ROYAL LAUNCHING 1936
Prins Albert 1939
evacuation of troops by the Belgian channel-ferries June 1940,
The 'Prins Albert' was built, clocking 25,5 knots on trails off the West Hinder lightship. In World War II she took part in different raids all over the world and was attacked by German U-boats so rightly earning her nickname of 'Lucky Albert'. She was withdrawn in 1968. Broken up in 1970
H B Peate (Henry Benjamin) Rank:Commander RD RNR
DSC: Excellent write-up in the reference, including photographs Suffered burns after a fire in his ship: took up tapestry to keep his fingers supple, and remained an active needleman thereafter
Date:21.12.43 Unit:HMS Prins Albert (LSI) C.O. Where:Operation "Husky" Gazette number:
Comment:Mentioned in Despatches 4 times.Retired as Capt RNR; died October 1989
THE LUCKY PRINS ALBERT
reprinted from the evening standard October 6,1944
Combined Operations Prayer
O LORD GOD, our Father, our Saviour, our Might,
we pray Thee take into Thy keeping us who are joined together in a trinity of arms on sea, on land, and in the air in this our special service for King and Country.
We pledge ourselves to do, to dare, to die that others might live, believing in Him who said; "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Grant us faith, courage, and determination that we fail not in whatever duty may lie before us, and may we be enabled by Thy Divine Grace to bear our part in establishing peace on earth and goodwill amongst men.
This we ask for Jesus Christ, His sake.
(Note: Military commander, Brigadier J C Haydon was embarked.) 25th Forced to shelter at Sullom Voe in Shetlands by adverse weather conditions which had caused damage to HMS PRINCE CHARLES. Operation postponed by 24 hours. 26th Resumed passage covered against surface attack by ships of Home Fleet. 27th Royal Marines detachment embarked in Landing Craft (Personnel) specially carried on board for this operation. Provided naval gunfire support prior to landings by Commando units and Royal Marines Sustained damage from return fire from shore battery which was then permanently silence Came under sporadic air attacks/
(Note: Norwegian troops and Royal Engineers also took part in the landings.)
December 26, 1941
CHANGED SPELLING from HMS PRINCE ALBERT TO CORRECT SPELLING HMS PRINS ALBERT
April two troops of No.4 Commando and eight officers and 43 other ranks of the Carleton and York Regiment (Canadian 1st Division) took part in Abercrombie, a raid on Hardelot, France, near Boulogne. The LCA of HMS Prins Albert transported the party. This raid also marked the first operational use of the new LCS. The raid set out on the night of 19 April with the LCA being towed by Motor Gun Boats (MGBs). The procedure was for the party to travel to within two miles of the French coast on the MGBs and then to transfer to the LCA for the landing. Due to high seas and strong winds, which swamped and sank LCA 211, the raid was stopped with the loss of two naval ratings. The raid was remounted two nights later in calmer seas, but the period of optimum tide, moon, and darkness had past. The raid became uncoordinated, and whilst the Commandos got ashore and began their mission, the boats with the regular infantry became lost. Soon a German E-Boat was engaged by the MGBs. The army officers in the LCA conferred and decided not to disembark. Aboard the LCS, the senior naval officer’s compass failed, and the flotilla only returned to England steered by Lt. Groom’s army compass.
THE PRINS WAS USED FOR THE TRAINING OF THE COMMANDOS AND PARAS ON
LOCH FYNE SCOTLAND EMBARKING AND DISEMBARKING FROM LANDING CRAFT
top two photos possably the Bruneval raid .or Dieppe
HMS CALPE HQ ship Dieppe
Prins Albert carried British No. 4 Commando (Lt Col Lord Lovat only group who had any real success
PRINS ALBERT MADE LANDINGS AT BIZERTA IN TUNISIA
The invasion of North Africa, in what was named "Operation Torch," was designed to encircle German troops stationed there. American troops went ashore in French North Africa with limited opposition. Soon after the landings, French troops defected to the American side. American and British troops advanced towards Tunisia, where they met stiff German opposition
No. 3 Commando, half of them on board H.M. Transport "Dunera," a famous ship belonging to the British India Steam Navigation Company, and the other half on H.M.S. "Prins Albert", one of the staunchest of the landing ships, were steaming through the Suez Canal. june 1943.
STORY SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF LESLIE HARRIS others in story GEORGE SIMS I have added one or two bits of information and corrected the spelling to PRINS ALBERT
left England on June 5th 1943 on the Prins Albert from Falmouth to go to the Mediterranean, the ship was loaded with too much weight and three to four days out in the middle of the Bay of Biscay the steel plates of the ship, which were made up of less than an half inch of steel, started splitting, instead of riding the waves the ship was bashing through the rough seas, the RAF personnel we were carrying out to the Med were handling buckets of water right through the ship, quite a few were seasick. We had to return to Falmouth for another week, we then set sail again, through
the Med, down to the Suez Canal and anchored off Port Tufik for three weeks while the rest of the ships got together for the invasion of Sicily, no leave was allowed. The Prins Albert landed number three commando in Avola Bay in Sicily, the first
wave of boats landed and came back for the second wave, as the boats went in they saw objects in the sea, for which they could not stop, on the way back after the Landing they picked up fifteen Glider Soldiers, these fellows were in the sea but they did not call for help on our way out because they knew we had a job to do, but waited for our return.
The Prins Albert was made into the Area Headquarter Ship, we were machine gunned, morning and evening every day for three weeks or more. We all took turns to go out on Landing Craft to lay the smoke canisters, that hid the ships, going out on one occasion, George sat on the back between two smoke canisters, amongst all the noise, guns blazing, tracing fire lighting up the sky, and said 'Les I would not have missed this for the world'. One after another American Liberty Ships were being sunk each time being hit in the same place, just in front of the Bridge. We picked up survivors and took them to the Hospital Ship, these Merchant Seaman were in a dreadful state covered in oil and burnt. We landed the Commandos, after three days fighting, they came back on board for two days, we then set sail. The Battle had been held up at Catina, it was then decided to use the commandos to go behind enemy lines, we then set sail with a destroyer. 3 Commando were put ashore north of Augusta in the Bay of Agnone to capture the bridge at malati over the river Leonardo.The Destroyer fired before the first wave of Commandos went in, once that wave was landed the eight boats came back for the second wave. The Destroyer fired again, the Jerry knew we were coming then. The Enemy guns were positioned on the cliff tops and directed onto the shoreline, a few Commandos were killed before they even left the boats, the Flotilla Officer was badly wounded and later died of his wounds.
I was on Radio Watch at the time, boats were calling for help but we were not
allowed to answer, meanwhile the First Lieutenant of the Ship saw a torpedo go past the Bows from an Italian E Boat, we could not stay and pick our boats up. It was not safe, we needed to make ourselves scarce for fear of being hit. We circled around the Ocean and picked the boats up at first light, there were body bags in the passage way for the next few days, we then returned to our duty of being Headquarter Ship.
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Punta dei Malati - 3 Commando Bridge. July 14th/15th 1943.
In WW2, bridges played an important part :- Kwai, Remagen, Toko Ri, Pegasus, Primasole etc.
This is the story of one that has been forgotten.
Three kilometres north of Lentini near to the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily, lies the Malati Bridge. Today it is now on a minor road, overshadowed by an autostrada on massive concrete piles. This was not so in 1943.
The Casablanca Conference in January 1943 attended by Churchill, Roosevelt and their military and civil advisers, decided that on victory in North Africa the next step in the war against the Axis forces would be the invasion and reduction of the island of Sicily. The ?return to Europe?. Timed to take place in mid 1943 and code-named ?Husky? the D-Day for this operation would be the 10th of July 43. The British and Commonwealth 8th Army and the US 7th Army, along with allied naval and air arms would make up the invading forces, landing by sea and air.
The invasion of Sicily, a massive undertaking, was initially a sad tale of bad luck, poor planning and a large loss of allied troops to friendly-fire. Witness the Military Cemeteries at Catania, Syracuse and Agira and the numbers of those with ?no known grave? commemorated on panels at the Cassino Military Cemetery. But with dogged determination both armies secured their landings and the Axis forces were engaged..
By the 13th of July the 8th Army under the command of General Montgomery was established ashore and moving north. The intention was to push the Axis towards Messina cornering them in the north east of Sicily. The officer commanding No 3 Commando, Lt.Col. J.F.Durnford-Slater was summoned to the quay at Syracuse and given orders by General Dempsey to capture the Malati Bridge over the river Leonardo. Montgomery had realised that this bridge was on the main route north to Catania and wanted it intact and in Allied hands to ensure that the 50th Division could continue its advance.
3 Commando were put ashore north of Augusta in the Bay of Agnone from the infantry assault ship HMS Prince Albert and following the railway line, headed west towards Lentini. It had been thought that the only resistance would be from scattered Italian defenders, but straight away the commandos ran into the 3rd Battalion of the Hermann Goering Regiment. This meant that all the way to the bridge there was intensive fighting, but their objective was reached by 0300 on the 14th July.
