PREECE, Frederick Amos

Royal Armoured Corps (Dragoon Guards)
Service numbers: 
Trooper Frederick Preece 6 Commando
Trooper Frederick Preece, 101 Troop, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] for his gallantry in a raid on Boulogne Harbour.
Recomendation for award
On the night of 11/12th April 1942, Captain Montanaro, accompanied by Trooper Preece, entered Boulogne Harbour in a canoe which had been taken by a Motor Launch to about one and a half miles from the harbour entrance.
Successfully avoiding detection by the breakwater forts, and a number of vessels which were active in the harbour, they manoeuvred the canoe alongside an enemy tanker to which eight explosive charges were attached below water. They withdrew still undetected and commenced their return across channel without great expectation of being picked up until daylight some four hours later. Their canoe had sufferred some damage during the operation and the sea conditions were deteriorating so that it was fortunate that as planned the motor launch was able to make contact and pick them up an hour after they had left Boulogne Harbour by which time they were 2 to 3 miles clear of the enemy coast.
Subsequent air reconnaisance has established that the tanker was damaged and beached.
Trooper Preece contributed his share in the success of the operation by carrying out implicitly the orders of Captain Montanaro, and by showing courage and endurance over a long period spent in imminent danger of discovery by the enemy. [2].
Sgt. Preece later served with  2SBS, 'Z' SBS, and the Mobile Flotation Unit (MFU) [3].
[1] London Gazette 35595, page 2639.
[2] National Archives file WO373/93/331.
[3] Special Boat Section memorandum on timeline (read below).
[Image] CVA Gallery 'Group from 2 SBS Hillhead 1943'.

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