~ COMBINED OPERATIONS ~

WW2 land, sea and air forces of the Allied Nations planning, training and operating together as a unified force on amphibious raids and landings against the enemy.

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Please show your appreciation for those who served the Allied cause in WW2 by 'liking' the Combined Ops Facebook page. Many thanks.

NOTICE BOARD (VETERANS)  ~

Scroll down or click on the subjects listed below to find topics of interest and email the persons concerned if you can help. New messages are welcome; just click on the 'Add Message' link to submit your message.

Links to Messages on this Page

Allen, Wally     Bale, Fredrick Henry     Blackburn, Frank - 47 RM Cdo     Callister, John T     Charron, Leopold, Quebec de Regiment.

Chedzey, William Henry     Crane, Major Jack  - COPP1     Deakin, Joseph, No 5 Army Cdo     Doble, Edward     Francis, William Alfred

 Golder, Victor Frederick     Good, Sgt Joseph     Greenland, Alfred     Hawes, Daniel George  - LCT 390     Jacobs, Mne Ronald J

Lankester, Leading Seaman Peter     Lister, Fred - 45 RM Cdo     Morris, Pte William     Orsborne, George Black 'Dod'

Parkinson, Jack  - Coastal Command & Com Ops     Pendleton, Sgt Charles     Pilling, Stan     Rayner, Royal Marine     Rivers-Smith, Stanley

 Spring, Albert Edward     Thomas, George Lesley RM Commando     Turnbull,  Kenneth (Nipper)

Links to other pages of possible interest

Notice Board (Operations & Units)     Notice Board (Other Subjects)     Add Message (by email)

 

Allen - Walter Edward Thomas  

For some years I have been trying to trace what my adored dad did during WWII, he passed in 1993. All He ever said was that he was in Combined Ops, mentioned LCTs, that he was in Suez and Italy, which leads me to conclude that he may have, at least been part of Operation Husky. He point blank refused to talk about it any further. His name was Wally Allen. I would be extremely grateful if anyone remembers him, or has any other information to give me a better appreciation of his experiences.

Many thanks,

Stephanie Allen

Hi Stephanie, A good starting point is to apply for your dad's official service record. Scroll up this page, click on FAQ and then the top link on the page that opens up. Best wishes, Geoff.


Bale - Fredrick Henry JX 514488

My father joined the navy in April 1943 and served at the following Royal Navy establishments; HMS Collingwood (Training),

HMS Victory (Training), HMS Northney, HMS Dartmouth, HMS Westcliff, RN unit Calshot, HMS Westcliff, HMS Sea Serpent, RN unit Calshot, HMS Sea Serpent, LBE 56, HMS Copra, LST 3019, LST 3019, HMS Victory De- mobbed in Class A.

If anyone knew my father I would, of course be delighted to hear from them otherwise any information on any of the above bases would be helpful.

 
Regards
 
Mark Bale

 

Blackburn - Frank 47 RM Commando, PO/X105362

 

My father died when I was 14. His sister recently gave me a letter he wrote while aboard the Empire Arquebus on the 29/12/1944. This kindled an interest in his part in WW2 and as a starting point I sent for his service record. Whilst it doesn't give me much information it did mention 47 Cdo. Any information about Frank Blackburn or what the Empire Arqubus was doing around that time would be very welcome.
 

Many thanks in anticipation
 

Brenda Cogswell nee Blackburn.

 

[47 RM Cdo landed on the extreme western flank of the British sector in Normandy on D-Day taking Port en Bessin on D + 1 in an independent action. After further actions in France and a spell of rest they took part in Operation Infatuate (Walcheren) in November 1944 followed by further service in Holland from January to April 1945.]

 

Callister - John T. (Jackie)

My father was  born in Andreas, Isle of Man. He passed away in 1985. I am in the process of obtaining his official service record but in the meantime the records I hold show that he enlisted at Liverpool on 25/9/39 for the duration. He served with Unit No. 467 Motor Boat Coy R.A.S.C. engaged in Combined Operations. Other entries refer to HMS Quebec, Barge Engineer Group B Class II, Classified driver H?(CI). At some point he successfully completed Commando training and may have been posted to No 1 Commando. He had crossed rifles on his sleeve that showed he was a sniper. He also had a special knife.