The Italians guarding the bridge were quickly overcome and it came under British control. The demolition charges were removed and the commandos now had the task of holding the bridge until the arrival of the 50th Division which was fighting its way up Highway 114. This was the route north for the 8th Army and south for the re-supply of the German forces and their principal evacuation route north, so the Malati Bridge became the focus of numerous firefights. A German Mk VI Tiger tank appeared not more than 200 yards away and began firing its heavy machine gun towards the commandos who were around and under the bridge with no cover. A number of men were wounded and some, including Lt. Tony Butler who had joined No 3 (Army) Commando from the North Irish Horse Tank Regiment, were killed. More tanks could be heard coming down the road and with the 50th Division still not in sight, after a short discussion it was decided that the remaining commandos would withdraw into the hills to the east and reform. Once there they came under heavy fire again and they were ordered to set off in small parties to make for a prearranged rendezvous on the coast. With great difficulty most reached this objective, although some were captured (only to escape their captors shortly afterwards) and the majority of the survivors after a few square meals and a couple of nights? rest began to look forward to the next battle. Lt. Butler and Lt. Cave along with four other commando dead, were buried at the bridge. The other dead and wounded were recovered from the surrounding area, the total of casualties from the action being 153 killed, wounded and missing. This figure might have made the operation seem like a failure, but the fact that the bridge was not blown and the confusion caused the Axis forces by 3 Commando meant that the 50th Division could continue it?s advance north.
After the fall of Catania, General Montgomery ordered that a stone be carved with ?3 Commando Bridge? and this stone cemented into the Punta dei Malati bridge.
One reason for my latest trip to Sicily was to visit the Malati Bridge, which with the help of the Lentini stationmaster and a private motorist, plus a few Euros I managed to do.
The bridge today looks exactly as it did in a 1943 photograph, Montys stone still in place and the large pill box guarding one end. Standing under the bridge (as Lt. Butler and his comrades had done), on this hot, sunny, quiet afternoon it was hard to imagine those July days 62 years ago.
Lt. Butler and Lt. Cave are buried side by side in Catania Commonwealth Military Cemetery. Other officers and men of 3 Commando are buried in Syracuse Commonwealth Military Cemetery. They and those of 3 Commando (Army) who survived will not be forgotten. by Colin Hotham - WW2 PEOPLES WAR Site Helper,
small photo left care of the imperial war museum, Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: The Hunt Class destroyer HMS TETCOTT and the bow gun of SS ULSTER MONARCH, Commando landing ship, engaging shore batteries and machine gun posts inside the harbour at Augusta, while Commando Troops make for the shore in their landing craft.
HMS TETCOTT - OFFICIAL REPORT ON OPERATION HUSKY
WEDNESDAY 14 JULY 1943
At 00:37 I went in with the second wave and at 01:09 opened fire on the same target when I was three miles from the shore with better results than the first shoot. All enemy guns stopped firing almost at once and did not open fire again while I was bombarding. The Flotilla Officer of Prinz Albert's assault craft told me later that I scored more than one hit on a pill box and also set some kind of store containing fuel on fire, which were seen as two vivid flashes followed by a fire.
One of the reasons why I consider these two bombardments to have achieved success was the use of flashless cordite since the enemy; Germans in this case, seemed mystified as to my position.
My second bombardment was sharply interrupted at 01:21 by two or three E-boats attacking Prins Albert. I waited about ten seconds to fire a parting six-gun broadside and then raced after the E-boats. By sheer good luck I made a perfect interception and within two minutes was engaging the rear one with every gun that could bear. The chase was short and exciting, as within a few minutes, at 01:27, a large flash appeared on the target, the radar - Type 285 - which had been working very well indeed, lost echo and the E-boat stopped firing at me. On this evidence, coupled with an oil patch and burning wreckage which passed down my port side shortly after, I am certain that this E-boat was blown to bits by a direct hit by a 4-inch shell. I continued the chase for another four or five minutes after the other E-boats, but they were not prepared to face the music, withdrawing at full speed to the northward. I then returned to Prins Albert who closed and hoisted her assault craft.
Both ships then returned and entered Syracuse soon after dawn. As there was no other ship present with a good long range H/A armament, I assumed the duty A/A Guard Ship, Syracuse, until 10:30 when Carlisle arrived. With her arrival I went to a lower state of readiness than second-degree for the first time since 01:00 on 10 July.
