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

10:00
Havering Mind's choir singing at Tesco Roneo Corner

Songstresses enjoying a new zest for life thanks to a mental health charity’s choir shared a little joy with supermarket shoppers when they stopped by to raise awareness.

Yesterday, 15:00
Sue Triggs, Russell Triggs and Amber Triggs, nine who has cerebal palsy and Kelly McCleoud, Rob McCleoud, Molly-May McCleoud, eight and Max McCleoud, five who are organising fundraisers in Barking and Dagenham to raise money for an operation for Amber

Friends and family of a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy are on a mission to raise £30,000 for an operation that could enable her to walk.

Yesterday, 12:00
Picture: ThinkstockPhotos-164922920.jpg / Carlos Gomez Bové

A “proactive” stance in encouraging male domestic abuse victims to come forward is not being taken by Havering Council, according to the chairman of a charity.

Yesterday, 10:00
Britannia Parking anti-social issues

Shocking images showing children hanging from the third storey of a town centre car park have provoked a safety investigation.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Bernard Thomas, holding the plant judged as the best succulent, with treasurer Janice Coombes, Adrian Finney and Bill Izatt

Interested in growing succulent plants? The Havering British Cactus and Succulent Society is on the lookout for new members.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Level 42 fan Julian Hall with some of his memorabilia collection

When Julian Hall spotted an advertisement for at-the-time unknown band Level 42 in the Ilford Recorder in 1981, he decided to go to the gig on a whim.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
A TfL Rail train. Picture: Hammersfan/Wikimedia Commons

TfL Rail trains from Shenfield to Ilford over the Bank Holiday weekend will be replaced by buses due to engineering works.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Drapers' Academy hosted a debate on the EU so its students can be informed ahead of the referendum

Harold Hill students got the chance to grill the borough’s politicians in a fiery and passionate debate today about the EU referendum.

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe