D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

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D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:03 am

Recently (two days ago) while visiting Auckland, I had the chance to visit the National War Memorial Museum, and their “fantastic” military collections on the third floor. I must say, if you ever get the chance VISIT this museum.....it is wonderful, I wish I had “days their” instead of hours.

While visiting the museum, I spotted a ship name (and lots of records and artifacts).....the ‘Monowai‘. I immediately KNEW this name, as it carried Canadian Troops on D Day and landed them on Juno Beach...so I was very interested in reading their presentation. Much to my dismay, I read that the Monowai anchored off of GOLD BEACH and landed the troops. I KNEW this wasn’t correct, as I have all the Force “J” Landing Tables, Loading Tables etc, that tells us the Monowai (J30) carried Canadian Troops of the 8th Cdn Infantry Brigade (The Queens Own Rifles of Canada, the Regiment du Chaudiere, the North Shore Regiment, and British Assault troops. The landing craft serials and loads are all listed in the “JUNO BEACH LANDING TABLES’ that are included in a reference on this web site.

Well, I know I had to either “correct this information” OR “find out where they got their info, in case I am wrong (which I’m pretty sure I am not...but hey, old guys make mistakes)”......

So I sent all my information to the Museum in the last hour asking if my info is correct, and if they had any further info on the Landing Craft Assualt numbers that the ship carried. I have discovered about 7 of the 20 landing craft carried, but hopefully they will be able to help me with the rest.......and confirm if the ship indeed anchored off of Juno or Gold beaches, as I said, as she was landing Canadian’s on Juno Beach, she would have had to anchor in the Juno Beach landing area’s, to the left (as you face the beach from the sea) on the Canadian Assault beaches, as the 8th Cdn Brigade landed to the left of the 7th Cdn Brigade.......and Gold Beach was to the right of the 7th Cdn Brigade......so I can’t see how the ship anchored off of “Gold Beach” and their landing craft would have had to cross ALL of the 7th Cdn Brigades landing area to reach the 8th Cdn Brigades landing area........If I’ve confused you....go to the JUNO BEACH LANDING TABLE’s that give a map of the variou unit landing beaches and Gold, Juno & Sword beaches.......

BUT, again it is a wonderful museum, worth a visit if you are ever their
7F33C700-FA9F-405C-9AF7-E5D577C70E96.jpeg
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Monowai

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by ccamfield » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am

That sounds very promising and interesting!

I hope (though I'm sure it's true!) that you are having a fantastic trip in NZ. :)

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:51 am

ccamfield wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am
That sounds very promising and interesting!

I hope (though I'm sure it's true!) that you are having a fantastic trip in NZ. :)
We had a very nice time and really enjoyed NZ. Visited the museums in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland (plus a quick trip to ‘The Shire” at HOBBITON). Museums were wonderfull, modern, bright, fantastic displays.

In Wellington, I wanted to see the ‘Gallipoli” exihibit to look for information for a past research request.....but unfortunately the day we were their the line up was “out the door” for that exhibit and moving so slowly we couldn’t afford to wait and go thru it (on a time crunch with our cruise ship).....so had to leave it. I did get a chance to look thru the Auckland Museums WW1 section, but didn’t find the info I was looking for....but of course picked up all the contact information of the Museum to try again by the internet later.

Haven’t heard back from the Museum in Auckland yet.....I will post anything I find out from them (if they respond)

Cheers

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:07 pm

Just to keep everyone (who care’s) up to date on this thread. I did recieve a response from the Museum in Auckland, response below:


Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Second World War service of the New Zealand Merchant Navy vessel, Monowai. Thank you also for sharing this very interesting information. We'll place it in our information file for the vessel.

I regret that we have no supplementary information in our records to support or deny the Gold Beach landing. The text you mention is actually part of the object on display, which is a plaque commemorating the vessel's war service. Unfortunately, our records from the period during which the plaque was acquired are patchy and I'm unable to even find out how the plaque made its way into our collection.

However, I can refer you to other sources that repeat the Gold Beach reference, brief though they are: New Zealand History online, which also contains a link to Monowai's timeline from the New Zealand Maritime Records. But this record also says Juno.

