported American troops to Omaha Beach on D Day,my question is would Princess Maud be in the beachead area of Omaha beach or would it have anchored a few miles away for the American troops to load into smaller assault craft ,Many thanks,Paul.
    dbf likes this.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  4. coldstreamer20

    coldstreamer20 Junior Member

    Hi,Many thanks to the members for the information supplied, regards,Paul.
  5. By the way, I wonder if anyone might have a wartime photo of Princess Maud or of one of her LCA. I can't seem to find any on the web except maybe this one (but it might be from Princess Margaret, I'm not sure which one used the code "PM"):
    LCA 934 PM2 Flushing - 08211004.JPG

  6. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Michel,
    I can only find one photo of Princess Maud with LCA onboard and this was taken from astern so not much detail.

    It is in the book “Short Sea: Long War (Cross-Channel Ships' Naval & Military Service in WWII)” by John de S. Winser.

    You can pick up a copy of the book here

    She was not converted to carry the LCA until early 1944.

    Some good information and photos of some other LSI with landing craft onboard in the book


  7. Hi Danny,

    Thank you for this info and the link to the WSS. I didn't know of it and will probably apply for membership, although I fear being sucked into the vast universe of warships, having already lots to do just with landing craft! But then LSI are an unavoidable and rather new subject for me, so hopefully they'll have plenty of material there.

    Would you happen to know from one of the post D Day Green Lists whether LCA 934 was with Princess Maud or with Princess Margaret? She is not listed in the 5 Jun Green List, so I suppose she was a replacement for one of the many craft lost on D Day and afterwards. I'm trying to find out all the codes marked on (most) LCA or other minor craft shortly before D Day identifying their mother ship. I've found quite a few so far, all from photographs, but I have no document to that effect, and still miss a confirmation for my guesses regarding about half of the D Day LSI as follows, bearing in mind that some LCA did not wear a code at all:

    LSI(H) SS Biarritz BZ?
    LSI(H) HMS Brigadier BA?
    LSI(H) SS Canterbury CY?
    LSI(H) SS Duke of Argyll DA?
    LSI(L) SS Empire Anvil AL?
    LSI(L) SS Empire Gauntlet EG?
    LSI(L) SS Empire Javelin EJ?
    LSI(L) SS Empire Lance EL?
    LSI(L) SS Empire Spearhead E-S?
    LSI(L) HMS Glengyle GE?
    LSI(L) HMS Glenroy GY?
    LSI(H) HMS Invicta IA?
    LSI(H) SS Isle of Guernsey IG?
    LSI(H) SS Laird's Isle LI?
    LSI(H) SS Maid of Orleans MO?
    LSI(L) MV Pampas PS?
    LSI(H) SS Princess Margaret MT?
    LSI(H) SS Princess Maud PM?
    LSI(S) HMS Prins Albert PA?
    LSI(S) HMS Prinses Astrid AD?
    LSI(S) HMS Prinses J. Charlotte JC?
    LSI(H) HMS St. Helier SH?
    LSI(H) SS Victoria VA?

    Any help would be welcome.

  8. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hello Michel,
    Had a look at a couple of things and below is some information on LCA 934.

    John de S. Winser other book “The D Day Ships” is worth getting if you do not have it. Not much coverage as far as the smaller landing craft go but plenty of information on the other vessels.

    The WSS have a very good photo archive from what I have seen in various publications. You might be able to get some wartime photos from them.

    I will have a look and see what I have on the LSI codes. Cannot recall seeing a complete list but I am sure I have seen one or two listed in documents.



    LCA 934





    Completed - E.F.Elkins Ltd


    Portsmouth Command, Operational Pooled Reserve, HMS Northney

    Hayling Island


    Expeditionary Force, Shuttle Service, SS Princess Maud, 519 Assault Flotilla


    Expeditionary Force, Shuttle Service, SS Princess Maud, 519 Assault Flotilla


    Portsmouth Command, 508 Assault Flotilla, “H” Squadron, HMS Cricket



    Portsmouth Command, 508 Assault Flotilla, HMS Cricket



    Rosyth Command, Pooled Reserve



    Sold to Dutch Navy
  9. Hi Danny,

    Thanks for this most complete info on LCA 934. So it seems she did survive Infatuate 1. I now have one more confirmed LSI code on my list!

    I suppose that you got her 5 Jun posting from the 5 Jun GL? Which page was it, because it seems I do not have it? :(

    Would you also perhaps know Princess Maud's Pennant, and maybe her serial for D Day, although I suspect the all Western Task Force LSI did not have one?

    Next I'll have to schedule a trip to Chatham to see the WSS photo collection...
  10. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Michel,
    It was on page 54 of the Green List.

    When I get a chance I will have a look and see if I have anything on the numbers/codes for Princess Maud

    Hope you get to Chatham to visit the archive. The dockyard is well worth a visit and the last time I went there was a large selection of landing craft models from the IWM on display in No. 1 Smithery with more in the reserve collection.


