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Parr, Abe D.S.M.

Town : Newport
Regiment : Telegraphist, Royal Navy
Landed in Normandy : June 6

Normandy was one of the seven landings that Abe Parr, of Newport, took part in during World War Two.
As a member of a Combined Operations Forward Observation Bombardment (F.O.B.) unit Abe was one of the few Royal Navy personnel to become a qualified parachutist.
These units comprised one Royal Artillery Officer in charge, one RA. Bombardier and three Royal Naval telegraphists equipped with portable radio sets. Their job was to land as commandos or by parachute to bring down bombardment from Allied warships offshore in support of the infantry until the army could establish its own artillery ashore.
After serving in a Norwegian-manned destroyer, Abe transferred to Combined Operations and completed commando training at Inverary in Scotland in time to take part in the disastrous Dieppe raid in 1942 as a member of a Royal Navy beach signals unit. During that raid all five F.O.B. units were wiped out and as a result a number of beach signals men were transferred to F.O.B. He went on to take part in landings at Algiers, Sicily and Italy. Following the Sicily landing he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (His uncle won the VC while serving in the army in the First World War).

Abe landed on Sword Beach on D-Day with No.6' Army Commando, in the second wave of assault craft. Their objective was to advance beyond the cleared beach and push up towards Pegasus Bridge by 12 noon to link up with the British airborne glider troops, who had liberated the bridge over the River Orne,

After completing its task in Normandy his unit returned to the UK for what turned out to be a pleasant nine-month respite at Gurnad Pines on the Isle of Wight. After the war Abe made his home on the Island, working as a self-employed builder.

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