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

17:15
Regular members of the Loose Lads panel. Picture Essex TV.

A new panel show which promises to give women an insight into the male mind has been filmed in Romford.

15:28
An artist impression of The Retailery, a co-working space which is due to open in November in Market Place, Romford

A co-working space is looking to give small retail businesses a boost by providing them with a space to display their goods.

Havering Police is investigating after a video shows a boy being beaten up by a group of boys

Two teenagers have been arrested after a 15-year-old boy was assaulted in a park in July.

Raja Rashid Ali died in Braintree Road on the Heath Park Estate

Four men have been arrested today on suspicion of the murder of a man from Elm Park.

10:54
A child-only hair salon opened in Romford on Saturday.

A hairdressers, claiming to be the first ever children’s–only hair salon in Romford has opened.

10:21
Amanda Armitage, and her children Daniel and Emily at the top of Snowdon in Wales.

A family climbed a peak and raised more than £1,000 for a charity, which promotes cardiac screening for young people.

07:00
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell

Three months on from the UK voting to leave the EU, Romford’s MP Andrew Rosindell has reiterated calls for a swift and clear exit.

Yesterday, 15:55
Chris Cooper believes the fire last Friday has destroyed 90 per cent of grassland. Photo: Chris Cooper.

A park which residents have worked hard to improve has had large swathes of grassland ruined after a blaze ripped through it.

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

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

VW Golf Estate

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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