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  #1  
Old 11-02-18, 17:51
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
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Default Operation Infatuate II: Sherman tanks at Westkapelle

The past few months, on and off, I have been researching the use of Sherman tanks during the landing at Westkapelle in November 1944, part of Operation Infatuate II or the battle for Walcheren Island.

The objective of this research is to document the sole surviving tank used during this Operation. It is very much a work in progress and I am posting my findings here so others can chime in - please add to or correct the information provided here.

For those who have access to Facebook, see my photo album "Sherman tanks at Westkapelle" which contains all the photos I have been able to find. I will post all of them, plus more, on here too in due time, but in a more sorted/ chronological order.

This will not be a full account of the Operation, as that has been described elsewhere in detail. I used the following sources to find as much as I could about the use of the Sherman tanks, plus other AFVs. I am hoping to identify as much as possible of them: WD census numbers, unit markings & names, crew names and actions they were involved in.

Sources:

[1] Story of the 79th Armoured Division from October 1942 to June 1945. Hamburg: BAOR, 1945. (See background review on this book.)

[2] Brooks, Richard: Walcheren 1944: Storming Hitler's island fortress. Osprey Publishing, 2011.

[3] Stacey, C.P. (Col.): The Victory Campaign: The Operations in North-West Europe, 1944-1945 (Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Volume III), 1966.

[4] Thompson, R.W.: The Eighty-Five Days: The Story Of The Battle Of The Scheldt. Hutchinson, 1957.

[5] Sabarly, Michel: various internet forums (including Maple Leaf Up Forum).


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  #2  
Old 11-02-18, 22:19
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Default Sherman V Crab, T-212645, RHODERICK DHU, Turret no.20

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Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 1005 "4 Apple":
  • Sherman V Crab, RHODERICK DHU
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret No.27
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Sherman V Crab, T-212645, name RHODERICK DHU, Turret no.20, landed from LCT 1005 "4 Apple". This Sherman was commanded by Cpl. Leishman during the assault on Westkapelle.

It got stuck on the beach and drowned when the tide came in.

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Photographed in 1945, it's markings are all but obliterated:
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View from the rear, note "4 APPLE" painted on the wading trunk:
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  #3  
Old 11-02-18, 22:24
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Default Sherman V Crab, Turret No.27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 1005 "4 Apple":
  • Sherman V Crab, RHODERICK DHU
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret No.27
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Another Sherman V Crab which landed from LCT 1005 "4 Apple" had Turret no.27. This also got stuck on the beach and drowned when the tide came in.

Pictured in 1945:
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  #4  
Old 11-02-18, 23:01
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Default unidentified Sherman V Crab on LCT 1005

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 1005 "4 Apple":
  • Sherman V Crab, RHODERICK DHU
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret no.27
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
The (as of yet) unidentified Sherman V Crab on LCT 1005 was commanded by Lieutenant S.A. Miller. This Crab got ashore first, but it got stuck when it tried to tow the second Crab "RHODERICK DHU" off the beach. It too got swamped by the incoming tide, rendering it useless.

Pictured in 1945:
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I do not know its name or Turret number, but it has a WD census number ending with “...53”:
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The WD census number may be seen on the left-hand flail arm, but is too vague to read:
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  #5  
Old 11-02-18, 23:02
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Default Sherman V Crab, "DANDY DINMONT", Turret No. 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 737 "5 Bramble":
  • Sherman V Crab, DANDY DINMONT
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret No.2
  • Sherman V Tank, WOLF OF BADENOCH
  • Churchill AVRE
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Sherman V Crab, name DANDY DINMONT, Turret No.15. Photographed while unloading from LCT 737 "5 BRAMBLE". It was nicknamed MEG II (white handwriting on the front of the left flail jib) by its commander Sjt Ferguson in fond memory of his first tank MEG MERRILEES (source).

It was one of the Crabs which made it off the beach, but was swamped during the first night.

