D Day LCT 574

Kenneth Roy Johnson aged about 17

My uncle was Kenneth Roy JOHNSON,  C/MX506841,  Leading Motor Mechanic

HMLCT 574, Royal Navy. He died on 6th June 1944 and until my niece Alison Trerotoli put me in touch with your site , I knew nothing about him since the family didn’t ever speak of him. After viewing your site, I have transcribed the LCT574 from June 4eth to June 8th which I include below. When a word is uncertain I have added ? to my best guess. If I can’t decipher a word I have written ?????.

Reading the log, my best bet for Uncle Ken is that he was one of the two casualties taken ashore from 574. There is no known grave but I assume that the beaches were so chaotic that burials were not all recorded or records were lost. I assume the burial at sea on June 7th was the sailor killed on LCT707, since he effectively died at sea.

You can find out more about the New Forest’s vital role in D-Day from Mulberry Harbour, to holding camps, road widening, advanced landing grounds, PLUTO and Embarkation by visiting our main page on D-Day in the New Forest.

My  attempt at transcribing the log:

Log for Operation Neptune  LCT 574

Sunday 4th June 1944

0200.   Finished shorts??? ready for ops

0600.   Signal received. Operation cancelled 24 hours.

Great disappointed

0930? 13th RCA Padre held service on board, all personnel attended

General. Wind blowing hard all day. Sea Choppy. Glass dipped from 1017 mils to 1011 by 1900

Monday 5th June

Weather. wind still blowing though not so hard. Everybody keyed up.

10.30. Started main engine. Destroyed recognition. Sigs??? 448/ 21GB??

10.45. Stand by to slip

10.50. Slipped from No 1 slot? Wind force 5-6, sea slightly choppy. Sky overcast

11.50. Calshot Castle abeam to starboard. Course S35E

12.05. West Brambles Busy- Course s32E Wind Force 3 Sky overcast. Sea choppy, signs of white horses.

12.50. W. Ryde middle ground , abeam, to port

14.20. PassedSithead Gate. Army officer opened maps and ORDERS

1455. Group 313 and 328 overtake us SWEEPING

1540. Nab Tower abeam to port. Sea very choppy

1630. Sea increasing. Wind force 5

1700. Course S.I.O.W CONSTANT

1800. Course S.I.O.W Sea very high and rough. Sky overcast

JUNE 5th JUNE 6TH 2400

Sea very high and its rough going. Wind force 5-6

0300. Sea still very rough and hard going. Everyone feeling OK so far

0600. No sign of sea abating. Wind force 4-5. Soldiers taking it well.

0630. First sight of French coast far in the distance. Sea still rough. Wind force 3-4. Sky overcast

0700. Army preparing to shoot. All very anxious to let go 9,000

0715. Guns opened fire 9000yds range. Fall of shot very good. Sea still very rough and hoppy. Wind 3-. Sky overcast.

0730. Fire stated on Sherman tank through gun flashes. Extinguished by gun crew.

0750. 2000 yards off beach. Guns ceased firing. Very good shooting. RCA officers very pleased.

0755. Made hurried retreat from 1500yds owing to an LCT(R) firing short. Fired? missiles dropping all around. 1 Mustang is shot down.

0830? arrived at WP-WW? and anchored. First divisions go into beach

0900. Still anchored/beaches are blocked. Sea rough. Wind 3-4. Sky clouds overcast and high.

1100. Still anchored

1310. Ordered to beach on Mike Red. 1340 Halftrack sticks on door , cease unloading

1430. Sent party to help bring killed and casualties from 717

(arrow back to 1310) Craft hard on beach owing to vehicles sticking off doors. Unable to kedge off. 1 fairing 10 minutes

1500. Securing position decide to have guns closed up remainder of crew stand easy

(intermittent?) machine gun ? attack from RW170  (??FW190)

1615. Bomb dropped about 40yds away no casualties and no damage

(1745) 1706. Bomb dropped by FW 190 about 1000kilos, alongside port gun turret. Plane flying about 2000 to 3000feet. Casualties 5 injured and 2 men sent to field hospital on shore. Of 717 men 1 killed, 3 injured, 1 seriously.

Damage (control?) carried out very successfully. All (wiring?) in craft gone (DG?) completely gone.

Port magazine gone. Ships side (riddled?)and cabin too

First aid appled to all casualties. Fires started in engine room, Cabin and Port Locker. A second fire breaks out in engine room. All completely extinguished. Both guns jammed. Engines both escaped damage but ????? damaged.

2030. Tide at last afloated us. 629 towed us off beach

2040. Too rough to be towed. Continued under own ? power

2215. Air raid warning sounded. Made smoke and steamed round anchorage.

2410. Dropped (hook?) in anchorage, Exact position not known.

Heavy air raids all night. Bombs falling on anchorage and also mines. A very heavy barrage is being put up. Beaches are catching it and ammunition dump is on fire.

7 June 1944

0700. Called? hands and tidied up ship. Sick casualties made comfortable in the cabin and washed and redressed (?)

0810. Dragging(?) mashes(?) fast. Brushed past a MM8 (?). Started main engines. Started to haul in kedge. Capstan just about working.

0900. Kedge brought home.

?0903. Signalled HMS Hilary for further orders

Received orders to form up with 706 and proceed along with her

10.30. Caught up with 706 and fell astern of her. 629 astern of us.

Sea terribly? rough and its heavy going. Wheel very stiff 2 men required to hold it. Damaged ????? of yesterday still good. All casualties comfortable.????? slowed up in ????? warnings

1210. Hold service for burial at sea of man killed. Ensign dipped.

1220. Service complete

1?00 .(1400) Air raid warning sounded

1600. (washed?) two injured men in cabin

1800 .Sea very rough Sea 3-4. Sky overcast but breaking.

2000 .Stood by 629

2030. 629 OK. Formed up into convoy again.

2045. Nab Tower abeam to port

2130. Spithead Gate in sight. Not too soon.

2140. Everyone very happy to see other craft of flotilla 1781 and 069 just going out again.

2230. Secured to buoys at Fort Gilkicker. Damage assessed by Engineer officer. Flashed for ????? boat

2330. Still flashing for a boat

0030. Boat still not arrived.

0130. Still boat has not arrived. Still flashing

0200. ????? boat finally arrived and casualties taken off


0800 Hands called

0830 Stand to breakfast.

0922 Slipped from buoy

Tied up alongside 889 prior to towing her into dock.

1010 Slipped with 889 in tow and st course for ????Lake

1100 Secured to buoys at ???Lake.

Date: 1944

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