At 00:37 I went in with the second wave and at 01:09 opened fire on the same target when I was three miles from the shore with better results than the first shoot. All enemy guns stopped firing almost at once and did not open fire again while I was bombarding. The Flotilla Officer of Prinz Albert's assault craft told me later that I scored more than one hit on a pill box and also set some kind of store containing fuel on fire, which were seen as two vivid flashes followed by a fire.

One of the reasons why I consider these two bombardments to have achieved success was the use of flashless cordite since the enemy; Germans in this case, seemed mystified as to my position.

My second bombardment was sharply interrupted at 01:21 by two or three E-boats attacking Prinz Albert. I waited about ten seconds to fire a parting six-gun broadside and then raced after the E-boats. By sheer good luck I made a perfect interception and within two minutes was engaging the rear one with every gun that could bear. The chase was short and exciting, as within a few minutes, at 01:27, a large flash appeared on the target, the radar - Type 285 - which had been working very well indeed, lost echo and the E-boat stopped firing at me. On this evidence, coupled with an oil patch and burning wreckage which passed down my port side shortly after, I am certain that this E-boat was blown to bits by a direct hit by a 4-inch shell. I continued the chase for another four or five minutes after the other E-boats, but they were not prepared to face the music, withdrawing at full speed to the northward. I then returned to Prinz Albert who closed and hoisted her assault craft.

Both ships then returned and entered Syracuse soon after dawn. As there was no other ship present with a good long range H/A armament, I assumed the duty A/A Guard Ship, Syracuse, until 10:30 when Carlisle arrived. With her arrival I went to a lower state of readiness than second-degree for the first time since 01:00 on 10 July.

Richard Rycroft

Lieutenant Commander in Command
19 July 1943