The Sea Cadet, No. 6, Vol. 2, February 1945

about to do in earnest. Many of them must have had at least a passing wish to follow them ashore and have a crack at Jerry too. This knowledge of the in­fantryman’ viewpoints was a great help in co-operation between the Services. No doubt in time a good many stories will be told of the D Day landings, but not many have come to light so far. There is, however, the story of a cor­poral who became infamous the initial landing. He was coxswain of an L.C.A., and when his craft was lowered away from the carrier ship seven miles offshore the hoisting gear wrenched out his steering gear. An L.C.A. is controlled by a coxswain in a little cockpit for­ward on the starboard side. He has a wheel that controls twin rudders, and a telegraph that controls twin engines which are housed in a covered engine room aft and driven by a stoker. The stoker’s only communication is by a voice-tube to the cockpit. In calm weather it is possible to steer quite a good course by engines alone, but this time there was a sea running. So the coxswain climbed over the stern of his craft, and standing on the rudder guards and clinging to a narrow strake that runs round the stern he steered in a heavy sea by kicking the rudders over with his feet, at the same time controlling the engines by shout­ing through the engine-room hatch. In this way. he took his craft seven A German infantry landing craft on the rocks in Civitaveccia harbour miles to the beach, more than an hour's run. landing his troops at the right place and time, and then brought her back to the parent ship in the same way. He has since received a decoration. No doubt there will be many more stories from the landing craft. Naval as well as Marine, and all of them will togo add to the tradition of the sea and to show that landing craft are no longer the despised Ugly Duckling of a few years ago, but just another branch of the Naval Service. And not only that but an important and grow­ing branch—a branch in which there is plenty of room for enterprising youth to achieve a command much earlier in life than in the bigger ships and pos­sibly to have more fun at the same time. Yes, landing craft have come to stay.
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