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers him or who can add to my understanding of his war service. Thanks for such a great web site.

 Jacqueline Mustill (nee Callister), Orleans, Ontario, Canada.
(4/07)
 

Charron - Leopold, Dieppe Raid

I'm very keen to make contact with anyone who knows of the last resting place of my late grandpapa, Private Leopold Charron who served in the Quebec de Regiment in WW2. A newspaper cutting from the Winnipeg Free Press of Saturday, September 19, 1942, includes the following entry under 'missing' following the Dieppe Raid; 'Charron, Leopold, Pte., D63062, Mrs. Rose Emma Charron 6518A St. Dominique street, Montreal, Que'. As far as I know my late grandpapa lived and died in Montreal and had a brother Lucien. If anyone has any information on his last resting place or living relatives, I would be eternally grateful to hear from them. It would mean so much to me. Please contact me at the email link opposite.

Thank you in anticipation.

Je suis très intéressée de prendre contact avec toute personne qui connaîtrait l'endroit où repose mon grand-père, private Léopold Charron qui a servi dans le régiment de Québec pendant la première guerre mondiale. Un extrait du journal "thé Winnipeg free press" du samedi 19 septembre 1942 inclut ce qui suit sous la rubrique "disparu" suite au raid sur Dieppe: 'Charron, Leopold, Pte., D63062, Mrs. Rose Emma Charron 6518A St. Dominique street, Montreal, Que'. Je crois que mon grand-père a vécu et est décédé à Montréal et qu'il avait un frère Lucien. Je remercie quiconque a des informations sur l'endroit où il repose ou sur tout autre membre de sa famille encore en vie de me contacter. Veuillez utiliser l'adresse email à côté. En vous remerciant chaleureusement à l'avance de votre aide.

Donna Weetch (England)

 

Chedzey - William Henry

I'm looking for information on my grandfather William (Bill) Henry Chedzey, service No. JX214768/CO. I know he was in the RN Commandos and was listed as serving on HMS Quebec and HMS Copra, but little information beyond this. If anyone reading this has any information of possible interest I'd be very grateful if you 'd get in touch,

Many thanks.

Antony Chedzey.
 

Crane - Major Jack – COPP 1

I would like to hear from anyone who served in Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), or from their relatives. My grandfather was Major Jack Crane, Royal Engineers (277770), who was part of the COPP 1 re-commission that served in the Far East (Sri Lanka, Burma, India) from November 1944 to September 1945.

I would especially like to hear from anyone related to the other members of that COPP 1: Lt-Cdr Peter Wild RNVR, Sub-Lt Robin Harbud RNVR, Sub-Lt Michael Pearson RNVR, Sub-Lt David White, Sergeant E Cook, Petty Officer EA Fish, Corporal Richey SBS, Sapper Hawkin RE, Leading Seaman Stewart, Petty Officer A Briggs (P/JX 144952), Leading Stores Assistant FI Wilkins (P/MX 59960), Lance Corporal RNW Kedge RE (1949872), Able Seaman A Prior (P/JX 19124).

My grandfather also did a few operations in Burma working within the COPP 4 re-commission led by Lieutenant DH Mackay.

I would also be interested to hear from anyone who would have been completing their commando training at around the same time as my grandfather (around June 1944 to October 1944).

With many thanks in advance.

Rob Crane
(2010)
 

Deakin - Joseph, No 5 Army Commando

I'm looking for a Joseph Deakin of No 5 Army Commando. Black Watch training in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1943. Likely in unit boxing team. Will now be in mid 90s. Any information will be gratefully received. Many thanks. John Holmberg.
 

