We are currently improving the navigational structure of the website. This might result in lost links. If you come across a lost link, Please let us know.

March 1942

Special Forces Operations in March 1942

March 20th, 1942 – March 21st, 1942
Raid on Berca Aerodrome
L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, Special Boat Section Long Range Desert Group
During the night two trucks from the Long Range Desert Group transport parties from the L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade and the Special Boat Section for a raid on Berca Aerodrome, with the main target being Berca Main. The team, led by Captain Allott and including Corporals Pomford and Sinclair, as well as Lieutenant Alston, plans to arrive 500 metres east of the railway running north to south through Berca at 23:30 on the March 20th, 1942. Due to challenging terrain and aerial activity that day, they don’t arrive until 01:10 on the March 21st, 1942. The navigator reports that they are actually 1,500 metres east of the railway, with the correct direction to the railway being 270°. Setting out at 01:15 on this bearing, the team marches for 6 kilometres but fails to locate the railway. Lieutenant Alston, acting as the guide, concludes that they are not only out of position but are actually eight kilometres south and at least eleven kilometres east of the railway. Given their orders to return to the truck by 03:30 on March 21st, 1942, the team makes their way back to the rendezvous point, arriving at 03:25. It is later discovered that the truck was eleven kilometres east of the railway and 4.5 kilometres south of the intended position. Consequently, reaching the aerodrome and completing the mission before daylight, given the lack of cover in the area, was deemed impossible.

March 27th, 1942 – March 28th, 1942
Operation Chariot
Six hundred twelve men from No. 2 Commando, the Royal Navy, and detachments from No’s. 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 12 Commando. Their mission is the destruction of the Normandie dry dock, the dock pumping machinery and other installations associated with the dry dock at Saint-Nazaire in France.

March 28th, 1942 – March 29th, 1942
Attack on the port of Benghazi
L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, Special Boat Section
During the night, the SAS and SBS are heading towards Benghazi. At 23:00 on the March 28th, 1942, the team, consisting of the L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade under Major Stirling, Lieutenant Alston (serving as the guide), and two corporals, alongside Special Boat Section members Captain Allott and Corporals Sinclair and Pomford. Captain Allott and Corporal Sinclair undertook to perform this operation at the last moment as Lieutenant Sutherland and Sergeant Moss are wounded on the way to Bengahzi by their car striking a mine. They take the south road to Benghazi via Regima Benina, starting 8 kilometres east of Regima. Upon entering Benghazi from the south, they arrive at the west side of the outer mole.

Captain Allott and Corporal Sinclair begin to assemble the boat but get detected by an Italian. They move 100 metres further west and try to assemble the boat again. They discover that the No. 1 rib is broken, which they manage to mend. Prior to this, they had already fixed the bow and stern posts with very limited supplies. Due to the boat’s damage and the distortion of its skin from heat and the rough journey across the desert, they find it impossible to assemble the boat. Around 02:15 on the March 29th, 1942, they decide to abandon the operation and proceed by the north road out of Benghazi, ensuring they leave nothing behind that could indicate their presence in the city.

March 31st, 1942 – April 5th, 1942
Operation Myrmidon
No. 1 Commando, No. 6 Commando, One and a half Royal Marine battalion, Armoured Regiment, Motor Battalion, Landing Ship, Infantry (Medium) H.M.S. Princess Beatrix and H.M.S. Queen Emma. Their mission is to attack the coast defence guns at the entrance to the river, a T.N.T. factory, and a small aircraft factory, in addition to the  the port facilities and to disrupt road and rail transport between France and Spain, at the Adour Estuary, France.

The Commando assault force embark the two Landing Ship, Infantry (Medium) H.M.S. Queen Emma and H.M.S. Princess Beatrix on March 31st, 1942. The convoy spends a few days off the French coast disguised as Spanish merchant ships. On April 5th, 1942, the ships approach the mouth of the Adour estuary, where the assault force would land. However, amid severe weather, they encounter a sandbar that is not expected, and the convoy is unable to pass it. The commander decides to call off the raid and the convoy returns to Great Britain.
Lord Louis Mountbatten addresses troops from No. 6 Commando prior before leaving for Operation Myrmidon, March 1942.Lord Louis Mountbatten addresses troops from No. 6 Commando prior before leaving for Operation Myrmidon, March 1942.