View Full Version : Regina Rifles - 6 June 1944
An idea prompted by a thread Mark Tonner (and perhaps some others here) contributed to over on the Canuck site a couple of weeks ago. This was related to information on a particular LSI that was involved in the landings, and Mark had a fair amount of information on the vessel and others associated, the units they carried, etc.
I'd be interested in any similar information related to the Reginas on D-Day. My objective would be to tie this to a list of those who disembarked on 6 June, compiled from Part II Orders in the War Diary. My original idea had been to simply compile a 'roster' of those who landed on D-Day, and perhaps speculate on which Coys the different groups might belong to based on a sampling of names. If I could expand that a bit to identify particular vessels, sub-units within the larger groups (Support Coy elements and the like), I think that would be valuable. In theory at least, it should be possible to match up the numbers embarked to better guess at who was who. I have some numbers based on planning documents, but they don't mention specific elements and I don't have confidence that I've seen the 'final' documents rather than one of the many iterations of revised plans. I presume that those embarked on a particular day are part of a distinct group boarded together, rather than a few men trickling onto a variety of vessels. I hope that is not a bad assumption.
Information I have as follows:
Embarked 1 June: 11 Ofc, 156 OR's (I guess C Coy)
Embarked 2 June: 6 Ofc, 194 OR's (I guess B Coy)
Embarked 3 June: 17 Ofc, 367 OR's (I guess D and A Coys)
Embarked 4 June: 2 Ofc, 5 OR's (this includes the CO)
Those numbers look about right, accounting for a small number who would have been landed on subsequent days.
Any information or ideas appreciated.
Mark W. Tonner
The Regina Rifle Regiment landed in the 'NAN GREEN' sector of Juno.
Force "J" Naval craft carrying landing elements:
The ships carrying the Regina Rifles were part of Assault Group "J1" (HQ Ship: HMS LAWFORD) and consisted of the following:
Landing Ships Infantry (Large) - LSI(L):
MV LLANDOVERY CASTLE, which carried 557th Assault Flotilla (18x LCA) - which carried a small HQ staff of Headquarters Company and all of "C" Company of the Regina Rifles. She also carried "A" and "C" Companies of the Winnipeg Rifles.
Landing Ships Infantry (Medium) - LSI(M):
HMCS PRINCE HENRY, which carried 528th Assault Flotilla (8x LCA - No's: 856, 1372, 736, 1033, 850, 1021, 925, 1371)
HMS QUEEN EMMA, which carried 528th Assault Flotilla (8x LCA)
Landing Ships Infantry (Hand Hoisting) - LSI(H):
SS CANTERBURY, which carried 509th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA) - which carried "B" Company of the Winnipeg Rifles.
SS DUKE OF ARGYLL, which carried 517th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA)
SS INVICTA, which carried 510th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA)
SS ISLE OF THANET, which carried 505th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA) - which carried "A" Company of the Regina Rifles
SS LAIRDS ISLE, which carried 516th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA)
SS MECKLENBURG, which carried 511th Assault Flotilla (6x LCA)
SS ULSTER MONARCH, which carried 521st Assault Flotilla (5x LCA)
"K" Landing Craft Tank Squadron:
4th LCT Flotillia (12x LCT)
20th LCT Flotillia (12x LCT)
31st LCT Flotillia (12x LCT)
102nd LCT Flotillia (12x LCT)
Kevin, thats about all I have at the moment.
Mark W. Tonner
Originally posted by klambie
Information I have as follows:
Embarked 1 June: 11 Ofc, 156 OR's (I guess C Coy)
This would probably be (from my earlier post) "MV LLANDOVERY CASTLE, which carried 557th Assault Flotilla (18x LCA) - which carried a small HQ staff of Headquarters Company and all of "C" Company of the Regina Rifles." - who were embarked on 1 June.
Mark W. Tonner
Some other information regarding shipping:
From AHQ Report No 54:
210. The rifle companies of the battalions of 7 and 8 Cdn Inf Bdes were embarked in 15 L.S.I., each with its complement of L.C.A. at the davits. Two companies of reserve battalions found themselves quartered in Canadian ships: “A” Company of R. de Chaud in H.M.C.S. Prince Henry, both L.S.I. (M.). For this reason the latter sub-unit was accounted by the rest of its battalion as “the luckiest of the serials” (W.D., R. de Chaud and 1 C. Scot R., 2 Jun 44). Headquarters of the four assaulting battalions were
established in L.C.H. (3 Cdn Inf Div O.O. No. 1.) The rifle companies of the reserve brigade were, on the other hand, boarded on ten L.C.I. (L) of the 262nd Flotilla, R.C.N. ((HS) 122.013(D1): R.C.N’s Part in the Invasion. Narrative by R.C.N. Historical Section.) These later craft would in time beach themselves, since they were not to participate in the assault phase. Formation and unit priority vehicles, i.e., those essential to the conduct of the battle ashore, were loaded in L.C.T. The first of these were to disembark at H plus 80 minutes (3 Cdn Inf Div O.O. No. 1).
