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HQ 41 CDO hit by AP bombs - CO Col Gray Wounded


Unit/ Formation: 41 Cdo RM


Location: Lion Sur Mer


Period/ Conflict: World War II


Year: 1944


Date/s: 7 June 1944


7th June 1944

Place: Lion Sur Mer


1105 - All quiet except for snipers and occasional shell fire up to 1105 hrs. At that time 3 Heinkels with Spitfires on their tails suddenly swooped out of the clouds and dropped 3 sticks of anti personnel bombs one of which straddled H.Q. orchard killing the FOB Capt. P.C. Dixon R.A. and 2 men, and wounding the Commanding Officer, Lieut. Colonel T.M. Gray, R.M., the Chaplain, Rev. Caradoc Hughes, R.N. and 9 others. Major J.A. Taplin, R.M. then took over command.

1330 - Commanding Officer 5th LINCS visited H.Q. and informed us that 9 Bde. had put 41 under his command whilst the battle continued in and around LION.


1415 - Brigadier 9 Bde. ordered attack on Chateau by Lincs. 41 moved up behind in reserve. The attack went in at 1536 hrs from the S.E. and was successful. There was one casualty in the Lincs. and 1 or 2 prisoners were taken; the remaining Germans having made good their escape previously.


41 Cdo. was then ordered to occupy the houses at the N.E. end of the Chateau while the Lincs prepared a further assault upon the Strongpoint in LION.


1730 - At 1730 hrs. however, Brigadier 9th Bde. changed his intention and ordered 41 to push on to LUC SUR MER. Accordingly, the unit moved on and at 1820 hrs. contacted 46 R.M. Commando in LUC SUR MER who informed us that PETIT ENFER had been cleared by them that morning.


Major J.A. Taplin then reported to H.Q. 4 S.S. Bde. and was ordered to occupy LUC SUR MER for the night.


8th June 1944

Place: Lion Sur Mer 46 moves to LA DELIVERANDE and 41 takes up positions for local defence of LUC SUR MER and PETIT ENFER. Throughout the day and night parties were out searching for snipers and French 5th Columnists.


Lieutenant-Colonel Gray


Citation for the M.C.

At Lion sur Mer on the 6th of June, from the moment of landing under heavy and accurate mortar and shell fire, Lieut. Colonel Gray showed a complete and utter disregard for his own safety. His coolness, cheerfulness and personal bravery were an inspiration to all. On the first morning he was slightly wounded on two occasions and insisted on continuing. His example contributed enormously to the success of the Commando task.

​[Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36676, page 4008 and National Archives WO/373/47/2.]

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Gray was wounded and had to be evacuated on the morning of the 7th June. After recovering from his wounds he returned to command 46RM Commando. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for for his action during operations at the River Rhine crossing and into Wesel.

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