Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Editor's Column: As Published in Norwich Gazette (2)

FAINT FOOTSTEPS, WORLD WAR II

D. Harrison (front row, 3rd from left); Effingham Division, in Halifax, 1941

Canadian Sailors Volunteer for the Unknown, 1941

In June 1941 my father started training with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in Hamilton at age twenty. According to him, it was no piece of cake.

In navy memoirs he says, “Rifle drill, route marches, frog-hopping up hills with 60-pound sacks on our back, and gunnery skills. Everything done on the double.... they really toughened us up.”

An American, “Alabama,” couldn’t handle it well, was discharged, but Dad and Buryl McIntyre (both from Norwich) and many of their new mates persevered and were shipped to Halifax in October.

“But not before the 80 of us, led by our mascot (a Great Dane) and headed by a band, did a march through Hamilton,” Dad writes. “We really were proud and put on a display of marching... shoulders square, arms swinging shoulder high, thousands watched and we were roundly cheered and applauded. This was a proud moment long-remembered.”

"Shoulders square, arms swinging shoulder high, thousands watched." Hamilton, 1941

Training was “very severe” in Halifax, and he recalls “running outside in temperatures in the low twenties in T-shirts and shorts, morning after morning.” The reception from some Haligonians was just as chilly. “One restaurant had a sign in its window - Dogs and sailors not allowed.”

Lloyd Evans of Markham recalls the trainees enjoyed one significant bit of adventure, at least most did. In memoirs he says, “The highlight of the training was a one-day trip to sea on a Minesweeper for gunnery practice. The whole ship rattled and shook when the 4-inch gun went off. It wasn't all fun - one of our boys was so seasick he pleaded to be thrown over the side!”

An RCNVR recruitment post. $1.10 per day! (More for Stokers)

Most of the sailors made life-long friends while there, and together they volunteered for an organization in December ’41 that was to direct their training activities and participation in significant events (operations, i.e, raids and invasions) during World War II.

These men were already ‘signed and sealed’ members of the RCNVR. Why volunteer for another organization? Higher pay? Not likely. More money is seldom mentioned in veterans’ tales.

My father writes, “One day we heard a mess deck buzz or rumour that the navy was looking for volunteers for special duties overseas, nine days leave thrown in.”

Because Christmas was near, nine days off would turn many heads, surely.

Al Kirby of Woodstock recalls something else enticing about overseas duties. In a story he says, “I was finishing my Torpedo Course in Halifax when I saw a notice asking for volunteers to go to England to train with the Royal Navy for hazardous duties on small craft. I immediately thought “Motor Torpedo Boats”. That sounded very exciting to a 17-year-old boy seaman, so I applied. The only qualification was that you be single and warm.”

Youthful enthusiasm and easy qualifications perhaps helped lure a few volunteers.

Dad also recalls the following:

We had, over a period of six months, got to know each other very well, and were swayed greatly in our decision by the fact that it seemed an excellent way to stay together. So, come what may, we informed our Petty Officer. Almost to a man, (we) volunteered for the unknown. (“Recalling A Wartime Christmas”, Norwich Gazette, December 1994)

It certainly helped that the sailors didn’t know what the future held.

Combined Operations Insignia

The organization they joined was Combined Operations; the Director or Chief was Lord Louis Mountbatten; COHQ was in London, England; and, unbeknownst to the Canadians, their first training exercises - to begin overseas in February 1942 - pertained to Operation Rutter (cancelled and later renamed Operation Jubilee), the raid on Dieppe, France.

 Doug on nine days leave, December 1941. Where next?

Doug's Navy file. He is signed off by HMCS Stadacona (Halifax), 25 Jan. '42.
Next entry: H.M.S. Quebec (Combined Operations No. 1 Training Camp),
located in Inveraray, Scotland*

*Editor's note re above photo of Doug's file: Once the file was located ("8 Feb '42"), it was sent on to his first training camp in the U.K., located on England's south coast.

More to follow.