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IWM (B 11631)


While the name and WD census number cannot be read, the nickname MEG can be seen as white handwriting on the front of the left flail jib. This picture was taken in 1945 when the DANDY DINMONT was standing in front of the wrecked doctor's house at the Zuidstraat. Its flail seems to have been damaged, or partly dismantled. Its turret has been traversed to the rear.
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Later during 1945, DANDY DINMONT is still standing were it was left. Progress in rebuilding the village can be clearly seen: a narrow gauge railroad is laid in the middle of the street for transportation of the rubble and building materials. Many of the wrecked houses have been cleared. Meanwhile, the Crab lost it flail booms to the scrapper. The turret has been traversed to the left front quarter the the gun has been raised.
Zooming in on the photo reveals what must be its name and WD census number on the top left corner of the left hand hull side. It cannot be read, but with a little effort the turret No.15 could be seen on the right hand side of the turret.
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Circa 1948, it was photographed in Westkapelle with a young man on the turret. The turret has been traversed further to the left and the gun has been lowered. It's flail gear has been further dismantled and it has shed its left hand track. It has been moved to another location, as it is no longer in front of the doctor's house.
The Turret No. and name can still be read, but the WD census number is unreadable. Noteworthy is that the name is in the same spot as in the photos above. Construction details also match, so this must be DANDY DINMONT:
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  #6  
Old 11-02-18, 23:04
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Default Sherman V, T-148829, WOLF OF BADENOCH, Turret No.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 737 "5 Bramble":
  • Sherman V Crab, DANDY DINMONT
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret No.2
  • Sherman V Tank, WOLF OF BADENOCH
  • Churchill AVRE
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Sherman V, T-148829?, name WOLF OF BADENOCH, Turret No.10 was one of 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry, A-sqn HQ's tanks. It was commanded by Major D.R.R. Pocock who was the Squadron OC. It did get ashore and gave sterling service to the Commando forces.

One of only two Shermans left in battle-worthy condition, together with 2 Churchill AVREs, it played a considerable part in the Commando operations against the Domburg battery and also against the strongly fortified Black Hut area lying behind it. Between 2-8 November the two Sherman tanks fired 1,400 rounds of HE ammunition plus a large amount of AP shot. The accuracy of the shooting was outstanding, German guns in concrete emplacements being immobilised by shells fired through the gun slits: suitable tank positions were extremely difficult to find but fire from them was largely responsible for keeping down casualties to the assaulting troops. By 8 November the northern rim of the island was in British hands.

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After the Operation, it was left derelict in the Zuidstraat in Westkapelle with the other Sherman and Churchill tanks. In July 1946, it still proudly displays its turret number "10", while the hull side is adorned with random paint splashes. Could this be the result of a house painter cleaning his brushes?
More interesting is the WD census number which is harder to read. I deciphered it as T-148829, but would like confirmation from this or other sources.
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Note it still sports "5 BRAMBLE" on the wading trunking and turret no.10 can be clearly seen. It was photographed on 27 May 1947, by which time reconstruction of the village - which had been nearly obliterated by the bombing and flooding - had been started. Houses were reconstructed while the derelict tanks still lined the streets.
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  #7  
Old 13-02-18, 13:07
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Default Sherman V Crab, Turret No.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 737 "5 Bramble":
  • Sherman V Crab, DANDY DINMONT
  • Sherman V Crab, Turret No.2
  • Sherman V Tank, WOLF OF BADENOCH
  • Churchill AVRE
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
The Sherman V Crab wallowing through the mud, making its way ashore is DANDY DINMONT. The Sherman V Crab in the background, about to leave the ramp of LCT 737 "5 BRAMBLE" is Turret No.2. The Churchill AVRE with SBG bridge can be seen still on deck of the LCT. The other Churchill AVRE and Armoured Bulldozer cannot be seen in this photo.

