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 Combined Operations - 170 webpages, 2,000 photos, 250,000 visits and 7 million hits each year. The definitive Combined Ops website.

Please 'like' the Combined Operations Command memorial on Facebook in appreciation of  Allied veterans of WW2.  News and Information at the bottom of this and every webpage.

~ COMBINED OPS TRAINING ESTABLISHMENTS ~

There were dozens of Combined Operations Training Establishments in WW2 which were primarily concerned with preparing allied forces for the amphibious invasion of North Africa and mainland Europe. The crews of landing craft involved, the soldiers they carried and the RAF in support all required training singly and jointly as a unified force. It was an enormous undertaking involving hundreds of thousands of service personnel.

The training establishments were mainly in the west of Scotland and the south of England and each served to fill particular training needs. The history of the training establishments does not include periods outside the control of Combined Operations unless of special interest. [Based on researched material provided by Phill Jones.]

Achnacarry HMS Lochailort HMS Dorlin HMS Quebec HMS Pasco
HMS Armadillo HMS James Cook HMS Brontosaurus HMS Roseneath Port Glasgow
HMS Monch HMS Warren HMS Dundonald RAF Dundonald HMS Dinosaur
HMS Stopford HMS Arbella HMS Mylodon HMS Woolverstone HMS Helder
HMS Westcliff HMS Wildfire HMS Robertson HMS Allenby HMS Haig
HMS Newt HMS Lizard HMS Sea Serpent HMS Northney Warnford
HMS Tormentor HMS Squid Calshot HMS Mastodon HMS Medina
HMS Vectis HMS Manatee HMS Turtle Dartmouth III Salcombe
HMS Foliot HMS Appledore Staines Amersham COHQ
Addendum - Oct 07. The bases below are not included in the map.
HMS Monster HMS Pauline HMS Rodent HMS St Barbara HMS St Clement
HMS St Matthew HMS Bradford HMS Dragonfly HMS Melisande HMS Tullichewan
HMS Victory II HMS Hopetoun HMS Porcupine II HMS Porcupine HMS Dartmouth III
HMS Effingham Overseas Estab'ments      

SCOTLAND

1. Achnacarry

Function - commando basic training and assessment.

Address and  setting up - Achnacarry, Inverness-shire, Scotland. Located about 14 miles from Fort William in a remote highland glen. In February 1942 Charles Haydon selected Achnacarry House as the base for Commando training.

Other information - Achnacarry was the Highland castle home of the Chief of the Clan Cameron. It was initially designated as a commando depot but later re-designated as the Commando Basic Training Centre. In terms of accountability the centre came under the control of the Commando Group but the Commanding Officer also reported to Combined Operations HQ in London.

It was the main commando training facility and its remote location, rugged terrain, mountains and unpredictable weather, provided an excellent environment for the secret Commando training. Achnacarry left an indelible impression on those who passed through its doors. Col Charles E Vaughan, the Commandant, was known by some trainees as 'Rommel of the North' because of his strict discipline and rigorous training regime. However few had any doubts about the value of the training when they found themselves in action against the enemy.

In the early days volunteers 'for duties of a hazardous nature' were recruited to commando units, put through the training course and returned to unit (RTU'd ) if they failed to meet the required standards. This practice was changed in 1942 when volunteers were posted to commando units after successfully completing the training course. There is a memorial to the Commandos in the area at Spean Bridge. [Photo courtesy of Stephen Eblet].

Prior to Achnacarry, Commando training was carried out in the Clyde Area at two main locations; the first in the grounds of Kellburn Estate, just south of Largs, and the second in the area around Inveraray on Loch Fyne - the home of the Duke of Argyll. The first ever Commando assault course was built in the grounds of the Kellburn Estate, and to this day (2/05), a modified version is still regularly used by the local Greenock based detachment of the Royal Marine Reserve. The first Commando 'speed march' route, planned by No 3 Commando, was from Kemp's car park at Largs pier-head to the Tea Room on the left of the main street, at the south end of Fairlie, about 200 yards north of the present 30 limit. [This paragraph contributed by Ian Wilkins].

Further reading about Achnacarry... Castle Commando by Donald Gilchrist available from The West Highland Museum, Cameron Square, Fort William, PH33 6AJ for £12.99.  01397 702169.

2. HMS Lochailort

Function - school for boat officers.

Address and commissioning history - Inverailort Castle, Nr Fort William, Scotland. Commissioned 24/8/42 and paid off 31/1/45.

Other information - At the start of the war Christine Cameron of Lochailort House was told that the house would probably be requisitioned so best to offer it as a hospital or a school, but she would not listen. When in London she received a telegram to say that the whole house and estate had been requisitioned. She returned as quickly as possible but all the furniture had been loaded into lorries and taken to Fort William for storage. No inventory was taken. There were storms which washed away some bridges so three of the lorries unloaded the antique furniture and used it to bridge one of the rivers. When she learnt about this she had a heart attack and went to stay with a relative. She died some time later.

Most of the glass negatives from her photographs were just put in boxes in the attic. Many were broken. Like other estates, much of the furniture had woodworm when it was returned.
[Martin Briscoe, Fort William]

[These maps show the western side (left) and eastern side (right) of HMS Lochailort overlaid on a modern map for the purpose of locating particular base facilities long since demolished. Provided courtesy of  Mr Clyne. Thanks to staff at The Highland Historic Record http://her.highland.gov.uk/ for their assistance. Recent photos of base available from  http://her.highland.gov.uk/hbsmrgatewayhighland/DataFiles/LibraryLinkFiles/208088.pdf (below text on pdf page].

Before 1942 Lochailort was an  infantry training school under the command of Col. McMaster. The Royal Navy took over the premises in 1942 and renamed it HMS Lochailort. About this time normal recruitment and training methods were incapable of meeting the demand for junior officers. They were needed in vast numbers to crew the minor landing craft needed for the invasion of mainland Europe. Initially officer trainees came from HMS King Alfred at Hove which was an officer training establishment for ratings with potential. When this closed down on 1/7/43 the supply of officers for training came from Lochailort itself.

Much of HMS Lochailort still stands (2004) on ground now occupied by a fish farm. The then estate house was used as the HQ building as the names of wartime officers on doors within the building testify to this day. The house was also used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to train men for work behind enemy lines; hand to hand combat, sabotage, use of explosives, survival etc. For personal memories of his time at Lochailort read the Memoirs of Ernest Dale 1939-1945 and for a brief summary of Military Operations at Inverailort in 1940, read a Talk by Major Hall. Photos of buildings here courtesy of Martin Briscoe.

3. HMS Dorlin

Function - training for RN Beach Signals and Royal Signals sections - battle training.

