- Contributed by
- People in story:
- George Reginald Wilson
- Location of story:
- English Channel on and about D Day 1944
- Background to story:
- Civilian Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 15 May 2004
May 21 19444
Anchored Loch Ewe at 10 am. Anchored till 4 pm then leave with Cit of Canterbury and Devonshire.
Pass through Pentland Firth at 8am .All quiet of E. Coast
Arive at ? noon .Full of ships of all sorts awaiting D.Day
At anchor,nothing doing
Leave ? for Southhampton at noon,speed 12knots,pick up ? and Lancashirefrom the Tyne
Pass along the East Anglian coast,enter the Thames.5pm ,anchored west of Southend at 7 pm.
Very hot , warching ships passing up and down the river.
Recieved a letter from Edie,telling of safe journey home.
O/C troops arrive.
Continiouse wave of bombers over tonight ,also many LSTs pass down river loaded up ,wont be long now.
No mail.LCI loaded with assault troopsleaving the river ,followed by LCT ,Liberty ships etc all loaded with men and materials.We mored pup at Gravesend at 6 am .What a sight ,every sort of craft carrying men amnd trucks .
4th June .
Embark troops ,and move out at 2 am . Think tomorrow will be D. Day . What activity here, we are only one small spot. Anchored at Southend for night ,weather deteriates wind from S.W. , long faces here ,is there going to be a delay?
Rome fell last night ; many LSI have left for the job.river busier than ever,conference at 7.30 . Recieved 8 letters from Edie, what a surprise.Tomorrow is D.Day,it cant be pursponed after the last few days,everyone is as keen as mustard.
Wave after wave of fighters flew over the ship this morning.This is D.Day,we leave at 11 am.pass through the Straits with a smoke screen.Air raid,Liberty ship on fire off he Goodwins.Peacefuly passage up channel towards Portsmouth .See Hastings and thought of the walks we had .
7th June .
Anchored off Portsmouth at 4 am .LCIs and LCTs returning from the beaches.LCI 181 has flag at half mast, shell hole in her side .Endless stream of LCs returning and leaving for the beaches . Warspite and Roberts return, crew yell at the troops" What are you waiting for , there is plenty of room over there" .Hospital shipsleave at 1 pm .many reurningships have damaged craft in tow , wonderfule effort made to get the damaged craft back to port. Major plays the bag pipes on deck at night , prepairing to lead the men ashore.tugs seem to be leaving with everything under the sun in tow,bridge pontoons etc.We are sailing a 11.30 with Leopoldville ,Worcester and two American Empire boats.eveyone is longing to get on with it.
8 am .We are there ,what a sight,as far as the eye can see,ships,ships and more ships, ovehead , hundreds of planes roar ,cruisers , etc shelling beach and jerry.Disembarking 8 pm.
Spent last night off the beaches. Air attack at 9.30 and continuing until midnight ,no casualties.Leave with escourt for Portsmouth at 9 am.Arrive Portsmouth at 5 pm.
At anchor off Coweswith numerouse other vessals.Beaches we were at Goldand Juno
Left for the Clyde.
( the ship then loaded for the invasion of Southern France)
An extract of the diaries of George Wilson ,Chief Radio Officer SS Cameronia
George first went to sea in the Merchant Navey in the 1930s as a Radio Officer,leaving in 1936.
He served through out the Second World War in the Merchant Navy and was sunk twice
He returned to his pre war occupation and became a manage at Pye of Cambridge
He died in 1992
Contributed by his son John Wilson
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