No 14 Commando

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'Norway - Operation Checkmate'

Wednesday, April 28, 1943

Location

Kopervik
Norway
59° 17' 1.3452" N, 5° 18' 24.7572" E

Operation CheckmateA combined operations raid on Axis shipping in the harbour at Kopervik, Norway. This raid was a No 14 Commando operation. The raiders managed to sink several ships using limpet mines, but were eventually captured and initially taken to Haugesund for interrogation before being transported to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

'Norway - Operation Crackers'

Monday, February 22, 1943
An intelligence gathering operation originally planned to include the destruction of observation posts in the Norwegian fjords, but due to bad weather the raiders took over an unmanned observation post for a week of intelligence gathering before making good their escape. 
 

14 Commando

This was a very short lived Commando unit raised for the specific purpose of operations in Norway. Mountbatten wrote to the Chiefs of Staff in November 1942 expressing his view for the need of Arctic specialists from any source for winter operations in Norway. They agreed and No.14 Commando was formed on the 3rd December 1942, initially under Lt Col. E.A. M. Wedderburn, Royal Scots, with a total of 15 Officers and 40 OR's including some Canadian RNVR's. Their first HQ was at Ewe Bank Cottage, Beauly, Inverness-shire.
 

COX, Victor John

No 12 Commando
Somerset Light Infantry
Executed
Sergeant Victor John 'Jack' Cox, No 12 Commando, was assigned to No.14 Commando for Operation Checkmate.  He was captured on the raid at Kopervik in Norway on 29th April 1943.  He was imprisoned and later executed after being taken to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and shot.  
 

GODWIN, John

Lieutenant John Godwin, 14 Commando
No 14 Commando
Mentioned in Despatches
Executed
Lieutenant John Godwin, a veteran of Operation Crackers * [view],  was an Argentinian in the RNVR.  He was Commanding Officer of the raiding party at Kopervik, Norway (Op. Checkmate).

HAIG-THOMAS, David

No 4 Commando
No 14 Commando
Royal Army Service Corps
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant David Haig-Thomas,  No. 4 Commando 'C' troop, died during operations at Normandy on D Day. [1].
  • Appointed to 1 troop No.14 Commando on 3 December 1942 on formation of the unit. No.1 troop was the canoe troop. [2].

HISCOCK, Harold

Petty Officer Harold Hiscock, 14 Commando
No 14 Commando
HMS Quebec / Royal Naval Patrol Service
Executed

Petty Officer Harold Hiscock, a Canadian from Newfoundland, was one of the raiding party at Kopervik, Norway (Operation Checkmate). He was captured and later executed at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. 

MAYOR, Keith

Able Seaman Keuth Mayor 14 Commando
No 14 Commando
HMS Fox, RN
Mentioned in Despatches
Executed

Able Seaman Keith Mayor was one of the raiding party at Kopervik, Norway (Operation Checkmate). He was captured and later executed at Belsen Concentration Camp having been transferred there from Sachsenhausen.

ROE, Alfred John

Petty Officer Alfred Roe 14 Commando
No 14 Commando
HMS Fox, RN
Mentioned in Despatches
Died on war service

Patty Officer Alfred Roe was one of the raiding party at Kopervik, Norway (Operation Checkmate). He was captured and later died of typhus at Belsen Concentration Camp having been transferred there from Sachsenhausen.


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