Home       All Pages Index        Search        Membership         Donate           Memorial          Roll of Honour

  They Also Served      Notice Boards       Books       External Links        FAQs       About Us         Contact Us


Memorial donations of around £27,500 funded construction, dedication and routine ground maintenance in perpetuity.

  Donate here to a small contingency fund to repair and maintain the memorial structures as and when required.

Notice  Board - Operations & Units.

Scroll down or click on the subjects listed below to find topics of interest and e-mail the persons concerned if you can help. New messages are welcome - just click on the 'Add Message' link to submit your message.

 Links to All Topics

45 RM Commando

LCG (L) 2 - Gold Bch

HMS Monch

Landing Craft Flak (LCFs) at Walcheren

Landing Craft Flotillas 263 & 801

LCT 1315

591 LCA Flotilla

654 LCM(3) Flotilla

Landing Craft Gun 18

RN Beach Party, Kabret

LBE 29

Lofoten - Operation Claymore

Uniform Identification

650 LCT Flotilla

Cherbourg 'Cockleshell' Op?

Combined Operations Conundrum

COPPs - Lt/Capt Robert J (Bob) Taylor

LCM 650 Flotilla

COPP 8 / PO Gascoigne

Small Scale Raiding Force

SSRF & COPPS - Harry Goulding

 105 Wing RAF

Major Jack Crane – COPP 1

Hayling Island

Landing Craft in Albanian Waters

Granville Raid 9th March 1945

US 746th Tank Battalion

Dieppe Raid - Operation Jubilee

W LCT Squadron

LCT 413

Greek Sacred Squadron




109 LCT Flotilla

I am trying to find some advice and information ref my late father's military service. The documents that the Royal Navy sent me, shows that he served with the LCT 109 flotilla twice before joining Combined Operations? 

My question is the designation flotilla 109 LCT, does this refer to single craft or a group of craft. If as I believe it is a group of craft where can I find more information.  I know he was in the Italian campaign and quite possibly the Normandy landings.

I am grateful for any help you can provide.


Stephen Dyer

HMS (SS?) Empire Rapier

My father, Francis Edgar Oxby, served in the Royal Marines during WW2 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He was in charge of a flotilla of LCA's that were carried on HMS Empire Rapier for the D-Day landings on Gold beach at La Riviere. He personally was the coxswain of one of the craft.

I have his documents from that period but one thing I would like to know is the number of his LCA. Is there by any chance a list of LCA's carried by Empire Rapier and the personnel who crewed them?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Keith Oxby

The Greek Sacred Squadron

My grandfather was John (Jack Bamber) 2349439 who was a wireless operator who served with the Raiding Forces - Midldle East, he was with the SAS until they went to Italy at which point he flew to Athens and joined up with the Greek Sacred Squadron, being one of the few Englishmen granted permission to wear their emblem on his left breast, serving with them for 4 1/2 years. Any futher detailed information would be appreciated.

Louise Bamber.

Visit the Sacred Squadron web page for more information.

W LCT Squadron /12 LCT Flotilla

My father-in-law, Lieutenant Commander Frank (Francis) Poile RNR (deceased), was a Sub-Lieutenant RNVR at the time of the D-Day landings. His service record indicates in Reports about him that his ‘Ship’ was “W” LCT Squadron under the command of Lieutenant Commander G.A. Martelli RN.

As Communications and Staff Officer (Operations) he was involved in the training of Landing Craft Signalmen as well as ‘working up of LCT Flotillas’  in particular with the organisation of ‘movements and sailings’, planning ‘training programmes and exercises’ and was considered ‘fully capable of exercising a Flotilla in manoeuvres or beachings by himself’. The family story, based on some limited statements by him, is that he was involved with the D-Day landings and the fact that his service record mentions the 12 LCT Flotilla involved in the Normandy Forces Shuttle Service seems to lend support to this aspect of his story. However, no other detail is forthcoming from his record which would indicate the specific part he played in in the landings (if he did), either on which craft or which of the assault beaches they served.

I would be grateful for any information which can be supplied. I cannot trace any information about “W” LCT Squadron nor the 12 Flotilla apart from a US website reference to LCTs from this being involved in the Omaha landings. The impression I get from various sources I have looked at is that craft in a Flotilla were not confined to one assault beach.