Address and commissioning history - Dorlin House, Acharacle, Argyll, Scotland was also known as the No 3 Combined Training Centre. It had been used by the Navy from as early as 1940 but was commissioned as HMS Dorlin on 23/3/42. When the training need was met a period of care and maintenance followed from 6/4/44 to 28/11/44 when it was closed down. It was demolished (blown up) after WW2 or in 1963 depending on local accounts.  [Photo; Dolrin House in 1935. Compare this view with a recent one of the location - first photo below]

Other information - there were 6 very tough assault courses listed below which concentrated on dealing with natural and artificial defensive obstructions. The equipment available for the training exercises included 12 landing craft personnel mechanised (LCPMs), 5 cutters, 3 small drifters with a capacity of approximately 60 men and HMS Quentin Roosevelt which was an ex French fishery protection vessel with accommodation for approximately 2 Companies.

1) Dorlin CTC staff plus 4 officers and 80 ordinary ratings (ORs),
2) Shielbridge
3 miles from Dorlin. 7 officers and 25 ORs,
3) Salen
7.5 miles from Dorlin. Combined Training Centre Administration plus 7 officers and 130 ORs,
4) Glencripesdale
7.5 miles by road + 0.5 hours by boat. 7 officers and 130 ORs,
5) Glenborrodale 16 miles by road. 7 officers and 130 ORs,
6) Roshven
17 miles by land or 1.5 hours by sea. 7 officers and 130 ORs. There is little left of the wartime buildings but foundations and lower walls can still be seen. [Photos courtesy of Phill Jones; top to bottom; HMS Dorlin x 2, Glencripesdale x 2 and Glenborrodale x 2].

At Glencripesdale, Glenborrodale & Roshven camps, stores were man-handled from boats some distance to the camps and the training was not easy either. The total training area was large and remote. This provided opportunities for training exercises in unfamiliar territory and for the development of self reliance in all aspects of survival. 'Opposed' landing exercises were carried out at Company strength on beaches mined by the Royal Engineers and with incoming live 3" mortar shells and  live ammunition. The intention was to create the conditions the men would face as they approached, and landed on, the heavily defended beaches in enemy occupied territory. There were night-time training exercises too undertaken with the aid of flares and tracer bullets.

4. HMS Quebec

HMS Quebec I

Function - a large training centre specialising in the training of Naval and Army personnel in 'minor' landing craft operations. A training flotilla of craft was stationed in the area for that purpose.

Address and commissioning history - Inveraray, Argyllshire, Scotland. The name was approved on 1/9/40 and the base commissioned on 15/10/40. It was paid off on 1/7/46.

Other information - Combined Operations boat training was transferred to Dartmouth in January 1943. Visit HMS Quebec  for more information about the No 1 Combined Training Centre of which HMS Quebec was a part.

HMS Quebec II

Function - Combined Ops Centre... mainly administrative.

Address and commissioning history - Hollywood Hotel, Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland. It was commissioned on 11/10/41 to 31/3/43 (44?). It was earlier the HQ of Rear Admiral Commanding Northern Patrol and a Naval Hospital. It became HQ of Joint Air Ministry and Naval staff and Flag of the Commandant, Combined Training Centre, Inveraray (HMS Quebec). Re-designated HMS Quebec II on 10/3/42 as Vice Admiral Combined Training.

Other information - For an insight into the meticulous approach to the training of staff officers in matters relating to WW2 Combined Operations please visit the website of the Combined Arms Research Library (Digital Library [Slow Link]. The courses were held at the Combined Training Centre Largs on the west coast of Scotland from July 1943 to March 1944. A total of 1158 officers completed the intensive course including 153 from the Royal Navy and Marines, 379 from the British Army, 122 from the Canadian Army, 351 from the RAF and 153 Allied. We're grateful to Martin Briscoe of Fort William, Scotland for drawing our attention to this invaluable source of information.

5. HMS Pasco

Function - a landing craft signals school providing training for minor landing craft signalmen.

Address and commissioning history - Glenbranter Camp, Glenbranter, Strachur, Scotland. The base was commissioned on 14/12/42 and listed to October 1945. In a previous existence it was a prisoner of war camp.

Other information - Photo courtesy of Alan Brooke.

6. HMS Armadillo

Function - formation and training of RN Beach Commandos.

Address and commissioning history - Glenfinnart, Scotland. This was a War Office camp which was transferred to RN use on 12/10/42. It was commissioned on 25/11/42, paid off on 30/9/45 and closed on 11/12/45. From 17/7/45 it came under the control of HMS Dundonald.

Other information - see below HMS Dundonald I where training of RN Beach Commandos was undertaken with their respective beach groups. See RN Beach Commandos for information on how the training was put into practice against the enemy.

The photos on the right were taken by Lt. Milne, RCNVR. They show Canadian Navy Commando "W" training at HMS Armadillo in 1943 and, in the one showing bayonet practice on the jump, the Commando top right is Bill Newell of Canada who sent the photos in. Note the evidence of nearby explosions which were a characteristic of the realistic conditions under which the training was undertaken. Bill recalls, "at the time the photos were taken I became aware of training casualties in noticeable numbers. The leading explosive instructor on the assault course was one, and I was nearly another. While crawling under barbed wire in the training field a bullet went through the small pack on my back. The instructors made the point that, 'if you're dumb enough to become a casualty it's better to happen here than later in action where others will depend upon you.' A harsh but fair comment.

Leading Seaman, Harry ‘Dusty’ Millar, was a Gunnery Instructor at HMS Armadillo between 1943 and 1945. Prior to joining Combined Operations he served as a Gun–Layer on the Cruiser, HMS Penelope (Pepperpot) from 1941 to 1942. During his time in Ardentinny, he became close friends with two other instructors, Stanley Horsefield (Horsey) and Lofty Lloyd. They exchanged Christmas cards every year until they all passed away. 

Harry Millar met his wife (Heather de Burgh) in Ardentinny during 1944, where she was serving as a WRN cook in the Officers’ Mess. She remembers WRN Steward Lilly Brennan, who accidentally shot Dusty Millar in the leg while undergoing (I suspect illegal) firearms training!

Harry's son Robert said, I've been living in Australia for the past 33 years and hope that somebody might remember them from those days. Sadly my father died in December 1988 and seldom spoke about the war. If you have any information likely to be of interest to Robert please contact him by e-mail. [Photo; Harry taken outside his parent's home in Bannockburn c 1943].

7. HMS James Cook

Function - Naval Beach Training Establishment providing training in the practice and theory of Navigational Training for officers of minor landing craft flotillas.

Address and commissioning history - Glen Caladh, Nr Tighnabruaich, Scotland. The base was commissioned on 11/11/42 and paid off on 30/9/45. The name initially incorrectly announced as HMS James Cooke.

Other information - Vera Curtis was based at HMS James Cook from Nov 1942 until Aug 1945 along with about 50 other Wrens and 8 Wren Officers. She was just 17 when she arrived at HMS James Cook. Amongst a wider range of duties she saw to the domestic needs of Navy Officers who were undergoing navigation and other training on landing craft. [Photo top; Vera Curtis is seated on the left and, below the full complement of WRENS].