Photos GH

Monday, January 15, 2018

Photographs: Imperial War Museum - Sicily, 1943 (3)

Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

NA4184. A Universal carrier is towed ashore, as troops unload ammunition from a
landing craft in the background, 10 July 1943. Sergeant Frederick Wackett and IWM

Introduction:

Before the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, most Canadians assigned to man landing crafts travelled around the African continent. My father did so on SS Silver Walnut, and though the ship had to make numerous stops for repairs in Africa ports - Cape Town, Durban - it arrived in Port Said in late June.

In early July a large armada of Allied ships left the shores of North Africa, bound first for Malta, then D-Day Sicily.

About a memento connected to the trip around Africa my father writes:

One of the merchant officers, James Robertson, had borrowed a hammock during the trip. It reappeared 43 years later in Melbourne, Australia. During Navy Week October 1986, Canada sent a warship - the HMCS Yukon - to represent the country.

After a naval exercise at the Shrine of Remembrance, Officer Robertson made a presentation to Commander K. A. Nason; it was the hammock upon which the officer had painted his version of the Combined Operations Insignia and the names of the Canadian sailors who had served aboard the Walnut many years ago.
(Page 67, "DAD, WELL DONE")

17 names appear on this hammock, ‘D. Harrison’ among them
Photo - Navy Museum, Esquimalt, B.C.


Many excellent photographs - revealing the troop carriers in convoy and flotillas of landing craft in subsequent action - related to the Allied cause during WW2, are part of a vast collection belonging to the Imperial War Museum, U.K.

Several RN and U.S. photographers worked aboard airplanes (see top photo), troop ships, landing craft and on the beaches creating valuable still photographs and newsreels that inform us of many details pertaining to the invasion.

I encourage readers to browse IWM collections at their leisure. Copies of rare photographs can be purchased, if desired.

Please link to IWM at Search Our Collections.

Displayed below are a few pictures taken by photographers during World War 2. They are now archived at IWM and may assist those searching for more information about the role of Canadians in Combined Operations - and many other divisions, regiments, etc. - during Operation HUSKY.

Included are two photos of the new LCI(L)s mentioned in my father's memoirs:

July 10, 1943. We arrived off Sicily in the middle of the night and stopped about four miles out. Other ships and new LCIs (landing craft infantry), fairly large barges, were landing troops. Soldiers went off each side of the foc’sle, down steps into the water and then ashore, during which time we saw much tracer fire. This was to be our worst invasion yet. Those left aboard had to wait until daylight so we went fishing for an hour or more, but there were no fish. (Page 31, "DAD, WELL DONE")

The accompanying captions are found with the photos as well:

NA3938. Planning and Preparations January - July 1943: View of the dockside
of Sousse Harbour, Tunisia. Landing craft are loaded with vehicles and equipped
in preparation for the invasion. Sgt. Dawson, No. 2 Army F&P Unit and IWM.

NA4075. Planning and Preparations January - July 1943: Men of 5th Battalion,
Seaforth Highlanders board landing craft while, in the foreground, others wait their
turn at the quayside at Sousse Harbour. Sgt. Stubbs,
No. 2 Army Film & Photographic Unit and IWM.

NA4139. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943: A survivor of the
airborne invasion, Lance Corporal Blaycock, boards a Royal Navy warship after being
rescued from the sea. His glider landed in the sea after being blown off course and he
was picked up after spending seven hours afloat. Capt. Knight, No. 2 Army F&P Unit

NA4183. A British Universal Carrier Mark I comes ashore during the invasion of Sicily
on 10 July 1943. Sergeant Frederick Wackett. No. 2 Army Film Unit, and IWM.

Caption: NY3090. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943:
Aerial view of the Allied landings showing landing craft along the shore as troops
go and supplies move inland. Photo Credit - U.S. Embassy WW2 Library
and Imperial War Museum (IWM) 

NA4186. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943: British
troops manhandle vehicles and equipment on the beaches as they are unloaded
from landing craft. Sergeant Frederick Wackett and IWM

NA4193. Operation Husky. Men of the Highland Division wade ashore from
landing craft during the landings in Sicily, 10 July 1943. Sergeant Frederick
Wackett, No. 2 Army Film and Photographic Unit, and IWM

NA4194. Infantry from the 51st Highland Division wade ashore from
a landing ship*, 10 July 1943. Sergeant Frederick Wackett and IWM. 
*Landing Craft, Infantry (Large) - LCI(L)

Though many photos give the impression the Allied landings were peaceful or unopposed, there was a very rough side to beachings in several sectors. My father writes:

Once, with our LCM loaded with high octane gas and a Lorrie (truck), we were heading for the beach when we saw machine gun bullets stitching the water right towards us. Fortunately, an LST (landing ship tank) loaded with bofors (guns) opened up and scared off the planes, or we were gone if the bullets had hit the gas cans. I was hiding behind a truck tire, so was Joe Watson* of Simcoe. What good would that have done?