One other piece of information which may be relevant is that, from a list of ship/shore establishments to which he was posted, compiled for us from Payment and Victual Ledgers, HMS Alice is a regular entry from May 1944 to December 1945. I have discovered that this might have been a ‘Yacht’ used as an accommodation ship but any further information would be appreciated.

Many thanks for any help at all in the family’s searches.


John Brunton

Dieppe Raid - Operation Jubilee. Royal Navy Landing Craft Crews

Dear Geoff, I'm a historian looking for any information about the early days of Combined Operations in 1941-42. I'm interested in hearing from veterans, their families and friends or anyone with knowledge about the men who crewed landing craft during the Dieppe Raid. I'm also interested in the experiences of sick berth attendants, gunners and Royal Marines involved in the landings on 19 August 1942.

If you have any memories, diaries, ship's logs, documents, letters, stories, names, photographs or information about Royal Naval personnel training with Landing Craft generally and those involved in Operation Jubilee in particular, I'd love to hear from you. No information is too little or inconsequential. Clíck on the e-mail icon opposite to reply.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Phil Mills

591 LCA Flotilla

Dear Mr. Slee, I found some old papers relating to my father's war service recently and they led me to your website, combinedops.com. I thought I’d send you the crew roster and photo I found.

My father was S/Lt. S C Smythe of LCA1101 and he is sitting on the far left of the photo, I’m afraid I can’t put names to any of the others.

I hope you find it interesting and feel free to use them as you please.

Yours Sincerely

Hastings Smythe

[If you can name anyone in the photo or have information about 591 LCA Flotilla, please let me know. Perhaps in time, the story of the flotilla's activities on Gold beach will be told. Thank you. Geoff Slee.]

1. Bernard Bassett, KX133944, Stoker 1st class is in the 4th row up and 5th from left, identified independently by his son John and daughter Maggie. Great to find this information!


Alan Bush

2. Alexander Clubb Pirie Milne (Sandy). My uncle drowned on 6th June 1994. He was on LCA 1108. Thank you for sharing your images of 591 LCA Flotilla that have helped me connect the dots.

[Extract from the Admiralty's "Green List" of landing craft dispositions and photos of Sandy Milne.]

Peter Milne.

654 LCM(3) Flotilla.

Hi Geoff , I wonder if you can help me directly or perhaps point me in the right direction. I've been searching, without success so far, for information on the 654 LCM (3) Flotilla. My interest arose from a photograph of the landing craft crews (see opposite) taken in October 1944. My father is at the very top on the right hand side.

Since I can find no information about the photo, I'm wondering if the craft of 654 LCM Flotilla were, perhaps, not deployed on active service. If anyone has information on the Flotilla, or recognises the photo, please get in touch with me through the e-mail link below.

Many thanks. Yours sincerely, Val Lancaster.

Landing Craft Gun 18 (LCG 18).

My father, William Fredrick Yells, served on LCG18. I wondered if anyone has information about my dad or LCG18. Thank you.

Kind regards,


RN Beach Party, Kabret.

Hi all, Just wanted to know the colours on the sun-helmet insignia worn by RN beach party in combined training camp Kabret. If you can help, please click on the e-mail icon opposite. Thank you in anticipation.



LBE 29. (Landing Barge Emergency Repair)

Hi Geoff,

Amongst some of the possessions of veteran James Dalling, I found these French franc notes that were signed on D Day by the crew of LBE 29, on which Jim served. There is a possibility that the families of some of these veterans may recognise their names/signatures, and I'd be delighted to hear from them to exchange information, photos etc.

As you might expect, Jim's health is not as good as it once was, but I'm hoping to take him to The National Memorial Arboretum, later this year, to see the Combined Ops memorial.

Best wishes,

Steve Hempsall.

The extract from the Admiralty's "Green List" of landing craft dispositions (above far right) shows LBE 29 was stationed off  Omaha beach.

Lofoten Raid - Operation Claymore.

Hi Geoff,

I am looking to see if you have any knowledge of any persons who were from the Lofoten Raid in 1941 who came to England with the British after Operation Claymore. I also wonder if any of your members or visitors may be able to help. We are looking to recreate a list of 314 people. We have made some good progress.