Her day started at 0600 and finished when the last Officer decided to retire often around 2330. Her domestic duties included bed making, shoe polishing, turning back the bed and laying out pyjamas in the evening. The Officers enjoyed the relative comfort of the nearby castle while the Wrens were billited in 4 Nissan huts in the castle grounds. Each Nissan hut housed about 20 Wrens with a single cast iron stove for heating. When not on duty Tighnabruaich, or `Ton of bricks` as the Wrens used to call it, could be visited via the duty boat or shanks's pony. Similarly, Rothesey could be reached by cadging a lift on a fishing boat or a Royal Army Service Corps craft. 

As you might expect Vera's memories are a mix of happy and sad times. The former includes: the occasional use of unconventional work methods such as cleaning the dining room floor with dusters tied to their feet; polishing the dining table with a mixture of polish and vinegar buffed up by sliding their posteriors across the table surface; and serving officers' left-over food, with a generous portion of gravy, to a grumpy vicar who, when  invited to dinner by the officers, invariably turned up late!

 
Vera's sad memories bring to mind a few events such as the story of the Officer commanding. Although about 50 yrs old his health was poor due to a WW1 accident or wounding. He often handed over command to his No 1 when he was not able to cope. Another story concerned a 19 year old sailor who died because he wore Wellington boots on an exercise instead of the regulation plimsoles. He fell overboard and his boots immediately filled up with water dragging him down. The crew were unable to recover him in time.

Just like the rest of the nation the Wrens were not immune to the consequences of war which for some came in the form of bad news about boyfriends, husbands or fathers. [Derrick Curtis (son)].

8. HMS Brontosaurus - also known as the No 2 Combined Training Centre and Castle Toward.

Function - initial Royal Navy training for the officers and crews of major landing craft.

Address and commissioning history - Castle Toward, Dunoon, Argyll was the No 2 Combined Training Centre. It was known informally as Castle Toward (pronounced as in coward) and was located at Toward Point 6mls south of Dunoon on the Clyde. It was commissioned on 17/8/42 and paid off on 10/7/46.

Other information - in November 1942 the ground force element at HMS Dundonald  was transferred to Castle Toward and the No 1 Combined Training Centre at Inveraray about the time the Commandos and Infantry Battalions were being trained in amphibious operations. Visit Castle Toward for more information about the No 2 Combined Training Centre.

9. HMS Roseneath

Function - Roseneath was commissioned on 15/4/42 and named HMS Louisburg. However, after the attack on Pearl Harbour and direct American involvement in the war, plans for the base were changed. It was paid off on 3/8/42 by the RN and handed over to US control as an amphibious training centre. It was used during preparations for the landings in French North Africa in November 1942. By 1943, following the success of the North Africa landings, Roseneath returned once more to British control as HMS Roseneath. However, sections of the base were retained by the US Navy for a 'Seabee' maintenance force and berthing/supply facilities for the depot ship USS Beaver and the boats of US Navy Submarine Squadron 50.

Address and commissioning history - Roseneath, Dumbartonshire, Scotland. It was commissioned by the RN on 3/8/42 and paid off on 3/10/42. It was then loaned to the US Navy from 29/9/42 to 12/1/43 (US Base two). On 12/1/43 it was re-commissioned and once more paid off this time on 19/8/43. It was then returned to the US Navy from 20/8/43 to 13/6/45. The final re-commissioning took place on 13/6/45 and remained in force until July 1948..

Other Information -  the account below by Dennis Royal is reproduced here courtesy of Douglas Press. It provides details of a book about the Americans at Roseneath. The name appears as Rosneath in some 1945/46 publications.

Dennis Royal has tapped a rich though surprisingly neglected seam of Second World War History in writing about the American presence on the Roseneath Peninsula during the years 1941- 45.

While it is a well-known fact that there was a strong IJS military involvement in Britain from 1942, very little has been written about the US Navy's role at Roseneath from summer 1941 despite the fact that at its peak, over 6,000 personnel were stationed there. Under the terms of President Roosevelt's 'Lend-Lease' legislation, it had been agreed that 'advance' US bases would be built in Britain - naval bases at Londonderry, Northern Ireland and Roseneath with naval air squadron stations at Loch Ryan in South West Scotland and Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

The first Americans arrived on the Peninsula in July 1941 to find Royal Engineers of the 996 Dock Operating Co already at work. Although the civilian contractors were led by US Navy officers in civilian dress, since the US was neutral, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Dee 8, they were able to appear openly in naval uniform.

By spring of 1942, the new base was nearing completion and some 749 Quonset accommodation huts, (the American version of Nissan huts), had been erected along with an extensive wharf system, many large storage sheds, a magazine area and a hospital complex at Portkill.

The author writes in a most lucid and engaging style and has done a masterful job in marshalling his material and setting it down in print. He is too articulate and well versed to make use of clichés but it is interesting to look at his story in terms of the well-known lines "overpaid; overfed, oversexed and over here".

In terms of the first two points, the relative affluence and generosity of the Americans is legendary. For example petrol (gasolene) was available in plenty; a request for a gin and tonic in the officer's club brought an entire bottle of gin to the table; local children were well supplied with "candy bars"; while the Base Commander referred to their catering corp as "the most important of all".

With regard to the term "oversexed", one report referred to "too few dances and insufficient female companions" Nonetheless, when local dances were held they were well attended by local girls and on many occasions female students from Glasgow University were invited with special transport provided to collect and return the girls to the university.

US personnel also travelled to Glasgow and some retain pleasant memories of visits to the Locarno Ballroom, always a favourite haunt of: servicemen when in Glasgow. Many of the wartime visitors married Scottish girls and one recalls "winding up with some real nice girlfriends".

The Americans certainly made their presence felt and in 1942 began the construction of a new deep-water jetty at Finnart and the laying of an oil pipeline to Bowling with a spur line to Rosneath. Local people were amazed at the sense of purpose and the speed with which the Americans approached the task.

Other aspects of the book worth highlighting are the extensive researching of records and archives and the copious use of anecdotes and reminiscences gained from the first hand memories of locals who remember the wartime American presence. Another feature worth mentioning is the fine sense of humour which runs through the book. For example, a resident of South Dakota, in praising his welcome at Rosneath, describes his home slate as the place "where men arc as hard as nails and the women drive them home".

Also remarkable is the extensive use of photographs many of which were obtained from US Naval historical archives and which have never appeared locally before. The book provides a fascinating account of the ebb and flow of military strategy and its effect on the operation at Rosneath base.

In August 1943, as extensive preparations began for the invasion of France, Rosneath again reverted to American control as main receiving station for USN activities in Europe and a training, supply and maintenance base. Following the successful landings in Normandy during summer 1944 and the Allied advance towards the victory of 1945 in Europe, Rosneath Base was gradually run down and decommissioned by the USN in June. Once more the base became HMS Rosneath but in 1948 it was finally closed and dismantled.

