WW2 Monthly History - August

There are too many operations and/or notable dates to mention each and every one but here are some.

18/25 August 1941 Operation Gauntlet, a Combined Operations raid on the island of Spitsbergen with units from the Canadian and Free French along with the British including the Special Service Brigade.  

14/15 August 1942 Operation Barricade, a group from the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF), also referred to as 62 Commando, attacked a radar post at Pointe de Saire near Barfleur, crossing the Channel using a MTB. 

19th August 1942 Operation Jubilee, the Combined Operations raid at Dieppe. This raid is well documented and resulted in heavy Allied losses. The primary Commando units involved were Nos 3 & 4 Army Commandos and No. 40 Royal Marine Commando. 

Amongst the many gallantry medals awarded was that of the Victoria Cross to Captain Patrick Anthony Porteous, No 4 Commando. Read more about him [here....].

His citation for gallantry, along with those of all the Commando Victoria Cross recipients, can be viewed in our Victoria Cross section [here.... ].

A Nominal Roll of those from No 4 Commando who took part can be viewed [here....].

A Roll of Honour for the Commando Fallen at Dieppe can be found [here....].

The graves of some of the fallen during this operation can be viewed on this link to our gallery for [Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery.]

Amongst those who accompanied the Commandos on the Dieppe raid were Rangers from the Ist Ranger Bn., United States Army, including Lieutenant Edward Loustalot who was killed in action. Read more about him [here....].

These Rangers had attended a course on commando training at the Commando Depot, Achnacarry. We have in our gallery an album with information and photos about the US Rangers, including the diary of Leilyn Young which contains a great amount of detail of his journey to the UK, and his training and time with the Commandos : [US Rangers Gallery.]

August 1943 saw the continuation of the Forfar raids along the French coastline involving men from No 12 Commando, the SSRF, and the SBS.

15/16th August 1943 No 2 Commando were involved in Operation Blackcock at Scaletta, Sicily.

During this operation No 2 Cdo. Captain Dickie Hooper [view] was awarded the Military Cross, "Captain Hooper led his troop, No.6, with great gallantry and determination in the street fighting in Scaletta village in the early morning of the 16th August 1943, which resulted after the Commando landing just North of this village. In this action with German troops, he was wounded in the shoulder by a rifle bullet. After his area of the village was cleared, he continued to lead his troop to its correct position, three miles further down the coast. Later the troop was ordered to march North on the road to Messina, Captain Hooper again leading until restrained by the medical authorities, and removed to the casualty clearing station."

Captain Hooper also took part in the Commando raids at Vaagso, and St Nazaire where he was badly wounded. (L.G.18.11.43) . 

Amongst the casualties at Scaletta were Lieutenant John Jeffreys, Sergeant Anthony Patrick Duffy and Gunner Edward Cox. Images of all 3 men and many other of the No.2 Commando Fallen throughout the war can be viewed here:  [No 2 Commando FALLEN]

August 1944 saw the continued advance into NW Europe after D day with heavy fighting in many areas. Thousands of British and Allied troops took part in these landings. We have a collection of photos in the Gallery specific to 1 Special Service Brigade HQ some of whom can be seen resting at St. Maclou in this image [view photos...].

Much has been written in the past about the Normandy landings and we could not hope to cover it in this small piece. Our thoughts are with them all. Suffice to say that those Commandos who made that original journey and did not come home are remembered with honour. Some of their graves can be seen in our War Graves albums for France [here....].

On the 19/20th Aug.'44 units from 1 Special Service Brigade were involved in action crossing the River Dives, whilst 4 Special Service Brigade were in the Dozule region of Normandy. Some photos of the Normandy invasion are here [Normandy - Operation Overlord.]

VJ Day 15 August 1945
Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.
Commandos who never came home from the Far East