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Notice Board - Combined Operations (General)

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

Notice Board (Veterans)     Notice Board (Operations & Units)     Add Message (by e-mail)

 Links to Selected Topics

PLUTO - Bernard J Ellis

US Combined Special Operations Patch

Memorial to Op Archery on Maaloy

Fairlie House, Ayrshire

HMS Hilary

HMS Glenearn

Preserved WW2 Landing Craft

PLUTO's Agricultural Tractors

 Dutch/English Translation

Mystery WW2 Vessel

HMS Misoa Badge

Captain Adam Leask, Northern Quebec

Thames River Cruiser FRAMAR

Dutch 'Observer Corp' Equipment

RM Commando Vehicles

Photos of Cloth Badges on Uniforms

Silver Combined Operations Badge

Royal Naval Commando Uniforms

PLUTO - Greatstone, Kent


 HMS Brontosaurus HMS King Alfred

HMS Dorlin - Glenborrodale Castle

HMS Tuna

PLUTO & Mulberry

Mulberry Harbour UK  Construction Sites

US Engineers at Fairfields, Govan, Glasgow 1944

Newhaven Landing Craft

Norfolk House- COHQ?

RN Armband



Combined Operations HelmetCombined Operations Helmet. A friend, attending a house clearance in Leicester, found what I believe to be quite the find - a joint operations British camo helmet ? I would love some info on it if anyone can help.


Dean Clements


Researching My Grandfather's War Service. We have recently obtained my Grandfather's RN records, which showed he joined the RN pre war as an Ordinary Seaman, later training as an ERM. His service record then shows he served with Combined Operations as references to HMS COPRA in his service record attest. He attended a number of Landing Craft bases during this period most likely for training purposes. Given he was an ERM, I assume he was involved with landing craft maintenance. Prior to D Day, he was stationed at a shore based establishment with the rank of 5th Class (leading Hand) and then, during the period of D Day, his record shows he was promoted to 4th Class (PO). Can anyone give me information as to how I might find out more about what he may have been doing. 

Many Thanks,

Stuart Ramsden

Dieppe Raid Sketches by B J Mullen ( 2 of 4 known to exist)

A friend approached me recently with 4 framed drawings (attached) by B J Mullen of the Dieppe raid that took place 19 August 1942. 

Does anybody have any information on the whereabouts of the originals.
I think they're prints but any forthcoming information would be appreciated. 
Thank you for your time.
Kind regards 
Richard Burgess 
Tel 07931 969564

HMS Bulolo

Hello...my grandfather, Joseph French, served aboard HMS Bulolo during WW2 and I have recently inherited his photo album of wartime photographs with, amongst others, pictures of crewmates. If anyone is interested, please get in touch.


PLUTO - Bernard J Ellis

Dear Geoff,

I wanted to thank you for posting my call for material on the Combined Operations website, it has resulted in many descendants of engineers and military personnel who worked on both PLUTO and Mulberry getting in touch with me. 

My PhD has one year left to run and I was hoping that I might be able to send you another post for the Combined Operations site. It is in regards to PLUTO. I have been trying to track down the descendants of the three principle PLUTO engineers and I have found the families of two. The one which is missing is that of Bernard J Ellis. I was hoping that a post on the Combined Ops website might result in a connection being made with the descendants of Ellis.

Very best wishes and stay safe,


Email: jacob.tl@aol.co.uk

Contact No: 07796284894

Jacob Thomas-Llewellyn

RN Armband.

Does anyone know on what occasions this armband was worn and what it signified. I found it in my late fatherís effects. He was RN Combined Ops and served as crew on LCAs. 

Thanks in anticipation.

Hugh Warner.

Norfolk House - COHQ?

Does anyone know the status of Norfolk House within Combined Ops? I know Combined Ops moved out of the Admiralty to Richmond Terrace and have seen that described as COHQ. But I've also seen Norfolk House (in St James's Square) described as COHQ -- in captions to a set of photos held by the IWM.

I believe Norfolk House was used by various overseas armies (eg Canadians) and was also the base of COSSAC, planning Operation Overlord etc, before it morphed into SHAEF and relocated to Bushy Park in Kingston.

After his Normandy beach reconnaissance missions, COPP's Logan Scott-Howden reportedly went to Norfolk House to brief the generals including Omar Bradley, but then if that was where they were planning Overlord that would make sense and might not signify any connection with Combined Ops. And possibly those IWM photo captions, if they replicate the original captions, were to help hide Norfolk House's planning role?

Has anyone seen any info suggesting that Norfolk House was indeed 'COHQ', perhaps as an overflow of Richmond Terrace? 'Contact Us' via the page banner link above.

Thank you.

Rob Crane

Newhaven Landing Craft.