Doble - Edward, Welch Regiment

I'm trying to find ANY information on my grandfathers army records from anyone who knew him. In 1982, he died, aged 61, when I was 16. I know that my grampa was in Burma and in 1943 was second lieutenant, I think maybe promoted Captain. He was with the Welch regiment and his army number was 3960505. Any information would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks.

Frances
 

Francis - William Alfred

My father served on landing craft at Juno Beach either LCT 1047 or 2047, most likely the latter. He and Mum emigrated here to Western Australia with my sister and I in 1954. He was a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. I would love to hear from anyone who may have any recollection of my father or the craft he served on. He passed away on 18th April, 2012 aged 90. I have some black and white photos of his time in the navy, and if anyone is interested would be happy to share them. There are no names on the back of any of them. Cheers, 

Gillian Marshall.

 

Golder - Victor Frederick ex RN, Service Number was C/JX 548491

Rank of AB LC/SIG. I’ve just made a donation to the Combined Ops Memorial Fund, having been prompted by a chance conversation with my Father about his National Service training.

Dad is Victor Frederick Golder ex RN now aged 83yrs. His Service Number was C/JX 548491 and held the rank of AB LC/SIG.  He has some memories of his time at HMS BRONTOSAURUS and remembered that it was a Combined Ops training establishment, but didn’t recall that it was at Castle Toward.  He was there for signals training. He spent his War Service drafted to minesweepers and LCTs and was one of many that embarked troops who landed on D-Day beaches.

 I have found your web-site exceptionally useful and informative, not least of all because I am preparing for Dad a summary account of his Service life, brief though it was (he volunteered at age 17 in 1943 and was demobbed in late ’46).  When I have tidied up a few of the photos that I have of Dad and his mates on board LCTs, I will pass them across in case they stimulate memories in others.  In the family he was known as Joff, maybe that was carried into the Service.  Do you have an appropriate tag within the website to post these (all too brief) details of my Dad at Castle Toward.  I would love to find out if there is anyone that remembers him.

 Thanks in anticipation. Stay safe,

Regards,

Steve.
 

Good - Sergeant Joseph

I am trying to establish the accuracy or otherwise of family accounts of the war service of a relative.

Joseph Good was, I believe, a sergeant with Combined Ops (the description I've been given of his badge indicates this). He was involved with training US Rangers in cliff climbing at Bideford in Devon in preparation for D-Day. He was given permission by his CO Major King Farlow (?) to accompany the Rangers to Normandy.

He was attached to Lt Col James Earl Rudder's group (2nd Ranger Bn, I think) for the assault on Pointe du Hoc. Sgt Good survived the war and got the Military Medal at some point.

On an American website relating to the assault it seems that a Col. Travis Trevor, a British Commando who assisted with training, also went on the assault with Rudder's group. It may be that Sgt Good served under Col. Trevor.

If anyone can throw any light on this I'd be very grateful.

Alan Pritchard MPhil FCLIP MBCS
 

Greenland - Alfred Henry

I am trying to find out more about my father Alfred Henry Greenland. He joined the Royal Navy on 31/3/1942 at  HMS Duke, Malvern, a RN Training Establishment. He was a Stoker with service number CKX152998. During the D day operation, I understand my dad assisted American troops to their landing beaches. Unfortunately his mother ship was sunk but my dad was on a landing craft and survived. He left the RN on 18/8/1944 to join the Welch Regiment and in December 1944 he joined No 1 Para  and served until 29/3/1947 followed by the  TA reserves. Sadly, my Dad died in 1993 and never really discussed his time during the war. I hold his medals and some history from the Ministry of Defence.

I know this is a very difficult request but any information regarding my dad’s war service, particularly from June 44 to September 44, when I understand him to be involved in the invasion of France.

His address at that time was 3 Kellet Road, Carnforth, Lancashire. His older brother Robert had already joined the Navy and he followed him.

