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Who knew the RAF were on Omaha Beach on D-Day?!

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Who knew the RAF were on Omaha Beach on D-Day?!

Old 14th Nov 2015, 09:59
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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My own Pop went over on something like D-Day + 12, I'm not sure where he landed but I believe it was one of the American Beaches, on the trip over under cover of darkness, he woke up, they'd been on board the vessel waiting to set sail for sometime and unable to move apart from (I imagine) answering a call of nature. He'd fallen asleep, so part way across he stepped over others and made his way up top to see what was going on and described two Americans with a heavy machine gun, or perhaps slightly heavier piece, on the Bow who gave some friendly advice about returning down below lest they get fired on.

That's the story as best as I can recall it when he told me 40 or so years ago.

He was a servicing commando on 609 West Riding Squadron.

FB
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Old 16th Nov 2015, 07:49
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FB:-
He was a servicing commando
If the presence within the invading force of the RAF might be a surprise to some, the term "RAF Commandos" might equally be. Formed some two years earlier than D-Day, they kept the aircraft serviced on the front line airstrips; in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East. I was pleased to see they had a mention in this year's Remembrance Festival:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force_Commandos
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Old 1st Jan 2016, 21:30
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Mobile ground control after D-Day

Hello, I am brand new here. I have been searching for a while for any information about MGCI after D-Day. I have found quite a lot on a Canadian unit that covered the beach and went on until September, when they returned to the U.K.
Oddly enough I saw the post saying that the last surviving Canadian member, forget the name, Adhair? very recently died in Langley B.C. I live just a few miles away, but prior to this lived myself in Langley.

The info I have been looking for concerns MGCI units that went on after D-day and followed the army until the end of the war. My dad crossed on Omaha beach. I say my Dad, well it is my Dad and step dad, they were both in the same unit.

My Father was Frederick Owen King, my step dad was Herbert Roderick Williamson. I do not have any other military info on them. My step dad did sign up. I know they were in the area of Belgium, the unit was badly shot up and they returned to the U.K. to re-equip. I remember seeing the RAF jeep parked outside the house, although I was only 3 at the time. Then returned I think into Holland.

So, I'm wondering if anyone could direct me to any links that would lead me to information re the above.

I never knew my father, my parents divorced before the end of the war. My step dad never wanted to discuss the events, only picked up the odd remark that lead to the info above. Oh! I do know also that at some stage he was based at Banff Scotland. He did drive one of those big Thornycroft giant tractors, he admitted that. He broke his nose when he crashed it somewhere in Holland!!

So I would be very grateful for any leads.

Thanks very much!
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Old 1st Jan 2016, 22:09
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I should add.......

Both my dads were residents of the U.K. at the time. We lived in Ruislip, my step dad came from Manchester, and was known as Bill Williamson. They are both moved on from here.

I moved to Canada in 1976.

Thanks, Dave King
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 09:30
  #25 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up Mobile Ground Radar after D-Day

Hi daveking650

Great to hear from you.

I've contacted our Association historian to see if he can help and also copied the note to our last surviving RAF veteran of the landings on Omaha Beach on D-Day and I'm sure between them they can either provide some information or point you in the right direction.

I'll be back in touch as soon as I've heard back from them

Kind regards

Agatha
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 17:11
  #26 (permalink)  
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daveking650

Have heard back from our Historian and Chairman - Gp Capt (Retd) Tim Willbond who wrote:

"There is quite a lot of material available not the least of which is the material produced by Dr Les Dobinson (last surviving RAF Veteran of D-day landings) which we drew on to write a more broadly based article on FC involvement in D Day The D-Day Fighter Control Story - Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers.

Further, for some time I have been trying to put together a paper on the evolution of tactical control in Air Defence as a complimentary piece to the Filter Centre paper we produced. There is some material in there on the role and successes of GCI and FDP units in the battles in North West Europe The battles that followed D day saw a number of C&R (ASAC) units involved. I would be very happy to be contacted directly at [email protected]"

Tim can send you a copy of information supplied by Dr Les Dobinson and the paper on tactical control in Air Defence if you'd like - just e-mail him to let him know you'd like a copy.

Other links that may prove useful:
http://www.rquirk.com/cdnradar/cor/chapter11.pdf
You may also find this website run by Peter Best, son of Acting Squadron Leader Norman Best, who was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on Omaha Beach on D-Day of interent. The RAF at Omaha Beach

Hope that helps?

Agatha
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Old 8th Jun 2019, 14:19
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Many thanks MAINJAFAD

The Association has taken upon itself the task of protecting and promoting the heritage and achievements of the 'radar' units and the people who manned, operated and maintained the systems during WW2. Specifically this year for the 70th Anniversary, we are hoping to promote the D-Day participation of RAF radar units who took part in the assault phase and are producing a pamphlet on the topic for the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum and the Air Defence Radar Museum so the additional information you provided will be invaluable to the Heritage team who are currently doing the bulk of the research

I'll also make the Heritage team aware of your interest and knowledge as they may wish to PM you to swap stories!