Please can anyone tell me what Landing Craft Flotillas sailed from Newhaven, with what type of craft and what craft could operate from Newhaven Hard?

Any help appreciated.

Bill Ashby.

US Engineers at Fairfields, Govan, Glasgow 1944

I'm a volunteer at Fairfields Heritage Centre in Govan, Glasgow. Any information on my appeal below and any related material will be greatly appreciated and included in our material in the heritage centre.

I'm following up a reference to four landing craft being constructed at Fairfields West Yard in Govan, Glasgow in 1944 by US personnel, possibly
United States Army Corps of Engineers. I believe this may be related to an overspill from the Roseneath Base due to additional capacity being needed in the run up to D-Day. (Some construction/repair work was apparently carried out at the Castle Shipyard in Port Glasgow due to extra capacity being needed from Roseneath). Any information on such landing craft construction at Fairfields in 1944, details of the craft, personnel and photographs will be hard to find after the passage of 75 years but not impossible!

I understand that landing craft may have been constructed in the UK from scratch or may have involved joining together pre-assembled units that had been built and shipped over from shipyards in the US. I've been in touch with USACE archives in the US but there were no obvious links to suitable material in their archives which are quite vast.

Many thanks in advance for any information received.

Best wishes

Alastair Hart

Mulberry Harbour Construction Yards.

I am trying to find some information about the building/construction companies involved with the Mulberry harbours. I believe that 300 companies were involved. I am particularly interested in E H Burgess Ltd who may have been one of them. It is a long time ago and so much information has been lost. Can anyone help please?

Peter Moore

Silver Combined Ops Badge

This badge was purchased at a military fair in Belfast but its provenance before that is unknown as is its purpose. It may have been a sweetheart broach or pendant from around 1943, which is supported by wear marks of a neck chain or cord. Is it unique or are there other examples? A slightly amended version will repose in the Commando museum in the Spean Bridge Hotel, not far from the famous Commando Memorial. If you have any thoughts, please get in touch. [Link in page banner.]

Operation OVERLORD - PLUTO Pipelines & Mulberry Harbours

I am a PhD student currently undertaking my doctoral research with the University of Reading at the Department of History. My project focuses on the design and manufacture of the Mulberry Harbours and the Pipeline Under The Ocean (PLUTO). This is an appeal for any material including letters, company papers, blueprints, photos, diaries etc. relating to these projects. Of particular interest are any records relating to the work of the military planning department Transportation 5 (TN5) and the principle planning staff responsible for PLUTO. Additionally, any material pertaining to the relationship between the military and the political establishment during the preparation for Operation OVERLORD would be gratefully received.  I can be contacted at the following:

Email: jacob.tl@aol.co.uk

Contact No: 07796284894

Jacob Thomas-Llewellyn

HMS Tuna.

This is the footplate from HMS Tuna. It is 12 x 24inch and made of solid brass 1/2ins thick. I've been unable to find out where it was placed on the submarine but suspect it may have been on the outside the conning tower or at the bottom. I'm writing in the hope that a visitor to your site may be able to help.



Glenborrodale Castle - HMS Dorlin.

I am researching the history of Glenborrodale Castle, which was used as a base for Combined Ops training and was part of HMS Dorlin.  I would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers (or who had a relative who remembered) training there or any other information about how the Castle was used and the camp around it.  I have names for a few personnel who remained at HMS Dorlin after active training ceased and a Care and Maintenance Party remained Ė Lt. Commander W Pepperell (Retired), Temporary Acting Lt. (Sp) W Coutts RNVR, E. Jenkins, Seaman RNPS LT/JX.241631, Temporary Paymaster Lt. D T Smith RNVR, Temporary Acting Paymaster Sub Lt. T C Hackett RNVR, and Mr E G Pratt, Temporary Boatswain, RN. 

Iíd be interested to hear from anyone who has any info at all (or photos) on the HMS Dorlin bases Ė Dorlin House, Shielbridge House, Glencripesdale House (all three blown up at varying points up to 20 years after the end of WW2), Glenborrodale Castle (which has survived and is currently for sale) and Salen.  Iíve lived in the Glenborrodale area for 30 years now and am regretting that I didnít start this project earlier!


Gill Calver

Glenborrodale, Ardnamurchan

US Combined Special Operations Patch.

I'm the Director of the Fort Tuthill Military Museum Regimental Museum of the 158th Infantry Regiment/158th Regimental Combat Team Arizona National Guard.