Lieutenant Commander in Command
19 July 1943
PHOTO TAKEN FROM THE HMS PRINS ALBERT note, this merchant ship is at anchor
September 9th 1943 Salerno
The two commando units were embarked on Prins Albert and 3 other British LSI?s. the hms Blackmore began the shell barrage on the coastal battery at Vietri. The commandos secured the deserted beach, and the coastal battery surrendered without much of a fight. The commando force was made up of No.2 Army Commandos (Churchill), 41 Commandos Royal Marine (Lt. Col Bertie Lumsden) they were commanded overall by Brigadier Bob Laycock
Photo courtesy of Keith Taylor who adds "Phiippe Balduin sent me this. It was the White Ensign which flew on the landing craft of the 46 RMC on the 7th of June. It belonged to the Cox David Gardner who later gave it to Philippe's son." Keith's father Eric Taylor served with 46RM Commando.
Month and year : June 1946 marine commando.
Commanding Officer : Lt-Col C.R. Hardy, R.M.
1st June 1944 Place: Shanklin
P.M. - Assault unit (less Admn Section) left SHANKLIN by rail and embarked at EGYPT POINT, COWES, in LSsI H.M.S. PRINS ALBERT and SS Princess Margaret with full equipment for alternative operations - DEER (HOULGATE C.D. Bty) or FROG (BENERVILLE C.D. Bty) which were to be carried out on the night of D/D + 1.
6th June 1944 Place: Cowes Roads 1230 - LSsI sailed in company with H.M.S. ISIS (Destroyer escort).
1830 - Arrived at anchorage JUNO (off ST. AUBIN-SUR-MER) proceeding one hour later to anchorage SWORD (off OUISTREHAM) to report to Flag Officer, Force S.
2200 - The order was received that both operations were postponed as neither of the Btys was harassing our shipping and also because the weather was not altogether favourable for the operations. The LSsI returned to anchorage JUNO for the night.
7th June 1944- 0600 - Signal received that the unit was to come under command 1 Corp and to be landed on NAN WHITE Beach as early as possible. Hasty re-adjustments and improvisations were made to equipment.
Place: Hernieres 002853
0900 - The unit was landed by the ships flotillas on NAN WHITE Beach. Orders were received that the unit was to capture strong-point PETIT ENFER area 048833 - 052830 - 051829 - 047832 with u/c one troop RMAS Gp.
46th commando unit was divided so for the landing:
Troops z, s and h were aboard Princess Margaret and x,y,a and b were on the Prins Albert.
HMS Issi escort on crossing, 20th June Sunk whilst on patrol off Normandy..
Admiralty correspondence in July 1944 records ship was not at anchor. loss was likely to have been due to a mine or torpedo.
No. 48 (Royal Marine) Commando was the last commando unit formed during the Second World War in March 1944. It was formed by the conversion of the 7th Royal Marine Battalion and the Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisations defence battalions to commando duties. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Moulton it carried out a shortened commando course at Achnacarry and then joined the all Royal Marine 4th Special Service Brigade alongside No. 41, No. 46 and No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commandos
5 JULY, FIRST AMERICAN'S ON BOARD 404 fighter group
The officers were welcomed aboard
by the Captain who stated that this was the first time that American troops had ever been on board the Prins Albert and that he hoped it would not be the last. The officers were then shown to the officer?s lounge where drinks were served
At 0300 on the morning of 6th July or D plus 30, the rear echelon of the 404th Fighter Group sailed for the Omaha
The "HMS Prins Albert" arrived off the Omaha beachead just north of the St Laurent Sur Mer, and dropped anchor at approximately 1300.
