Trinity House Vessels return to France after war service
The lighthouse tenders Andre Blondel and Georges De Joly were returned to the French maritime authorities after years of valuable wartime service for the Corporation.
Both vessels were taken over by Trinity House in 1940, after the fall of France during the Second World War, and both had significant roles to play in Trinity House’s contribution to the war effort.
In preparation for the D-Day landings, Trinity House was responsible for marking the Swept Channel routes for the invasion of Normandy, laying 73 lighted buoys and mooring two fully-manned lightvessels (JUNO and KANSAS) to indicate a safe route to the landing beaches.
Six Trinity House tenders, Alert, Discovery II, Warden, Patricia, Georges de Joly and Andre Blondel were assembled in the Solent three weeks prior to D-Day in order to be loaded with their first consignment of buoys to mark the swept lanes for the assault forces and the subsequent passage of some 7,500 vessels. This operation was repeated until all the necessary stations had been established. The Georges de Joly was under the command of Captain J R Meyrick, the Andre Blondel under Captain G Sherman.