HMS Campbeltown - Commando Parties

HMS Campbeltown carried the ASSAULT, DEMOLITION and PROTECTION parties of Commando Group 3, under the leadership of Major William Oranmore Copland. Distributed on deck behind low, armoured screens, and in the Wardroom beneath the bridge, their job was to move forward as rapidly as possibly upon impact, climb down to the dock caisson over the port and starboard bows, and subdue nearby gun positions before moving on to their assigned targets.











Aft Deckhouse: guns 7 & 8

Guns 5 & 6

Armoured deck screens

Funnels 3 and 4 cut back


Armoured bridge


12-pounder gun

Midships guns 1-4

HMS Campbeltown en-route to Saint-Nazaire. A very unofficial image, since no photographs were meant to be taken, courtesy of David Stogdon, at the time a Sub-Lieutenant RNVR, in HMS Tynedale

Auxiliary HQ (Overall control of Group 3)

Major William Oranmore COPLAND, HQ/2 Cdo

Corporal Jack Cheetham, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal C.A 'Jock' Fyfe, 2 Cdo

Private Thomas Gerard Hannan, HQ 2/Cdo

Rifleman John Clifford Beardsell, 3/2 Cdo

Private L. Powell, RAMC, 2 Cdo


Demolition HQ (Control of Group 3 Demolitions)

Captain Robert Kerr MONTGOMERY, RE

Lieutenant William Whitson Etches, 3 Cdo

Lance Sergeant Robert Evan Jameson, 9 Cdo

Private Jimmy Brown, 5 Cdo


Assault Party 3C

Lieutenant John Morgan RODERICK, 3/2 Cdo

Second Lieutenant John Forbes Stutchbury, 3/2 Cdo

Sergeant Len Bayliss, 3/2 Cdo

Corporal V.W.C 'Nicky' Finch, 3/2 Cdo

Corporal Arthur Frank Woodiwiss, 3/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal John Donaldson, 3/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal Arnold 'Arnie' Howarth, 3/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal Harold Simpson, 3/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal F.W. Thrift, 3/2 Cdo

Private John A. Gardner, 3/2 Cdo

Rifleman Frank Cecil Goode, 3/2 Cdo

Private William Anthony 'Dutch' Holland, 3/2 Cdo

Rifleman G Jarvis, 3/2 Cdo

Private A.E.G Sherwin, 3/2 Cdo


Assault Party 3D

Captain Donald William ROY, 5/2 Cdo

Lieutenant John David Proctor, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Sergeant Colin Jones, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Sergeant William Albert Challinton, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Sergeant Donald Charles Randall, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal Harold 'Aggs' Roberts, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal Frank Sumner, 5/2 Cdo

Private Arthur Ashcroft, 5/2 Cdo

Private Hugh Wilfred 'Hughie' Cox, 5/2 Cdo

Private John Edward Herbert Gwynne, 5/2 Cdo

Private Tommy McCormack, 5/2 Cdo

Private George Leslie 'Les' Wheelan, 5/2 Cdo

Private Frederick E. 'Fred' Wilkes, 5/2 Cdo

Gunner R. Milne, 5/2 Cdo


Protection Party: Group 3A

Lieutenant H.G.L 'Hoppy' HOPWOOD, 5/2 Cdo

Sergeant Louis Walter 'Ben' Brown, 5/2 Cdo

Corporal Fred Holt, 5/2 Cdo

Lance Corporal Richard 'Dick' Wilcox, 5/2 Cdo

Private Peter Honey, 5/2 Cdo


Group 3 Targets - 'Normandie' Dock

Assault Party - RODERICK. Assault flak positions at south-east corner of 'Normandie' dock. Destroy fuel storage units. Prevent enemy from approaching the landing area from the north-east.

Assault Party - ROY. Assault flak positions on roof of Pumping Station and form bridgehead at Bridge 'G' to cover withdrawal. Resist any attack from vessels in the Bassin de Saint-Nazaire.


Protection Party - HOPWOOD. Provide cover for demolition teams working at the southern end of the dock.

Demolition Party - BURTINSHAW. Ensure destruction of the outer caisson should Campbeltown fail. In fact this party was sent north to reinforce that of Brett at the inner caisson.

Demolition Party - SMALLEY. Demolish the southern Winding House.

Demolition Party - CHANT. Destroy the pumps and motors within the Pumping Station.


Protection Party - DENISON. Provide cover for demolition parties moving to, and operating in the area of, the inner caisson.

Demolition Party - BRETT. Advance along the west side of the dock and destroy the inner caisson.

Demolition Party - PURDON. Advance along the west side of the dock and demolish the northern Winding House.



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