4th Special Service Brigade

The 4th Special Service Brigade was a brigade-sized formation of the British Commandos formed during the Second World War in March 1944 from battalion-sized units of the Royal Marines. Due to the success of the British Army Commandos’ operations in Norway, the Channel Islands, St. Nazaire, and the Middle East, the Admiralty dissolved the Royal Marines Division in late 1942 and reorganized its amphibious assault infantry into eight additional Commando units.
The brigade's task was to secure the flanks of the invasion beaches, linking up the British front from the Orne River to Port-en-Bessin and the Americans on Omaha Beach. The newly raised 46 and 47 Commandos joined 41 Commando and it became apparent to the Allied planners that a fourth Commando unit was needed for the brigade's mission, so in mid-March the remaining men of the Royal Marine Division and other volunteers began training to form No. 48 Commando in time for the invasion. The Brigade was expected to be in combat for at most a week before being returned home.
-No 41 Cdo (RM) to land at the far right (west) of Sword Beach.
-No 46 Cdo (RM) at Juno to scale the cliffs on the left (east) side of the Orne River estuary and to destroy a battery.
-No 47 Cdo (RM) to go to the west flank of Gold Beach.
-No 48 Cdo (RM) to go to Juno Beach with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade.
Commanding Officer: Brigadier Bernard W. Leicester
No. 41 (Royal Marine) Commando: Lt. Colonel Eric C. Palmer
  Second-in-Command: Major D. L. Barclay (KIA 7 June 44)
  Adjutant: Captain John A. Taplin
  Intelligence Officer:
  Signal Officer: Lieutenant A. G. Aldis
  Liaison Officer: Lieutenant Kay
  Medical Officer: Captain Cyril. F. Cregan
  Chaplain: Captain/Reverend Caradoc Hughes
  Forward Observation Bombardment (attached):
  Regimental Sergeant Major: RSM E. J. Belcher
    A Troop: Captain C. N. P. Powell
    B Troop: Captain H. F. Morris
    P Troop: Captain W. "Bill" Sloley
    X Troop: Captain H. E. Stratford
    Y Troop: Captain Peter Howes-Dufton (KIA 6 June 44)
    S Troop: Captain Grant
No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando: Lt. Colonel Campbell R. Hardy
   Second-in-Command : Major Lee
  Intelligence Officer:
  Signal Officer:
  Liaison Officer:
  Medical Officer:
  Forward Observation Bombardment (attached):
  Regimental Sergeant Major:
    A Troop: Captain H. A.Burton
    B Troop: Captain C. E. Docwra
    X Troop: Captain D. H. Barker
    Y Troop: Captain H. A. Minchin
    Z Troop: Captain J. A.Buscall
    S Troop: Captain J. A. B. Davies
No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commando: Lt. Colonel Cecil F. Philiips
  Second-in-Command: Major P. M. "Paddy" Donnell
  Adjutant: Captain P. Spencer
  Intelligence Officer:
  Signal Officer :
  Liaison Officer :
  Medical Officer: Captain John Forfar
  Chaplain: Captain/Reverend Haw
  Forward Observation Bombardment (attached): Lieutenant Irwin
  Regimental Sergeant Major: RSM Dollery
    A Troop: Captain T. F. Cousins
    B Troop: Captain Isherwood
    X Troop: Captain D. H. Walton
    Y Troop: Captain O'Connell
    Z Troop:
    S Troop:
No. 48 (Royal Marine) Commando: Lt. Colonel James C. Moulton
    Second-in-Command: Major Sanders
    Adjutant: Captain Dan Flunder
    Intelligence Officer: Lieutenant Harold Smedley
    Signal Officer:
    Liaison Officer: Captain de Frieses
    Medical Office: Captain David M. de R. Winsor
    Chaplain: Captain/Reverend John Armstrong
    Forward Observation Bombardment (attached): Captain Jim Tyrer
     Regimental Sergeant Major: RSM Colin Travers
    A Troop: Captain Mike Reynolds
    B Troop: Captain James Lawry Perry (KIA 6 June 44)
    X Troop: Captain W. F. Hoare
    Y Troop: Captain Derick Roderick De Stacpoole
    Z Troop: Captain Frederick Charles Laurence Lennard (KIA 6 June 44)
    S Troop: Captain Geoff Linnell
Brigade Headquarters - War Diaries
No.41 (Royal Marine) Commando - War Diaries
No.46 (Royal Marine) Commando - War Diaries
No.48 (Royal Marine) Commando - War Diaries