Book Details. 'United States Navy Base Two - Americans at Rosneath 1941-45' by Dennis Royal. Published by the Douglas Press, I Duiletter, Glendaruel, Argyll, PA22 3AE, June 2000. UK £6.99 ISBN 1902831802

10. Port Glasgow (no information to date).

Function - Repair Base (?).

Address and commissioning history -

Other information -

11. HMS Monck

HMS Monck I

Function - at Largs HMS Monck was the HQ for Combined Training and included the Flag Officer. At Port Glasgow it was concerned with Carrier training while also serving as a Royal Navy Barracks and landing craft base. At Roseneath it was an ICE (?) school by '44.

Address and commissioning history - HMS Monck has a rather confusing history because of changes in its location and function. It was variously located in Largs , Port Glasgow and Roseneath...  all in the area of the River Clyde. Commissioned from 1/4/42 to 30/9/46.

Other information - HMS Monck (Port Glasgow). This facility was based at the harbour in the centre of Port Glasgow. It was used for the construction, assembly and repair of troop landing craft. The shore billets for the base were located south east of the town on the high ground known locally as High Carnegie. In the early 50's the remainder of the buildings on the high ground (long since redeveloped) became known as the Holy Family area. As a child in the early 50's, I remember about 30 used troop landing craft were delivered to the quay side at the harbour in Port Glasgow. They were double stacked in a long row down the centre of the quay. I think they must have been returned for repair at some stage late in the war and got lost in transit for a couple of years or so! [Para contributed by Ian Wilkins].

HMS Monck II

Function - Greenock HQ Flag Officer.

Address and commissioning history - Greenock. Commissioned from 1/1/44 to 1/10/44

Other information -

12. HMS Warren

Function - Senior Officers training centre for Combined Operations which catered for the training needs of all 3 services.  

Address and commissioning history - Largs, Ayrshire. The centre was also known as the No 4 Combined Training Centre or CTC Largs. It was commissioned on 12/10/42 and paid off on 31/12/46.

Other information - the RAF base within CTC Largs was called RAF Vanduara which, in 1943, came under Wing Commander Carroll. The training centre was also the HQ of Rear Admiral Combined Operations Base (WA) and the Flag Officer commanding overseas assault forces. HMS Warren included the Hollywood Hotel in Largs.

 Vanduara, the name of the base as I know it, came from the Vanduara Hotel in Largs which was (is) the two storey building situated at the north end of the grassed area of sea front opposite the Barrfields area. Today the building is a block of flats. During the early part of WW2 the Hotel was the original base of the newly formed Combined Operations HQ under the command of Adm. Keyes who was succeeded, at this same location, by Mountbatten. My late uncle, Robert Lovelock, as a very young apprentice plumber, had occasion to be inside the hotel to repair the central heating system. He and his journeyman were walking down a corridor when a Naval Officer approached. As he passed them by, the Naval Officer asked "How's it going boys?" to which they replied "Fine Sir, how's yersel" and walked on. Seconds later the plumber and his young mate walked into a room. There was a large painting above the fire place of the Naval Officer they had just spoken to in such a casual manner... Mountbatten!! [Para contributed by Ian Wilkins].

Information on staffing at one point during the period of commission are reproduced below for the benefit of anyone with a special interest.

CTC Largs H.Q. Staff - Maj. Mallock (RA), S/L, Savory (RAF), Capt. Brown (RCS), Capt. Douglas (RUR), Maj. Vaughan Thomas (RCS), Maj. Sellon (KOSB), Maj. Wood (RA), Col. Hon. John Kemp (RA), Rear Admiral Horan (RN), Maj. Gen Sir James Drew (Cameras), Commander Aubrey St. Clair Ford (RN), Wing Commander, W. Tailyour (RAF).

CTC Largs Directing Staff - S/L Savory, Maj Mallock, Capt Brown, Capt Douglas, Maj Vaughan Thomas, Maj Wood, Comdr St Claire Ford, F/O Peggy Herbert, (WAAF), Col. Hon John Kemp, W/C Tailyour, Maj. Sellon.

RAF personnel Largs -  F/Lt Cox AFC, S/L Savory.

13. HMS Dundonald

HMS Dundonald I

Function - holding and training base for RN Beach Commandos and holding base for Combined Operations personnel. RN Beach Commandos trained with their respective beach groups. Initial naval training for officers and crews of major landing craft. See also HMS Armadillo.

Address and commissioning - HMS Dundonald I, Gailes Camp, Auchengate, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland. Commissioned on 1/4/42 and paid off in September 1946.

Other information - Combined Training Centre personnel (Middle East) stayed at Gailes Camp in March '45 on return from their tour of duty. They were absorbed into Armadillo in July '45.

HMS Dundonald II

Function - Combined Signals School (CSS) for the RN, RAF and Army also training of RN Beach Signals Sections.

Address and commissioning history - H.M.S. Dundonald 2, Auchingate, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland. Commissioned on 1/4/42 and closed on 6/6/46.

Other information - The CSS was formed at Inveraray, Argyll on the 1st Nov 1941 as part of the No I Combined Training Centre - HMS Quebec. It was the brainchild of Mountbatten and, in common with all other training programmes, was designed to meet a specific need. The CSS was an early example of a Combined training school. The first Director was Commander L.C. Skinner, R.N. Initially joint control was vested in a Lt. Col. of the Royal Signals, an RAF Wing Commander RAF and a Major Royal Marines with a unified command structure.

Signalling procedures were developed, taught and put into practice in communications training exercises to and from landing craft. The school was also responsible for experimentation and training in early forms of navigational aids using radio and other devices. These were designed to assist small landing craft find their way to designated landing places on hostile beaches. In 1942 the school moved to Troon (HMS Dundonald 2) and the training centre there was treated to the unusual sight of men from all services parading together and reporting to a Signals Duty Officer who could be from any of the three!

14. Dundonald Air Station

Function - home station of RAF 516 Squadron which was attached to Combined Operations. Its primary purpose was to provide realistic air attack and smoke screen input for amphibious landing training. Also assisted in the calibration of radar on the 3 specially commissioned vessels called Fighter Direction Tenders - FDT 13, FDT 216, and FDT 217.

Address and commissioning history - adjacent to the village of Dundonald in Ayrshire.

Other information - also known as Bogside. For more information on Dundonald Air Station visit 516 Squadron.

Sources - RAF Dundonald operational books and public archives.

15. HMS Dinosaur

Dinosaur I

Function - HQ for tank landing craft training operations. Training establishment for major landing craft officers and major landing craft gunnery school.

Address and commissioning history - Troon, Ayrshire. Base was commissioned from 1/4/42 to May 1946.

Other Information -

Dinosaur II

Function - major landing craft work-up and repair base.

Address and commissioning history - Irvine, Ayrshire. Base was commissioned on 1/11/43 to 31/12/44. Subsequently renamed Fullerton.