Steven Dalfest

45 RM Commando.

This, and other photos I've seen of 45 RM Commando, show what appears to be half a troop with only forty or so in the picture. I wonder if they are officers and NCOs only. 45 RMC was, at the outset, 450 men strong, so each troop would amount to about 90.

In the photo, perhaps taken in 1943, there are at least 4 officers I know of. However, one of them was not 45 RMC as far as I recall, but he was 'with them' as my father explained. He has a lighter tie than the other three, and a cap. The ones I recognise are from A and E troops of 45 RMC and one from Royal Artillery.

If anyone can shed any light on the occasion this photo was taken, or if they recognise anyone in it, I'd be very grateful if they would let me know. Thank you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

David Beadle.

LCG (L)  2 - Gold Beach, Normandy.

Ref ‘Landing Craft Support Squadron’. Part of the memoirs of CERA, Robert Wallace-Sims, posted on this site includes this extract; After D-day we spent the next three days throwing 4 ½ inch shells at unseen targets, Army Forward Observation Officers positioned inland giving us instructions. D plus 5 arrived and LCG (L)2, in which I was billeted, was ordered to close the shore and attempt to draw the fire of an enemy shore battery which had defied the efforts of the RAF to destroy it. With not a little trepidation we weighed anchor and proceeded inshore firing in the general direction of the battery. There was no response from the enemy until we made a 180 degree turn to avoid beaching. As we headed away from the cliffs our guns were now unable to bear on the enemy position. There were then three explosions, the first lifted our stern out of the water, the second was a 15" salvo from HMS Warspite, and the third saw the end of the battery as eight 15" HE shells hit their target. I was afterwards told that this battery was mobile, on railway lines and normally ran into a tunnel at the first hint of danger.

I would be grateful if anyone could identify the approximate position of LCG (L) 2 when she fired at the railway gun. I hope to travel to Normandy next year and would like to visit the area that my father was in.

Thank you, Howard Wallace-Sims.

HMS Monch.

My father, Lt John Norgett RNVR (Jack to everyone) was at HMS Quebec from 09/08/1942 to 29/08/1943 on landing craft training. His papers were transferred to HMS COPRA on 30/08/1943 for landing craft duty. During his period at HMS Quebec he was photographed at HMS Monch with LCV 880 in the background. Were LCAs converted to minesweeping craft at HMS Monch?

I’d really like to know. Christopher Walton.

[ There's some information about HMS Monch here.]

Landing Craft Flak (LCFs) at Walcheren.

My late father served as a Royal Marine during WWII, joining up in 1942 at Chatham in Kent. After finishing his basic training, he volunteered for Combined Ops and was subsequently posted to LCF 29. In June 1944, he set sail from Poole in Dorset to take part in the Normandy Invasion. Their destination was Juno beach in support of the Canadian Forces. They arrived there at approximately 06.30 hours and set about the task of taking out shore defences and supplying air defence at the same time. At the end of the day, they were sent out to form what dad referred to as a 'trout line'. While there, they assisted in the shooting down of a Junkers JU 88 that was trying to bomb a hospital ship.

In October/November of 1944, while still on LCF 29, they were sent to Walcheren in Holland. For some reason my dad would talk for ever about Normandy but had very little to say about Walcheren. The last time I saw my dad alive, I sat holding his hand (he was dying of cancer). I said to him "Dad, were you at Walcheren?" He opened his eyes looked at me and said "yes I was". The look on his face told me I needed to find out more. I have read accounts of what happed to the LCFs that were sent there but have not been able to find out any hard facts. That night, my dad sadly passed away. A few weeks after his death I was contacted by a chap who served on LCF 29 (Jim Grant), but all he would say about Walcheren was "we lost some good lads there and your dad knew most of them".

My dad suffered very badly with his nerves all the time I knew him, and I remember my grandmother saying "your dad was never right when he came home from the war". I am just beginning to understand why he suffered so much. If anyone has information about the deployment of Landing Craft Flak (LCFs) during Operation Infatuate (Walcheren), or knows where I might find it, please let me know. I'll be very grateful.

Thank you.

Gary Radford.

Landing Craft Flotillas 263 & 801.

I am trying to piece together my late father's ( Jack Skidmore ) service history during WW2 between Dec. 1942 and Sept 1946. Navy Command have provided me with details of his Service Record but I'm trying to put some meat on the bones that they have supplied.