Thanks again
Hello there. I have found nothing online to suggest this, but I contend that in addition to the two FDPs that have been mentioned in several sources as landing on D-Day, 15053 FDP/GCI also landed on D-Day on Sword. I don't know why this has never appeared anywhere, but there are several reasons why I think this. Firstly my father was in the unit and he told me. Of course a father may well exaggerate things for his son, but I have also corresponded with two other people whose fathers served in 15053 and they said the same thing. Secondly I have a map showing the path of 15053 through Europe apparently produced by the unit itself called "'53 Action". It shows landing on the 6th. Thirdly I have my father's copy of the unit's operational record in terms of contacts made that resulted in kills. It shows where they were on each date (they got by far the most of their action when in Eindhoven), and it also shows "Landed" on 6 June. I understand there are official records of the unit at Kew, and I hope to get down there one day to find out more.
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 09:33
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I mentioned this in the D-Day anniversary thread (75th anniversary of the D Day invasion 2019) because my father said he went over with the US forces on D-Day as part of a small group of RAF personnel in order to set up mobile radar sites as it was expected the landing forces would be hit hard by the Luftwaffe. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1989 so I can't ask him the things I want to, but he told both my mother and myself that he shared a tent with someone who went on to become a famous Welsh opera singer. After a little reseach, I believe that singer was Sir Geraint Evans. My father's name was Thomas Kerr.

It would mean a lot to me if I could find out more about my father's service, but living on the other side of the planet from Kew I don't know how best to carry out my research of my father's service. If anyone has tips, please let me know, and vimhawkraf, would you mind if I PM you? Thank you.
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 10:52
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Of course, ask anything you like.
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 15:23
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My RAFA mate tells me that 75 years and a couple of days ago, 5656 RAF aircraft were involved with the landings together with 1800 RAF personnel and 456 RAF vehicles landing ashore. He is quite good on these things so, whilst amazed, I believe him
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 17:51
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Daveking, To get a feel for what they would have gone through, find a copy of "Off to War with '054" by John Kemp who was OC 15054. They landed in Normandy on 11 June 1944 and travelled across Europe to Travemunde, providing GCI services all the way.
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Old 9th Jun 2019, 20:16
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I am sure the Heritage Member of the Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers would love to hear from you as your informatin will help to complete or clarity the picture of the RAF Fighter Control involvement in D-Day. Our Heritage Member is Gp Capt (Retd) Tim Willbond and you can email him at [email protected] or [email protected].
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Old 10th Jun 2019, 10:25
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I read that recently. It's out of print but you can get second hand copies from Amazon. It's not a huge book but a good insight into the operations and equipment of the FDP/GCIs. As I said earlier, my father was in 15053, described as the "sister unit" of 15054 in the book.
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Old 10th Jun 2019, 16:58
  #34 (permalink)  
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vimhawkraf

I just tried to send you a PM with Tim Willbond's personal email address (He's keen to chat!) but received the following error message "vimhawkraf has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space."

Agatha
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Old 11th Jun 2019, 10:20
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Agatha,

I sent a PM to vimhawkraf last night which seemed to get through, so my apologies if I managed to fill up the inbox (it was one PM, I promise!). In the meantime, would you be kind enough to send me Tim Willbond's email address? I'm happy to use the ones you posted here but if you think it would be better to use Tim's personal email, please let me know. Unfortunately, I can't really add an information other than my father shared a tent with Sir Geraint Evans. I've checked with my mother and my father left no records of his service other than what he told us, his RAF blue coat, beret (or maybe a cap) and his medals. My mother is now 86 and would like to find out more before I see her again this Christmas. Any help would be very much appreciated.
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Old 13th Jun 2019, 12:36
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
Agatha,

I sent a PM to vimhawkraf last night which seemed to get through, so my apologies if I managed to fill up the inbox (it was one PM, I promise!). In the meantime, would you be kind enough to send me Tim Willbond's email address? I'm happy to use the ones you posted here but if you think it would be better to use Tim's personal email, please let me know. Unfortunately, I can't really add an information other than my father shared a tent with Sir Geraint Evans. I've checked with my mother and my father left no records of his service other than what he told us, his RAF blue coat, beret (or maybe a cap) and his medals. My mother is now 86 and would like to find out more before I see her again this Christmas. Any help would be very much appreciated.
For info to all, Tim's [email protected] and [email protected] addresses will redirect to his private address and he will, I am sure, respond from there. Use of the '[email protected]' address that Agatha mentioned in an earlier post will no longer get to Tim, but to the new Chairman. I am now the Secretary and Web Manager of the Association.

SP
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Old 14th Jun 2019, 08:43
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SP

Thanks for that :-)

Tim gave permission to pass on his personal email address so have PM'd the gentlemen concerned and hopefully they have now made contact.

Agatha
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 10:23
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Forgive me for being new to this but my late father LAC Stan Mallett was involved in the D-Day landing on Omaha. He was with 15082 and I have a few photos of him. I would be interested in liaising with anyone who would be able to help me in my search for more details about his involvement.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 16:36
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Originally Posted by Frank Mallett View Post
Forgive me for being new to this but my late father LAC Stan Mallett was involved in the D-Day landing on Omaha. He was with 15082 and I have a few photos of him. I would be interested in liaising with anyone who would be able to help me in my search for more details about his involvement.
Further to some of the information earlier in the thread from Agatha, I can confirm that Tim Willbond is still the Association’s Heritage Member and is still contactable on [email protected]. He is always looking out for ‘new’ resources!

SP
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 18:20
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Frank Mallett I'll contact the last surviving member of 15082, Dr Les Dobinson, and see if I can put you in direct contact :-)
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