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  #1  
Old 27-03-22, 03:17 PM
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ravrick ravrick is offline
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Default Commando insignia question - St Nazaire 1942

Hi,
I am trying to find out what would be the correct insignia for a member of No2 Commando in March 1942 at the time of the St Nazaire Raid? I would imagine 'No 2 Commando' shoulder titles? Combine Ops badge? Beret badge would be a Dagger? Any unit insigina?

Can anyone please confirm?

Cheers,
Rick
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  #2  
Old 27-03-22, 04:38 PM
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From images on the internet of the raid, no badges were worn on the BD and the headdress was the cap comforter.

Marc
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  #3  
Old 27-03-22, 06:31 PM
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A complicated question in that although No.2 Commando provided the main force of Commandos, demolition units were drawn from most other Commando units. The raid date - 28 March 1942 preceded issue of green berets and Combined Operations insignia.

Several units, including No.2 were wearing tam o shanter caps. They also wore distinct embroidered insignia on arm, and a distinct cap badge. They also wore a white and black chord lanyard. Note - As Marc says above - Insignia does look to have been absent operationally ...

The best site by far for images is this one:

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/...ery/v/units/2/

https://gallery.commandoveterans.org...+copy.jpg.html - see top centre for St Nazaire POW - wearing No.2 Cdo Other Ranks badge in his headdress.

Dress varied between troops within No.2 Cdo eg - One of the troops wore kilts on the raid.

Add the complexity of demolition parties drawn from several Commando units and the variety of potential insignia (where worn) would be quite extensive.

Last edited by Mike B; 27-03-22 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 01-04-22, 08:58 AM
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Thanks Guys,

the guy in question was a member of the South Lancashire Regt attached to No 2 Commando, I am aware they didn't wear insignia on the raid but I'd be interested to know what would have been worn back in the UK when wearing BD? Would he still have South Lancs cap badge and shoulder titles?

Cheers,
Rick
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Old 01-04-22, 03:53 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
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I believe that by the time of the raid (28 March 1942) the unit was wearing tam 'o shanter with respective No.2 Cdo cap badge (Officer or Other Ranks patterns). For Other Ranks - as illustrated in the image link provided (Top Centre POW). AT HOME - Arm insignia is likely to be similar to examples illustrated below (my own collection)

Note - the Arm badge (not title) is sometimes seen worn in headdress

The COMMANDO title is chunky letters of a design associated with No.2 Cdo - as opposed to similar generic patters.

If you provide details of the individual - I may be able to provide some details - NOT PROMISSING though
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Old 01-04-22, 04:11 PM
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Hi,
the guy in question is 3650666 John Alfred Preston, 4 Troop, No 2 Cdo taken POW on the St Nazaire raid. He was one of those captured on board ML306 where Thomas Durrant won his VC...

Rick

Last edited by ravrick; 01-04-22 at 07:26 PM. Reason: should read ML306 not 360 as before
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Old 01-04-22, 05:56 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
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Hello Rick

I can only confirm the personal details you provide for J F Preston.

However, the Citation for Sgt Durrant's VC quotes ML 306 (NOT 360). There is no record of ML 360 taking part.

From my research - of the 22 participants from 4 Troop - 13 were from Kings Liverpool Reg (including 1 from Liverpool Scottish), 8 from South Lancashire Reg, 1 from Grenadier Guards. The fate of 16 is known: 8 Killed 8 POW.

I am not sure which vessels other members of 4 Tp participated in.

ML 306 carried the third party bound for the 'New Entrance' - they could not land due to debris at the Mole. they engaged a small German destroyer, whose German Captain, I believe, almost uniquely, recommended Durrant for the Victoria Cross (posthumous). Naval casualties on the vessel crewed by 14 Naval personnel, were 4 Killed, 6 POW - i do not know about the remaining 4 Royal Navy personnel.

Hoping this is of interest

Mike

PS - Storming St Nazaire by James Dorian provides a well researched account.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Storming-St.../dp/0850528070

I was pleased to attend the last really big reunion of St Nazaire veterans at St Nazaire, as driver for President and Secretary of the original Old Comrades Commando Association. There is no doubt all participants had exceptional guts and determination ...
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Old 01-04-22, 07:24 PM
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Thanks Mike,
my mistake it was ML306 (Typo earlier) he was one of the South Lancs who were captured on board.

Rick
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