Other Information -

16. HMS Stopford

Function - Major landing craft base for 'working up' craft prior to operations. Passive defence school and balloon school (?)

Address and commissioning history - Bo'ness, West Lothian. base was commissioned on 18/4/42 and paid off on 15/9/45.

Other information - Used the London and North East (LNER) docks at Bo'ness as landing craft base and Bo'ness Hosiery premises for ratings' billets.


ENGLAND

17. HMS Arbella

Function -

Address and commissioning history - Boston, Lincolnshire. Base was commissioned on 21/1/43 and paid off on 9/8/45.

Other information -

18. HMS Mylodon

Function -

Address and commissioning history - Lowestoft. Name announced in Nov 1942, commissioned on 19/1/43 and closed on 28/6/46.

Other information - Some lists refer to Great Yarmouth.

19. HMS Woolverstone

Function - Landing craft base and training establishment.

Address and commissioning history - Ipswich. The base was commissioned on 1/1/43, care and maintenance from 9/7/43, re-commissioned on 15/10/43 and paid off on 20/2/46.

Other information - Was St Felix School in Southwold, Ipswich......also the HQ for FORCE L FOLLOW-UP for the landings in Normandy. Originally a 'suspense station' which provided accommodation at Woolverstone Hall.

20. HMS Helder

Function - Naval training, afloat and ashore, for officers and crews of minor landing craft.

Address and commissioning history - Brightlingsea. Base was commissioned on 5/4/42 and paid off on 30/9/44. Later, as RN Camp St Osyth, it was used as accommodation for Naval raiding parties.

Other information - Up to 1/7/43 officers for marine landing craft were supplied by the training establishment HMS King Alfred at Howe were they entered as ratings, and following training, graduated as officers. When this supply dried up following the closure of King Alfred, officers were recruited from HMS Lockailort. They were then trained in landing craft operations at HMS Helder and HMS Effingham at Dartmouth.

After 1/4/43 the recruitment policy changed in favour of the Royal Marines supplying officers and crews for the minor landing craft. Under these arrangements marine officers did a preliminary 9 week course 6 at HMS Eastney and 3 weeks in craft at HMS Northney. From there they were appointed to HMS Helder or HMS Effingham for 6 week courses in training with their crews. The first 4 weeks were essentially on naval aspects and the remaining 2 in working with the military. During this phase flotillas of small landing craft were formed and allocated to Combined Operations bases were further  training of formed flotillas was undertaken. Pending allocation to Force Commanders, formed flotillas could be attached to Combined Training Centres for work with the military.

21. HMS Westcliff

HMS Westcliff

Function - Further training of formed flotillas was carried out here also at HMS Foliot I, II and III (Plymouth), HMS Lizard (Shoreham) and HMS Sea Serpent (Burnham).

Address and commissioning history - Southend. Base was commissioned on 17/11/42, paid off on 21/1/46 and closed on 6/3/46.

Other information -

HMS Westcliff II

Function - Combined Operations holding base for RM landing craft personnel.

Address and commissioning history -

Other information -

HMS Westcliff III

Function - Landing craft base and holding base for Combined Operations personnel.

Address and commissioning - Burnham en Crouch. Base was commissioned from 7/43 to 10/46.

Other information -

22. HMS Wildfire

HMS Wildfire II

Function - Combined Operations base.

Address and commissioning history - base was commissioned on 7/12/42 and paid off on 6/6/45.

Other information -

HMS Wildfire III

Function - Combined Operations base.

Address and commissioning history - Sheerness. The base was commissioned on 7/12/42.

Other information -

23. HMS Robertson

Function - hutted accommodation encampment. A holding base for RM landing craft personnel (guns crews) and minor landing craft base.

Address and commissioning history - Kitchener (?) Camp, Richborough, Kent. Base was commissioned on 23/6/43 and paid off on 31/8/46.

Other information -

24. HMS Allenby

Function - Combined Operations base.

Address and commissioning history - Folkestone. Base was commissioned on 14/3/43 and paid off on 10/4/45. Some records show that the base was in existence as early as 1/12/42.

Other information - possibly called Bluebird III before 12/42. If so reverted to Bluebird III 11/45.

25. HMS Haig

Function -

Address and commissioning history - Rye. Base was commissioned on 20/8/43 and paid off on 15/9/43. Re-commissioned on 2/2/44 and paid off on 10/1/45.

Other information -

26. HMS Newt

Function - Landing craft base.

Address and commissioning history - Newhaven. Base was commissioned on 15/10/42 and paid off on 22/6/45. In March 1945 it was no longer required as a landing craft base and became accommodation for 'Eclipse' (?) parties.

Other information -

27. HMS Lizard

Function - Combined Operations landing craft base.

Address and commissioning history - Shoreham. Base was commissioned on 7/10/42, placed on care and maintenance on 31/10/45 and closed on 31/12/45.

Other information - http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk:80/Lizard.htm

28. HMS Sea Serpent

Function -

Address and commissioning history - the base was located in two areas... Bracklesham Bay and Birdham near Chichester. It was commissioned on 20/10/42 and paid off on 30/6/45 leaving Birdham as tender to Victory III. Birdham was paid off on 30/11/45.

Other information - it was a Combined Ops 'suspense base' prior to commissioning. Used the Sussex Ideal Holiday Camp and Gibson's Camp in Bracklesham Bay, the Brackleshan Bay Hotel and various properties at Birdham.

29. HMS Northney, I, II, III & IV

Northney

Function - training establishment for landing craft and Combined Ops camp.

Address and commissioning history - Hayling Island. The base was commissioned on 15/6/40 (without being named) under Victory III. It was known as HMS Northney from 26/1/41, was commissioned on 3/2/41 and paid off  in Jan '46.

Other information.

Northney I

Function - Landing craft base.

Address and commissioning history - Hayling island. Commissioned on 1/10/42 and paid off in January 1946.

Other information

Northney II

Function - assembly base for landing craft 'mobile units' destined for foreign service also a training establishment for engine room ratings providing a 7 week course of theory and practice.

Address and commissioning history - Hayling Island. The base was commissioned on 1/10/42 to 31/12/45.

Other information -

Northney III

Function - Landing craft base and from August 1945 a holding camp for Combined Operations personnel.

Address and commissioning history - Hayling Island. The base was commissioned on 1/10/42 to 18/12/45.

Other information -

Northney IV

Function - a landing craft base and from August 1945 a holding camp for Combined Operations personnel.

Address and commissioning history - Hayling Island, Sunshine camp. Base was commissioned from 25/11/42 to 10/12/45.

Other information -

See HMS Helder.

30. Warnford

Function - Repair base COPP Depot. (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) (?)

Address and commissioning history -

Other information -

31. HMS Tormentor

Function - minor landing craft operational base including maintenance also an operational training base for craft of Force J Flotilla in Aug 1941.

