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Ferry Craft Instructions 6/6/44.

Started by CtahhR , Oct 17 2017 02:08 PM

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#1 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:08 PM

Here is an original Ferry Craft Instruction from the longest day. Each vessel pilot was given a single copy of the instruction. This was issued to the pilot of LBV-172 (Royal Navy) which was under US command (LCI-92 and LCH-520) - Fox Easy Roger One.

 

The pilot of LBV-172 had trained other landing craft pilots, participated in the massacre of Exercise Tiger "we were pulling out bodies for days" and did COPPs reconnaissance for Omaha Beach in March 1944 "I was there three months before". He seemed to have quite a free hand as to which vessel he piloted (and was on different ones during the invasion). From his retelling of the events 51 years later, he dropped the first wave, when returning to drop off another load at "Point Do Hock", had not received the onshore signal needed to reinforce, started along to cost to Omaha (as was instructed if the signal had not been observed by a certain time). During the fairly inshore trip parallel to the coastline to Omaha, the signal from the Point went off. The pilot then signalled to the command vessel (LCI-92) as to the location they wished the drop off to be. LCI-92 was hit during the communication and was unable to respond. An executive decision was made by the pilot - drop the boys off where they were - about half way between the Point and the main landing beach. Unfortunately in doing this he beached the vessel (apparently he hid behind a piece of corrugated metal for some time, as not to be an obvious target.)

 

As well as this original instruction, he hoarded some other pieces;

  • A BIGOT map, marked "NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION" - marked for navigation, with an X in pencil at the exact point of the beach that the Normandy American Cemetery And Memorial now is.
  • Signalling notes, in his own hand - Just in case!
  • Request forms he had submitted, he was receiving a dozen pair of boots a month (to trade)
  • A 1944 pocket diary, recording all orders given, vessels piloted, map coordinates (the entry of 6/6/44 simply reads "Haunting", one entry is "Went on beach - many dead"), the double pages for the week of D-Day are smudged and are quite messy - unlike all other entries. It also records a night raid he participated in behind enemy lines on the night of D-Day plus 8-9. It also tells of all three times he was court-martialled after D-Day and the punishment.
  • Enough "liberated" booze that we were drinking it until Christmas 2003 and enough "liberated" unissued German uniforms to keep the dock workers at home warm until the end of the 1940's (I found an unworn Waffen-SS Officer's undertunic with the tags on in the back of his wardrobe too).
  • His original draft notice - and a second one from when he was drafted again in February 1945 after his first de-mob (even though he had a double reserved occupation).

 

I won't bore the forum with the non-US Militaria stuff and I hope what I am posting is US Militaria related enough (being as they are the instructions whilst under US Command and whilst ferrying US men and supplies).

 

I have his whole group. from birth to death certificate. Summer and winter uniforms, IDs, dog tags, Medals, photographs, paperwork, all the filler...., even a reel of film I found the IWM had of him in action off Gold Beach a few days after D-Day and most importantly the memories.

 

LBV-172 was lost in the storm at 15:00 hours on the 21st June 1944. The crew had overloaded the craft on a return from France. They were told to leave all items on the boat or they would not be unloaded themselves - no doubt a vast amount of loot went down with it. Fortunately these papers that have survived were all in the pocket of his kit bag.

 

I wrote up his biography and war exploits for a presentation five years ago and entitled it "A Yorkshireman, Out Of His Depth, On Omaha" as a tribute to the fact that although he was a (third generation or more) bargeman almost all of his working life, he never learnt to swim.

Attached Images

  • Ferry Control Instructions D-Day.jpg


#2 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:14 PM

These are what the signals meant during the landings. (If anyone is interested in the landings on Omaha Beach - It's not like it's Band Of Brothers or The Pacific)

 

The signals will have been the same for the USN and the RN.

 

1/5

Attached Images

  • Signalsa.jpg


#3 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:15 PM

Signals 2/6.

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  • Signalsb.jpg


#4 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:17 PM

Signals 3/6.

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  • Signalsc.jpg


#5 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:19 PM

Signals 4/5.

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  • Signalsd.jpg


#6 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

Signals 5/5.

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  • Signalse.jpg


#7 CtahhR

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:23 PM

A contemporary photograph, in uniform and his Medals.

 

I seriously doubt anyone he dropped off is still alive today.

 

21st February 1910 - 29th April 1996

 

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  • HG.jpg
  • Medals.jpg


#8 CtahhR

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:36 PM

I managed to find a snap of the BIGOT map that explains the minesweeping that will take place on D-Day.

 

A very rare survivor with the bonus of X marks the spot!

 

I've emphasised the drop zone in the second picture. The original map is a considerable size. The folded sections are just over 4"x6".

 

As soon as I found the map I had it framed with all the correct hardware to ensure it survives as long as possible.

Attached Images

  • bigot.jpg
  • bigota.jpg


#9 zippy144

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 11:47 PM

Hi

What a really interesting group, I love the hand drawn BIGOT map...
I think we all forget about the RN role in the American sector.

How unusual for a British D-Day grouping to be so complete.

Thank You for sharing.
Regards

Tom


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