After initial training he was assigned to 801 Flotilla as  Stoker Class 2 on July 1 1943 and then Stoker Class 1 on December 14 1943. He was then posted to HMS Copra - Largs from March 11 1944 and had two postings to LCI's - 300 and 169 from May 1 to May 25 and June 1  to June 3 respectively. Both these ships were part of 263 Flotilla and Navy Command confirm that from September 10 1944 to May 8 1945 he was posted to 263 Flotilla serving on various LCI  for varying periods of time. The longest periods were served on board LCI 378 from October 17 1944 to November 14 1944 and on LCI 181 from February 11 1945 to April 17 1945.

If you or anyone can provide me with more information regarding Flotillas 801 and 263 during the time of my father's postings this would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Paul Skidmore.

[Paul, the Admiralty's so called Green Files may contain some information of interest. They're held at the National Archive at Kew and can be accessed by personal callers or 'paid for' researchers. These files are in Group ADM, Class 210 and Piece ?. I have seen Piece 8 which covers the D-Day landings. Photo of one file cover opposite plus a typical page of information. The NMA website is at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ Geoff.]

LCT 1315.

If anyone has news, information or photos of the crew of LCT 1315, the craft itself or the flotilla in which it served, Arthur Hensher would love to hear from you.

Lt Peter Harmer and Lt Arthur Hensher commissioned LCT 1315 at Alloa in Scotland and sailed to Southampton in Feb 1944 for training. With the start of Operation Overlord, they journeyed overnight to Juno beach and the small French town of Courcelles to deliver 9 Sherman tanks of the 7th Armoured Division on D-Day +1. During one of LCT 1315's trips they carried Aero Engines to one of the beaches and dried out overnight. In the morning a LCT of their Flotilla snagged a mine with its Kedge anchor and sadly all their crew were killed in the ensuing explosion. LCT 1315 was only yards away and Arthur Hensher had the unenviable task of identifying the crew.

LCT 1315 did a total of 15 Channel crossings when she was badly damaged in a collision with Trinity House Vessel, 'Patricia.' LCT 1315 returned to Portsmouth for repairs and in the subsequent enquiry her crew was cleared of all blame since the Patricia was deemed to be the overtaking vessel with responsibility to undertake the manoeuvre safely.

The damage was repaired and LCT 1315 was given a tropical refit in Aberdeen in preparation for action in the Far East. The craft and crew returned to the south coast of England (Falmouth) before travelling through the Mediterranean to Port Said in Egypt on their way to the Japanese conflict. However, with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered and LCT 1315 was paid off and handed over to the Indian Navy at HMS Saunders on the bitter lakes. Her crew returned home.

LCT 1315 Crew members were: Captain Lieutenant Peter Harmer; 1st Lietenant Sub Lieutenant Arthur Hensher; Leading Seaman John McNulty Coxwain; Ordinary Seaman Charles Lincoln; Ordinary Seaman Simms; Leading Seaman Learmouth Wireman; Leading Motor Mechanic (??); Leading Stoker Evans; Ordinary Signalman McLennan; Ordinary Seaman Brenchley (?). The Reverend Sub Lieutenant McTavis, from Newfoundland, joined us for the voyage to the Mediterranean.

Please e-mail Arthur's brother, Alan, who will pass on any information received.

Uniform Identification.

Can anyone please help me to identify my great grandfather's uniform? I'm told there may be an Edinburgh connection. Regiment and approximate date would be very helpful. Thank you. Christine Stewart.

[Christine, Your grandfather's next of kin can apply for a copy of his service record. For more information just click on the FAQ link in the page banner above and scroll down until you find the Veterans UK link you need. Geoff.]

650 LCT Flotilla.

I'm looking to find out more about 650 landing craft flotilla part of Force J (Juno beach). Any help will be gratefully appreciated.

Thank you. Simon Godfrey.

[650 Squadron was part of Force J, F Build Up Squadron with HMS Sea Serpent as its HQ. The craft were LCM 3 (Landing Craft Mechanised Mark 3s) numbered 1100, 1164, 1197, 1212, 1213, 1214, 1215, 1216, 1234, 1235, 1236, 1240, 1241, 1242, 1277, & 1278. Geoff.]

