Posted by: SJS | June 1, 2018

Royalty aboard the PTs – prepping for D-Day

A few days before D-Day, the British King, George VI, was part of an inspection party that viewed the buildup for the invasion in the harbors of Portland, Plymouth, and Weymouth in England.  In this photo from the archives of PT Boats, Inc., the king is pictured third from the left with British Admirals Strubel, Kirk and  Ramsey standing closest to him.  In the foreground is USN Ensign Sharkey of PT 504 which was part of Squadron (Ron) 34.

As we approach the 74th anniversary of D-Day, it is important to remember the vital roles played by the PTs — both in advance of the invasion and in the middle of the action on June 6, 1944.  Prior to the invasion, the PT boats did mine sweeping work to clear the way for the landing craft.  In the midst of the invasion, PTs were busy rescuing troops that were adrift after their landing craft had been sunk by the German shore batteries.  With their speed and agility, the PTs were able to move rapidly to where they were needed and get the job done almost always before enemy gunners could draw a bead on them.

King George VI was the English Monarch who was the subject of the recent movie The King’s Speech.  After his brother unexpectedly abdicated the throne, George VI was thrust onto the world stage at a pivotal moment in world history.  His courage in overcoming his speech impediment and rallying his besieged nation as the Nazi war machine shifted into high gear were an inspiration to his country and the world.  In this photo, the king’s dignity, resolute nature, and seriousness of purpose shine through as the Allies moved ever closer to that historic day in World War II.

If you haven’t had the chance to see The King’s Speech, I highly recommend it.  It’s worth seeing–at least two or three times!


Responses

  1. Also the King was in the Royal Navy and served in the Battle of Jutland in World War I. A sickly man throughout his life he spent a lot of the war away from the front but he knew a lot about what those men were facing come that day.

    • Lloyd, I was not aware of the King’s service–thank you for sharing that. I’ve always admired him greatly and now even more. Thanks again. Steve

      • No worries Steve, I don’t know much about it but I know that. Actually speaking of D-Day, Churchill wanted to be on one of the ships so they got the King to say he wanted to do it too thus forcing Churchill to bow out. Of course it could all be just rumour or exaggerated but I think there was supposed to be something along those lines.


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