This project aims to investigate and record the wrecks of WW2 Tugs HMRT Sesame and USS Partridge lost on 11 June 1944 during Operation NEPTUNE.

In recent years’ members from Southsea Sub-Aqua Club have undertaken a number of award-winning diving projects associated with wrecks of Operation NEPTUNE.  Following our successful projects, Tanks and Bulldozers, Neptune Wrecks, Kedge Hook, Mulberry 70, and a collaborative expedition to dive wrecks in Normandy in September 2014, members of Southsea Sub-Aqua Club returned to Normandy in June 2017 to discover more about the WW2 wrecks of Operation NEPTUNE and in particular the loss of US Landing Craft Tanks as part of Force ‘U’. Permission to conduct our survey project ‘Cardonnet’ was given by DRASSM and our report successfully completed. During 2018 the diving team returned to Normandy to document the remains of British Landing Craft Gun (LCG) and Minesweeper HMS CATO.

Using the skills and knowledge we have developed from our 2017 and 2018 expeditions and subject to the approval of DRASSM, we hope to record the wrecks of PARTRIDGE and SESAME in the centre and to the west of the Baie de Seine on the approaches to Omaha beach.  We also plan to create, where practicable, 3D photogrammetry models of the wrecks and features which can be used to aid identification and improve the wider knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the wreck sites as part of our shared cultural heritage.  In recording and documenting the condition of these wrecks we will also complete this record with details of the marine life present on these artificial reefs.

Remarkably only two tugs were lost during the Normandy campaign and these were both lost within hours of each other on the morning of 11 June 1944. Both PARTRIDGE and SESAME had been tasked with towing Mulberry Harbour ‘Whale’ sections and fell victim to German torpedoes launched from E-Boats. Many lives were lost.

Project Leader: Martin Davies, Southsea Sub-Aqua Club Diving Officer

Click here to download the project plan.