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Caption: A Sherman Crab flail tank coming ashore from an LCT during the invasion of Walcheren Island, 1 November 1944.
IWM (B 11632)



Of this Sherman V Crab, we only know it had Turret No.2. When zooming in on the photo, another 2 can be discerned, but it is not outlined in white. So this could also be Turret No.22.
It has a unique identifying feature: the bridge classification sign, a black 40 on yellow circle, can be seen on the right hand flail boom. It is unique in the sense that on other Crabs used in Infatuate II it was absent or painted over with temporary markings. Below the bridge classification sign "5 BRAMBLE" is chalked. Like the other Crabs, it was left in the Zuidstraat after they were swamped in during the night of 1-2 November. It is pictured here in the Zuidstraat in 1945:
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Next picture is dated ca. 1945 too, but was taken later as more of the rubble has been cleared and a temporary building erected:
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Another ca.1945 photo showing Turret No.2. According to the caption of this photo it is located at the address Markt 92-96 in front of the monumental house "'t Herenhuis". Markt is a section of the road adjacent of the long Zuidstraat, so this caption helps us to pinpoint the location more precise.
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  #8  
Old 13-02-18, 21:09
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Default Sherman V Crab, T-148656

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 650 "6 Cherry":
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Sherman V Crab, T-148656
  • Sherman V Tank, COCK O'THE NORTH
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Sherman V Crab, T-148656, landed from LCT 650 "6 CHERRY" (source). This Crab made it off the beach and into Westkapelle, only to be flooded during the night after the landing rendering them useless. This is the Crab which would later be turned into a monument on the dyke.

It is pictured here in the Zuidstraat, circa 1945:
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Circa 1946, still in the same spot and still complete but the WD census number seems to have been painted out. Maybe because it has been struck off census?
Note the road wheel missing from the left rear bogie:
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Circa 1947 the Crab was dragged out of the main street by ex-Army trucks: a Ford Canada CMP (left) and GMC CCKW-353 (right).
By that time it was still complete with flail arms:
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By 1960 it had lost its flail booms and was left as a memento halfway on the dyke, on the land side:
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Shortly after, T-148656 had all the flail remains removed. It was then moved to a spot on top of the dyke with a memorial plaque in front.
The turret was still trained to the right and the right hand track seems to be broken:
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  #9  
Old 13-02-18, 21:14
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Default Sherman V Tank, COCK O'THE NORTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 650 "6 Cherry":
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Sherman V Crab, T-148656
  • Sherman V Tank, COCK O'THE NORTH
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
Sherman V, T-147976, "COCK O'THE NORTH", Turret No. 11, of "A" Sqn HQ, was the second Sherman gun tank to successfully reach the village. Like WOLF OF BADENOCH, Turret No.10, it played a considerable part in the Commando operations between 2-8 November. After the Operation, it was driven back to the other tanks left in Westkapelle, and abandoned.

Pictures taken on 31 July 1946:
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It's name "COCK O'THE NORTH" proudly displayed on the applique armour plate on the right hand sponson:
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The WD census number T-147976 and Turret Number 11 are clearly visible:
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  #10  
Old 13-02-18, 21:17
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
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Default unidentified Sherman Crab on LCT 650 "6 Cherry"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
LCT 650 "6 Cherry":
  • Sherman V Crab
  • Sherman V Crab, T-148656
  • Sherman V Tank, COCK O'THE NORTH
  • Churchill AVRE SBG
  • Churchill AVRE
  • D7 Armoured Bulldozer
The second Sherman V Crab on LCT "Cherry" remains unidentified.
Judging by the marking "CHERRY 6" on the right-hand front of the flail, it must be this Crab pictured in an unknown street in Westkapelle in November 1944:
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  #11  
Old 14-02-18, 00:54
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
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Default synopsis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
The armoured support element totalled 24 armoured vehicles:
  • 2 Sherman V gun tanks
  • 10 Sherman V Crabs
  • 8 Churchill AVREs: 4 with SBG bridges, 2 with fasciness
  • 4 D7 Armoured Bulldozers
When summarising this thread, one can conclude that of the 12 Shermans committed to this Operation, 2 of the Sherman gun tanks landed and went into action.
Of the Crabs, 3 did not land. Of the 7 that did land, 3 were bellied on the landing beach. While contemporary sources mention either 2 or 3 of the Crabs made it off the beach, this analysis proves in fact 4 Crabs made it off the beach and into the village.