THE PRINS made about 8 crossing with the American forces
HMCS PRINCE DAVID
Operation Romeo was a French commando operation to disable German artillery atop the cliffs of Cap Nègre. The operation happened the evening before Operation Dragoon, the main invasion of Southern France. The force consisted of 800 French commandos of the 1er Commando Français de l'Afrique du Nord, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Georges-Régis Bouvet. The attacking flotilla included the command ship HMCS Prince David, HMCS Prince Henry, HMS Princess Beatrix, HMS Prins Albert and 4 U.S. motor torpedo boats.At 0130 15 August, 95 commandos in landing craft from Prince David beached first, while the remainder of the force waited off shore. The commandos had to climb a 350 feet (107 m) tall cliff to reach their objective. Half an hour later they sent word back that the enemy gun positions had been silenced. The main body of Romeo then came into beach. About 700 commandos then moved quickly and soon were established across the main road between Toulon and the Riviera. 300 German soldiers were killed and 700 were taken prisoner. The French commandos suffered 11 men killed and 50 wounded. The force held its position until relieved by VI Corps from the east on August 15 1944
Task Force 86 SITKA FORCE
Rear Admiral Lyal A. Davidson
GUNFIRE SUPPORT GROUP
Rear Admiral Davidson
French battleship Lorraine
Heavy cruiser USS Augusta (flagship)
Light cruiser HMS Dido
Destroyers USS Somers, USS Gleaves, HMS Lookout, HHMS Themistoklis
Reserve: Light cruisers USS Omaha, USS Cincinnati, HMS Sirius
Rear Admiral Theodore E. Chandler
Unit A: Destroyer transports USS Tattnall, HMS Prince Baudoin; PT-201
Unit B: HMCS Prince Henry; Destroyer transports USS Barry, USS Greene, USS Roper, USS Osmond Ingram, four PT boats
ROMEO Unit: HMCS Prince David, HMS Prins Albert, HMS Princess Beatrix, four PT boats
Screen: Eight PT boats
HMS Larne, Clinton, Octavia, Stormcloud, Welfare, four minelayers, Danlayer HMS Kintyre
landing craft from the PRINS ALBERT
Operation Dracula 1 May 1945
Operation Dracula struck on 1 May 1945. 12 squadrons of B-24 bombers bombed defenses south of Rangoon, while air transports dropped a Gurkha parachute battalion at Elephant Point at the mouth of the Rangoon River. On 2 May, the amphibious operations began, but when Allied troops reached the city, they found Rangoon already abandoned. The Indian 26th Division began the operation to secure the city on 3 May, which was closer to being police action than the conquest of a city; with the Japanese suddenly gone, Rangoon fell victim to widespread looting. On 6 May, elements of the Indian 26th Division met the advance troops of the Indian 17th Division from Pegu at Hlegu, which signified the end of the battle of Rangoon.
CREW RATINGS HMS PRINS ALBERT ANYONE WISHING TO ADD A NAME , FORWARD IT TO ME BY THE GUESTBOOK EMAIL ADDRESS WILL BE REMOVED IF REQUESTED
link for, officers list.
KENNETH HARRY AMESS TEL/GRAF He was recommended to the captain on his first night on board as he spotted a fire nearby to the telegraphists room and it took awhile to put out, but he still stayed at his post and was only 17 coming up 18 years old. Another interesting fact is that when the Japanese surrendered at the end of the war one of the head men of a nearby small island had to hand over their sword to the captain who put it up for a raffle prize draw which Kenneth won.
B BAUN OS Birmingham
Thomas Behan Birkenhead
C J BELL ships joiner Oakham Rutland
L R BEECH P.O. Glasgow
ROBERT BULL P.O. died 14/June 2013
CHARLIE BATTON SBA Portsmouth
K J DEARSON P.O. Tel/graf Southport
DAVID GARDNER Coxswain
MATTHEW JAMES GRIMES electrical engineer Liverpool
JOHN (JACK) HOUGH
W E HARPER SBA Reading
ALFRED L LAPPIN stoker Swindon
T W PATTERSON LS Sunderland
F ROBBINS AB Portsmouth
WILLIAM F RODAWAY Seaman Liverpool
R STANDING L/TELEGRAPH Worthing
R STEWART P.O. Glasgow
ALBERT TIMMS AB Newbury
H WEIR AB Belfast
L F WHATTON
BILL (TUG) WILSON
RICHARD G WIDDLECOMBE AB
CATANIA WAR CEMETERY SICILY
the Prins lost two men during the war but not to the enemy
ALFRED L LAPPIN STOKER 1C D/KX 145106
ACCIDENT 11/9/1943 AGE 20 GRAVE REF/11.F.23
SON OF ALFRED HENRY AND LILY LAPPIN, OF SWINTON, LANCASHIRE.
CATANIA WAR CEMETERY SICILY.
RICHARD G WIDDICOMBE AB D/JX 208329
MPK 19/4/1942 AGE 20 PANAL 67 COLUMN 1
PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
Richard was reported lost overboard returning to ship from shore ? son of Richard Widdicombe, and Emily Widdlcombe, of Keyham Devonport
this line is also related ,
Of the many civilians of the Commonwealth whose deaths were due to enemy action in the 1939-1945 War, the names of some 67,092 are commemorated in the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, located near St. George's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London
ISLINGTON, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH
of 23 Halton Mansions, Canonbury Road. Son of William and Gertrude Rodaway. Injured at Halton Mansions; died same day at Royal Northern Hospital
PARENTS, WILLIAM LAWRENCE RODAWAY 1896
GERTRUDE SHARMAN 1897
Joan I RODAWAY 1917 sister
Eileen S M RODAWAY 1928 sister
work in progress