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D-Day Piper - Not Millin

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  • D-Day Piper - Not Millin

    I am reading an extensive, extremely well-written new history of the Normandy invasion by military historian Peter Caddick-Adams. In his chapter on the preliminary naval bombardment, he makes reference to one Captain Angus Mackenzie, HMS destroyer Undaunted. As the shelling started in his sector at 0625, Mackenzie was spotted on deck in full Highland kit playing his pipes. I've never encountered this story before. Does anyone have more detail?
    Cheers,

    Matt

  • #2
    Never heard that. I'd think, though, that if Mackenzie was Undaunted's skipper, he would have been risking a charge of dereliction of duty at that point. Perhaps he was an army captain observer, or being transported to the landing.

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    • #3
      The passage does not suggest Mackenzie was the captain of the destroyer. Just identifies him as captain Angus Mackenzie.
      Cheers,

      Matt

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      • #4
        See: The life and wartime career of Lt Angus A Mackenzie RNR (1905-75) (holywellhousepublishing.co.uk)

        In the section discussing Operation Neptune and D-Day, the following appears referring to HMS Undaunted and Angus Mackenzie:

        Stocker Wilson recalled the events leading up to “D Day”:

        “About 10 days before ‘D’, we sailed South and our anchorage was by the Needles, by the Isle of Wight. Before ‘D’ day we did E-boat patrols in the channel. We were in the forefront of the Armada on ‘D’ itself. We were in the Roger section of Sword beach during the landings and we bombarded the coast of France for two hours before the landings commenced. The skipper, Commander Mackenzie stood in his Highlander's bonnet, playing his bagpipes from the Bridge as the Landing Craft, crammed with crouching infantry, headed past the ship towards the beach.”
        ​​

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        • #5
          Phinson -

          Thanks for finding that. Very helpful. Appears Mackenzie was, indeed, the skipper. My father was on a ship off Utah Beach early that morning.
          Last edited by Tervs and Tunes; 02-04-2023, 10:00 AM.
          Cheers,

          Matt

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          • #6
            My uncle, from whom I got my bag pipes, was with a Royal Canadian Engineers obstacle clearing section that landed on Juno Beach before the main body of troops. He was actually a Royal Navy frogman commando.

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            • #7
              A Partial
              Originally posted by phinson

              See: The life and wartime career of Lt Angus A Mackenzie RNR (1905-75) (holywellhousepublishing.co.uk)

              The skipper, Commander Mackenzie stood in his Highlander's bonnet, playing his bagpipes from the Bridge as the Landing Craft, crammed with crouching infantry, headed past the ship towards the beach.

              To help... send them off... with pipes p[laying...
              Good Show!!... and... Well Honored!!


              My friends all know,
              With what a brave carouse...

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              • #8
                Fascinating. I'm glad to learn of this.

                Andrew
                Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. BDF Moderator
                BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

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                • #9
                  A Partial
                  Originally posted by phinson

                  See: The life and wartime career of Lt Angus A Mackenzie RNR (1905-75) (holywellhousepublishing.co.uk)

                  The skipper, Commander Mackenzie stood in his Highlander's bonnet, playing his bagpipes from the Bridge as the Landing Craft, crammed with crouching infantry, headed past the ship towards the beach.

                  To help... send them off... with pipes p[laying...
                  Good Show!!... and... Well Honored!!


                  My friends all know,
                  With what a brave carouse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Greenpipe View Post
                    My uncle, from whom I got my bag pipes, was with a Royal Canadian Engineers obstacle clearing section that landed on Juno Beach before the main body of troops. He was actually a Royal Navy frogman commando.
                    How did he keep his pipes going underwater?

                    All kidding a side- truly the greatest generation- thanks for sharing
                    Loud is Easy, Soft is Hard

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