This article focuses on HM LCT 574. These photographs were donated to the project by the Exbury Veterans Association. To see other images and documents from the Veterans Association visit the Exbury Gardens article.
On the back on the photograph titled “Hm LCT 574: Almost finished unloading Canadian Troops at Mike Red on Juno Beach @ 15.00. 6 June 1944” is written:
“Only a few vehicles to discharge. Beach obstacles visible. Sand dunes on horizon. Tide receding left us high and dry until the next tide. Bombed by fighter bomber during day. One killed, two wounded.”
An article added to the archive by Alison Trerotoli names one KIA as:
Kenneth Roy Johnson
Leading Motor Mechanic C/MX 506841.
Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, England.
Born in the Summer of 1924, the son of Alfred and Ethel Johnson of Chelveston Road, Raunds, Northamptonshire.
Lost aged 19. A member of “J” Force who landed on “Juno” Beach on D-Day.
Following an oral history interview with Mr Ted Bentley, First Lieutenant on HM LCT 629, he permitted a number of documents he holds to be scanned and added to the archive. These included three pages of HM LCT 574 Log Book. It is possible that Kenneth Roy Johnson was one of the two men sent to the field hospital on shore, and later died, after the attack at 17.45 by the FW190 resulting in the seven casualties on 574. As it is likely that if he had been killed on board it would have been recorded in the log.
- Log Book HM LCT 574 – 1944-06-04 (includes 5, 6)
- Log Book HM LCT 574 – 1944-06-06 (includes 7)
- Log Book HM LCT 574 – 1944-06-08 (includes 9, 10, 11, 12)
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.
Below in the transcribed section for the 6th of June.
HM LCT 574 6th June 1944
03.00 Sea still very rough and hard going. Everyone feeling OK so far.
06.00 No signs of sea abating. Wind force 4-5. Soldiers taking it well.
06.30 Just sight of French coast far in distance. Sea still rough. Wind force 3-4. Sky overcast.
07.00 Army preparing for shoot. All very anxious to let go. 9,000
07.15 Guns open fire 9000 yards away. Fall of shot very good. Sea still rough & choppy. Wind 3-4, Sky overcast.
07.30 Fire started on Sherman tank through gun flashes. Extinguished by gun crew.
07.50 2000yds off beach. Guns ceased firing. Very good shooting. R.C.A. officers very pleased.
07.55 Made hurried retreat from 1500yds owing to an L.C.T(R) firing short. Fired missiles dropping all around. 1 Mustang is shot down.
08.30 Arrived at W.P. “WW” and anchored. First division go in to beach.
09.00 Still anchored. Beaches are blocked. Sea rough – wind 3 4. Sky clouds overcast and high.
11.00 Still anchored
13.10 Ordered to beach on Mike Red.
13.30 Halftrack sticks on door cease unloading. Craft hard on beach owing to vehicle sticking off doors. Unable to kedge off. 1’ fairing 10 minutes
14.30 Sent party to help bring killed and casualties from 717.
15.00 Securing position, decide to have guns closed up remainder of crew stand easy. Intermittent machine gun attacks from F.W.190’s.
16.15 Bomb dropped about 40yds away. No casualties and no damage.
17.45 Bomb dropped by F.W.190, about 1000 kilos, alongside port gun turret. Plane flying about 2500 to 2000 feet. 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. D.G. completely gone. Port magazine gone. Ships side ????? and cabin too. First aid applied to all casualties. Fire started in Engine room, cabin and Port locker. A second fire ????? out in Engine room. All completely extinguished. Both guns jammed. Engines both escaped damage but ????? damaged.
20.30 Tide at last a floated us. 629 towed us off beach.
20.40 ????? to be towed. Combined under own ????? power.
22.10 Air raid warning sounded. Wade anchor and steamed around anchorage.
24.10 Dropped hook in anchorage. Exact position not known.
Heavy air raids all night. Bombs falling in anchorage and also mines. A very heavy barrage is being put up. Beaches are catching it and an ammunition dump is afire.
If you have any more details, or find an error in the transcription please get in touch or add a comment.