Candlelight Vigil News Article - April 29, 2014

Candlelight Vigil held at 2 a.m. on April 28, 2014
Organized by Dean Small & Laurie Bolton, pictured.
Also attending were Steve & Sally Mutton, Sarah Small and Pat Nettleton

WESTERN MORNING NEWS                                            TUESDAY APRIL 29, 2014
(Excerpts of article on coverage of the Exercise Tiger Memorial Ltd event)

 Vigil honors Exercise Tiger tragedy victims

     A tragedy which claimed the lives of 749 servicemen who were training for the D-Day landings on the shores of South Devon was marked with a vigil yesterday morning. 

     At 2 am, 28 April, a candlelight vigil was held to mark the anniversary organised by  Dean Small,  whose  father established the  memorial  site  in 1984, and attended by Laurie Bolton, whose uncle perished on LST 531.  Ms Bolton said it was hard to imagine the suffering of the men who died. “It was extremely moving to be there at the very time the tragedy took place 70  years ago and to remember those who perished,” she said. “I couldn’t help but think about what they must have suffered in their last moments of life.” Mr. Small said his father would have been proud of the ceremony. “If my dad had been with us at the vigil, there would have been a tear in his eye. It was a very moving experience.”

      Operation Tiger was a top secret practice for the Normandy beach landings of June 6, 1944.  Start Bay was chosen because the villages nearby had been evacuated and it was thought to provide the perfect place to simulate practice landings for Utah Beach as part of Operation Overlord.  However, the exercise turned into a terrible tragedy when it was attacked by German E-boats. The fast-moving torpedo boats sank two Allied ships and badly damaged a third, killing 749 US servicemen. Many of the men drowned while waiting to be rescued. Some of the soldiers had put on their lifebelts incorrectly and were pulled underwater by combat packs.

Temporary Burial of the bodies recovered
at Brookwood Cemetery

Dean Small is Director, and Laurie Bolton is an Honorary Director, of Exercise Tiger Memorial Ltd.