Cherbourg 'Cockleshell' Operation.

In 1944 just prior to or soon after D-Day there was a plan to carry out a 'cockleshell' like operation to sink ships in Cherbourg harbour to prevent them being used to block the port. A number of personnel including some Merchant Navy people were trained at a “country house estate”.  The operation never got past the planning and training phase. My uncle claimed that he took part in this training which included explosives, swimming and using a canoe. Can anyone verify that this operation was planned?

Many thanks

Brian Davies

Granville Raid - 9th March, 1945.

I am researching the Granville Raid of 9th March 1945 when a German force from the then occupied Channel Islands raided the harbour at Granville, France to the East. During the raid Lt Frederick Roger Lightoller was killed. Any information about him and in particular his postings at HMS Osborne, IOW and HMS Odyssey, Ilfracombe will be very welcome. What were these Combined Ops establishments?

Many thanks indeed.

EF Malet de Carteret (Ned).

[They're not listed as Combined Operations establishments. HMS Odyssey was an accounting base located in the Collingwood Hotel, Ilfracombe. Later moved to Chelsea Court London SW3. (May have had a similar function as HMS Copra). There were 2 bases named HMS Osborne - Cowes and Ryde. The former was commissioned in Jan 1942 and pensioned off in June 1942 when it merged with HMS Tormentor II to form HMS Vectis and the latter was commissioned in Oct 1942 and pensioned off in Aug 1945.]

Combined Operations Conundrum.

My father, Robert Edward Johnson - KX 112783, Stoker 1st class, Royal Navy, served with Combined Operations. Although I've traced a good deal of his service history, I feel it's not a complete record, perhaps for good reason.

His record shows training at HMS Quebec from 13.01.1942 12.3.1942, Dorlin House from 13.03.1942 until 08.10.1942. Then shows "Duty" from 09.10.1942 until 23.10.1942, back at Dorlin House from 24.10.1942 until 05.11.1942, Duty Inveraray 6.11.1942 – 08.11.1942, back to Dorlin 09.11.1942 until 18.3.1943 and then duty at Liverpool from 19.03.1943 until 31.03.1943. Dorlin and Quebec were, I believe, landing craft training/beach signals training establishments.

On 01.04.1943 until 07.01.1945 he was assigned to 89 Flotilla. From 08.01.1945 until 18.01.1945 he served on LCI (L) 281. From 19.01.1945 until 16.02.1945 he was hospitalised in Brindisi. From 17.02.1945 until 30.09.1945 he served on LCI (L) 281.

His medal entitlement card shows that he also served on 767 LCP (R) between 07.01.1944 and 07.03.1944. Although his records state Stoker 1st class, we know that he was involved in many operations in the Mediterranean/Italy/Yugoslavia etc. which suggest that the official record may be incomplete

Amongst the many items he left behind are his campaign medals, two of which are "Africa Star" with silver 8 plus 8th Army Clasp on Ribbon/Medal plus "Italy Star". The others are 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.  Other items include a circular Combined Operations shoulder flash and a green, woollen cap/comforter (as worn by Commando servicemen).

My father never spoke much about the war and only mentioned that, apart from the 8th Army, he was involved in operations to do with Tito's partisans. On one operation they were told not to take prisoners since to do so might jeopardise their mission. On one such operation, my father suffered shrapnel wounds to his legs and lower torso.

I have read much about Combined Operations training establishments in and around Inveraray during the war, but what I cannot find out about are the actual operations he was involved in. Here, I hope someone may be able to help. I know, for example, that LCI (L) 281 was in and around Yugoslavia during operations involving 2, 9, 40RM and 43RM Commandos. I have read of heroic actions undertaken by those incredibly brave men in this theatre of operation and I wonder if anyone has copies of battle diaries/after action reports and the like that may contain information of possible interest. I am also interested in the smaller craft of 767 LCP (R) Flotilla between January and March 1944 and what was 89 flotilla?

Any information or sources of information will be very welcome and gratefully received.

 Kind regards,

Ann Johnson.

COPPs - Lt/Capt Robert James (Bob) Taylor

I'm trying to track my grandfather's WW2 service since his family know little of what he did. He only ever said he was in intelligence and that his missions were top secret. He was an officer in RE and has campaign medals for France/Germany and also North Africa. We only have vague details that he was part of a 'recon' team that collected soil samples from the D-Day beaches prior to Operation Overlord - and that's it!