Our beach had machine gun nests carved out of the ever-present limestone, with slots cut in them to cover our beaches. A few hand grenades tossed in during the night silenced them forever.

Slowly we took control and enemy raids were only sporadic, but usually at dawn or dusk when we couldn’t see them and they could see us. At such times we had to get out of our LCMs and lay smoke screens, and travelled the ocean side or beach side depending upon which way the wind was blowing. Even then they could see the masts sticking up. During one raid I was caught on the open deck of the Pio Pico, so I laid down - right on a boiling hot water pipe. I got up quickly.
(Page 31-32, "DAD, WELL DONE")

*Link to Joe Watson's side of the story: Article - Joe Watson, RCNVR and Combined Operations, 1941 - 1945

NA4233. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943:
A British soldier inspects a captured Italian pillbox in the Pachino area.
Capt. R.F. Gade, No. 2 Army Film Unit, and IWM

NA4502. British troops in a landing craft assault (LCA), 9 July 1943.
Sgt. Rooke, No. 2 Army Film and Photographic Unit and IWM.

NA4513. British troops go ashore from an infantry landing ship (LCI(L),
10 July 1943. Sgt. Rooke, No. 2 Army F & P Unit, and IWM.

As mentioned earlier, the new LCI(L)s are seen below, in drydock:

A18153. An LCI in the drydock for repair, with a view of Sousse
in the background. Photo - Lt. C.H. Parnall and IWM.

A18154. An LCI in the drydock for repair, with a view of Sousse in
the background. These floating dry docks were being made in America.
The parts were numbered and then assembled where wanted. 
Photo Credit - Lt. C.H. Parnall, RN Photographer, and IWM

Please link to Photographs: Imperial War Museum - Sicily, 1943 (2)

Unattributed Photos GH.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Photographs: Imperial War Museum - Sicily, 1943 (2)

Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

Caption: A17921. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: Instructions
being signalled to waiting landing craft by semaphore at dawn of the opening day of the
invasion of Sicily. One is LCI (L) 124, the other is an unidentified LCT. 
Photo Credit - Lt. C.H. Parnall and Imperial War Museum (IWM) 

Introduction:

Before the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, most Canadians assigned to man landing crafts travelled around the African continent. My father did so on SS Silver Walnut, and though the ship had to make numerous stops for repairs in Africa ports - Cape Town, Durban - it arrived in Port Said in late June.

In early July a large armada of Allied ships left the shores of North Africa, bound first for Malta, then D-Day Sicily. 

My father writes:

Back to England I went for more training in May, 1943 with barges aboard the S.S. Silver Walnut, a real dud. 

We formed up and headed to sea again, this time from Liverpool. We didn’t know but Sicily was next. The Silver Walnut left convoy at Cape Town, South Africa to coal up and for repairs. She was constantly breaking down and was a sitting duck for subs. Fortunately, there were not many subs in S. Africa vicinity. 


We finally passed through the Indian Ocean, past Madagascar to Aden and Port Said, properly pronounced Port Sigh-eed. The other boys who arrived in the desert long before us, because of our slow ship, were the unfortunate ones, and were found sleeping in tents - hot in the day and cold at night - and most had severe dysentery, some were just shells. The boys with dysentery so bad just sat in latrines all night.... I spent one night only in the desert so I was lucky.

Thanks, old slow ship. ("DAD, WELL DONE")

Many excellent photographs - revealing the troop carriers in convoy and flotillas of landing craft in subsequent action - related to the Allied cause during WW2, are part of a vast collection belonging to the Imperial War Museum, U.K.

Several RN photographers, for example Lt. C.H. Parnall (top photo), worked aboard troop ships, landing craft and on the beaches creating valuable still photographs and newsreels that inform us of many details pertaining to the invasion.