Thank you

Kind regards

Lorna Greenland Manlove
 

Hawes - Daniel George, LCT 390

I am trying to find out as much as I can about my Brother-in-Law Daniel George Hawes ( JX315161 ) who died on LCT390 on 8th June 1944. I have obtained his Service History as follows:

HMS Dundonald  ( Ordinary Seaman ) from 7th to 31st May 1942
HMS Dinosaur  ( Ordinary Seaman ) from 1st to 8th June 1942
HMS Dundonald  ( Ordinary Seaman ) from 9th to 15th June 1942
TLC 167  ( Ordinary Seaman ) from 16th June to 1st July 1942
HMS Dinosaur ( Ordinary Seaman ) from 2nd to 13th July 1942
Passage  ( Ordinary Seaman )  14th July 1942
HMS Paragon  ( Ordinary Seaman) from 15th to 19th July 1942
HMS Dinosaur  (Ordinary Seaman ) from 20th July to 8th August 1942
HMS Dinosaur  ( Able Seaman ) from 9th August to 30th September 1942
HMS Dinosaur - LG362 6th Flotilla  ( Able Seaman ) from 1st October to 5th November 1942
Passage  ( Able Seaman) 6th November 1942
HMS Paragon  ( Able Seaman ) from 7th to 12th November 1942
HMS Dinosaur - LCT576 23rd Flotilla  ( Able Seaman ) from 13th November to 31st December 1942
LCT576  ( Able Seaman) from 1st January  to 31st March 1943
HMS DInosaur  ( Able Seaman) from 1st April to 10th April 1943
HMS Exmouth   ( Able Seaman)  From 11th to 28th April 1943
Passage  ( Able Seaman ) 29th April to 30th April 1943
HMS Brontosaurus  ( Able Seaman ) from 1st May to 14th May 1943
HMS Brontosaurus  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman )  from 15th to 16th May 1943
HMS Dundonald  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from 17th to 19th May 1943
HMS Dinosaur  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from 20th to 31st May 1943
HMS Dundonald  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) 1st June
HMS Dinosaur  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from 2nd to 30th June 1943
HMS Copra  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) 1st July 1943 to 31st January 1944
LCT723  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from1st February to 31st March 1944
HMS Copra  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from 1st April to Date which was not recorded
LCT390  ( Temporary Acting Leading Seaman ) from Date which was not recorded until Death on 8th June 1944
 
I would like to find out if anyone reading knew him and could tell me anything about him and his life in the Navy and if at all possible has anyone got a photograph of him as his Sister was a baby in Arms at his death and has never seen one.
 
Many Thanks,

Roger Tarry.
 

Jacobs - Marine Ronald John

I would be very interested in information about my father or the units he served in and particularly the Commando unit he served in or was attached to. What I know is that on joining the Royal Marines in April 1943 he was at Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth followed by the HBL RM School of Signaling in Nov 1943. In the same month he was attached to Combined Operations until April 1946 - see HMS Copra.

He was in Signals (communications) and was at Westcliff (which I believe was HMS Westcliff II, a Combined Operations holding base for RM landing craft personnel) prior to D-Day and on June 5 he was at Hayling Island. On D-Day his craft headed for Sword Beach (although 651 flotilla – which my father was part of – headed for Juno beach), so I am unsure about this.

A fortnight after D-Day he embarked on a troop carrier for Bombay, India. From there he sailed to Columbo in Ceylon (where he loaded gear) and then onto Port Dickson and Rangoon in Malaya. Other ports of call en-route were Mandapam at the tip of India, and Trincomalee (3-4 days) in Ceylon. Some of the landing craft carriers, among others, he was on included Glenroy, Glen Avon, Silvio (Sylvio).

While in the Far East, he was involved in the assaults on Ramree Island, Akyab Island and the Arakan. I understand that he was put ashore for night patrols under the cover of darkness and left again
under the cover of darkness. Whether these were for reconnaissance missions or raiding parties I do not know.

At the end of the war, he looked after Japanese POWs. He returned from Singapore to the UK in January/February 1946 aboard the Queen Emma.

Thank you in anticipation.