For now I would ask if anyone can add any more identifiers for the Sherman tanks, like WD census numbers, unit markings & names. And let's not forget about the crews!

Last picture for today is this one from 1946, showing three Crabs in relative position to each other in the Zuidstraat.
From left to right: Sherman V Crab T-148656, with Sherman V Crab DANDY DINMONT behind it, and Sherman V Crab Turret No.2:
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The photographer is looking East, as the light house can be seen in the background. This lighthouse is an iconic landmark as it was built on top of an old church tower. Therefore it is located almost 1 kilometre inland, rather than directly at the seafront.

I will provide more detail on the landing and subsequent actions later. It was a harsh Operation - the Commandos involved found it much harder fighting than during Operation Overlord!

Thanks,
Hanno
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  #12  
Old 14-02-18, 04:19
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Superb effort Hanno!

The number of rounds fired by the surviving gun tanks begs a second question - where did they get it all? The combat load of a single Sherman 75 was not in the thousands! Did the remaining crews salvage all consumables to keep the operating tanks firing? Most likely. How did other supplies get forward? By LSTs or other amphibious craft? What sort of "ADREP" or administration report did the OC and his NCOs make up and send backwards? Interesting questions.
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  #13  
Old 14-02-18, 05:23
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is online now
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Default Ops Report and Unit War Diaries?

Hanno,

Nice work. Great images. Clearly much work has gone into this research thus far.

Are the Ops Report and Unit War Diaries for the various units involved, resident in the National Archives at Kew? You may find the titles at least on line, even if the contents are not. They may provide some illumination of the decision not to undertake any form of battlefield recovery of the stranded/swamped AFVs, at least, and possibly list losses by Census Number.

Others with more knowledge of the Brit archival system can doubtless inform us foreigners of the likelihood of the above.

Capturing Antwerp was one thing: clearing the Boche from the approaches was much, much more difficult.

Mike
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  #14  
Old 14-02-18, 05:28
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hanno.

You mention that several of the various Shermans made it successfully off the beach and/or into town only to be swamped shortly thereafter. Was this an unusual tidal phenomenon or was the area deliberately flooded by the German troops?

David
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  #15  
Old 14-02-18, 16:40
MicS MicS is offline
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Default No.10 Gun tank WOLF OF BADENOCH WD number

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Sherman V, T-148829?, name WOLF OF BADENOCH, Turret No.10 (...)
More interesting is the WD census number which is harder to read. I deciphered it as T-148829, but would like confirmation from this or other sources.
Great thread Hanno!

My take on No.10's WD number would be T-148028. The T-148x2x part is quite clear, only the fourth and sixth digits being more difficult to make out.

For the fourth digit, the following two photos should be of help:

The left vertical half appears to be rounded and uninterrupted here:
Name:  No.10 Gun tank - T-1480xx - gahetna.nl 900-4074.jpg
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Same applies to its right vertical half:
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The sixth and last digit is more debatable, looking as it does like a possible 8, 9 (see first photo above) or even 0. On the last photo above, I see both its left and right vertical sides as uninterrupted and with a slight inflexion. The following photo is inconclusive, but still compatible with an 8:
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Unfortunately, I have not found any of these possible numbers (T-148028, T-148029, T-148828 or T-148829) in the 1 LOTHIANS War Diary. Maybe one of them appears in some other documents, as suggested by Mike above.

Michel
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  #16  
Old 14-02-18, 16:59
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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I see the fourth digit as a 3, and the 6th digit as an 8. I wonder if T-148328 shows up in the war diary ?

