Search

D-Day Anniversary: Upminster veteran has ‘amazing’ reunion with shipmate

12:00 06 June 2014

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

Archant

Two seaman who went against skippers’ orders to help a wounded marine hanging from a propellor off Swords Beach found themselves reminiscing about the experience during an “amazing” chance meeting 56 years later.

Ron Wilson, 89, of Upminster, arrived off the Normandy coast on board the LCT 571 landing tank on at 7am on D-Day.

Their duty was to help soldiers on to the beach in their vehicles, but it did not go to plan.

“The first vehicle sank straight into the sea,” said Ron, who was 19 at the time. “We had to get closer to the beach. The water was very rough. To this day I wonder if those men survived.”

Getting off the beach was more difficult. Under fire from German gunners, the vessel was being “smashed” by another unmanned tank.

“There were aircrafts covering the sky. I’d never seen anything like it before. We were close to getting hit.”

Then came a tense experience, that Ron admits he was lucky to escape from.

“We had somebody hanging on the propellor, this young man,” he said. “I think he was a Royal Marine.

“Another chap named Eric and myself tried to get him around the side and get him on board. The skipper was saying to leave him. If a German gunner got in range it would have been curtains.

“Eric hung on to me and I dangled a heaving line over the side. We helped him round and got him on board. We took him to another ship with medical care and had to leave him.

“Then, in 2000 I was going to a christening in Buckinghamshire. Somebody said someone had written a book about the Second World War and he was on LCT 571, I said ‘what’s his name?’ He said ‘Turner’ and I said ‘Eric?’ It was amazing. I got in touch with him and we had a wonderful chat. The first thing he said was ‘do you remember the skipper was going to shoot us because we were absent from our stations?’”

Read more:

Veteran profile: Royal Navy conscript, D-Day telegrapher - and portrait artist - Leslie Stonell

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

40-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 12:00
Charlie Condou and Victoria Yeates in The Crucible

You may not think a play written in the ‘50s about witch trials in the 17th century would have much in common with today’s audiences.

Yesterday, 10:00
Marion James and reporter Ryan Tute discussing the work that went into getting everything together. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

People have the chance to delve deep into the police’s archives following the launch of a new exhibition featuring some never-before-seen documents and artefacts.

Fri, 17:31
Dennis Kutyauripo, 22, says he

The older brother of a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death by his former friend, has said he “feels sorry” for the killer.

Fri, 17:00
From left, Havering Council's head of clinical practice Dave Tapsell, director of children's services  Tim Aldridge, and Robert South head of care resources

Despite Ofsted inspectors rating a vulnerable children’s service as requiring improvement, its department head remains optimistic.

Fri, 16:50
A man was robbed at knifepoint earlier today outside Tesco Extra, Rainham. Picture: Havering MPS Twitter

A man is in police custody after a male was robbed at knifepoint.

Fri, 16:11
Diana award winner Kieran Goodwin in his home

This week, Romford’s Kieran Goodwin, chief executive of youth charity World Youth Organisation (WYO) which celebrated its first anniversary, picked his top 10 all-time favourite tunes.

Fri, 15:01
Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, was murdered in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

A 17-year-old boy was today convicted of stabbing his former friend to death outside a birthday party, just over a year after the incident.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now