Alan Jacobs
 

Lankester - Leading Seaman Peter

I was a Leading Seaman Cox'n in LCM Flotilla 143/665 which embarked on three Liberty Ships from Liverpool in (I think) April 1943 for North Africa. My passage was on the SS  Ocean Wanderer. We operated out of  Didjeli  and  Messina aboard HMS Hamilcar and carried out operations around Sicily, Italy and the South of France. I am now ninety years of age and would like to hear from anyone who participated in these operations or has a particular interest in them.

Peter Lankester
 

Lister - Fred, 45 Royal Marine Commando

I'm seeking information on my father and the part he played with 45 Royal  Marine Commando. I only have limited knowledge but believe he was with A Troop. He was from Burnley, Lancashire. I know he landed on Sword Beach on D-Day but all I have is a small photograph which shows only a small portion of his unit/regiment (as the photo has been torn in half) taken prior to June 6th and on the reverse is printed the name of the photographer and "Shanklin" which I believe is on the Isle Of Wight.

On this website is a nice page entitled 45 Royal Marine Commando WW2  and in the picture on the right is a group from A Troop taken prior to embarkation in Southampton, with Lance Corporal H E Harden, VC, in the right foreground. What interests me about this picture is that some of the men are on the photograph I have, which means they must have known my father and maybe he is on there in the background somewhere. My dad is on the front row of my photo and was a L/Cpl at the time. I don't know much else really but my sister thinks my dad may have been a Medic. We do know he ended up in hospital with shrapnel wounds and finished his service as a sergeant.

If anyone could help me with further information or point me in the right direction I would be entirely grateful. I'd like to trace his steps during 44/45 as well as put a few names to the photo I have.

Many Thanks,

John Lister, Burnley.
 

Morris - Pte William, 2756712

According to my father's MM citation he was a Private in the Black Watch (parachutist) attached to C Battalion, Layforce, then L Detachment. His Military Medal (MM) was awarded for escape/evasions and Special Operations while working with Partisans in Italy. He is on the right of the photo. I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who has any information about my father and/or his war service. He was taken prisoner in Nov 1941.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Miv Riley (06/09)
 

Parkinson - Jack, Coastal Command & Combined Operations

I wonder if anyone has information about my father, Jack Parkinson, who joined the RAF at the start of WW2. He was in Coastal Command where he had an accident which resulted in facial burns. After this, he joined Combined Operations. He was very good at radio and technical stuff and some of his closest friends were Canadians. He spent time in Africa, Italy, Egypt and Sicily. He didn't speak about his experiences and although my uncle told me some things, I would really like to know more.  He was also a brilliant artist. He died in 1993.

Maureen Broadhead
 

Pilling - Stan RNVR

I'm trying to find out as much as possible about my grandfather Stan Pilling. Sadly, Stan died in early 1960s before I was born, but I have recently started to piece together his experiences in the royal Navy / Combined Ops, from family memories, and various archive sources. He volunteered in 1940 and began training with the Combined Ops Royal Navy crews in 1941. I know that he saw action at Dieppe aboard LCT121(5) and at White Queen SWORD Beach as coxswain on LCT859. Both craft were beached and disabled during the battles.

LCT121(5) being one of the famous craft photographed blazing on the beach after the battle. He was fortunate enough to survive unwounded, managing to make a desperate dash for one of the last LCAs sent to withdraw troops from those terrible beaches. I have found this much out about his crew mates at Dieppe:

