The D-Day Story Collection


The flag flown by the yacht 'Swallow' on D-Day. It is a blue ensign bearing a crossed swords insignia on the blue section. The blue ensign is the flag used by British army vessels. 'Swallow' was a 45ft range clearance craft assigned to Juno Beach on D-Day. Her role on D-Day is not known, but yachts were typically used for tasks such as carrying messages. Swallow was one of ten Bird Class fast launches built for the army in 1937. Her D-Day crew found a plaque for Dunkirk in her wheelhouse. Swallow was commanded by W. Clark at Dunkirk and took men from the beaches to destroyers offshore. She continued to ferry men to H.M.S. Impulsive and H.M.S. Winchelsea even after being badly damaged and losing the use of two of her three petrol engines. She later became part of 42 Water Transport Unit, Royal Army Service Corps (RASC). She spent the days before D-Day in Newtown Creek, Isle of Wight. In the afternoon of 5.6.1944 she sailed out of the Solent. Swallow was holed in the bow when attending to an errant Mulberry pontoon. Her commanding officer Sergeant Lister decided to press on and she arrived off Juno in the morning of D-Day. The craft's crew spent weeks organising boats unloading supplies.

Location: On display at The D-Day Story


Reference: 1992/260/1