D-Day Plus 4
At the personal direction of President Roosevelt, 60 Coast Guard sub chasers were transfered from America’s East coast to Poole England. Here the boats were stripped of part of their ASW gear and re-formed into Rescue Flotilla One. It’s mission, to rescue personnel from sinking transports and naval vessels during the invasion of Normandy. During the early hours of the invasion however, the Coast Guard commander of the Flotilla reacted to a more immediate problem. German gunfire was sinking not transports but the actual landing craft close to the beach. Quick thinking and action had the 83′ wooden patrol boats rescuing soldiers, sailors and even five downed pilots from a watery death. Neither gunfire nor blazing oil from sinking vessels deterred the rescue craft in saving 1,438 persons during the invasion losing only 2 rescue boats. Months after the invasion the Poole based “83’s” continued to pick up victims as ships continued to hit mines in the English channel. One Coast Guard skipper, Lt. George C. Clark, received the British Distinguished Service Cross..”on the advice of the First Lord, the King has been graciously pleased to award this Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty…” for the dramatic rescue of British LCT 524’s crew. Struck by a German mine, the gasoline loaded landing craft erupted in flames very close to the beach. The wood CG boat (powered by gasoline) sailed into gunfire and pulled English sailors out of the burning waters. Lt Clark wrote in his log” “Survivor’s rescued, eight, corpses none, comments, none”.
My model depicts the number 30 boat receiving repairs at an English shipyard after being hit by shore fire. The diorama is 1:72 scale and I utilized a variety of “near scale” (1:76,1:87) items and kits to round out the shipyard. The patrol boat is scratchbuilt of plastic sheeting as most of the deck fittings. The stone wall was built out of plaster and Woodland Scenic products were used for some of the ground cover. The bus is a modified Corgi models piece and the figures were a mix of HO scale and 1:72. The rest of the diorama came out of the old parts “junk box”, the build took six months ‘way back in the late 1980’s…
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.