Address and commissioning history - Hamble, Southampton located in the Household Brigade Yacht Club. It was commissioned on 12/8/40 to 31/3/46.

Other information -

HMS Tormentor II

Function - Training camp.

Address and commissioning history -  Cowes, Isle of Wight from 5/42 to 8/6/42. Amalgamated with HMS Osborne to form HMS Vectis, Seaview, Isle of Wight which was commissioned on  8/6/42 and paid off on 20/5/45.

Other information - (See HMS Vectis No 36 below).

32. HMS Squid

Function - tank landing craft repair base.

Address and commissioning history - Southampton. The base was commissioned on 1/9/42, placed on care and maintenance from 12/1/46 and paid off on 1/2/46. It was established at Harland and Wolff shipbuilding yard on 11/6/42. Later Elmsfield Court, Oakville Mansions, Devonshire Buildings and Southern Railway Depot used for HMS Squid.

Other information -

Squid II.

Function - landing craft squadron staff.

Address and commissioning history - Westcliff Hall Hotel, Hythe. Squid II was commissioned on26/2/44 and put on care and maintenance from 19/4/45.

Other information.

33. Calshot

Function - Gunnery, navigation, signals, aircraft recognition, training and disciplinary course for Petty Officers.

Address and commissioning history -

Other information -  Later transferred to HMS St Barbara, Bognar which was commissioned on 1/9/43.

34. HMS Mastodon

Function - Combined Ops base for landing craft from Jan 1943 providing administrative support and facilitation of servicing needs. Also accommodated spare crews and replacement Royal Marines for flak and gun craft.

Address and commissioning history - Exbury House, Southampton. The base was commissioned on 6/5/42, placed on care and maintenance from 4/45 and closed on 6/7/45.

Other information - Here is an account by Canadian Bill Newell (Photo) who remembers his time at HMS Mastodon very well.

The five lorries carrying the men of Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando (RCNBC) "W" from the railway depot at Southampton on the south coast of England, turned into the entrance gate at HMS Mastodon at Exbury. It was a beautiful day near the end of February 1944, and I could see a large palatial mansion with expansive and beautifully landscaped grounds. Known as the Exbury Estate, on the eastern edge of the New Forest, it  belonged to the famed Rothschild banking family.

We were mustered into our three 28 man combined Commando sub-units W-1, W-2 and W-3 with each sub unit assigned to one of several Nissan accommodation huts located throughout the woods. They were furnished with single beds and were dry and clean. This was our first posting after completing our basic training at the Royal Navy Commando base HMS Armadillo, in the hills of Scotland at Ardentinny on Loch Long. HMS Mastodon provided further training on a variety of landing craft on the nearby Beaulieu River.

It was a lovely landscaped estate with trees, bushes and flowering plants from far away lands, most with identification plaques, dedicated to members of the British royal family. It had been requisitioned  by the Royal Navy Combined Operations Branch, for the purposes of planning "Operation Neptune" which, as we learned later, was the amphibious stage of "Operation Overlord" - the invasion of Normandy. We were told that the enemy knew about the base and its purpose and that we were there to provide security, as well as continuing with various aspects of our training.

In terms of our personal well-being this new location was an improvement on Scotland. The winters there had been long and harsh, the training hard but, despite these hardships, those of us who completed the training gained a sense of individual self-dependency as well as that of team-work. In some individuals it cultivated a rebellious nature resulting in incidents of insubordination, particularly between members of our unit and the British NCOs and Officers.

Our equipment comprised equal numbers of Lee-Enfield rifles and Reising 9mm submachine guns which were literally Sten guns with wooden stocks. Each of the three units also had a Lewis .303 machine gun. This was an older type of air-cooled machine-gun which was fed from a '47 round' circular pan with a dangerous habit of jamming on every 17th round. An assistant gunner was assigned to handle the ammunition and to keep a number of pans loaded and ready. The normal firing order of  the rounds was 123, (one tracer, one ball-point and one armour-piercing).

We were still outfitted with British Army battle-dress uniforms and were not issued with the more comfortable Canadian Army uniforms until we were on a tank operating course with a Canadian armoured regiment at Aldershot, further to the east in southern England. From HMS Mastodon we were assigned to various bases for specialist training in combat equipment, and between these assignments we undertook security duties on the base. We noticed the comings and goings of rather high-ranking service personnel but could only guess at their purpose.

The local village of Exbury was quaint with a Post Office, which also served as our savings bank, and a pub, which was important to our recreational needs. The villagers were pleasant and congenial, and although we could not discuss any military matters, I enjoyed many a conversation about the Exbury estate during the pre-war days.

On occasions we took part in pre-dawn search parties for enemy agents who may have been parachuted into the area during the night; but always without success. After daylight we would often meet members of the Women's Land Army who worked in the fields. We would chat with them to gather any information on suspicious people or events. Most farmers, who employed the WLA girls, belonged to the Home Guard, and they had been alerted to watch for strangers. Of course, our conversations with the girls were not always limited to official business but rather to arranging dates with them during recreation time.

We saw evidence of military deception while walking along quiet country roads. On one occasion, over the hedgerows, we saw the muzzles of several anti-aircraft guns pointing skyward but, oddly, without the usual sounds of activity associated with this type of installation. On closer examination they turned out to be fake guns emplacements complete with camouflage netting.

Although most of our volunteer members seemed somewhat less subservient than their UK counterparts they were no less loyal to our king and country. We were British subjects and proud of it, and I became indignant and even hostile at any suggestion that these convictions were insincere.

I revisited the Exbury estate in June, 2006 to participate in the anniversary ceremonies of the Normandy landings by the Exbury Veterans' Association. My daughter, Kari Lou, and I had the pleasure of being invited by Edmund Rothschild to spend a day as the guests of himself and his wife, Anne, on the estate.

During my discussions with Edmund, I recalled an incident when a 30' blue spruce tree, on the estate grounds in front of the mansion, had been cut down by axe during the night. The wanton damage was by itself bad enough, but made all the worse by the fact that the tree had been dedicated by a member of the Royal family. Despite the lack of evidence or confessions our Commando unit was held responsible for it. Edmund was very pleased to have the opportunity to put the matter straight after so many years. He had returned to the estate at the end of the war, after completing his duties as Commander of two British artillery regiments in Italy and Europe. When he learned of the tree incident of 1944 he asked the Military Police Service to investigate. They established that two Irishmen, who worked on landing craft on the nearby river, were responsible. It had been an expression of their anti-British feelings brought to the fore after spending a long evening in the pub.

Edmund strongly felt that a formal apology to the Canadian Navy was required, but by this time it was far too late to be in order. He said to me, "Please accept my apology on behalf of the base commander and the Royal Navy." I replied, "On behalf of the Royal Canadian Navy, the apology is accepted."

Honour had been served after 62 years!

35. HMS Medina

Function - landing craft base and Fleet Air Arm camp.

