Introduction

This story has not been discovered and researched by many people since 1944.  Whilst we have tried to capture all of the existing experiences and official records pertaining to the first Echelon of 21 BDS, I am convinced that there will be further documentation and reminiscences which we can add as time goes on.

The authors of this website welcome all contributions that add to the bravery of the first echelons of 21 BDS and indeed there are many blanks in some of the technical and equipment sections of this website.

We would particularly be interested in the training and movements of 21 BDS from 1943 to the time of the invasion and it is still not fully clear the exact composition and numbers of men that landed on Omaha Beach.  There is a curious contradiction in that we know five landing craft carried the bulk of the unit but we also know that at least one other landing craft carrying RAF personnel and equipment left from Gosport but both sections were destined to join together.  It has been a question in my mind as to why this happened and any contribution to explaining this and other aspects of the campaign would be gratefully received.

Comments
2 Responses to “Introduction”
  1. Joe Hunnable says:

    This is fascinating stuff. My grandfather, Victor Hunnable, served as driver in the RAF and was posted to Renscombe Down, then Chigwell before joining AMES 14039 (85 Group). I know anecdotally that he was in Normandy shortly after D-Day with a GCI unit and the 85 Group records would support that from a high level but I have been unable to unearth any info about his particular unit. Later on in August 1944 he was part of No. 15129 COL based at Bouflet(?) in Normandy. I would be interested in knowing if these units mean anything to you.

    Regards,

    • David says:

      Hello, Joe. Yes, this is like an exciting detective story – and this time it’s personal! The more information you can supply – however seemingly trivial – the better our chances of being able to add to it. Do you have your grandfather’s war medals? If so, you probably have his service number. You can then apply for a copy of his war record. Once you have that you’ll have a good idea of his movements throughout the war. Do you have any photos? If so, do scan them and send to me. It’s possible someone will recognise a face or two, and then the memories will start tumbling in. David

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