BROOKES-HILL, Cyril, RNVR (Skipper) (wounded and taken prisoner, but not sure where he was held. Released Apr/May 1945)
ROGERSON, James E, Sub Lieutenant RNVR (No other info thus far)
HEAMES, Harry, Able Seaman, C/JX 300067 (Likely Coxswain – named as Haines in the memoirs of a surviving birth attendant on board LCT121 at Dieppe)
PILLING, Stanley, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX256386 (DOB 12/03/1912, age 30, from Manchester, and working the ramps at Dieppe)
CALLOWAY, Alfred W, P/SR 244 (listed as CALLAWAY in the POW records. He we captured and was held until 1945 at Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, Poland)
ANDERSON, James W M, Motor Mechanic, P/MX 79193, (aged 21 - KIA. SON OF GEORGE AND DAISY ANDERSON, OF ALDWICK, SUSSEX)
MALIN, Ronald R, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 324558 (aged 19 - KIA. SON OF CHARLES RICHARD AND ROSE ELSIE MALIN, OF PLUMSTEAD, LONDON)
MOORE, Albert G, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 255320 (aged 27 - KIA. Son of Harry and Kathleen Moore, Husband of Matilda Moore, of Ashtead, Surrey)
ADAMS, John, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 357540 (aged ? - KIA)
PITT, Frank W, Ordinary Signalman, P/JX 322618 (aged 19- KIA)
TAYLOR, David, Able Seaman, P/JX 295532 (aged ? - KIA)
TAYLOR, Ronald F, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 247223 (aged 31 - KIA - SON OF ASHTON AND ELLA TAYLOR, OF LONGSIGHT, MANCHESTER)

I know that the Flight Commander was also on board LCT121 with his steward:

BROWNELL, Harry P, Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander, RANVR, killed
PORTER, Kenneth C, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 243132 (He we captured and was held until 1945 at Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, Poland).

Thus, in my research so far, of the known 14 naval personnel on board LCT121 - 8 were killed, 3 were known to be wounded and captured, and one (my Granddad) got back to England. What happened to Heames (Haines?) and Rogerson I haven't been able to find any specific information.

As far as LCT859 and Stan during the D-Day landings at SWORD (Queen White beach is concerned I know that Stan was the coxswain and that 859 was transporting the 9th (Irish) Field Battery which was part of 7th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. They landed and unloaded their troops and vehicles okay but hit a mine backing off. At which point my grandfather's best friend (Robert Stafford) was killed. The only two crew members I have been able to confirm thus far are:

BROWN, William Chalmers, Temporary Lieutenant R.N.V.R (skipper)
STAFFORD, Robert S, Petty Officer Motor Mechanic, C/MX 116403, DOW

If anyone remembers any of the crewmen mentioned above, or knows of the other names missing from LCT859, or has any information about either craft - perhaps you were transported on them during Operation Jubilee or Neptune, or one of the Dieppe training runs such as Yukon I and II - I would love to hear from you. Many thanks.

Phil  

 

Orsborne - George Black "Dod"

I´m a Finnish journalist undertaking research into the war service of George Black 'Dod' Orsborne and I'd be very interested to receive  any information about him or sources of information about him other than his own books. Orsborne claims to have served in Combined Operations under Lord Mountbatten on the Isle of Wight during WW2. He wrote several books in the 1940/50s of his life at sea and in the war, the best-known of which is 'Master of the Girl Pat' published in 1948.

In his books Orsborne says that in 1942 he was commissioned as a Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) Officer in a Special Operations Unit. As such he participated in a number of operations including Dieppe, Tobruk, the invasion of Sicily and Naples. On the Isle of Wight he trained Commandos mostly on operating motor boats that were used in operations. He was also a Beach-master on D-Day at Arromanches in the 37th Marine Commando Group comprising both British and American soldiers. I have not been able to find this unit from the D-Day histories that I have read. 
 

His war records confirm that from Aug 1944 to Oct 1944 he attended or was assigned to HMS Manatee, a landing craft base at Yarmouth on Isle of Wight and from Feb 1945 to April 1946 he attended or was assigned to HMS Braganza, a RN base in Bombay, India.

In the Far East War Theatre he fought against the Japanese and was held as a prisoner of war at a Japanese camp. In the final days of the war he was shot in the arms while attempting to escape. His war service record seems to verify this as he was hospitalized and his medical report on discharge from service, confirms the injuries he sustained. 

Orsborne was born in Buckie, Scotland on July 11, 1903 and died December 22, 1957 in Belle-Isle, France.

I´d be sincerely thankful of any information about Orsborne´s WW2 service no matter how small. Many thanks in anticipation.