Several years ago a woman accompanied her aging American Indian Grandfather on a tour of our museum. She gave us a picture of her Grandfather and two other American Indian soldiers taken in the Solomon Islands during WW II. She advised all three were members of the 158th Infantry Regiment. She also showed us a picture of a the Combined Special Operations Patch they wore. Although the regiment saw extensive combat in New Guinea and the Philippines they were not involved in the Solomon Islands. We are attempting to determine how three members of the 158th Infantry wound up in the Solomon Islands as a part of a Combined Special Operations Unit. In the event you have any information that may assist us or might be able to suggest a contact it would be sincerely appreciated .

Thank you very much.

James Warbassee
Fort Tuthill Military Museum

Memorial to Operation Archery on Maaloy.

I am trying to find information and possibly a picture of a monument that was dedicated on Aug 30th 1970 on the island of Maaloy in Norway. It commemorates those members of HM Armed Forces who died in the combined operation which took place on December 27th 1941.  My uncle, RCAF Pilot Officer Roderick McLachlan's name is inscribed on the monument which is described as being made of granite, six metres high surmounted by a golden ball held by two hands.

Thank you for any help you can provide in my search. I am 78 years old and trying to gather up some family history to leave to my five children and nine grandchildren.

Ronald McLachlan

Fairlie House in WW2.

Greetings from Dundonald in Ayrshire. Iím trying to find out what unit (donít even know the service) was stationed in Fairlie House during WW2, a stately home not far from RAF Dundonald.  I know nearby Dankeith House was the HQ for 516 and 1441 Squadrons, but it seems likely that Fairlie House was also commandeered for wartime use. I know men stationed there played football with the local lads. Any information would be most welcome.
Regards and thanks
Bob McMillan

HMS Hilary.

My Father, William Louthe, was a fireman on the HMS Hilary at Juno beach. I am attaching information on him and a wartime photo. He is center back row. I am looking for photos of the crew, my father and any information about him.

Thank you in anticipation.

Alan Louthe


HMS Glenearn.

I read with interest your article on HMS Glenearn. My 97 year old Dad, Robbie Clark, remembers the ship as the one that evacuated him from Souda Bay Crete just before the German invasion. He says it was the last ship to leave. I wonder if anyone knows when this evacuation happened. My Dad was taken prisoner at Tobruk on 21st June 1942 and together we're trying to work out the timeline of these momentous events in his life.

Kind regards

Mike Clark


Preserved WW2 Landing Craft.

Does anyone know where I could take my Dad to see a Landing Craft for his 90th birthday in June. He served in the Navy but missed the D Day landings due to a broken back.

Thanks to anyone who can help.

Ged Burrows


PLUTO's Agricultural Tractors.

I was recently looking through old copies of the Alton Gazette (Hampshire) and came across the following for 6 January 1971 in the Ď25 Years Agoí section, '1946 4 Jan., two agricultural ploughing machines returned to Wrights by the Petroleum Warfare Department after working on Operation Pluto.í

Edward Walton Wright, traction engine proprietor, moved to The Butts, Alton, about 1900. He died in 1933 when business continued as Wrightís (Alton) Ltd. I am wondering if anyone knows anything more about the ploughing machines that went from Alton to be part of the Operation.


Jane (Hurst)

Dutch/English Translation.

Iím looking for help in translating a short story of the part my Dutch uncle played in WW2 and how he came to fight with the Canadians against Hitler and his invasion. After the war was over, he emigrated to Canada returning to his native Netherlands after some years.

Thank you in anticipation,

Gordon Forbes

Mystery WW2 Vessel.

I wonder if anyone can identify the vessel in the attached photo. I think it may be the landing craft my late father in law served on during the D Day invasion of Normandy. He said his craft carried American soldiers and, I think, tanks. I also recall him saying that it struck a mine after many trips back and forth across the channel. His name was Kenneth Watkins and he was a south Walian from Cefn Fforest, though he did spend a number of years working and living in Wolverhampton (pre war) before returning to Cefn Fforest. (Click photo to enlarge.)
For any info' you can give me, I would be very grateful.
Many thanks

Richard Green.

HMS Misoa's Badge.

Greetings Geoff. As an avid collector of ships' badges, I have located a picture of HMS MISOA,  F117 LCT. I wonder if anyone has a picture of this ship's badge or knows where I may find one. The badge is a diamond frame and the ship has six battle honours and a motto we came, we saw, we conquered. With all this information to hand I'm keen to add an image of this ship's badge to my collection.  I would also appreciate any pictures of wartime badges (crests ) of any ships / boats used by the Combined Operations Command.

Warm regards

Tom Grant.

UK Merchant Marine, Captain Adam Leask.

