MOSS, Alan

Rank: 
WO1 Regimental Sergeant Major
Regiment/Corps: 
Liverpool Scottish Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
2930992
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Sunday, March 29, 1942
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
32
Roll of Honour: 
Operations: 
Regimental Sergeant Major Alan Moss, HQ 2 Commando, was shot and killed during the raid at St. Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on ML 267.
 
Alan Moss served in the Liverpool Scots QOCH TA, then No.4 Independent Company and finally No. 2 Commando. He was a Sgt. in No.4 Ind. Coy. He was the first RSM of No.2 Commando when it was formed. On the 28th March 1942 along with many from No. 2 Commando he took part in Operation Chariot, the raid on St Nazaire. His squad was to be a small HQ Reserve for Lt. Col. Newman.
 
However as the ML's tried to land their Commandos, ML267 came under heavy fire, began to burn, and they were ordered to abandon ship.
 
Posthumous MiD citation
"During the Commando raid on St Nazaire on 28th March 1942 the motor launch in which RSM Moss was travelling was set on fire by enemy shore guns. The troops on board, many of whom were badly wounded, were forced to abandon ship. Whilst RSM Moss was sitting on and propelling a Carley float, upon which there were already several wounded men, he sighted another wounded soldier [Pte. Thomas Diamond....] in the water who was in danger of drowning.
RSM Moss left the float, dragged the wounded soldier from the water and gave him his own place on the float. Thereupon he proceeded to tow the float along by swimming in front of it, in a determined effort to bring his wounded comrades to safety. It was whilst performing this gallant and self sacrificing action that RSM Moss gave his own life, that the lives of others may be saved."
 
Eight of the eleven Commandos on ML267 died, including RSM Moss and the young Private Diamond he had rescued from the water. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
London Gazettes Supp. 37162, page 3494.
National Archives file WO373/46/297.
Storming St Nazaire, author James Dorrian.
 
Notes

The following words were written by L/Sgt Joe Rogers MM who was in No.4 Ind Coy and No.2 Cdo. and took part in Operation Chariot, RSM Alan Moss 2 Commando "The Best" and 4 Ind. Coy in Norway; became the first RSM of 2 Cdo; was killed at St Nazaire and would most certainly have been highly decorated if he had lived. MiD St Nazaire.

 

Photo of grave in Gallery: 
Yes

Ask questions / Add information

Use our Forum for research enquiries, or to add information or photos. [register now]
Your message will then be seen by our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum. Read some frequently asked questions here [FAQ's].
 
All content is researched and administered by the Commando Veterans Archive.