H.M.S. Helder – Landing Craft Training, Brightlingsea, Essex

Address23 Harbour Square, Brightlingsea, Colchester, Essex CO7 0GE, UK
Location typeNaval Base
Site Ownership and Access InformationThe site is now virtually unrecognisable. Factories and boathouses have taken over the quay and houses are being developed in the area around the creak. There was also part of the base on the South side of Brightlingsea Creak but all evidence of its existence no longer remains as it is currently a holiday camp.
Contact details

Check details before visiting

H.M.S. Helder was commissioned in January 1943 to begin training for Officers and Crews of minor Landing Craft, which consisted of: LCAs (landing craft assault), LCPs (landing craft personnel), LCMs (landing craft mechanised) and LCVs (landing craft vehicles). The men were trained to prepare them for the amphibious landing in Normandy the following year.

Around 60 Landing Craft were based at H.M.S. Helder for training which involved a 6 week course with exercises and practice taking place both at sea and aground.

Post training, small Flotillas were formed from the Crews and Officers trained at the Base, and were then allocated a Combined Operations Base which they would remain with until the D-Day Landings.

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map