211. Throughout the force certain larger vessels were specially fitted out as headquarters, both naval and military. Chief among these was H.M.S. Hilary, the flag ship of the Commodore commanding Force “J”. She carried also H.Q. 3 Cdn Inf Div (reduced) and the Commander, 1 Brit Corps and his staff. It will be recalled that Hilary had served as headquarters ship to 1 Cdn Inf Div in the Sicilian operation (C.M.H.Q. Report No. 126). Each brigade commander and his naval equivalent, the Senior Officer Assault Group (S.O.A.G.), were accommodated in an Assault Group Headquarters Ship -
- the frigate H.M.S. Lawford for 7 Cdn Inf Bde (J.1), and H.M.S. Waveney for 8 Cdn Inf Bde (J.2). H.Q. 9 Cdn Inf Bde (J.3) was set up in L.S.I. (H), H.M.S. Royal Ulsterman, Alternate headquarters ships (stand-by ships) were named as a precautionary measure. In the event of Hilary being put out of action, for example, command was to be exercised from Royal Ulsterman (3 Cdn Inf Div O.O. No.1).
212. The two assault regiments of 2 Cdn Armd Bde - 6 and 10 Cdn Armd Regts - were borne mostly in L.C.T. 27 Cdn Armd Regt was carried in L.C.T. and L.S.T. Brigade Headquarters was split for the passage, each portion travelling on L.S.T. (2 Cdn Armd Bde Report on Operation “OVERLORD”, op cit).
213. A word here as to loading and assembling generally may help to clarify the movements of the invasion fleets. All along the Southern English coast, in the order corresponding to their objectives across the Channel, the assault forces were preparing to sail. From West to East, these loading points were:
Force “U” Torquay, Brixham, Bartmouth, Plymouth East
Force “O” Portland and Weymouth
Force “G” Southampton
Force “J” Southampton and Portsmouth
Force “S” Portsmouth, Newhaven, Shoreham.
The follow-up forces were embarked on the flanks of this huge area - those of force “B” at Falmouth and Plymouth West, and those of Force “L” at Tilbury and Felixstowe. The first build-up forces were to be loaded and assembled in the Bristol Channel and the Thames. “MULBERRY” concrete units were collected in anchorages clear of the other forces on the South coast. Most of the heavy units of the bombarding forces were assembled at ports on the west coast (Source quoted in C.M.H.Q. Report No. 147 as Operation “NEPTUNE”, Naval Operation Orders, Part 4.) Routes to be followed by all outward-bound groups, convoys and other units from D minus 1 to D plus 3 are clearly illustrated by the series of “Mickey Mouse Diagrams” in Naval Orders (Ibid, Part 20).
From CFHQ Report No. 005:
ASSAULT GROUPS J-1 AND J-2 IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY
Together, J-1 (HMCS PRINCE HENRY Senior Officer Landing Ships Infantry) and J-2 made up Force "J", which was one of five approximately equal assault forces on 6 June 1944. The sectors of the Normandy coast to be attacked were named, from west to east: UTAH, OMAHA, GOLD, JUNO, SWORD; Force "J's" target was "Juno" sector, a stretch of beach about five miles long with the village of Courseulles in the middle. Three definite beach areas were established within "Juno" sector: from the west called LOVE, MIKE and NAN. Some of these were further divided into Green, White and Red zones (to right, centre and left viewed from seaward).
Senior Officer of Assault Group J-1 was in HMS LAWFORD, a frigate which became the first British warship lost in Operation "Neptune" when it was bombed on 8 June. This group's order of sailing on 5 June was:
HMS STEVENSTONE (destroyer) Senior Officer Escort
HMS LAWFORD S.O. J-1 Captain A.F. Pugsley, RN
PRINCE HENRY S.O. Landing Ships Infantry J-1 Captain V.S. Godfrey, RCN
SS ISLE OF THANET
SS DUKE OF ARGYLL
Fighting French Ship LA COMBATTANTE (destroyer, escort)
HMS QUEEN EMMA
HMS ULSTER MONARCH
SS LAIRD'S ISLE
SS LLANDOVERY CASTLE
HMS VENUS (destroyer, escort)
Three Motor Gun Boats (#'s 312, 316 and 324) and one "Coast Guard cutter"
completed Group J-1.
