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British Light AA Gunners on Omaha Beach

Discussion in 'Omaha Beach' started by Sheldrake, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I have just listened to reels three and four of the IWM interview with Maurice Franklyn 98 LAA RA
    Franklin, Maurice (Oral history) (27797)

    He served in 305 battery of 98 Light AA and claims to have landed on Omaha Beach. In Reel three her explains that his detachment served a 40mm AA Gun mounted on the front of a US tank Landing Craft. he then claims in reel 4 to have followed a Sherman tank on foot and joined the assault.

    I have never heard the story before. If this is historically accurate then the Light AA on Omaha Beach is a great story. But is this history, fantasy or muddled memory?

    Can anyone corroborate the presence of British AA detachments on US Landing craft or ships or a landing craft crew coming ashore?
     
  2. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    It seems pretty well established the British had 3 converted LST's or is it TLC (?) with the US to serve as radar guidance for fighters so other British ships may have also been mixed in. As most LST's had a number of Bofors aboard it is plausible some could have been manned by British crews even a US ship., good Bofors gunners perhaps being rare. Did most LST's use the aft anchors to pull themselves off the beach for a second or third run ? The Bofors crew would go with them...or should. But if one was disabled it is possible an eager lad wanted to get into the fray and followed the tank. Not likely to me but possible for at least until things got a bit organized. I will listen to the tapes. Certainly sounds interesting.

    Gaines
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Odd. I can't find the 98th LAA in my documentation for D-Day. I do know that two batteries of 139th LAA manned two 40mm mounted on each of 14 Thames barges assigned to support 1 Corps and the British Mulberry. I suspect that 98th may have provided detachments to man the Thames barrages supporting the American Mulberry?

    LCT did not mount 40mm. LST did...some as many as five forward and five aft, but not many carried armor assets in the first lift?
     
  4. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    I've read that a number of Higgins boats were crewed by British sailors, but this is new to me. Not saying that I doubt that they were there, but it's an interesting fact that should be looked into.

    Sheldrake, did you make the inquiry over on WW2T?
     

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