Risto Rasilainen

Vantaa
Finland
 

Pendleton - Sergeant Charles

Liverpool Scottish, with Layforce on Crete and the operation on Bardia. He is 3rd from the right in this photo of his commando unit taken I believe in front of St Paul's in London. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knew him or recognises anyone in the photo. Many thanks. Neil Pendleton.
 

Rayner - Royal Marine

Please can someone help me? I am trying to link Royal Marine Rayner CH/X 104625, my grandfather, with the Hull/Grimsby area. Sadly, he was killed while serving as a Royal Marine Commando in Sicily in 1943. My dad, who has passed away, never knew his father. My grandmother lived in Hull and Royal Marine Rayner came from London. They met when he was on leave from training at HMS Beaver. If anyone can help I would be very grateful.

Yours, Mr R Atkinson.

 

Rivers-Smith - Lt. Cdr. Stanley Gordon RN

 

My father died in 1946 and, sadly, I do not remember him. I'm now interested to find out about his wartime service and would be very grateful to hear from anyone with information likely to be of interest. What I do know is that he was mentioned in despatches for his role in planning Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. He had been moved from active service due to ill health. 

 

Dad also commissioned the J class destroyer HMS Jackal from John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde and was her First Officer during the Norwegian campaign. He was briefly in command when his CO was not available.

 

Possibly the high point of his career was as an ADC in the household of Lord Tweedsmuir’s (John Buchan, the Scottish author and historian) while JB was Governor General of Canada. 

 

I'm particularly interested in any information about his role in Operation Husky and how to obtain a copy of his 'Mentioned in Dispatches' citation. I would be proud to have a copy of it. 

 

Many thanks in anticipation.

 

Sandra Smith

nee Rivers-Smith

 

Spring - Albert Edward

My late father, Albert Edward Spring, was in 11 (Scottish) Commando and did his training on the Isle of Arran. He took part in the Litani River raid and spoke of people such as Colonel Pedder, Paddy Mayne, Colonel Laycock, David Stirling and Geoffrey Keyes. He was in the group sent to capture Rommel but did not get ashore.

As we know it he went on to serve with, or in, the Long Range Desert Group again where he knew Paddy Mayne. He then became a founding member of the 10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment and served in Egypt, Italy and at Arnhem after which he served in the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment. I think he was demobbed in 1946.

He was very modest saying that he was just an ordinary man doing his best but, given the company he kept, we think there maybe was a bit more to it. My three brothers and I are very proud of him but it is so difficult to find out much about our father and I wonder if you, or any of your visitors to the Combined Ops website, have come across him as we would love to know more.

I will be visiting the Isle of Arran in September to try and find out more about the Commandos and their time there and maybe find a mention of my Dad. We understand he was promoted to Corporal on Arran by Colonel Pedder for killing 6 rabbits one after another with his stick when they were out shooting. Father was real country boy who had his own ferret when he was 7 and he was literally poacher turned gamekeeper having written three books on the latter!

With Kindest Regards

Phil Spring

 

Thomas - George Lesley RM Commando

I am trying to find anyone who knew my uncle, George Lesley Thomas ( known as Lesley ), who was a British marine commando. He was 18 when he landed on Juno Beach in a tank and had his 19th birthday a few days later.  He died in 2009.  I do have a few photographs. After D Day he was sent to India, possibly near Calcutta. He did not talk about the war until just a couple of years before he died. I would like to trace his activities and time in the war to better understand what shaped his life and ideals.

Thank you,

Jean Thomas

[His closest kin can apply for his official service record via the Veterans UK website at http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html.]

 

Turnbull - Kenneth (Nipper), KX161920

He served in the RN from 1942 to 1946. We're keen to learn more about my father's wartime service and hope that someone reading this may be able to fill in some of the blanks in our knowledge.

