Monday, April 13, 2015

D-Day Corvette, HMCS Kitchener (3)

In 1944 HMCS Kitchener, Corvette K225, found herself in Plymouth Harbour during the buildup to D-Day. Able Seaman Bill Cameron and his shipmates were disappointed to hear they'd be escorting two former French battleships, now loaded with concrete, to the French coast, where they'd be scuttled to form artificial harbours. Well away from the action. But captain and crew wanted to support the landings, which they figured were coming soon, even though they had been told casualties could be as high as 25%. Kitchener's captain, Jack Mole, wasn't putting up with that.

 He went aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta, close to them in Plymouth. Augusta carried none other than General Omar Bradley, commander of the 1st US Army. Orders were changed, and Kitchener was reassigned. She escorted Augusta in the second flotilla to Omaha Beach, as part of the anti-aicraft and antisubmarine escort, in the thick of the action. En route, Bill and every other man on board received a note from the supreme Allied commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Pictured here, it exhorts the troops: "The tide has turned! ...We will accept nothing less than full Victory!"
Earlier posts of February 23 and March 11 also dealt with Bill Cameron and Kitchener.

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