Statement by Capt. R.K.Devereaux

Statement by O.C. 'B' Coy, Capt. R.K.Devereaux, R.M.

The coy was represented by 7,8 and 9 platoons, with Advance and rear coy H.Q. No. 7. platoon was in Chasseur 13, 8 platoon and Advance Coy H.Q. in 43 Chasseur, and 9 platoon and rear Coy H.Q. in Chasseur 42. I was in with advance Coy. H.Q.

This force was standing off JUBILEE area at about 0530 hrs. 19 Aug 42. We were due to enter the harbour at 0620 hrs. At about 0730 hrs we received orders to trans-ship into A.L.C's. This was carried out forthwith. On checking up the chasseurs I discovered that No. 42 was missing. I made inquiries and was told that this chasseur had not been with the convoy since 0200 hrs. From the time of trans-shipment I never saw 7 platoon again during the operation. Advance Coy H.Q. and 8 platoon were now in A.L.C No. B.L.9.

I was told by Colonel. Phillipps that the whole force R.M. Cdo, was to move direct into the harbour. Being at that time under comand Major Houghton, I got in touch with him. He was in another A.L.C. I arranged to follow his craft in. There was considerable smoke put down during which I lost touch with Major Houghton. I then saw an M.L.C. with the C.O. on board, on my port bow. The C.O. then intimated that it would be impossible to make the harbour and that we were to land on the beach some 300 yds ahead. It was WHITE beach. We then became separated in the smoke. We were now coming under fire from a C.D. gun and a number of M.G. positions. About five to ten minutes later the smoke cleared and I say the beach about twelve feet away. The fire was still intense. There were many prone figures on the beach. Away to the left towards BLUE beach were many who appeared dead or wounded in reversed arrow head formation. To my front was an M.L.C. lying broadside on the bench with about twelve figures lying stretched out on the beach on the seaward side of the vessel. I then saw the C.O. standing in the M.L.C. He was signalling for us to withdraw. We then went half to starboard with an M.L.C. carrying A Coy colliding with us astern. Before we made this movement Mne Breen, L.M.G. gunner in the bow of my A.L.C. fired on enemy posts ashore. One post in the Casino was neutralised. As we went about again, through fresh smoke put down by my party, I saw a T.L.C. in an sinking condition and some men in the water, I came alongside T.L.C. 125. I took off two Naval ratings and then searched for the rest. I found Marine Cpl. Ply. 122590 Ryan who was taken in- board and found to be wounded slightly. We then moved under cover of smoke out to sea about a mile. We later discovered we were holed just above the engine room on the port side and we were making water fast. We then moved towards Chasseur 43 and boarded. All L.M.G's were then manned for A.A. on board Chasseur 43. We steamed around for some time and finally left in the last convoy at about 1400 hrs. From the time we re-boarded Chasseur 43 we were attacked by enemy aircraft many times.

The discipline and courage of the men, in particular Mne. Breen, was at all times exemplary.

sgd. R.K. Devereaux.
Captain. R.M.
C.C. 'B' Coy