I read in the Times that Major General Logan Scott-Bowden had sadly passed away. His mission history lead me to read about COPPs, which I now believe my grandfather served in. The photo opposite shows him second from the left in the back row. Does anyone recognise the photo, group or background? It may have nothing to do with COPPs - we simply don't know.

My grandfather was a very outgoing Irish chap. It would help our family greatly if we knew more about what he did that haunted him so much to his dying day. 

Many thanks,

Simon Moisy, (LCpl 3 Sqn HAC).

US 746th Tank Battalion, Utah - Henry B. Maguffee.

I am an exhibit builder for a local museum, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I am expanding our D-Day exhibit for the 70th anniversary and wish to honor Arkansans who gave their lives or at least participated in the invasion. One such was T/5 Henry B. Maguffee, Company C, 746th Tank Battalion who is listed as lost at sea, 6 June 1944, off Utah Beach.

The U.S. LCT site states he was on board a British LCT (4). I have some numbers of LCTs the 746th were aboard. 801, 824, and the only one I can find that lost tanks was 593. Can anyone help me to honor this man by providing additional information or confirming which landing craft he was aboard.

Thank you in anticipation

Robert  Houston.

LCM 650 Flotilla.

My father, who is 88yrs old, was on LCM 650 Flotilla  to Juno Beach. When he was returning to UK on the 21st of July on the LCM, they were rescued by the Minesweeper HMS Hornbeam after almost sinking. Looking for anyone who was there.

David Lakey.

Landing Craft in Albanian Waters.

Does anyone recognise the service personnel in this photo?  [Click to enlarge.] I came across it after my father, Robert Edward Johnson died and believe it may show crew members from either LCI(L) 281 or 278 or even LCP(R)767. In common with all landing craft crews he was seconded to the Combined Operations Command from the Royal Navy and was designated "stoker" on service records. He was involved in the invasion of Italy along with the 8th Army and saw service in the Adriatic /Aegean /Albanian and Yugoslavian theatres of operation. In this troubled and politically sensitive geographical area, Army Commandos, Royal Marine Commandos, Special Boat Service, Highland Regiment and elements of Tito's Yugoslav partisans were active. The photo may have been taken shortly after an action against the enemy having acquired a 'battle-scarred', German Kriegsmarine flag in the process! My father has written "Albania 1944" on the reverse of the photo.

Any information will be gratefully received.

Kind regards

Ann Johnson.

45 Royal Marine Commando/George Arthur Thomas Neave.

My father served in 45 RM Commando and in, or alongside, 3 Commando. In North Africa he was affectionately known as "Nigga Neave" (acceptable terminology then) because of the dark tan he acquired from the desert sun. He also served in Normandy driving DUKWs - 6 wheeled amphibious craft for transporting troops and supplies over land and water. They were known as "duck boats".

If anyone knows of my father, has photos or can suggest where I might find more information, please let me know on the link opposite.

Thank you,

George Neave.

COPP 8 / PO Gascoigne.

I'm seeking information on P.O Gascoigne who served in Copp 8 and also a couple of information sources cited in Ian Trenowden’s book “Stealthily by Night”. These are Alec Colson’s transcript of the COPP 8 logbook and his unpublished manuscript about Operation David (“Double Handle”). In particular I'm interested to know if these documents are still available to public scrutiny.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated

Thank you in anticipation,

Paul Miller.

Small Scale Raiding Force.

I have been commissioned to write the full history of Gus March-Phillipps’ Small Scale Raiding force from its origins as Maid Honor force in 1940, though Operation Postmaster to its evolution into 2 SAS in early 1943.

I am most anxious to trace the next of kin of Major Gus March-Phillipps DSO, MBE and Major Geoffrey Appleyard DS0, MC and bar, MA and to make contact with any surviving members of that original raiding force, cover-name No 62 Commando.

Many thanks

Dr Tom Keene

Foot note. Tom's book on SOE and Operation Frankton – the Cockleshell Heroes – entitled Cloak of Enemies is being published in August 2012 by History Press with a foreword by Lord Paddy Ashdown.


Commander Harry Goulding RNR (SSRF & COPP).

