Featured History World War II

Photographs of landing craft LCF 14

Looking down onto the deck of LCF 14
Looking down onto the deck of LCF 14

Looking down onto the deck of LCF 14

This photo is the first of a series taken from the landing craft LCF 14 during World War II, in 1943 and 1944. These photographs come from my father, Malcolm Stuart Maxwell Carnson‘s photo album. He never talked about it, but I always assumed that he had taken these (his daughters always have cameras at the ready, so I thought it was all genetic!).
This one looks down onto the deck of LCF 14.
I recently talked to one of his shipmates, who thought that they were taken by a Gerry de Witt Gray (although I am not sure of the spelling), who apparently scoured Naples for paper and developing supplies. So if anyone knows any more about the photographer, please let me know.

Shade covering the deck of LCF 14

Shade covering the deck of LCF 14

This is the deck after they got to the Mediterranean. The suntan on the guy on the right makes it obvious why they needed the shade.
You can see the smaller barrels of the Oerlikon guns to port and starboard, and also the 2 larger single pompoms forward.
AbeBooks.co.uk – UK site of the world’s largest network for used, rare and out-of-print books. have several books on landing craft.
For a lot more information, go to the LST and Landing craft Association website.



  • My Father Fred Toomer served on LCF 14 and was a close friend of a Gerry and another chap called Tiny Biggs. I think they called themselves the three “must get beers”. Fred’s wife Connie is alive and well at 93 and may be a source of further information.

    John Toomer

  • I’ve just discovered this webpage – great! According to the Royal Navy Command records, my father, John Chambers, served on LCF 14 some time between the end of 1944 and October 1945. He was on LCF 17 before and after this time, and on LCT 140 in Anzio before that. He was a Royal Marine and I think trained as a gunner, among other skills. I don’t know exactly where he was while on LCF 14 – information very scanty, as for so many. My best wishes to you all.

  • Gerry De Witt Gray was my stepfather! Like many others he too never spoke about his experiences at this time in his life. He would only ever say that having had to wash down the guns after it took a direct hit, what else was there to say!

    I do have a very small diary that he kept in 1944 in which he wrote a few lines each day but some entries are difficult to read.

    I know of one other chap who served on board at the same time, named Fred Toomer, he ended up living in Australia and has since passed away, as has Gerry in 1995.

    Fascinating to think he took these photos, especially as I don’t have any myself.

  • Its great to see these pictures as I’m trying to find out more about the LCF’s. I believe it was LCF 14 my father served on during WW2. If you can find a copy of it there is a book called ‘To sea in a sieve’ written by Peter Bull (the actor) who was their commanding officer and give a good insight to what they did with a lot of funny incidents as well.

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