Bem Group Of 6 to The RN for Gallantry Aboard Commando Assault Ship
BEM ( Geo VI ) STO 1 CL JOHN JONES C/KX135591 RN , 1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star bar France and Germany, Africa Star, Italy Star, War Medal
BEM announced in the London Gazette of the 15th of February 1944 in a joint citation with Joiner K Lake
During an air attack at Augusta on the 17th of July 1943 a number of bombs fell near HMS Queen Emma two of which exploded simultaneously very close on either quarter causing many casualties and a number of small holes in the ship's sides and starting fires. Joiner Lake who was on the mess deck where most of the casualties occurred, when the bombs exploded, was most prominent in dealing with fire and repairs, entering a compartments where fires were burning and dangerous fumes issuing. He is recommended for devotion to duty and disregard of danger. Stoker Jones was very prominent in helping the wounded, showing a complete disregard of danger by entering the cabin flat full of fumes with only a handkerchief over his face. he subsequently worked there in a mask for a considerable time doing rescue work
HMS Queen Emma was a commando troop ship of the Royal Navy during the Second World War
Her first major action in her new role was Operation Claymore, a raid on the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. On 22 February 1941 Queen Emma arrived at Scapa Flow, where men of 4 Commando boarded, as well as Royal Engineer demolition experts and a contingent of Norwegian troops. The British ships – five destroyers and two troop ships – entered the Vestfjord on the morning of 4 March, and launched their attack. Surprise was complete and there was little resistance. All targets selected were located and destroyed. The troops were embarked by 13.00 hours and within half an hour the British had left. After returning to England Queen Emma was used for the training and exercise of Special Forces in Scotland
In April 1942 Queen Emma was selected to take part in a raid on the French coast at Dieppe. On the evening of 18 August 1942 a fleet of more than 200 ships sailed across the Channel. Queen Emma and the former Belgian ship Princess Astrid landed men of the Royal Regiment of Canada on "Blue Beach" to the east of Dieppe at Puys. However, the raid was not a success, and the losses were high
Queen Emma was then assigned to Training Squadron D based on the Clyde, carrying out exercises with Special Forces and practising the landing of ground troops on enemy beaches. All these exercises were in preparation for the landings in North Africa, Operation Torch. On 26 October 1942 Queen Emma received troops from the 1st Battalion of the U.S. 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, then joined Convoy KMF-1 for North Africa, landing her troops west of Oran.
Queen Emma was then attached to the ships of Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. She was carrying Royal Marine Commandos The British sector was greatly hampered by severe German air attacks, and on 17 July 1943 the Queen Emma was hit, with 18 killed and 70 wounded. The ship sailed to Malta for repairs. Her speed had been reduced to 15 knots , so she was downgraded to troop transport vessel. After the Italian capitulation on 8 September 1943 she escorted units of the Italian fleet to Malta, and soon afterwards sailed back to England for a complete overhaul
Queen Emma then began landing exercises in preparation for Operation Overlord, the invasion of France. On 6 June 1944 Queen Emma sailed with Canadian troops to Normandy. The ship was part of the transport group of the Eastern Naval Task Force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Chandler. In the weeks after D-Day Queen Emma completed numerous voyages between England and the French coast, carrying men of the U.S. 8th Air Force, and a number of British Guards Divisions, as well as units of the English ATS and Wrens, despite the danger of German coastal batteries, E-boats and midget submarines.
At the end of 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge Queen Emma helped transport the British 6th Airborne Division from England to France as reinforcements. It would be her last European mission. She had crossed the North Sea 43 times, sailing approximately 20,000 miles and had transported 30,000 Allied troop
BEM on original ribbon and mounting pin , WW2 group on separate mounting pin , all generally GVF