RSM Alan Moss, HQ 2 Commando, was 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. He was on board Motor Launch (ML) 267. His squad was to be a small HQ reserve for Lt. Col. Newman. However in the chaos of the action as the ML's tried to land their Commandos, ML267 came under heavy fire and the ML began to burn. They were ordered to abandon ship which they did.
There is an account on Page 186 of the book Storming St Nazaire by James Dorrian which details how he died. He and others had managed to get out of the water onto a carley float ( a liferaft). However on seeing a young Pte Diamond from 4 troop struggling in the water he gave up his place in the raft for him and slid into the water. Whilst helping to negotiate the liferaft towards the harbour wall he was then shot and killed. Out of the 11 Commandos on his launch 8 were killed, including Pte Diamond. RSM Moss received a posthumous Mentioned in Dispatches (Source: London Gazettes Supp. 37162, page 3494.)
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. Against a photo of Alan Moss he writes the whole line below placing the emphasis on the 2 words at the end:
RSM Alan Moss 2 Commando "The Best"
In another type written document listing the names of the Liverpool Scots who were in No.4 Ind. Coy. and who later joined 5 troop No.2 Cdo, against the name of Alan Moss, L/Sgt Rogers MM adds:
"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."
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