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15 October 2014
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He was One of the Best

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > World > France

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Mr J Rouse, Bert Micker
Location of story: 
Rhine
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A8999428
Contributed on: 
31 January 2006

The squadron was destined to play another important role: we were to ferry prisoners across the Rhine in storm boats. We carried out our training and in the early hours of March 19th 1945, the squadron headed for the German Frontier. By breakfast time we were digging in the woods about five miles from the Rhine. On March 23rd the troops moved down to a lagoon by the river and dug in. The artillery barrage was still pounding the far bank, but our work went on smoothly. By the 24th of March, our storm boats were in the water and manned, going from bank to bank, taking troops across and bringing back prisoners and wounded.

The Rhine, the last great river barrier, had been crossed.

Corporal Bert Micker was the last fatal casualty in the squadron. He had been ferrying infantry across the Rhine in assault boats and bringing back the prisoners.

He was on his way to pick up another batch of prisoners when the storm boat began to sink. The outboard motor packed up and the boat was washed down the river by the strong current and sadly he was drowned.

Bert had been with the squadron since the beginning. He was at the battle of El Alamein and served right through the North African campaign. He was one of the first to set foot on Sword beach on D-Day. He went through Normandy, France, Belgium and Holland to the Rhine. Sadly he did not make it to the end. He was one of the best.

This story was added to the site by a volunteer on behalf of Mrs Rouse, who understands the site's terms and conditions.

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