This article focuses around photograph “HM LCT 629: Juno Beach, 6 June 1944 (First photo)” as it caught the eye of Phillip Brown. Phillip’s father Frank Brown was a crew member during the D-Day landings. This photo was donated to the project by the Exbury Veterans Association, to find out more see the Exbury Gardens article.
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.
About HMLCT 629:
A Mark IV Landing Craft Tank, part of the 31st LCT Flotilla (or ‘Thirsty First Flotilla’ as it was known) which was part of ‘K’ LCT Squadron. ‘K’ LCT Squadron was part of Assault Group ‘J’ and was assigned to JUNO beach at Courseulles sur Mer in support of the 7th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division, the craft delivering the 12th and 13th Regiments Royal Canadian Artillery.
HM LCT629 carried 8 self-propelled guns in the form of Sherman tanks with the turrets removed and 75mm guns installed.
The Skipper in command of HM LCT 629 was Lieutenant Alan Good RNZNVR (Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve).
Second in command, known as “Jimmy the one”, was First Lieutenant Edward (Ted) Bentley
“Jimmy the one”
Naval nickname for the First Lieutenant of a ship. In the early days he was referred to as the “First Luff”. Usually nowadays abbreviated to JIMMY and known as NUMBER ONE.
Crewman’s Name: Rank:
Frank Brown Wireman (electrician)
Doug Carroll Able Seaman (trained as a signalman and would have been 19 in 1944)
(Other crew names and details to follow)
Joined the Royal Navy on 18th Oct 1942 aged 16 (he lied about his age).
- 10 weeks initial training, Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness.
- 6 weeks training, Naval Electrical School, HMS Vernon, Portsmouth
- Further training at Hitchin in Herts (where they made Hurricanes)
Posted to Combined Operations at HMS Shrapnel, Southampton where he was places with a crew on Landing Craft Tank HM LCT629 of 12th Flotilla of the 31st Squadron ‘J’ Force.
- Spent the next year on training maneuvers at sea in different coastal areas around the UK.
- January and June 1944 trained with the Canadian Army.
- Took part in D-Day and subsequent missions.
- After May 1945 started to train for the Pacific war but hostilities ended before sailing.
Demobbed in July 1946 and sent to Wembly Stadium to collect his de-mod gear (suit, money etc.). He later married in Aug 1947.
For this crew the D-Day landings commenced at 07:30 on 6 June 1944 at JUNO Beach
During the following days they made various crossings of the Channel with extra equipment (lorries, tanks, supplies etc.) the return journeys to Southampton always took something back, crashed aircraft, equipment, German POWs etc.
Oct 1944 took part in the landing raids in Walcheren, Holland.
Edward (Ted) Bentley:
“Jimmy the one”, First Lieutenant (Jimmie) HM LCT 629.
Transferred to LCG(M) 144 (Jimmie). Finally promoted to Lieutenant R.N.V.R. and Skipper of LCG(M) 128. Ted has contributed an oral history of his memories of HM LCT 629 and D-Day as well as a number of documents. You can find out more in a follow up article: HM LCT 629 and Crew – Continued.
HM LCT 629 was decommissioned in Lowerstoft, Suffolk.
This article was updated Aug 2015 by the project team. If you have any more information about HM LCT 629 and/or her crew please leave a comment or get in touch with the project team.