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Thread: D Day and after

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    Default D Day and after

    My father LAC Cyril Charles Dunstone 1547649 was part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (83 Group).
    He was a wireless mechanic in MSU 519 (G) and disembarked in France on July 1st 1944.
    On 24th July 1944, MSU 519G was with MTLRU (Motor Transport Light Repair Unit) at Sequeville en Bessin (near Caen)
    I would like to know ports of embarkation and disembarkation used by the 2TAF during this time.
    Thank you for any help
    Paul Dunstone.

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    Members might want to read this forum post on this subject, lest we duplicate things.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/index.php?thr...nit-msu.74246/

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    Hi

    I believe that for quite sometime after D-Day (past 1 July) entry to France was still through the Mulberry Harbour.

    Malcolm

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    I believe Malcolm is correct.
    The German plan was to make the French ports "fortresses" (festung). Dieppe was not liberated until 1/9/44, Le Havre 12/9/44, Calais 1/10/44 and Dunkirk 1/5/45. I can only find "September" for Boulogne. A lot of these ports suffered badly from Allied bombing in the efforts to defeat the German garrisons. After the Allies crossed the Seine and advanced very rapidly into Belgium all supplies were stretched especially fuel which hampered the advance.

    Steve
    Last edited by SteveBrooking; 18th June 2019 at 11:17. Reason: more googling

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    The fuel situation was solved by laying pipelines from the original PLUTO landfalls in France. The other stores, and ammo, etc, were shifted by the famous Red Ball Express truck routes, but it wasn't until Antwerp was usable that the supply problem(s) eased. (Wilmot goes into some detail). Wilmot "went in" in a glider on D-Day. Thus his knowledge is first-hand. Equally, "The Struggle For Europe" was published quite soon after WW2. It is clear that Wilmot was aware of Bletchley/ENIGMA but was not allowed (by the then Sy restrictions) to say so!
    HTH
    Peter
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    There were two Mulberry Harbours, 'A' off Omaha Beach at St Laurent-sur-Mar and 'B' off Gold Beach at Arromanches. They became operational around 13 June, but the American Mulberry, 'A', had not been completed properly and was destroyed during a gale on the 19th. 'B' remained in use for about 6 months.

    The first port to be captured was Cherbourg which held out until 29 June; although a few ships entered the port towards the end of July it was not until mid-August that it came into limited operational use.

    Le Havre fell on 12 September, but was not reopened until 9 October.

    Further east Boulogne fell on 22 September but was not opened to shipping until 14 October. Calais fell on 30 September but was so severely damaged it could not be used until November.

    Dunkirk did not surrender until 9 May 1945.

    Antwerp resisted until 8 November, and the first Allied shipping entered port on the 29th.

    Brian

    Edit. It's perhaps worth noting that the delays in opening the ports after they surrendered were mostly the result of the damage caused by the fighting between the defenders (who had also mined harbours) and attacking forces. Interestingly there was little fighting at Dieppe, the German garrison withdrawing at the approach of the First Canadian Army. The port was occupied on 1 September and the first Allied vessels docked five days later.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 18th June 2019 at 15:23.

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    Thank you Brian.
    The probability was then Mulberry B on 1st July 1944.
    Any idea was the port of embarkation?
    Paul.

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    A great many ports, large and small, were in use along the south coast at this time so any suggestion would be no better than a guess.

    Do you have his service record? If that indicates his UK base before leaving for France it might be possible to work from there.

    Brian

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    I have his service record and in the column Dep, P.O.R.it says Rec/D878. In the column Unit, From and Unit To it says DISEMBARKED.
    In the reason column it says CONT. I have an inkling it may be Bournemouth due to a postcard to his mother but the date is missing.
    Thanks again for your help.

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    If the postcard was posted in, or depicted Bournemouth, that opens the distinct possibility he embarked at Poole - the third largest embarkation point for the D-day landings of Operation Overlord, and afterwards served as a base for supplies to the allied forces in Europe (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor..._redevelopment).

    Once the invasion was under way reinforcements/supplies were called forward from bases to the rear in accordance with a time-table planned months previously. Men were billeted in camps vacated by the previous wave of reinforcements.

    Brian

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