He was in a north Atlantic convoy in the fall of 1942, when his ship was sunk by enemy action. He and his crew were picked up and taken to Halifax. Unable to acquire a command to return to the UK, he joined the US Military and was given command of the Lt Colonel Matthews under the Command of the Corp of Engineers. His ship proceeded to the Koksoak River in Northern Quebec where the US were building one of three airports to ferry planes to the UK. This was a secret war time venture, code named Crystal 1 to 3. His ship was towing a barge up this river, when it apparently struck a hidden sand bar. The ship and all its crew were lost. I've tried for years to find out what happened to my grandfather and his crew. Were their bodies recovered? Where, if any, are they buried? Was there any recognition given to any of them? Any information or details of any place or person to contact will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in anticipation,

Peter Leask

Thames River Cruiser FARMAR, London.

The owner of this boat believes it has an interesting WW2 history and would like to find out more. It seems FARMAR was one of several similar craft built in 1937 by the James Taylor Boatyard for the gentry of the day in and around Chertsey, Surrey. (N0165447 Reg 8/100). If you can help, please phone David Bradford 07835301423 or e-mail this website and your message will be forwarded.

Dutch 'Observer Corp' Equipment.

I am a 'Friend' of Fort Pannerden which is near the German border in Holland where the Rhine enters Holland and splits forming the river Waal and the Pannerdens Kanaal. Fort Pannerden was constructed around 1870 and has been recently renovated. During the early years of the "cold war" an observation post was positioned on top of the fort. (Photo opposite). It was manned by the Korps Luchtwacht Dienst from 1950 to 1964 when their primary task was to observe the movement of Russian aircraft over the area.

Ideally we would like to reinstate an identical apparatus which bears the trade name NEHOME and to find out more about it. Failing this we would look at the possibility of making a working copy.

I will be very grateful to hear from anyone with information that might help us achieve our goal. Just click on the e-mail icon opposite.

With kind regards,

Johan Kip

RM Commando Vehicles.

I'm currently marking up a 1943 Jeep in 48 RM Commando unit markings along with Captain Martyn Heenan who is restoring a James ML motorbike. I wonder if anyone knows what markings were used on RM Commando vehicles involved in the D-Day landings - Combined Operations insignia or the Commando dagger? ... and did the markings change later in the war? We know the dagger was used post war, but we have also read that only HQ vehicles used the Combined Ops badge. Any opinions or sources of information we could consult would be very much appreciated.


Sean. (Also on 45 RM Commando page).

Photos of British Army and Royal Marine Cloth Badges in use on Uniforms.

I am completing a book which tells the story of the many cloth badges worn on battledress, khaki drill and jungle green uniforms by the British Army and Royal Marines between 1939 and 1967. I'm looking for original clear photos of such badges being worn - especially from the period 1946 to 1947.  If possible I would like to borrow original photos which will be scanned and returned by Royal Mail Special Delivery within a few days. I am happy to pay any postage incurred. Scans at 600 dpi are fine for my purpose if you would prefer not to send originals. If you can help please contact me on the e-mail link opposite.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Jon Mills.

Royal Naval Commando Uniforms.

I've just joined Combinedops by paypal and already I have some questions which you might be able to help me with. All are about Royal Naval Commando uniforms. Firstly were green berets worn by ranks and ratings and if so what sort of cap badge was worn by other ranks? Secondly, did Royal Naval Commandos wear the yellow thread tombstone Combined Operations insignia on their battledress or was it for dress uniform? For those Commandos trained as parachutists, were the wings worn above or below the combined operations insignia on the right arm?... and finally what colours of lanyards did each Naval Commando wear as I believe each "letter" wore a different colour.

Many thanks for any help you can give.

Simon Moore.

Greatstone , Kent - PLUTO Bungalows.

I have started a website for Greatstone in Kent (where I live) at www.greatstone.net. I am working on building up the history and wish to add some information on  PLUTO which passed through the area. I have read your page on PLUTO and other information but can find no specific references to the role that Greatstone had in the operation. There's  plenty about Dungeness but nothing about Greatstone.

I am told, by a local resident that some of the bungalows in Leonard Road, Greatstone were somehow involved given that they are known locally as 'PLUTO bungalows.' Were they used to house pumping stations? If so pumping from where to where? How many were there etc etc. Did the pipelines go under the sea from Greatstone or from Dungeness? (given that some people do not differentiate between the two).

I am hoping either you can help me or you know someone who can.

Thanks in anticipation.

Peter Faulkner.

PLUTO - Pipeline Under the Ocean.

The Vicar of Pear Tree Church in Southampton was recently advised by a visitor that 'Old School House' in Pear Tree Road (opposite the church and built by the church before 'state' schools were common) was the wartime operation headquarters for PLUTO. However, he cannot verify that this was the case. No doubt the information is held in the National Archive in Kew but both the vicar and I would be interested to hear from anyone with information about this.

If we can verify this account I'll add information and photos (courtesy of the vicar) to the website's PLUTO page.



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