David
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  #17  
Old 14-02-18, 17:16
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is online now
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Do the Census No. lists for Brit Shermans still exist, maybe at the Tank Museum? These should at least define what number/number range went with which vehicle type (gun tank, flail, etc) which may help to narrow down the possibilities.

Mike
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  #18  
Old 14-02-18, 17:39
MicS MicS is offline
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Default No fourth Crab in Westkapelle town

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
The second Sherman V Crab on LCT "Cherry" remains unidentified.
Judging by the marking "CHERRY 6" on the right-hand front of the flail, it must be this Crab pictured in an unknown street in Westkapelle in November 1944:
Attachment 97957
(Source)
This is actually yet another photo of the 'Memorial' Crab T148656:

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Crab T148656
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Just the three Crabs made it out of the beach, only to get flooded during the night of 1 Nov when stationed in Zuidstraat in Westkapelle town.

The second Crab in '6 CHERRY' could not land because it was pinned down by the fallen SBG bridge which had been shot off the AVRE behind it on the LCT.

Michel
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  #19  
Old 14-02-18, 18:30
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Default No.22 Crab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
(...)
Of this Sherman V Crab, we only know it had Turret No.2. When zooming in on the photo, another 2 can be discerned, but it is not outlined in white. So this could also be Turret No.22.
The turret number is indeed 22. There was no Crab numbered just '2'. The lack of a visible outline on the first '2' on the right side of the turret is because it has faded.

On this photo, we can see that the outline on the lower part of the first '2' on the left side of the turret has begun to fade as well:

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No.22 Crab - gahetna 487087_002
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Same happens to RHODERICK DHU's turret number (see the first photo in your second post above).

Michel
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  #20  
Old 14-02-18, 21:40
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Thanks for the interest and for all the useful input!

Will get back on this subject later. Meanwhile, I leave you with an interesting documentary "Commandos strike at Walcheren", showing a great synopsis of Infatuate II - including the tanks in action.

Thanks,
Hanno
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  #21  
Old 15-02-18, 06:45
Colin Alford Colin Alford is offline
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Hanno,

While searching through Canadian War Diaries on a completely unrelated topic I stumbled across "Op INFATUATE - 4 SS Bde Outline Plan No. 3 - 18 Oct 44" which can be found at this link:

http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...69/488?r=0&s=5

Once you finish reading that document, you will get to "Op INFATUATE - 4 SS Bde Provisional Outline Plan No. 4 - 21 Oct 1944" at image 494.

These documents won't give you the level of detail about the Shermans that you are after but at image 489 there is a list of the Armoured units in support of the Operation. (also attached as an image)

I conducted a quick internet search for the 4 SS Bde War Diary but couldn't find anything.

I don't know the types of vehicles held by "27 Aslt Sqn RE", or "One Amphibious Aslt Regt RE/RAC" but I presume that the Shermans came from "'A' Sqn 1 Lothians"

My inclination would be to obtain a copy of the 1st Lothians War Diary as it may provide the level of detail that you desire.

Link to request the 1944 1st Lothians War Diary:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C4440967

Colin
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  #22  
Old 15-02-18, 10:53
MicS MicS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Alford View Post
(...)
I don't know the types of vehicles held by "27 Aslt Sqn RE", or "One Amphibious Aslt Regt RE/RAC" but I presume that the Shermans came from "'A' Sqn 1 Lothians"
"27 Aslt Sqn RE" does not exist. It's a typo for "87 Aslt Sqn RE", who provided the AVsRE.

The "Amphibious Aslt Regt RE/RAC" provided the LVsT (actually 5 Aslt Regt RE plus 82 Aslt Sqn RE and a number of LVsT from 11 RTR attached, hence the "/RAC" part).

And as you rightly presumed, 'A' Sqn 1 LOTHIANS provided the Sherman gun and flail tanks.

Michel
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  #23  
Old 20-02-18, 08:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maple_leaf_eh View Post
Superb effort Hanno!