I encourage readers to browse IWM collections at their leisure. By adjusting the number of the next photograph below (e.g., changing A17985 to A17986), one will see the next photo in the collection. Copies of rare photographs can be purchased, if desired.

Please link to Search Our Collections.

Displayed below are a few pictures taken by Royal Navy photographers during World War 2. They are now archived at IWM and may assist those searching for more information about the role of Canadians in Combined Operations - and many other divisions, regiments, etc. - during Operation HUSKY.

The accompanying captions are found with the photos as well:

A17985. Section of the invasion fleet off Avola, Sicily, on the morning of the assault.
Photo - Lt. L.C. Priest, aboard troopship Winchester Castle. (IWM)

A17986. Fighting was still going on ashore (note the fire) when this picture of landing
craft was taken off Avola on the morning of the invasion. Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

A17987. At Avola, Sicily.
Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

Map of Sicily found in Combined Operations by C. Marks, London Ontario
Members of 80th & 81st Canadian Flotillas, manned Landing Crafts, Mechanized
(LCMs) in Operation Husky, near Avola (lower right of above map), July ‘43

A17988. Supply ships unloading as the troopship leaves Sicily having completed
the landing of her cargo. Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

Once the troopships left the vicinity - perhaps to return to N. Africa for more troops or supplies - the Canadians in Combined Operations had only their LCMs for use as accommodation, a poor arrangement at the very least. 

One Canadian, Doug Harrison of Norwich Ontario, recalls the following about how the men who manned landing crafts fared in "make-shift accommodation":

After about a week of being continually harassed by bombers, ack-ack fire and dog fights in the sky (we Canadians shot down a wing tank and almost single-handedly drove the Americans from the skies) one of our fellows on a short reconnoitre ashore found an abandoned limestone cave. 

This cave, a huge hump in the beach landscape, was to become our shelter at night for nearly three weeks. About 60 of us slept there, including another Norwich boy, the late Buryl McIntyre. The remaining Canadian boys slept in holes dug along the beach, covered over by whatever they could scrape up.

The cave itself had been used at some time to house cattle to protect them from us*. It was large enough to sleep many more. The roof was 70 or 80 feet thick and supported by huge limestone pillars inside. We soon obtained a barrage balloon (the same way I got the rum) which we anchored on top of the cave. Unless a bomb dropped in front of the door, we were as safe as a church. There wasn’t a bomb as yet that could pierce that roof.

The limestone underfoot was almost like wet cement, but we happily trudged through this, put our hammocks down doubled up, laid our mattresses on them, curled up in our blankets, clothes and all, and slept like logs. We even recessed navy lamps into the walls. The ceiling was about 20 feet high. It was cool, damp and safe and we shared our good fortune with several little green lizards who had cool feet. ("DAD, WELL DONE")

*Editor: I would suggest that during Sicilian summers, the cattle were housed in the caves near Avola, and elsewhere, to protect them from the heat.

A18085. The Cruisers HMS ORION and HMS UGANDA on patrol with Mt. Etna
towering in the distance, some 40 miles away. Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

A18086. Silhouetted by the sun, the SS ULSTER MONARCH, a transport
carrying commando troops, entering Augusta harbour under fire from shore batteries.
Commando troops can be seen in their landing craft going towards the harbour boom
in the setting sun, photograph taken from the destroyer NUBIAN. HM destroyers had
engaged shore batteries and machine gun posts at the entrance to the harbour.
Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

The Ulster Monarch is mentioned in Doug Harrison's Navy memoirs from those days:

After approximately 27 days I came down with severe chills and then got dysentery. I was shipped to Malta on the Ulster Monarch and an intern came around and handed me 26 pills. I inquired how many doses was that? “Just one,” he replied.

