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In commeration of the 60th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in the 2nd World War, Portsmouth played host to a symbolic departure of ships from Portsmouth Harbour to the Normandy Beaches.

On the morning of 6th June 1944, Allied troops began landing on the beaches of Normandy in France.
So began the greatest seaborne invasion in history, and with it the eventual liberation of Europe and the end of the Second World War.


HMS GLOUCESTER  lead the formation of British  and Allied ships out of harbour on passage across the channel. She slipped from her Fountain Lake berth at 0835 on Saturday 5 June and waited between No.3 buoy and Fountain Lake berth until MV NORMANDIE slipped at 0845 from the Commercial Ferry Port (with Veterans embarked). The formation then continued out of the harbour, at slow speed, in the order

D96 HMS Gloucester Type 42 Destroyer (batch 3) stretched 1x Lynx X????
N/a MV Normandie Non-Mil N/a N/a
D614 FS Cassard    Cassard class Air Defense Frigate 1x Lynx Not Embarked?
DDG71 USS Ross     Arleigh Burke class Multirole Destroyer (Flight I) 1x SH-60 Not Embarked?
FFH339 HMCS Charlottetown  Halifax class Frigate 1x CH-124 Not Embarked?

FS Cassard leaving Portsmouth          Nick Newns 

A389 RFA Wave Knight       Wave class Fleet Oiler N/a N/a

Following these large vessels out of harbour were a group of D-Day historic and representative craft (total 10 in number) using the Main Channel throughout. Nine of these joined the flotilla astern of RFA Wave Knight from the vicinity of No.3 buoy with the STEAMSHIP Challenger joining from Haslar Creek.

HMS Gloucester Steve Wright MV Normandie Steve Wright FS Cassard Steve Wright
USS Ross   Steve Wright HMCS Charlottetown  Steve Wright RFA Wave Knight Nick Newns
HMS Gloucester - Lynx Steve Wright


Site - Nigel R.Sadler - Navies.org.uk 2003


Page Updated - 07 August 2004 10:12:41