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D-Day Gun Crew - Picture and notes by Andy Crookston

History - EY History

D-Day Gun Crew - Picture and notes by Andy Crookston

The photograph of the gun crew that took part in the D-Day landings and in the action against the blockhouse that gained Sgt.Bob Palmer the MM. This was taken in Bournemouth not long before D-Day. Note that they are arranged by height rather than seniority!

Leslie Giddings, Peter Crookston, Harold (Porky) Chappell, Don Sadler, Bob Palmer, Jack Connell, Alex Gerken.

Gun Crew

Immediately before the Reichswald battle the gun battery was dispersed in what had been workers allotments that offered good firing positions. In front were the Argyle's infantry and behind were the Argyle's mortar battery. They were faced by German infantry and mortars dug-in.
Periodically the Argyles would mortar the German positions and they would reply in kind. Because of the gun battery's position the German 'shorts'
tended to land on them so each crew dug a pit which they covered with tarpaulin or a tent so that only a direct hit could do them serious damage.

During a particularly intense bombardment my father (Peter Crookston) glanced out his pit to see Leslie dash from one pit to another and dive in, head first, leaving only his boots sticking out. He stayed there a few minutes and then dashed to the next pit. He repeated this all the way down to where my father was in the last pit. By this time everybody in the gun crew was looking over the edge trying to guess what news Leslie was going to bring.

He flung himself under their tarpaulin and before anybody could ask he said,"Who want's a ticket for the football pool, I've got three left"!
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