The number of rounds fired by the surviving gun tanks begs a second question - where did they get it all? The combat load of a single Sherman 75 was not in the thousands! Did the remaining crews salvage all consumables to keep the operating tanks firing? Most likely. How did other supplies get forward? By LSTs or other amphibious craft? What sort of "ADREP" or administration report did the OC and his NCOs make up and send backwards? Interesting questions.
Thanks Terry! The troops and tanks were resupplied by LVTs doing several resupply runs. The LVTs were indispensable in this operation, the Weasels were not suited for the strong currents and were all lost.
I have not read about the crews salvaging all consumables from the swamped tanks, but that sounds like the thing they would have done.

This is Sherman V, WOLF OF BADENOCH, Turret No. 10, being resupplied by an LVT, most likely at Domburg. WOLF OF BADENOCH was carried ashore by LCT 737, hence the marking "5 BRAMBLE" on the deep wading trunk at the back:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
Nice work. Great images. Clearly much work has gone into this research thus far.

Are the Ops Report and Unit War Diaries for the various units involved, resident in the National Archives at Kew? You may find the titles at least on line, even if the contents are not. They may provide some illumination of the decision not to undertake any form of battlefield recovery of the stranded/swamped AFVs, at least, and possibly list losses by Census Number.

Others with more knowledge of the Brit archival system can doubtless inform us foreigners of the likelihood of the above.

Capturing Antwerp was one thing: clearing the Boche from the approaches was much, much more difficult.
Thanks Mike! Indeed, and as per Stacey (p. 407) "The costly opposed landing at Westkapelle became the most controversial portion of the whole Scheldt battle." Infatuate II was a true amphibious operation, involving Navy, Air Force and Army to get the job done.

I have not been able to locate the war diary via the National Archives. I hope to read it some day, meanwhile Michel apparently has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
You mention that several of the various Shermans made it successfully off the beach and/or into town only to be swamped shortly thereafter. Was this an unusual tidal phenomenon or was the area deliberately flooded by the German troops?
David, the dykes of the island of Walcheren were bombed by Bomber Command. The flooding was to immobilise the German troops, if not to take them out of action. From 17 September through 30 October, Bomber Command had flown 2219 sorties against Walcheren and dropped 10,219 tons of bombs (Stacey, p.411).

One of the largest breaches, the one at Westkapelle, was also used as a landing beach as it provided access to the island without have to scale the huge sea dyke.

The pic below shows how the village of Westkapelle and the area behind it being swamped each time the tide came in.

Hanno

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(Source)

Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 20-02-18 at 21:39. Reason: Added picture of resupply
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  #24  
Old 21-02-18, 09:16
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Default Sherman V Crab, T-148656

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
This is actually yet another photo of the 'Memorial' Crab T148656:

Attachment 97981
Crab T148656
Source
Thanks Michel! I had not seen that photo before. It indeed clearly shows the "CHERRY 6" marking identifying the same Sherman on both pictures.

This picture must have been made during the operation as it shows two soldiers sitting on top. It came from the "collection Hillsman, John A.B." - does that name ring a bell with you?
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(Source)

The first picture confused me as all other pictures show it in a different location. This is the well known spot where it stayed until ca. 1947 or a few years until it was dragged away to be placed on the dyke.
Not having seen the 'CHERRY 6" marking on the right hand flail boom before, I drew the incorrect conclusion this was another Sherman V Crab.

Was this picture the source for your remark on WW2Talk forum?
Quote:
Incidentally, the Crab used as a monument did not even land from '5 BRAMBLE', but from '6 CHERRY' (LCT 650)...(source)
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As luck would have it, when I was typing this message a new photo came in! Courtesy of Marcel van Hoepen from Westkapelle, it shows T-148656 in front of his grandmothers house.
The marking "CHERRY 6" can be clearly seen:
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I will correct my postings above, same for Turret No.22.

Thanks,
Hanno
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  #25  
Old 21-02-18, 10:24
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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I expect Marcel will be happy to see another view of his grandmother's house. Bet she wasn't too happy to have the Sherman parked outside for so long !