It does strike me that the discrepancy here may be unintentional. 'Juno' Beach was next to 'Gold' Beach, I believe? Is it possible that the landing was at the extreme end of either stretch, and might possibly have been classified as either depending on interpretation? Both sources may therefore be substantially correct as they're referring to the same general area.

I'm interested to hear what you think. I'm afraid I'm not able to provide anything more with regard to the LCAs, though.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time in the Museum. We hope you may have the opportunity to visit us again in the future.

Kindest regards
Gail Romano | Associate Curator, Social History | Auckland War Memorial Museum | Tāmaki Paenga Hira


As you can see from the above, they have no further information that “proves or disproves” that the Monowai was off of Gold Beach or Juno Beach.....

SO, that meant I had to undertake more research and gather documents to “PROVE” that the Monowai was indeed anchored off of Juno Beach on the 6th Jun 1944.......I have completed that research, which in my mind, confirms that indeed the Monowai was off of JUNO BEACH, not Gold Beach.

I will be responding to them presenting the proof and documents, and I thought I would also post here on this thread, all of the information so all can see what I have discouvered and what I will be presenting to the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Please note, that their IS documentation that gives the anchorage locations of each group of ships.......but I could not find that on line (but I did find the references to it).....so the documents that I will present and information located the “approximate” anchoring position of the LSI Groups assigned to Juno Beach (and their latitude/longitude) and make me 99% confident that I have found the right location for the Monowai.

I will be adding my info over the next few days at it is going to take me some time to write what I will present, and add the appropriate documents and references.


So..........more to follow

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:36 pm

I will start with first posting the sources that I used for the research on the lowering position of New Zealand ship Monowai during the Normandy assault landings

Sources:

Operation "Neptune" Force 'J' Operation Orders - dated 19 May 1944 (DND - R24, C17, Vol 17,763, Reel T-7620, Library and Archives Canada)

Force 'J' Operational Instructions - dated 18 May 1944 (DND - R24, C17, Vol 17,763, Reel T-7620, Library and Archives Canada)

8th Cdn Infantry Brigade Landing Tables - Neptune/Overlord - dated May 1944 (DND - R24, C17, Vol 17,763, Reel T-7620, Library and Archives Canada)

8th Cdn Infantry Brigade Adm Order No 7 - Neptune/Overlord - dated 20 May 1944 (DND - R24, C17, Vol 17,763, Reel T-7620, Library and Archives Canada)


As you can see from the above, all of these sources were from Library and Archives Canada. I also used Fold3.com site, which contains all of the above sources also.......but their website search engine is much quicker to use when looking for specific information in the Operation Neptune documents.

Operation Neptune Eastern Task Force documents are OVER 3000 pages, and include Operational Orders, Adminstrative Orders etc for All eastern beach assault areas (Gold, Juno and Sword)

I also use my own research (in collaboration with WW2talk members) that is available on this website - Juno Beach Landing Tables

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 pm

Monowai’s Roll during Operation Overlord Assault Landings - 6 Jun 1944

Monowai was assigned to Operation Neptune, to initially take part in the assault landings by Canadian Troops on Juno Beach - Nan White and Nan Red

The ship was assigned to GROUP 324, 4 LSI Division, and embarked Canadian and other British Troops in Southampton.

Monowai and the other ships assigned to this part of the Assault landings carried the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade Assualt forces. Below is a list of units assigned to this Brigade

8th Canadian Infantry Brigade HQ's - Brigadier Kenneth G. Blackader

8th CIB Ground Def Platoon (Lorne Scots)

Queen's Own Rifles of Canada - LCol J.G. Spragge

'A' Coy: Major H.E. Dalton
'B' Coy: Major C.O. Dalton
'C' Coy: Major O. A. Nickson
'D' Coy: Major J. N. Gordon
‘Support’ Coy: Captain R. A. Cottrill
‘HQ” Coy: Captain T. E. Parkinson

Le Régiment de la Chaudière - LCol J.B. Mathieu

'A' Coy: Major Hugues Lapointe
'B' Coy: Major J.F. L'Espérance
'C' Coy: Major Georges Sevigny
'D' Coy: Major Gustave Taschereau