  11. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Michel and Danny,

    The merchant LSIs didn't have pennant numbers as such. The Empire class has a single letter on the funnel so:

    LSI(L) SS Empire Anvil A
    LSI(L) SS Empire Gauntlet G
    LSI(L) SS Empire Javelin J
    LSI(L) SS Empire Lance L
    LSI(L) SS Empire Spearhead S

    presumably to help the returning LCAs work out which was their mother ship. Could have been confusion with the Cutlass and the Crossbow, for example. The Broadsword and the Battleaxe were in the same assault convoy, maybe they had an extra letter?

  12. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hello Roy,
    Thanks for that information. I had only seen a couple of those funnel markings in photos.

    Yes you are right about them being used to identify the ships to the returning LCA. Also used to identify them to landing craft being used in the Ferry Service on the far shore.

    I have just had a quick look at a few photos and some of the other LSI have the markings on the bow and stern. The letters are on a dark coloured square. Really need to look at photos of all the LSI for the position of the letters and if all of them used the letters.

    “LC - Llangibby Castle
    “DW” - Duke of Wellington
    “SH” - St Hellier
    “DA” - Duke of Argyll

    I have seen a set of instructions about painting the letters on the LSI but cannot locate it at the moment.

    From memory it also said that they were to paint a vertical line on the LSI hull where the landing craft in the Ferry Service could pick troops up from when coming alongside.


  13. Thanks Roy & Danny,

    This adds to what I had so far, all from photographs, except I have Empire Arquebus with the 'A' on the funnel, not Empire Anvil:
    (a blank in the following table does not necessarily mean that no marking existed)

    Code seen on (n=craft number in LSI)
    Type Prefix Name Pennant Hull Craft Funnel
    LSI(H) SS Amsterdam AMn
    LSI(H) SS Ben My Chree BMn
    LSI(L) SS Clan Lamont 4.420 CL
    LSI(H) HMS Duke of Wellington 4.400 DW
    LSI(L) SS Empire Arquebus F 170 EA-n A
    LSI(L) SS Empire Battleaxe F 161 AX AX
    LSI(L) SS Empire Broadsword F 163 BD BD
    LSI(L) SS Empire Crossbow F 183 EC C
    LSI(L) SS Empire Cutlass F 162 CS
    LSI(L) SS Empire Halberd F 160 EH H
    LSI(L) SS Empire Lance L
    LSI(L) SS Empire Mace F 171 EM M
    LSI(L) SS Empire Rapier ER R
    LSI(L) SS Empire Spearhead F 172 S
    LSI(L) HMS Glenearn 4.250 GN GN
    LSI(H) SS Isle of Thanet IT
    LSI(H) SS Lady of Mann LM
    LSI(L) SS Llangibby Castle LC LC or none
    LSI(H) SS Mecklenburg L 4.127 MK
    LSI(L) SS Monowai F 59 MW
    LSI(S) HMS Prince Baudoin 4.88 PBn
    LSI(S) HMS Prince Charles 4.120 PCn
    LSI(M) HMCS Prince David F 89 PD PD
    LSI(M) HMCS Prince Henry F 70 PH PH
    LSI(S) HMS Prince Leopold 4.251 PLn
    LSI(H) SS Princess Maud PM
    LSI(M) HMS Queen Emma 4.180 QE
    LSI(H) HMS Royal Ulsterman F 63 RU
    LSI(H) HMS Ulster Monarch F 69 UM

    Those for which I had no code at all, except the Pennant Number of some:

    LSI(H) SS Biarritz
    LSI(H) HMS Brigadier
    LSI(H) SS Canterbury
    LSI(H) SS Duke of Argyll
    LSI(L) SS Empire Anvil F 184 Diamond or none
    LSI(L) SS Empire Gauntlet F 123
    LSI(L) SS Empire Javelin Diamond
    LSI(L) HMS Glengyle 4.196
    LSI(L) HMS Glenroy 4.256
    LSI(H) HMS Invicta 4.283
    LSI(H) SS Isle of Guernsey
    LSI(H) SS Laird's Isle
    LSI(H) SS Maid of Orleans
    LSI(L) MV Pampas 4.422
    LSI(H) SS Princess Margaret
    LSI(S) HMS Prins Albert 4.35
    LSI(S) HMS Prinses Astrid 4.226
    LSI(S) HMS Prinses J. Charlotte 4.238
    LSI(H) HMS St. Helier 4.255
    LSI(H) SS Victoria

    As far as I can judge from the period of the photographs where these codes are present or not, they were applied only shortly before D Day.