David
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  #26  
Old 21-02-18, 10:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Herbert View Post
I expect Marcel will be happy to see another view of his grandmother's house. Bet she wasn't too happy to have the Sherman parked outside for so long !
I would be very happy - and have made sure to park it on my premises

Hanno
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  #27  
Old 21-02-18, 16:24
MicS MicS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
I would be very happy - and have made sure to park it on my premises

Hanno
So would I, but with the gun pointing away, just in case

The abandoned tanks were moved around town quite a bit, as can be seen from the photos.

Pic 4250 (T 148656 with two soldiers sitting on top) shows what looks like a tow rope and shackle in front of the Crab, possibly in preparation for moving it to the other side of the street. That picture was indeed the source for my remark on ww2talk, conforted by the fact that the only other Crab in CHERRY was already accounted for.

Major John Albert Burwell HILLSMAN was in command of No.8 Canadian Field Surgical Unit, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, and landed at Westkapelle on 1 Nov 44 from LCT LTIN 26. He wrote the book "Eleven Men and a Scalpel" (Winnipeg: Columbia Press, 1948) about 8 Cdn FSU in WW2.

For example, search for 'Hillsman' on the following link:
http://www.oorlogsmuseumossendrecht....ollection.html
which leads to this page:
http://www.oorlogsmuseumossendrecht....e-schelde.html

This exhibition would be interesting to visit...

See also his Report on Walcheren Ops here:
https://books.google.fr/books?id=hra...ppendix%20H%22

The date of the photo is given as November 1944, which is correct since the medical units left Walcheren on 13 Nov.

The photo from Marcel van Hoepen is fantastic, as it shows that T 148656, or at least its flail jib, previously belonged to 22 Dragoons (cf the cleanly painted AoS number '51' showing under the fading overcoat and '52'), which may explain why no turret number nor name is visible on any of the photos of this tank. Or perhaps would Marcel have more photos, of this and/or other tanks?

Michel
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  #28  
Old 06-04-18, 16:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
The photo from Marcel van Hoepen is fantastic, as it shows that T 148656, or at least its flail jib, previously belonged to 22 Dragoons (cf the cleanly painted AoS number '51' showing under the fading overcoat and '52'), which may explain why no turret number nor name is visible on any of the photos of this tank. Or perhaps would Marcel have more photos, of this and/or other tanks?
Michel, I have attached the other photos Marcel posted.

Interesting you mention that T 148656 previously belonged to 22 Dragoons. I was wondering why it did not have a name nor turret number and was already trying to sift through your 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry list of vehicle names, to look for possible contenders. I realise that list pre-dates Infatuate II by 6 months, so in the meantime a lot could have changed.

Do you have any information on the other vehicle's names, turret numbers, census numbers?

Would the 1LBH war dairy not have a list of vehicles and crews loaded on each LCT?

Thanks for any further help in this research!

Hanno


Note - all pictures courtesy of Marcel van Hoepen from Westkapelle:
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  #29  
Old 21-05-18, 18:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
The (as of yet) unidentified Sherman V Crab on LCT 1005 was commanded by Lieutenant S.A. Miller. This Crab got ashore first, but it got stuck when it tried to tow the second Crab "RHODERICK DHU" off the beach. It too got swamped by the incoming tide, rendering it useless.

I do not know its name or Turret number, but it has a WD census number ending with ...53:

The WD census number may be seen on the left-hand flail arm, but is too vague to read:
Just came across a new picture of locals posing in front of Lt. Miller's Sherman V Crab after WW2:

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  #30  
Old 18-06-18, 21:51
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Not only tanks littered the area for years after the Operation: this picture shows two LCT's on the sea dike. They were broken up in situ in September 1949, five years after they stranded.

In the background is Radar Station W 154. In November 1944 this was one of the targets of the Commando's, who found it abandoned.

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Source: http://proxy.handle.net/10648/a8cf0a...8-003048976d84
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