North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment - LCol D.B. Buell

'A' Coy: Major J.A.M.C. McNaughton
'B' Coy: Major R.B. Forbes
'C' Coy: Major R.H. Daughney
'D' Coy: Major J. Ernest Anderson
‘Support’ Coy: Capt. C. C. Gammon
‘Carrier’ Coy: Capt. J. A. Currie

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:50 pm

Below is information on Group 324 and 4 LSI Division. As can be seen from below, the ship was given the Landing Number of J30 and you can also see “some” (list is not complete) of the assigned Landing Craft Assualt (LCA) number from 544 and 556 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla’s


Group 324

This was a fast LSI Convoy carrying the assault infantry battalions. Vessels are listed in the order of sailing and therefor order of arrival and mooring at the Lowering Position. One LSI in each division carried an LCA(OC), Obstacle Clearance, in place of an LCA.

HMS Waveney, a River Class frigate, was the headquarters ship of Captain Senior Officer Assault Group J2. She accompanied the LSI Group. She was 1,370 tons, 301 foot long and could manage 20 knots. As built she carried two 3 inch guns and ten 20mm guns. For the headquarters role she had the aft gun removed and the superstructure extended to provide extra space. Two deck houses were added for communications equipment, a mast was added for aerials and four extra radars fitted (Types 242, 253, 271 and 391). The crew was 140 and an extra 240 were carried in the headquarters role.


4 LSI Division

HMS Duke of Wellington - J32, This was a LMSR ferry built in 1928 and fitted out as LSI in 1942. She was 3,743 tons, 358 foot long and was capable of 21 knots. She carried six LCA from 506 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla and had accommodation for 250 troops.

506 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla
LCA 519

HMNZS Monowai - J30, Ex Armed Merchant Cruiser Razmak. A large and fast cargo liner built in 1924. She was 10,852 tons, 519 foot long and could make 20 knots. She carried ten LCA from 544 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla, nine LCA from 556 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla and a LCA(OC).

544 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla
LCA 208
LCA 289
LCA 683
LCA 1057
LCA 1091
LCA 1092

556 Royal Marine Assault Flotilla
LCA 728 - Sgt F Turner, RM

SS Isle of Guernsey - J33, A Channel Island ferry. She was 2,132 tons, 306 foot long and could manage 19 knots. She carried six LCA from 518 Assault Flotilla.

HMCS Prince David - J36 - CDR T.D. Kelly, R.C.N.R., She was one of two fast Canadian ferries converted to Armed Merchant Cruisers. She was extensively modified for the role and had the bridge moved further astern and had one funnel removed. She was 6,890 tons, 385 foot long and was capable of 22 knots. She carried eight LCA from 529 Assault Flotilla and a LCA(OC). She had accommodation for 550 troops. Armament: 2 X 4”, 1 X 40mm, 6 X 20mm.

529 Assault Flotilla:
LCA 985 - for obstacle clearance
LCA 1059 - Lt. J. McBeath RCNVR
LCA 1137 - L/S G.R. Lavergne, RCN
LCA 1138 - Lt J.F. Beveridge, RCNVR
LCA 1150 - Lt J.C. Davie, RCNVR + served as Flotilla Officer
LCA 1151 - Lt D.F. Graham RCNVR
LCA 1375 - Lt G.E. Allin, RCNVR
LCS(M) 101 -

Replacement LCA’s on 7 June 1944 (for LCA’s lost and LCA 1374 detached on D Day)
LCA 1115
LCA 1346
LCA 1359
LCA 1391
LCS(M) 176

MGB 326 accompanied this group.


PLEASE NOTE: The Lists of LCA’s assigned to each ship are NOT COMPLETE as of yet

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:00 pm

Next is a list of the Assault Beaches and the Canadian Troops that were part of the initial D-Day landings from the Monowai. The list below shows the LTIN Serial numbers assigned to the each of the Monowai Landing Craft Assault (LCA’s) and what troops and equipment were aboard each of the LCA’s from the Monowai. As you can see, these LCA’s and troops landed on NAN WHITE and NAN RED as part of the assault landings.

