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Members of No. 2 Special Boat Section at the Osborne View Hotel, used as an unofficial mess, Hillhead, Hampshire, 1943

Photograph, World War Two, Home Front (1939-1945), 1943.

They are (left to right): Flight Lieutenant Roy Thompson, RAF (Medical Officer); Major Mike Kealy (Devonshire Regiment); Lieutenant Philip Ayton (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders); Major Roger Courtney (commanding officer and King's Royal Rifle Corps.); Lieutenant David Smee (Royal Artillery); Captain Douglas Sidders (Royal Welch Fusiliers); Commander Harold Wilkinson Goulding RNVR.

The Special Boat Section was formed in July 1940 by commando officer Captain Roger Courtney. His unit used folding canoes in a number of small-scale raids against railways, port facilities and airfields in Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

Special Boat Section teams, made up of volunteers from across the three services, also carried out beach reconnaissance missions, including ones for the cancelled invasion of Rhodes (1941) and the Operation Torch (1942), Salerno (1943) and Anzio (1944) landings in North Africa and Italy.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1987-04-8-2


Copyright: J P Foot


National Army Museum, Study collection

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