- Contributed by
- Vernon Copeland
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Royal Navy
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 12 July 2004
Report of Action in the Gulf of Salerno 9/9/43 from O.C.R.M H.M.L.C.G. (L) 8
In the absence of the Commanding Officer who was injured, I am rendering a provisional report on the above action.
At 03.24 hours on the 9th September 1943, fire was opened on the beaches and ceased at 03.25, five rounds being fired. It was impossible to open fire at the pre-arranged time of 03.20 owing to destroyers masking fire.
We then proceeded to patrol the coast to the South of Beach 29. At 06.45 fire was opened at the C/D Battery 788130, eight rounds being fired, six for effect. There was however, no counter-fire.
We continued to patrol the coast and at 10.30 observing LCG 2 closing the beach we followed at approx 1 mile on her port quarter.
Fire was opened on the two craft from a coastal position at approx 78815 at 11.05 with heavy M.G’s and what is believed to be 76mm D/P guns. A direct hit on the Bridge of this craft was scored by the enemy almost immediately, with an A/P shell of about 76mm calibre, killing instantaneously the R.A. Officer attached to the craft and causing seven other casualties including the C.O. and the 1st Lieut.
Both 4.7 guns counter-fired at once, being controlled from the Bridge direct by telephone. Hits were observed in the target area after the third salvo and fire continued until 11.14, 67 rounds having been fired, of which 64 were for effect. The initial range was 2200+ and enemy fire heavy until it finally ceased.
Shortly after, the Minesweeper J230 was contacted, which took off all casualties and subsequently transferred them all to H.M.H.S. St David. Until transferred to J230 the C.O. maintained command of his ship in spite of his injury.
I then proceeded to close H.M.S. Hilary in order to obtain instructions and relief Naval Officers for the C.O. and 1st Lieut.
For the majority of the crew it was the first time they had been under heavy enemy fire and their conduct throughout the whole of the action and subsequently was exemplary.
R C Lane Lt. R.M.
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