Pre-invasion Beach Reconnaissance - 'Stealthily by Night'


Book Reviewer
'Stealthily by Night' by Ian Trenowden is the story of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties who trained at the Hayling Island Sailing Club to carry out covert reconnaissance of possible invasion beaches. Their difficult, extremely dangerous and secret work was absolutely key to ensuring our selection of beaches was better that it had been at Dieppe where the tanks got stuck in the shingle. There is currently a project afoot to create a memorial to these brave, but pretty much unknown men on Hayling sea front.

The Amazon entry for the book [sorry, can't get the url to work] includes a review by Jim Booth, one of the Normandy beach COPPists. I can hardly better that!

It seems to have been entered by John Ainsworth-Davis, a character best explored by Googling him. I have been unable to verify any of his claims to be a naval officer via the London Gazette. All that turned up was his 1968-9 bankruptcy.
I know it's from Wikipedia but:

John Creyghton Ainsworth-Davies (23 April 1895 in Aberystwyth, Wales - 3 January 1976) was a Welsh athlete. Olympic Gold Medalist, Antwerp 1920. He was a winner of an Olympic Gold medal in 4x400 m relay at the 1920 Summer Olympics.
At the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, John Ainsworth-Davies finished fifth in 400 m and ran the third leg in the British 4x400 m team, which won the gold medal in 3:22.2.

He competed rarely after 1920 to concentrate on his medical career. He became a urological surgeon and Secretary of the Royal Society of Medicine. During World War II he was head of the surgical division of the RAF hospital at RAF Cosford.


Book Reviewer
No, there's another John Ainsworth-Davis, keep Googling!
In Nevil Shute's Requiem for a wren, one of the protagonists is an Australian COPP diver.

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