    We may perhaps derive a kind of rule for the Empire Class LSI: they would have their initial letter marked on the funnel, and their craft the same initial with the letter 'E' for 'Empire' before it (e.g. 'C' on the funnel for Empire Crossbow and 'EC' for her craft), whereas the other Empire Class LSI with the same initial would have the first and last letter of their name painted in large white letters on the hull side, roughly at the centre, and the same code on the LCA (e.g. 'CS' for Empire Cutlass).
    Empire Battelaxe & Empire Broadsword look like an exception to this home-made rule, since both used the second type of coding (with a variant for Battleaxe): they used 'AX' and 'BD' respectively, both on the hull and on their craft. Perhaps there was yet a third Empire LSI starting with 'B' then?

    LSI do seem to have had some kind of identification number taking the form of either "F XX(X)" or "4.XX(X)" (or perhaps "L 4XX(X)"), although "Pennant Number" is perhaps not a totally correct designation for such ID?

  14. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Thanks Danny and Michel,

    We seem to be getting somewhere. I see that Empire Halberd and Empire Lance (and probably others) have a black triangle on the hull forward. I don't think there was a third 'B' in the Empire Class.

    Could the pennant numbers have bee acquired when these ships were transferred to the RN after June 1944?

    I have now remembered that Empire Ships by Mitchell and Sawyer show the pennants, for example:

    He has Empire Battleaxe became HMS Donovan (RN (F161)) etc. I can do a full list if of interest.

  15. You're right, Empire Arquebus and Empire Crossbow also had the dark triangle.
    I believe the dark triangle was limited to the LSI for GOLD, just like LST for Gold had their hull number inside a dark triangle. I thought that perhaps the colour of the triangle might have been (dark) Blue, which was the code colour for GOLD, but on one colour photo is does look Black.
    Moreover, Empire Rapier had a dark, larger square, not triangle, at that same location...

    Similarly, LSI for JUNO seemed to have had their two-letter code painted in white inside a dark square, which might have been Red, painted on the hull fore and aft.

    I didn't find any geometric sign on LSI for SWORD, but several LCA (from Glenearn and Empire Battleaxe) had the 3 Br Inf Div emblem painted on the sides of the coxwain and Bren gunner's houses.

    It seems that the Pennants starting with '4' were given when they were converted to LSI. See, for SS Mecklenburg:
    "May 1943: Depot Ship for submarine service.
    June 10th 1943: Left Clyde.
    June 17th 1943: Arrived in Portsmouth for further LSI conversion work under pennant L 4.127."

    As regards Pennants in "F", ONI 201-I does list a few of the LSI with this type of Pennant which it calls "Visual Call Sign", still with their D Day LSI name, e.g. Empire Battleaxe F-161, Empire Broadsword F-163, Empire Cutlass F-162, but the copy I've seen was issued December 1944 (see, so you might be correct, although I'm not sure whether Empire Broadsword had already been transferred to the RN when she was sunk on 2 Jul 44.

    The apparent lack of a Pennant Number for Empire Javelin, lost on 28 Dec 44, might come from her not being transferred to the RN by that date.

    And yes, a full list would be nice :)

  16. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member


    Thanks for that.

    Off to give a talk on this subject in an hour or so. Will do the list when I get back.

  17. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    As promised - the order is Mitchell's, which is by Yard Number:
    MOWT Name RN Name Pennant
    Empire Battleaxe Donavon F161
    Empire Cutlass Sansovino F162 Mine damage 21 11 1944 repaired
    Empire Halberd Silvio F160
    Empire Broadsword Mined and sank 2 7 1944
    Empire Lance Sir Hugo ?
    Empire Mace Galtee More F171
    Empire Rapier
    Empire Anvil Rocksand F184
    Empire Javelin Sunk by U-Boat 28 12 1944
    Empire Spearhead
    Empire Arquebus Cicero F170 First to be transferred - end June 1944
    Empire Gauntlet Sefton F123
    Empire Crossbow Sainfoin F183

  18. Thanks Roy!

    Regarding the code used for D Day by the Empire Class LSI, it looks like the three in Force S had the two-letters code on the hull (just like the fourth LSI in Force S, i.e. Glenearn), whereas the others had the single letter on the funnel. I'm not sure what Empire Anvil (Force O) wore though, nor whether Empire Javelin wore anything beside perhaps the Diamond sign.

  19. Spitfires of the Sea

    Spitfires of the Sea Stephen Fisher

    Late to this party, but as I was Googling Princess Maud I came across this thread. Here are a couple of shots of Princess Maud's LCA in Weymouth. I'm not certain of the exact date - one book claims end of May and another says 4/5 June. Based on the weather and the fact stores, not men, are being loaded, I'd probably go for the former.

    1.JPG 2.JPG
  20. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    I would have thought early June. I was near Weymouth for the few days leading up to the landings and would think 2nd / 3rd June would be likely. What I like about these pictures is that many of the troops are coloured, my memory is that all the ones that passed the house in Chickerell were African / Americans. There are a series of colour pictures of troops embarking at Weymouth, but these are all white!
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