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JOHN ATKINSON

SERVICE NO. 14425607

Army: Trooper

Royal Armoured Corps

13th/18th Royal Hussars

DIED: 06 June 1944

AGE: 20

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

13th/18th Royal Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps landed on Queen Red and Queen White sectors, Sword Beach from 07:25 on D-Day. The unit's role was to provide support for 8th Infantry Brigade, using DD amphibious tanks which were launched at sea and could swim the last distance to the beach under their own power.

One tank crew was killed when their tank was hit by a landing craft 800 yards from the shore. The troops encountered considerable shelling and mortar fire from the German defenders. The Hussars supported the capture of the German strong-points known as 'Sole' and 'Daimler'.

C Squadron and the Regimental HQ landed at 08:10. Behind the beach, C Squadron helped to capture the German strongpoint codenamed 'Morris' near Colleville-sur-Orne and then moved to support infantry attacking the German strongpoint further inland codenamed 'Hillman'. Two tanks of C Squadron were knocked out by a German anti-tank gun at Hillman.

The unit then retired to Hermanville for the night. The exact circumstances of his death are unknown. He has no known place of burial so he is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial to the Missing, Calvados.

MEMORIAL LOCATION: Column 3

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