At Malta I was let loose on my own to find Hill 10 Hospital. I did after a while and they asked me my trouble. I said, “Dysentery.” “Oh, we’ll soon cure that,” they said. How? “We won’t give you anything to eat.” So for four days all I got was water and pills and soon I was cured, though weak. I thought of those poor devils in the desert. (Page 34, "DAD, WELL DONE")

A18090. Liners right inshore, 4 miles south of Syracuse unloading troops
and landing craft. Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

A18091. Four miles south of Syracuse a small ammunition supply ship, hit by
enemy bombs, can be seen in the distance as she blazes near the landing beach
during the invasion of Sicily. Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

A18093. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: Ships of the
invasion fleet under air attack as they unload troops and equipment on a beach
four miles south of Syracuse. Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

A18097. During the invasion of Sicily, SS ULSTER MONARCH, a transport
carrying commando troops, and the destroyer HMS TETCOTT can be seen entering
the harbour of Syracuse under fire from the shore batteries. Commando troops are in
their landing craft going towards the harbour boom in the setting sun.
Photograph taken from the destroyer HMS NUBIAN.
RN official photographer Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

A18098. A large liner, with landing craft hanging over her side, against a background
of one of the landing beaches, four miles south of Syracuse, vineyards
can be seen ashore. Lt. F.G. Roper and IWM.

Prior to the landing of Allied troops on assorted beaches in Sicily, military parades of sorts would take place in Alexandria and other ports of departure:

A18170 General view of the saluting base as the Army detachment marched past.
Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.


Unattributed Photos GH.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Photographs: Imperial War Museum - Sicily, 1943 (1)

Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

Caption: NY726. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943:
Allied assault troops board American invasion craft in North Africa while, in
the background, fully loaded landing craft set sail for Sicily.
Photo Credit - U.S. Embassy WW2 Photo Library
at Imperial War Museum (IWM) 

Introduction:

About 200 - 250 Canadians, members of RCNVR and Combined Operations, served on four flotillas of landing craft during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. The flotillas were designated as the 55th, 61st, 80th and 81st. (My father was part of the 80th Flotilla).

Before the invasion most Canadians assigned to the important task of manning landing crafts travelled on various ships from ports in the U.K. on the trip of a lifetime, i.e., around the African continent, through the Red Sea, to a friendly port (e.g., Port Said), and then to nearby camps (e.g., HMS Saunders), before setting off once again for an undisclosed destination.

Canadians in Combined Ops at HMS Saunders, circa July, 1943.

My father wrote extensively about his voyage around Africa and the first few paragraphs appear below:

ABOARD THE SS SILVER WALNUT

[This story concerns the voyage aboard Silver Walnut, from Wallasey and Liverpool to Port Said in the Gulf of Aden in the spring and summer of 1943 on way to the invasion of Sicily by the fighting 80th/81st LCM Flotillas.]

At about the same time our small convoy entered the green waters of the Irish Sea, other convoys were leaving other British ports carrying more Canadian sailors and their landing craft as well, for a destination known only to a few. Our escort ships appeared far too small and far too few, but the supply of war ships was stretched to the breaking point at this time in the war, April 1943. We headed south on a murky day on a quiet sea.

The Canadian S/Lt* aboard called us all together in the waist of the ship to lay down the routine and laws for the journey. We had been through all this before, but a reminder did no harm: cover all portholes at night; we could sleep on deck if weather permitted, but we were to wear life belts or have them securely fastened to one arm; a lighted cigarette can be seen over a long distance by a surfaced submarine at night, so if you value your life and that of your comrades and ship, don’t smoke on deck at night; any garbage was to be tossed over the stern at night.

(*The late S/Lt (Sub Lieut.) Davie Rodgers, RCNVR, usually chummed with the late Andy Wedd, DSC, at Dieppe. Somewhere they must still be together. Their lively hyperactivity infuriated the late S/Lt Doug Chisholm who called them “The Girls’ School.” All three increased the interest at Ward Room level. Ratings appeared tolerant.)

The officer went on to say that in the event we were torpedoed, the lifeboats were designated for the crew; our hopes were in the Carley floats. We all knew how to cut the lines that let the floats slip over the side, praying at the same time we would never have to use them.
(Page 56, "DAD, WELL DONE")

Many excellent photographs - revealing the troop carriers in convoy and flotillas of landing craft in subsequent action - related to the Allied cause during WW2, are part of a vast collection belonging to the Imperial War Museum, U.K.

Several RN photographers, for example Lt. C.H. Parnall, worked aboard troop ships, landing craft and on the beaches creating valuable still photographs and newsreels that inform us of many details pertaining to the invasion.

