Report on Operation "FLOUNCED"
REF. Map YUGOSLAVIA - 1/100,000, Sheet 109.

Friday, 2nd June 1944.

2115 hoursOrders received to embark at VIS by 2230 hours.
2245 hoursH.Q., A, Q & Y Troops mustered at VIS.
2330 hoursEmbarked in L.C.I.

Saturday, 3rd June 1944.
0130 hoursSailed from VIS.
0345 hoursLanded at ITEM beach on BRAC (068120).
0400 hoursMoved off inland.
0630 hoursArrived in lying up area 076148.
Lay up and rested all day.
1800 hoursReceived orderd from Bde. to stand by.
2000 hoursC.O. went up to Bde. to find out reasons for delay. He discovered the guide leading Captain Wakefield had gone astray and that as a result we were very late.
2035 hoursCdo. moved off to join 43 R.M. Cdo. for the attack on Pt. 622. 0917
2130 hoursReached start line 084164.
Lieut. Colonel Churchill briefed the Cdo. as a body.
2200 hoursCdo. moved off in order Force H.Q., Y, A, Cdo. H.Q. & Q.
Soon after reaching the bottom of the valley the Cdo. opened out and continued with A & Y Troops up and Q Troop in rear. Casualties were sustained at this stage in A Troop due to M.G. fire.
2230 hoursThe Cdo. halted and reformed at the foot of the objective (095169). B Troop, 43 Cdo. was contacted here. They had reached the wire but had suffered several casualties and could not get on.
Lt. Col. Manners gave orders for the assault to start immediately and the Cdo. went forward with Y Troop on the left and A Troop on the right. Y Troop struck mines and moved over to the right to bypass them, thus slowing down their attack. A Troop advanced straight up the hill and on to the objective, 2 Pl. suffering several casualties from mortar fire on the way up.
The leading Pl. (1 Pl.) under Lieut. Copsey crossed the top of the hill clearing several trenches and taking 6 prisoners who were sent to the rear. The second Pl. (2 P1.) followed, clearing one trench but they were now reduced to 5 men and their Pl. Comd. was missing, having been last seen charging an M.G. position. A Troop now consolidated on the far slope of the hill (see diagram) and informed the C.O. of their position. Marine Marshall, Lieut. Copsey's batman fired two green Verey lights (the success signal) on Col. Manners' orders.
Y Troop had meanwhile got up on to the left of the objective but had not managed to get as far forward as A Troop and there was therefore a gap between them. Their Troop Commander, Captain Laidlaw was killed during the attack and both Platoon Commanders were missing when the Troop started to consolidate. T.S.M. Gordon therefore took charge. Force H.Q., consisting of Lt. Col. Churchill, D.S.O. M.C. and Lt. Col. Manners, D.S.O. and Captain Wakefield had led in the assault. Col. Churchill played his bagpipes throughout the attack and was last seen walking up and down playing them on the objective.
Cdo. H.Q. followed A Troop on to the objective and took up position on the top as the success signal was fired. A Marine from H.Q. took back four prisoners who were turned over to Bde. next morning. Two Germans were shot in their trenches. Shortly after H.Q. had taken up their position on the crest, heavy mortar fire came down, followed by a counter attack from the left. A similar counter attack was launched along the far slope at A Troop who repelled it killing at least six Germans. I ordered H.Q. signalmen to withdraw down the slope as they were a liability, and with several men of B Troop, 43 Cdo. opened fire at the attack. At this time I was very much afraid of running into 43 Cdo. whose position I did not know. Shortly after this I took up position in a trench with two men from H.Q. and Captain Schooley (B Troop 43 Cdo.) who had 8 men with him. We engaged the Germans who were still counter attacking from the left.
Meanwhile Q Troop had come up behind H.Q. having had several casualties from mortaring on the way up. Seeing that the situation was sticky on the left the Troop Commander, Lieut. Thomson, decided to attack up the left side of the hill. The Troop reached the first line of German dugouts end reformed there, having come under heavy fire from the left.
Y Troop on the left was now being heavily counter attacked and the T.S.M. finding himself being overrun decided to join A Troop on the right. He withdrew the Troop under cover of his 2" Mortar which fired all its ammunition into the German attack at point blank range. They succeeded in joining A Troop and from then on came under their command.
I was at this time still in a trench with the remnants of Cdo. H.Q. and B Troop, 43 Cdo. Captain Schooley reported to me that he was almost out of ammunition and that he would have to withdraw. I therefore told him to reform 50 yards. down the hill near where we had started the assault and to form a firm base for the Cdo. to reorganise on. These orders were carried out by Lieut. Odendaal as Captain Schooley was killed almost immediately. I managed to contact elements of A, Y & Q Troops and formed a defensive position half down the hill facing the objective. Apart from the fact that the Germans had reoccupied the top of the hill and I had no information as to what was going on, and had no idea where Force H.Q. was, I therefore determined to hold on to our position in case 43 Cdo. should still be attacking as, apart from B Troop, I had seen none of them. However, after some minutes the battle seemed to be dying down and ammunition was very low, I therefore ordered A & Y Troops to reform on the start line (084164).
Q Troop I ordered to remain with me and cover the withdrawal. A search was made for any wounded in the area but none could be found. We therefore started to withdraw slowly. Our Padre, Rev. Hook was then contacted and I discovered he had been dealing with the wounded. Soon afterwards we found a seriously wounded man who had to be carried back and this slowed down our withdrawal considerably. We finally contacted A & Y Troops on the start line at about 0200 hours. I formed a defensive position here and left Major Wakeling in charge while I returned to Bde. to report the position.
0830 hours4-6-44
40 Cdo. started to withdraw to the beach on orders from Bde.
1100 hours40 Cdo. embarked on L.C.I.
1500 hoursCdo. disembarked at KOMIZA.

Commando Casualties.
Officers.1 Killed
4 Missing including the C.O. Lt.Col. J.C.Manners, D.S.O.
1 Lightly wounded.
O.R.'s.5 Killed
9 Missing
20 Wounded (in hospital)
20 Lightly wounded.

Casualties Inflicted.
At least 20 of the enemy were seen to be killed during the assault by small arms fire.
10 Prisoners were sent back of whom six, who were under the charge of the Partisans, were not turned over to use.

Signed N.S.E.Maude Major, R.M. Cdg. 40 R.M. Commando
6th June 1944.
Next page: Roll of Honour