My Grandfather was Commander Harry Goulding RNR assigned to COPPs (Combined Operations Assault Pilotage Parties). He received a DSO with Bar and I believe he may have been awarded a second bar. He was also a very active member of SSRF (Small Scale Raiding Force) and may have been instrumental in setting up this team and being involved in their operations. We have various documents some marked 'Secret' and 'Most Secret' and others such as manuals, a newspaper cutting and a 1946 letter to my father from Laycock. He was a very close friend of Blondi Hassler.

I am keen to find out more about my grandfather's war service in these special forces before it is unveiled. If any visitors to your website have information or can recommend sources of information I'd be delighted to hear from them.

Many thanks in advance,

Charlie Goulding.

105 Wing RAF.

During the war my father, W J Gardner served with 105 Wing from April 1943 until August 1944 when he was posted to HQ Ship Personnel Holding Unit. His rank at that time was Flight Lieutenant later promoted to Squadron Leader. He may have been involved in the use or development of radar but the information I've gleaned so far is ambiguous. I'd be grateful to receive any information, or sources of information, about the kind of work he may have been involved in.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Anita Cook. 

Major Jack Crane – COPP 1.

I would like to hear from anyone who served in Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), or from their relatives. My grandfather was Major Jack Crane, Royal Engineers (277770), who was part of the COPP 1 re-commission that served in the Far East (Sri Lanka, Burma, India) from November 1944 to September 1945.

I would especially like to hear from anyone related to the other members of that COPP 1: Lt-Cdr Peter Wild RNVR, Sub-Lt Robin Harbud RNVR, Sub-Lt Michael Pearson RNVR, Sub-Lt David White, Sergeant E Cook, Petty Officer EA Fish, Corporal Richey SBS, Sapper Hawkin RE, Leading Seaman Stewart, Petty Officer A Briggs (P/JX 144952), Leading Stores Assistant FI Wilkins (P/MX 59960), Lance Corporal RNW Kedge RE (1949872), Able Seaman A Prior (P/JX 19124).

My grandfather also did a few operations in Burma working within the COPP 4 re-commission led by Lieutenant DH Mackay.

I would also be interested to hear from anyone who would have been completing their commando training at around the same time as my grandfather (around June 1944 to October 1944).

With many thanks in advance, Rob Crane (2010).

Hayling Island.

I'm chair of a heritage group on Hayling Island called Discover Hayling charged with raising awareness of our island's history. We have been going for 3 years and, as I delve deeper into our past, I'm both fascinated and saddened that locally so little is known of the COPPs presence here at Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC). We aim to remedy that by giving the COPP story on Hayling the prominence it merits. I'm anxious to speak to any surviving members, or their families, for information of interest and to create some sort of memorial to the COPPists on the Hayling seafront. We have had full cooperation from HISC, but the logistics of their operation precludes a public memorial on the original site. I would appreciate your views and help in making contacts. I have already been fortunate to meet and talk to Logan Scott-Wilmott.


Robin Walton.

[Anyone with information likely to be of interest to Discover Hayling should contact Robin on the e-mail link opposite.]


News & Information

Photo of single poppy.About Us

Background to the website and memorial project and a look to the future; plus other small print stuff and website accounts etc. Click here for information.

Photo of single poppy.

Featured Links; Combined Ops Heritage; 40 D Day Stories & Combined Operations Jigsaw Challenge


Photo of single poppy.Remember a Veteran

Pay a personal tribute to veterans who served in, or alongside, the Combined Operations Command in WW2 by adding their details and optional photo to our Roll of Honour or They Also Served pages on this website, which include the Combined Operations prayer.

Facebook button.


Visit our Facebook page about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans. You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Photo of single poppy.Events and Places to Visit

Organisers: Reach the people who will be interested to know about your Combined Operations or war related event by adding it to our  webpage free of charge. Everyone else: Visit our webpage for information on events and places to visit. If you know of an event or place of interest, that is not listed, please let us know. To notify an event or place of interest, click here. To visit the webpage click here.

Photo of single poppy.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).

Photo of single poppy.Combined Operations Handbook (Far East)

The 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.

Photo of single poppy.New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to this complex subject.

Copyright © 2000 to 2024 inclusive [www.combinedops.com.] All rights reserved.