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Survey by starlight : a true story of…
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Survey by starlight : a true story of reconnaissance work in the…

by Ralph Neville

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Ralph Neville was an alias for Ralph Stanbury, the commander of COPP Team 5.

No 5 Copp were reccying off Syracuse in Sicily in late June of 1943. They discovered hitherto unknown gun emplacements tunnelled into the cliffs and not visible from the air. They laid 3 beacon buoys on D-1 which were timed to surface just before H hour on July 10. Despite stormy weather their canoes were launched and they, together with other COPPists in Motor Launches, led the British assault force onto the landing beaches using signals from the beacons to fix accurate positions.

In July they did further surveys in the Gulf of Gioia which were not, in the event, used and in August they operated in the Salerno area with the Special Boat Section (SBS). On return to the UK they reccyed the Rhine at Wesel on the night before the crossing on March 23/24 1945. They had no artillery support and it was a bright moonlight night but they successfully surveyed the river bank for minefields. They later shipped out to Asia but were "too late to take part in any operations."

http://www.combinedops.com/COPPs.htm ( )
  JonSowden | May 7, 2013 |
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