Draper, Norman Ernest (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 17436
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 100, Number Of Items 5
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer served with G1 Commando, Royal Navy attached to Combined Operations in Northern Ireland, Mediterranean and Italy, 1943-1944; served with 9th Motor Launch Flotilla, Coastal Forces in Mediterranean, 1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Leyton, London, GB, 1924-1942: family; education; evacuations to Torquay and Uckfield, 1939- 1941; plotting fall of German bombs which fell in River Thames as sea scout, 1941. Enlistment and training with Royal Navy in GB, 1942-1943: volunteering for Royal Navy, 7/1942; training at HMS Collingwood, Fareham from 9/1942; officer cadet training and commissioning at Lochailort, early 1943. Recollections of operations as officer with G1 Commando, Royal Navy, Combined Operations in Northern Ireland, Mediterranean and Italy, 1943-1944: posting to HMS Armadillo at Long Kesh, Northern Ireland; character of landing craft training; voyage aboard Llangibby Castle from River Clyde to Mediterranean, summer 1943. REEL 2 Continues: landing platoon of Canadian Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in Sicily; method of detecting underwater obstacles on beaches; move to Point Pachino, Sicily; unloading work and evacuation of Italian POWs; description of term LCA; landing 231 Bde at Vibo Valentia on Italian mainland, 3/9/1943; move to Andria, near Bari, 10/1940 and arrival of G2 and G3 Commandoes; move to Termoli, 10/1943; use of Italian motor torpedo boats to rescue escaped Allied POWs; incident of being stranded ashore during POW rescue mission, 11/1943; use of fishing boat to sail to Termoli, 11/1943. REEL 3 Continues: shelling of motor torpedo boat on second trip to pick up escaped POWs, 11/1943; swimming away from stricken vessel; swimming ashore and evading Germans with aid from Italian civilians, 11/1943; escape back to Termoli, 11/1943; return to Andria, 12/1943; on port duties at Barletta, early 1944 including unloading gas supplies; memories of Captain Jack at Barletta, 1944; visit by Lord Louis Mountbatten. REEL 4 Continues: embarking aboard submarine depot ship HMS Vienna in Sicily for return voyage to GB, 9/1944; problems entering Liverpool; evening at Bagatelle Night Club in London, autumn 1944; disbanding of commando, 11/1944. Aspects of period as officer with Coastal Forces in GB and Mediterranean, 1945-1946: drafting to Felixstowe; first encounter with Wren on board MTB; drafting to 9th Motor Launch Flotilla in Mediterranean, 7/1945-12/1945; handling of motor launches; mine sweeping duties off Yugoslavia; VJ celebrations off Trieste. REEL 5 Continues: fate of motor launches; duties checking brothels at Messina, Italy; work removing tugs from Venice, 1/1946; sailing landing craft between Malta to Bizerta, early 1946.

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