Address and commissioning history - Puckpool, Ryde, Isle of Wight. The base was commissioned on 15/11/39 and paid off on 31/7/42.

Other information - accommodated overflow from nearby Fleet Air Arm depots.

36 HMS Vectis

Function - minor landing craft base and HQ of SO Force J. See No 31 HMS Tormentor.

Address and commissioning history - Seaview, Isle of Wight. The base was formed from the amalgamation of HMS Tormentor and HMS Osbourne, HMS Vectis was commissioned on 8/6/42 and paid off on 20/5/45.

Other information -

37. HMS Manatee                                                                                                  

Function - landing craft base for barge personnel... training of officers and ratings.

Address and commissioning history - Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, Norton and Savoy camps. The base was commissioned on 15/11/42  and paid off  in September 1944.

Other information - Thames bargees and their barges were requisitioned for Overlord.

38. HMS Turtle

Function - Combined Ops training establishment... assault gunnery school.

Address and commissioning history - Poole, Dorset. The base was commissioned on 7/10/42 and paid off on 1/3/46.

Other information - used Shaftesbury Homes in Poole, Lake Camp in or near Hamworthy and Round Island.

39. Dartmouth III

Function - Naval training ashore and afloat for officers and crews operating minor landing craft. 6 week course.

Address and commissioning history - the base was commissioned 23/12/42.

Other information - took over the site previously occupied by Dartford College which moved to Eaton Hall in Jan 43. Training described above was moved from Inveraray in Scotland to Dartmouth in Jan 43. See HMS Helder.

40. Salcombe

Function - barge personnel - training of crews.

Address and commissioning history - originally located at the Salcombe Hotel in Salcombe but later transferred to the Imperial Hotel in Exmouth. Commissioned on 17/7/43 and paid off on 1/1/44.

Other information -

41. HMS Foliot I and III

HMS Foliot I

Function - landing craft accounting base.

Address and commissioning history - Plymouth. 1944 to 31/3/46.

Other information - On 6/5/44 landing craft accounting and maintenance was transferred from Albatross.

HMS Foliot III

Function - holding base for Combined Ops personnel.

Address and commissioning history - Bickleigh, Plymouth. Base was commissioned from 7/43 to 10/46.

Other information -

42. HMS Appledore and II

HMS Appledore

Function - Combined Operations base and training establishment.

Address and commissioning history - Fremingham Camp, Appledore. The base was commissioned on 1/8/42 and paid off on 23/4/48.

Other information -

Appledore II

Function - Combined Operations base.

Address and commissioning history - Ilfracombe. The base was commissioned on 17/9/43 and paid off on 30/11/46.

Other information -  on 17/9/43 Appledore II took over the site/premises previously occupied by Excellent II which was transferred to Collingwood Hotel Ilfracombe in Oct 43 and renamed Odyssey on 4/11/43.

43. Staines  (No information to date)

Function -

Address and commissioning history -

Other information -

44. Amersham

Function - Amersham was the base used by 30 Assault Unit, the combined RN/RM unit deployed to seize Axis secrets and weapons.

Address and commissioning history - The brainchild of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Cdr Ian Fleming it was founded as a Field Intelligence Unit in the autumn of 1942. The base was at Cold Morham Farm that is situated on the old A413 just north of the current Old Town.

Other information - The original Unit was formed from 34 (Army) Troop, and 33 (RM) Troop SS Brigade. The Unit history is provided by Sqn/Ldr David Nutting (and Lt/Cdr Jim Glanville) in the book 'Attain by Surprise' ISBN 0 9526257 1 7 published by David Colver, 12 March Square, Chichester PO19 4AN in 1997. [Information courtesy of Jerry Maycock].

45. Combined Operations HQ (COHQ)

Function - Headquarters of Combined Operations Command.

Address and commissioning history - Admiralty House in London from mid June to the end of August 1940 when it moved to 1a Richmond Terrace, London.

Other information - Combined Operations Headquarters was housed in the Admiralty from the time of Lt General Alan Bourne's appointment as 'Commander of raiding operations on enemy coasts and adviser to the Chief's of Staff on Combined Operations' on the 14th of June 1940. The activities of the fledgling organisation fell under the 'protective wing' of the senior service and thereby the Chiefs of Staff. This may have suited General Bourne but with Churchill's personal appointment of Sir Roger Keyes (a long standing close personal friend) to the post of Director of Combined Operations in July, the cosy arrangement was about to change. Keyes quickly set about moving to separate premises and, like Moses, he led his staff out of Admiralty House and into 1a Richmond Terrace, London in late August 1940.


Addendum

HMS Monster

Function - Combined Operations Base.

Address and commissioning history - Fortrose, near Inverness, Scotland.

Other information - Commissioned 15/11/43. Pensioned off 15/8/44

HMS Pauline

Function - Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) and Coastal Forces (CF) Base including accommodation. Later a Combined Operations base.

Address and commissioning history - Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and Poole, England. 8/42 to 10/12/42. Base acquired by Combined Operations (?) 3/43 and re-allocated to Manatee (see 37 above). Commissioned 7/43 at Lymington as a Combined Operations base and pensioned off 7/44. No longer required 20/8/44, Laid up 9/44 and disposed of 10/44.

Other information -

HMS Rodent

Function - Special Boat unit HQ.

Address and commissioning history - Coldhayes, Liss, Hampshire, England. Commissioned 30/10/43. Paid off 17/2/44.

Other information - HQ for Royal Navy Boom Commando, Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPPs) and Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachments (RMBPDs) and Special Boat Sections.

HMS St Barbara

Function - AA Range

Address and commissioning history - Bognor Regis, West Sussex, England. Commissioned 10/9/43. Pensioned off 14/6/45.

Other information - attached to HMS Dinosaur 23/1/45 (?)

HMS St Clement

Function - Combined Operations base for major landing craft.

Address and commissioning history - Coal House Fort, Tilbury, Essex, England. Commissioned 7/9/43, closed 20/1/46 and Paid off 2/2/46.

Other information - Also listed as a degaussing station (de-magnetising ships to protect them against magnetic mines although some reports that only testing was carried out here). Spelt St Clements in some lists. Also St Clements I, Perrys, Tilbury; St Clements II St Johns, Tilbury and St Clements III 16/5/44 to 20/1/46 holding base/transit camp for transfers to and from Germany.

HMS St Matthew

Function - Combined Operations Training Base.

Address and commissioning history - Burnham on Crouch, Essex, England. Commissioned 8/11/43 and paid off 3/10/45 and closed 7/12/45.

Other information - Initially under Harwich. Later concentrated on the training of officers with ratings transferred to Helder.

HMS Bradford

Function - Accommodation ship and Accounting Base for Combined Operations.

Address and commissioning history - Devenport, Plymouth, England. Commissioned 2/6/43 and used by Combined Operations until 10/44 (at least). Broken up 8/46.