Group J-2 was of similar composition, but had eight Landing Ships
Infantry instead of ten. Its order of sailing to the assault was:
HMS BLEASDALE (destroyer) Senior Officer Escort
HMS WAVENEY ("River" Class Frigate) Senior Officer Assault Group J-2 Captain R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, RN
HMS BRIGADIER (Landing Ship Infantry Small) Senior Officer Landing Ships
Infantry Group J-2 Commander H.J.R. Paramore, RN
SS CLAN LAMONT
HMS ST. HELIER
SS LADY OF MANN
HMS GLAISDALE (destroyer, escort)
HMS DUKE OF WELLINGTON
SS ISLE OF GUERNSEY
HMS KEMPENFELT (destroyer, escort)
Also in company were three motor launches and two United States Coast Guard rescue craft.
Group J-1 was to assault over Mike Green and Red and Nan Green beaches (schedule H-hour 0735); J-2 over Nan White and Nan Red (0745). These H-hours were postponed ten minutes because of navigational errors made in the crossing. the assault in PRINCE DAVID's sector was the latest one of D-day, occurring 1-1/4 hours after the first attacks in the American sectors (OMAHA and UTAH) 15-30 miles to the westward. Both Assault Groups carried mainly Canadian troops to Normandy. J-1 had the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, Brigadier H.W. Foster, CBE, DSO, Canadian Army (Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Regina Rifle Regiment and the Canadian Scottish Regiment); J-2 brought over the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, Brigadier R.G. Blackadar, CBE, DSO, MC, Canadian Army (Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, North Shore New Brunswick Regiment, and le Régiment de la Chaudière). From each brigade, the Canadian Landing Ships carried chiefly units of the last named battalions, which were not involved in the initial assaults, but landed in reserve 45 minutes later. (Reference: RCN List, July 1944; RN List, June 1944; Battle Summary No. 39; HMCS PRINCE DAVID and PRINCE HENRY, Reports of Proceedings; NHS, Narrative B, Master copy, v. I, p. 87; Stacey, The Canadian Army, pp. 176-80; Godfrey, "Neptune" (CS 155-5-3); The War at Sea (preliminary narrative), v. V, para. 2070; Jane's Fighting Ships 1943-4 and 1944-5.)
Thanks for the info. Room for further research, but some good ideas on places to start. Managed to find my notes of part of the Overlord Plan in the War Diary of 3 CID.
Landing Table Craft Ready Code # Landing Marching LCA's
Index # to Beach Sector Parties
1044-1048 H+5 min 744/1 J14 LSI Nan Green 127 1044-1048
1050-1054 H+5 min 744/1 J15 LSI Nan Green 127 1050-1054
- includes a few RRR Pioneer Sec, 2Pl from 6 Fd Coy, 6 FOO's from 13 Fd Regt
1068-1073 H+20 min 744/1 J16 LSI Nan Green 127 1068-1073
1074-1079 H+20 min 744/1 J17 LSI Nan Green 127 1068-1073
- extra LCA for extras from Pnr, Mortar, ATk Pl and other associated units
The numbers are more uniform than I had thought (127 per LSI), and don't really match up with the numbers in my original post. Appears the counts on any given day may have been broken up a bit between multiple vessels, making it tough for me to match names to vessels as I might have hoped.
The other question is related to the ship #'s shown in these lists. I would guess that J14, J15, etc. referred to specific LSI's within Prince Henry's group? With further research, am I correct in thinking I may be able to match those numbers to ship names in your post?
I see some of the same numbers (J15 and J16 specifically) landing the first wave of reinforcements on Mike Sector during the '2nd Ferry Service' (presumably on the second tide on D-Day). My information has those reinforcements embarking at the same time as the assault waves on June 1, etc., so I guess I've figured out that both assault troops and reinforcements were on the same LSI's.
Apologies for my woeful lack of knowledge of Neptune.
:) Morning all......I have been reading the posts here with great interest but nowhere have I spotted a correction concerning the Llandovery Castle.......recorded here as carrying the LCA of the Royal Marine manned 557 Assault Flotilla.
The hospital ships Llandovery Castle and El Nil were on the Clyde when the D-Day assault went in......they were ordered south on June 19th to be on stand-by if required.
The Llangibby Castle carried 557 LCA.....six Royal Marines of which being lost on the day......hope this helps..!!!
LST and Landing Craft Association (Royal Navy)
Just wanted to bring this thread up again ;)
Hi to all -
Somewhere I have notes on a series of files in the National Archives here in the UK that list vehicles to LCTs for all the D Day waves. I will dig these out once back in London next week.
More importantly, has anyone ever seen details of which vehicles by T Number went into which Landing Craft ? There must be such lists somewhere I would have thought. Unit listings of vehicles by unit earmarked for the landings would also be v useful.
Bye for now
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