I encourage readers to browse IWM collections at their leisure. By adjusting the number of the first photograph below (e.g., changing A17913 to A17914), one will see the next photo in the collection. Copies of rare photographs can be purchased, if desired.

Please link to Search Our Collections.

Displayed below are a few pictures taken by Royal Navy photographers during World War 2. They are now archived at IWM and may assist those searching for more information about the role of Canadians in Combined Operations - and many other divisions, regiments, etc. - during Operation HUSKY.

The accompanying captions are found with the photos as well:

A17913. Prisoners of war marching along the beach to awaiting ships, watched
by Naval Commandos, one of whom is armed with a Tommy gun at dawn of the
opening day of the invasion of Sicily. A landing craft infantry (large) (LCI (L) 124)
and two landing craft tanks LCT 382. Lt. C.H. Parnall and IWM.

A17916. Troops from 51st Highland Division unloading stores from tank landing
craft on the opening day of the Allied invasion of Sicily, 10 July 1943. Just after dawn,
men of the Highland Division up to their waists in water unloading stores on a landing
beach on the opening day of the invasion of Sicily. Meanwhile beach roads are being
prepared for heavy and light traffic. Several landing craft tank can be seen just of
the beach (including LCT 622). Lt. C.H. Parnall and IWM.

A17918. Glimpse of the invasion coast as an armoured vehicle was being
towed ashore from landing craft during the landings in Sicily at dawn of the
opening day of the invasion. Lt. C.H. Parnall and IWM.

A17920. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: A tractor comes to
the rescue of an armoured vehicle which had stuck in the mud temporarily during the
invasion of Sicily, several landing craft can be seen in the background at dawn of the
opening day of the invasion. RN Phtographer Lt. C.H. Parnall and IWM.

A17955. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: Landing craft
(a Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM) - a Mark 3) going ashore in the early morning
during the start of the invasion of Sicily. Lt. H.A. Mason and IWM

At other locations on the SE coast of Sicily, e.g., near Avola, the landing craft crews experienced the worst opposition they had ever encountered. My father writes:

July 10, 1943. We arrived off Sicily in the middle of the night and stopped about four miles out. Other ships and new LCIs (landing craft infantry), fairly large barges, were landing troops. Soldiers went off each side of the foc’sle, down steps into the water and then ashore, during which time we saw much tracer fire. This was to be our worst invasion yet. Those left aboard had to wait until daylight so we went fishing for an hour or more, but there were no fish.

A signal came through, i.e., “Do not fire on low flying aircraft, they are ours and towing gliders.” What, in the dark? Next morning, as we slowly moved in, we saw gliders everywhere. I saw them sticking out of the water, crashed on land and in the vineyards. In my twenty-seven days there I did not see a glider intact. We started unloading supplies with our LCMs about a half mile off the beach and then the worst began - German bombers. We were bombed 36 times in the first 72 hours - at dusk, at night, at dawn and all day long, and they said we had complete command of the air. 
(Page 31, "DAD, WELL DONE")

Photographs from a more peaceful location on the day of the invasion, or from later in the same week:

A17959. Troops dashing ashore from landing craft.
Photo Credit - Lt. H.A. Mason and IWM.

A17960. Troops dashing ashore from a landing craft assault on the first day of
the invasion of the island of Sicily. Lt. H.A. Mason and IWM.

A17961. Great activity on the landing beach in the early morning.
RN Photographer Lt. H.A. Mason and IWM.

Heading with Photos:

Saturday July 10, 1943: The Sicilian Invasion Begins. On Board the Troopship Winchester Castle, Off Sicily.

A17981. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: LCT 355 off Sicily
on the momentous morning of Saturday July 10 1943 at the start of the invasion of the
island. By July 20 a third of the island had been captured by the 8th Army and the US
forces. Three troopships can be seen in the distance. Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

A17982. Off Sicily on the momentous morning of Saturday July 10, 1943.
Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

A17983. Off Sicily on the momentous morning of Saturday July 10, 1943.
RN Photographer Lt. L.C. Priest and IWM.

Please link to Photographs: Imperial War Museum - N. Africa, 1942 (5)

Unattributed Photos GH.