12 Commando

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Biscuits_Brown, Jul 9, 2012.

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  1. Can anyone suggest a good source publication for information on this short-lived yet fairly active unit?
  2. Demolitions team from No.12 were on Op Chariot? About five of them ISTR, and led by Corran Purdon, Royal Ulster Rifles (where the unit was raised) then a Lieutenant . Major General Corran Purdon CBE MC CPM to be correct. There are books on the St Nazaire Raid. There were twelve commando units formed in 1940. No. 12 were also on the Bruneval job.

    St Nazaire 1942: The Great Commando Raid Osprey Campaign: Amazon.co.uk: Ken Ford: Books

    St. Nazaire Commando: Amazon.co.uk: Stuart Chant-Sempill: Books

    Sorry I can't help more.

    Edit: there you go: http://www.commandoveterans.org/site/mambots/editors/fckeditor/editor/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=
  3. That's the unit. Seems to be very little "out there" on them in comparison to some of the others. They were also involved in the raid on Sark which brought about Hitler's "Commando Order".

    Thanks for the pointers, will try and collate what I can.

  4. 12 were an army Commando though. I must admit I used to think of the terms Commando & Royal Marine synonymously.

    Edit - There was another post there... Honest!
  5. X59

    X59 LE

    As do many Royal.
  6. There doesn't seem to be much or anything on the unit itself. Perhaps 'The Commandos, 1940-1946', by Charles Messenger .
    I once looked after an old chap in Plymouth who'd been an Army Commando.Said he'd trained at Dawlish during WW2. Probably RIP now.
  7. Pesky naval infantry.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. No, comparatively little on them, especially as they seem to have been involved in some of the more arguably successful, or at least prominent, raiding ops. Kind of piques my interest that, which of course was initially started by the fact that they were locally raised.
  9. They may have been Irish and Welsh. Your point about Navy and Army..the Commando role was taken over by The Royal Marines in 1946.Possibly no-one left from No. 12. The best chance to see them would have been the four blokes at Falmouth when the St Nazaire Memorial was re-dedicated.

    X59, your Avatar, Spean Bridge?
  10. X59

    X59 LE

    The very one.
  11. The navy/army point came up because some kindly pointed me to an RM history tome, but the post seems to have disappeared.
    I've actually read pretty extensively about Bruneval and either didn't come across, or didn't register the fact that 12 Commando were on the beach party.
  12. Another of Mountbatten's approved nut jobs. No.12 were on Op Biting, when 1st Airborne nicked bits of a German 'Wurzburg' radar installation and fetched it back here. No. 12 were to give covering fire. All of which you know. Three LCAs came inshore escorted by three gunboats. Each LCA had the additional fire power of 4 bren guns manned by No. 12 Commando. Another bloke on that raid was Johnny Frost, famous for Arnhem Bridge.
  13. Aye, saw a photo of one of the LCAs, Brens with drum mags fitted and a couple of Boyes rifles on display also.
  14. Well good luck with it. And Corran Purdon is possibly still alive, ex Colditz inmate after St Nazaire. He got married in 2009. Must be in his nineties by now. Might be worth looking for material on Combined Operations too.
  15. HHH

    HHH LE

    You've probably seen this, but in case you haven't there is some stuff on the Commando Veterans site

    12 Commando