We know, from his service record that he was ‘lent’ to: 5/6 Flotilla from 29/11/43 - 30/11/43; 6 LBV Flotilla at Leith, Scotland from 01/12/43 - 15/12/43; St Semans from 16/12/43 - 31/12/43 (What is this?); 6 LBV Flotilla 01/02/44 - 29/02/44; HMS Dragonfly from 01/03/44 - 07/11/44 after which he was sent to India with Naval Party 2400 where he served in India and Singapore until 1946.

I would like to know if he was involved in the Normandy landings and, if so, what did he do? I've seen reference, on this website, to a 'Stoker Turnbull' serving on HM LCT 861. Could this be him? We know he was at Dragonfly, which, at various times, was a Combined Operations "Suspense" Base on Hayling Island, a Mobile Landing Craft Advanced Base (MOLCAB) assembly point and a Landing Barge Base including NP 2400  and 2401 in 1945. Basically, we know he was on landing craft but we don’t know where he was deployed. Please take a look at the photo and if you recognise him, or know anything about him, please get in touch. Many thanks.

 

Bill Turnbull

Please let us know if any of the email links above fail to work.

 

News & Information

 

Memorial Maintenance

We have a small band of volunteers who take turns to visit the memorial each month, particularly during the growing season, to undertake routine maintenance such as weeding keeping the stones and slabs clear of bird dropping, lichen etc. and reporting on any issues. If you live near the National Memorial Arboretum and would like to find out more, please contact us.

Remember a Veteran

You can pay a personal tribute to veterans who served in, or alongside, the Combined Operations Command in WW2 by adding their details and optional photo to our Roll of Honour and They Also Served pages on this website.

Read the Combined Operations prayer.

Events and Places to Visit

To organisers: Reach the people who will be interested to know about your Combined Operations or war related event by adding it to our  webpage free of charge.

To everyone else: Visit our webpage for information on events and places to visit. If you know of an event or place of interest, that is not listed, please let us know.

To notify an event or place of interest, click here.

To visit the webpage click here.

Facebook

Why not join the thousands who visit our Facebook page about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans.

See the 'slide shows' of the dedication ceremony and the construction of the memorial plus the 'On this day in 194?' feature where major Combined Ops events are highlighted on their anniversary dates with links to additional information.

You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Find Books of Interest 

Search for Books direct from our Books page. Don't have the name of a book in mind? Just type in a keyword to get a list of possibilities... and if you want to purchase you can do so on line through the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). 5% commission goes into the memorial fund.

WW2 Combined Operations Handbook

This handbook was prepared for Combined Operations in the Far East. It illustrates the depth and complexity of the planning process necessary to ensure that the 3 services worked together as a unified force.

Restoration of Geoffrey Appleyard's  Memorial 

Click on the image if you'd like to contribute to the improvement of the memorial to Geoffrey Appleyard, DSO, MC and Bar, through the purchase of a limited edition print of a book about him. Geoffrey achieved so much in service with No 7 Commando, No 62 Commando, the Small Scale Raiding Force and the Second SAS Regiment. He was posted Missing in Action in July 1943, aged 26.

www.bramleywarmemorial.com/major-geoffrey-appleyard-book-now-available-for-purchase/

The Gazelle Helicopter Squadron Display Team

The Gazelle Squadron is a unique team of ex-British Military Gazelle helicopters in their original military colours and with their original military registrations. The core team includes four Gazelles, one from each service; The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army Air Corps and The Royal Air Force. A fifth Gazelle in Royal Marines colours will provide intimate support for the team. Their crest includes the Combined Operations badge. The last, and possibly, only time the badge was seen on an aircraft was in the early mid 40s. A photo of the Hurricane concerned is included in the 516 Squadron webpage.

Legasee Film Archive

As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for veterans from any conflict who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity. Films are now available on line. www.legasee.org.uk

New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to the subject.

About Us?

Background to the website and memorial project, and a look to the future; plus other small print stuff and website accounts etc. Click here for information.

 

Print too small or large?

Easy solution when browsing. I) PC. To increase hold down Ctrl and shift and press +. To decrease hold down Ctrl and press -. 2) MAC. To increase Command + and to decrease Command -.

 

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