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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Landing on Gold Beach

by Kevin Tandy

Contributed by 
Kevin Tandy
People in story: 
George Ernest Tandy DSM
Location of story: 
D-Day
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
A2844272
Contributed on: 
17 July 2004

My late father, Cpl. George Tandy RM on D-Day, was Coxswain of LCA 786, 539 Assault Flotilla.
When his boat was being launched the steering wheel was accidently torn off. Knowing the importance of getting his troops ashore, he climbed over the stern of his craft and steered the boat in rough seas to Gold Beach by pushing the rudder with his boot and instructing his mate on the use of the throttle, arriving only seconds late.
When he returned for more troops he was ordered back onboard SS Empire Halberd to warm up. He told me that he was so cold that the tepid water they put him in felt scalding.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts and was also told that he would be awarded the Croix de Guerre 2nd class by the French, although this was never received by him.
Later on he was greatly flattered by being guest of honour at the inauguration of the new 539 Assault Squadron recognised as being a missing asset after the Falklands conflict.
When Dad passed away after a long gruelling illness he was cremated locally, but we were requested to take his ashes to Stonehouse barracks in Plymouth. We were taken out on a modern day LCA, then transferred onto a LCT(?) where the RM Padre said a few words over Dad's ashes and we then put Dad back to the place where he always said he should be at the end of his days.

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