The Initial assault waves were the Queens Owns Rifles of Canada and the La Regiment de la Chaudiere.

Nan White and Nan Red
Assault Infantry

Nan White


Serials 1428 to 1432 are 5 LCA's from LSI(L) J30 HMNZS Monowai:
129 men - Queens Own Rifles of Canada plus 20 stores spaces
3 men - 14th Canadian Field Regiment, RCA - Forward Observation Officer
6 men - 16th Canadian Field Company, RCE plus 3 stores spaces - Demolition Team

Serials 1433 to 1437 are 5 LCA's from LSI(L) J30 HMNZS Monowai:
129 men - Queens Own Rifles of Canada plus 20 stores spaces
3 men - 14th Canadian Field Regiment, RCA - Forward Observation Officer
6 men - 16th Canadian Field Company, RCE plus 3 stores spaces - Demolition Team

The Queens Own Rifles of Canada received the order to make the final run in to the beach at 0805 hours, although there was no sign of the LCT's carrying DD tanks and specialist armour. They landed on Nan White at 0815 hours with ‘A’ Company to the west of Bernieres and ‘B’ in front of the Bernieres strongpoint. ‘A’ Company got off the beach quickly and reached the railway line before being pinned down by mortar fire. They eventually moved inland.

‘B’ Company landed in front of the strongpoint which had 8 machine guns in concrete emplacements, two 50mm guns, on the sea wall and two 80mm mortar posts inland. The company suffered heavy casualties including 3 officers, a CSM and two sergeants. The company scaled the sea wall and outflanked the position.

‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies together with Battalion Headquarters came ashore at 0830 hours. The companies passed through the village and together with ‘A’ Company prepared to move forward to the next task. ‘B’ Company remained on the beach to reorganize.


La Regiment de la Chaudiere - LCol. J.E.G. Paul Mathieu

Nan White


Serials 1491 to 1496 are 6 LCAs from LSI J30 HMNZS Monowai:
132 men - La Regiment de la Chaudiere - Includes Battalion Command Group plus 17 stores spaces
1 man - 3rd Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor Generals Horse Guards)
1 man - Highland Light Infantry of Canada
2 men - ‘B’ Company, Cameron Highlanders of Ontario (MG)
3 men - 19th Canadian Field Regiment, RCA
4 men - detachment ‘A’, Troop 3, Bombardment Unit J
5 men and a handcart - ‘K’ Section (8 CIB), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division Signals Plus
4 stores spaces
1 man - Headquarters 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade - Chaplain for La Regiment de la Chaudiere
15 men and a handcart - 33 Field Dressing Station, RAMC plus 4 stores spaces
19 men - 5 Royal Berkshire Regiment - Beach Group

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:05 pm

On completion of the assault waves, the ship was then offloaded using LCI(L) that operated a “ferry service” from the ship to shore. The information below show one of the “ferry serial” and troops and equipment it contained.

Nan White and Nan Red
Landing by Ferry Service from LSI's, using craft as available. These were LCI(L).

Serial 1542 is Ferry Service from LSI(L) J30 HMNZS Monowai:
For 6 Airborne Division.
100 men and 100 folding bicycles - 249 Field Company, Airborne, RE
50 men - 716 Light Composite Company, Airborne, RASC
72 men - 195 Airlanding Field Ambulance, RAMC
The above units would be unable to travel along the coast to join the airborne division as the road was not open on D Day
28 men - 1 Corp Defence Company
125 men - 170 Pioneer Company
8 men - 21 Army Group Movement Control Pool. Military Landing Officers staff, 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade
111 men - 5 Royal Berkshire Regiment - Beach Group
86 men - 966 Inland Water Transport Operating Company, RE
48 men - 267 Port Company, RE (Rhino Ferry)
70 men - 255 Pioneer Company
60 men - 65 Field Company, RE and 61 Mechanical Equipment Section, RE

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Re: D-Day Landings, New Zealand ship Monowai

Post by Temujin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:06 pm

The map below shows Juno Beach Landing area, and the troops assigned to each section of the beach
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