Other information -

HMS Dragonfly

Function - Combined Operations "Suspense" Base.

Address and commissioning history - South Hayling Island, Hampshire, England. Commissioned 7/6/43 and paid off 15/1/46.

Other information - later became a Landing barge Base and a Mobile Landing Craft Advanced Base (MOLCAB) assembly point. MOLCAB facilities were quickly established according to need on suitable sites. They provided accommodation for personnel and the maintenance and first aid repairs of hulls, machinery and armament of landing craft. The total strength of a typical MOLCAB was 36 officers and 374 other ranks, of which the major proportion were Royal Marines, under a Royal Marine Commanding Officer.

HMS Melisande

Function - Original HQ of Combined Operations

Address and commissioning history - Hamble, Southampton, England. Commissioned 20/10/39 and sold 06/9/45.

Other information - this establishment appears to have been a depot ship (yacht).

HMS Tullichewan

Function - Holding base for Combined Operations personnel.

Address and commissioning history - Tullichewan Castle Camp, Balloch, Loch Lomond, Scotland. Commissioned 10/3/45 and paid off 10/6/46.

Other information - From 1942 to 1944 was a training base for WRNS under the name of Spartiate II.

HMS Victory II

Function - Combined Operations HQ.

Address and commissioning history - Portsmouth, England. Commissioned 30/6/44.

Other information -

HMS Houptoun

Function - Landing Craft and Minesweeper base.

Address and commissioning history - Port Edgar on the River Forth a little west of South Queensferry, Scotland. Commissioned 25/10/43 and paid off 28/2/46.

Other information - Also the location of a base called Lochinver.

HMS Porcupine II

Function - Combined Operations Base and Hard Party School. (A 'hard' was a hard landing area on a beach).

Address and commissioning history - Stokes Bay, Alverstoke, Hampshire, England. Commissioned 29/1/44, closed 29/4/44 and paid off 30/4/46.

Other information - Comprised hards at Stokes Bay and Fort Gilkicker. Loading point was the South Parade Pier.

HMS Porcupine

Function - Combined Operations Base.

Address and commissioning history - Stokes Bay, Alverstoke, Hampshire, England. Commissioned March 43 and paid off 30/4/46 with care and maintenance only.

Other information - Used for the storage of minor landing craft on shore at the end of the war.

HMS Dartmouth III

Function - Combined Operations Boat Training (Landing Craft?) was transferred from the No 1 Combined Training Centre, Inverarary on Loch Fyne to Dartmouth in January 1943 when the College at Dartford was transferred to Eaton Hall.

Address and commissioning history - Dartmouth, Devon, England. Commissioned 1/2/43 and renamed HMS Effingham (see below) on 19/7/43.

Other information - none.

HMS Effingham

Function - Combined Operations Boat Training (Landing Craft?).

Address and commissioning history - Previously HMS Dartmouth III (see above) and renamed HMS Effingham on 19/7/43. On 31/12/43 the training was transferred to HMS Westcliff III and HMS St Matthew when the RN College was transferred to USN on 1/1/44.

Other information - none.

Overseas Combined Operations Bases

1 Assegai, near Durban, South Africa.

2 Braganza II, Bombay, India.

3 Dilwarra, Manora, Bombay, India (Royal Indian Navy).

4 E L Hind (1938) Bombay, India, (Royal Indian Navy).

5 Ellissa Medina, Combined Operations Base.

6. Hamiccar Djedjelli, Algeria Messina, Combined Operations Base.

Further Reading

There are over 200 books listed on our 'Combined Operations Books' page which can be purchased on-line from the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE) whose search banner checks the shelves of thousands of book shops world-wide. Type in or copy and paste the title of your choice or use the 'keyword' box for book suggestions. There's no obligation to buy, no registration and no passwords. Click 'Books' for more information.

If you have any information, no matter how small, about Combined Operations Training Establishments please contact us. Changes in the names, locations and use of the training establishments over the war years conspire to confuse.

Acknowledgments

The book 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy,' The Bulldozer magazine of the Combined Operations Association, Public Archives including staff officers' course notes taken on 30/7/43 and 18/3/44 and information from individuals whose contributions are acknowledged where appropriate.

 

News & Information

 

Please 'like' the Combined Operations Command memorial  Facebook page in appreciation of our WW2 veterans. See the 'slide shows' of the dedication ceremony and the construction of the memorial plus the 'On this day in 194?' feature where major Combined Ops events are highlighted on their anniversary dates with links to additional information. Also posts and questions from visitors.

The Salvage and Restoration of LCT 7074. This important part of the UK's naval history is to be saved for the nation. It has been raised from the docks at Birkenhead and transported to Portsmouth where restoration work will be undertaken with the aim of revealing it to the public during the 75th anniversary year of D-Day. Google 'LCT 7074' or visit the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29655649 for more information.

Legion d’Honneur Applications. In conjunction with events to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy landings, the Government of France has advised the Ministry of Defence that it wishes to award the Legion d’Honneur to all surviving veterans; not only of the landings, but also the wider Battle for Normandy; the Invasion of Provence (Operation Dragoon); the Liberation of Paris and the Liberation of France.

Any veterans, not only troops that landed, but also Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel who operated in support of the landings may apply. Click here for application form and further information from the MOD.

 

 

 

Find Books of Interest.  Search for Books direct from our Books page. Don't have the name of a book in mind? Just type in a keyword to get a list of possibilities... and if you want to purchase you can do so on line through the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). 5% commission goes into the memorial fund.



 

Free WW1 Teaching Resource. Newspaper cuttings in the form of a 13 page booklet (26 sides) with published accounts of aspects of the war during 1914 to 1919. Available to schools, universities, libraries and accredited education establishments.  Pdf version or
www.historic-newspapers.co.uk/ for printed version.

WW2 Combined Operations Handbook. This handbook was prepared for Combined Operations in the Far East. It illustrates the depth and complexity of the planning process necessary to ensure that the 3 services worked together as a unified force.

 

 

 

Thames River Cruiser FARMAR. Do you know what this craft did in WW2? If so you may have information to help a restoration project. More information on our Notice Board.

 

The Gazelle Helicopter Squadron Display Team. The Gazelle Squadron is a unique team of ex-British Military Gazelle helicopters in their original military colours and with their original military registrations. The core team includes four Gazelles, one from each service; The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army Air Corps and The Royal Air Force. A fifth Gazelle in Royal Marines colours will provide intimate support for the team. Their crest includes the Combined Operations badge. The last, and possibly, only time the badge was seen on an aircraft was in the early mid 40s. A photo of the Hurricane concerned is included in the 516 Squadron webpage.

Newsletter. The latest occasional newsletter can now be read here.

Legasee Film Archive. As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for veterans from any conflict who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity. Films are now available on line.

New to Combined Ops? Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to the subject.

 

 

 

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Remember a Veteran. Add names to our Roll of Honour and They Also Served pages and read the Combined Operations prayer.

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