Pictures show SAS hero in action behind enemy lines in World War Two

When a fishmonger went to war: Never-before-seen pictures show SAS hero in action behind enemy lines in World War Two as Allies turned screw on Hitler

  • Sergeant Samuel Rushworth was dropped into occupied France two days before D-Day in June 1944 
  • The commandos of the 2nd Special Air Service were tasked with disrupting German reinforcements 
  • In rucksack was camera he used to document their progress across Western Europe in the following months
  • Do YOU recognise any of the men in these images? Email [email protected] 

Never-before-seen photos taken by a fishmonger-turned-SAS hero behind enemy lines in World War Two have come to light 76 years on.

Sergeant Samuel Rushworth was dropped into occupied France two days before D-Day in June 1944.

The commandos of the 2nd Special Air Service were tasked with disrupting German reinforcements dispatched to Normandy following the Allied landings.

In his rucksack was a small camera he used to document their progress across Western Europe in the following months.

The archive is being sold at Bosleys auctioneers, of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on June 30 and is expected to fetch up to £300. 

Never-before-seen photos taken by a fishmonger-turned-SAS hero behind enemy lines in World War Two have come to light 76 years on. Sergeant Samuel Rushworth was dropped into occupied France two days before D-Day in June 1944. Pictured: Members of the SAS pose with a Nazi flag while in France

SAS troops pose for a photograph by the camp fire before crossing the Rhine. It was against the rules to have a camera in the field so it is extremely rare to have images of the paratroopers in the field

It was against the rules to have one so it is extremely rare to have images of the paratroopers in the field.

There are photos of blown-up bridges on the Rhine and Jeeps being readied for patrols.

Sergeant Rushworth snapped the moment he and his comrades entered Germany, passing a sign stating ‘there will be no fraternising with any Germans’.

A German Nazi flag is held aloft as they move closer to securing Allied victory.

Sergeant Samuel Rushworth

Photos taken before the operation show his squadron doing target practice and posing together on an airfield.

There are also images of Sergeant Rushworth in Bergen, Norway, where they put down the final Nazi fanatical elements.

Sergeant Rushworth, who was born in Dublin but grew up in Manchester, enlisted with the Royal Artillery at the outset of World War Two.

He transferred to the Parachute Regiment and joined the 2nd Special Air Service (SAS).

Shortly after, Sergeant Rushworth landed in France, his patrol was ambushed and he was shot in the backside by machine gun fire.

He escaped serious injury and after a spell of recuperation was dropped in the Vosges mountains on the French-German border as part of the ill-fated Operation Loyton.

Unfortunately, the paratroopers landed next to a large SS division which was reinforcing the German army in the area against US General George Patton’s Third Army.

Some Allied commandos were captured and executed under Adolf Hitler’s orders, but Sergeant Rushworth evaded the enemy’s clutches.

He moved eastwards into north Germany and was one of the first soldiers to liberate Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.

His final operation was in Norway where he hunted down the last U-Boat crews and SS soldiers.

A demolished bridge at the Rhine, Germany. The retreating Nazis blew up bridges along the Rhine to prevent Allied forces from advancing during Operation Plunder in March 1945

A member of the SAS poses for a photograph with his Jeep. The image was taken on the camera which was secretly being Carried by Sergeant Rushworth. Operation Plunder followed the Allies’ victory in the Battle of the Bulge on January 25, 1945, which ended the German Ardennes offensive. Read More This forced the remaining Nazi troops to limp back to Germany and prepare to defend the River Rhine, Germany’s natural barrier.

This image showed a sign on the German border which warned, passing a sign stating ‘You are now entering Germany – there will be no fraternization with any Germans’

One of Sergeant Samuel Rushworth’s comrades poses for a secret photograph which features in the albums going up for sale

Members of the Royal Artillery in France in 1940 – the year the country was successfully invaded by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces

SAS troops are seen posing near a campfire shortly before they crossed the Rhine into Germany. The operation – which took four days – marked the beginning of the final push to defeat German forces and force them to surrender

A jeep is loaded onto an aircraft so it can be used in combat missions. Sergeant Rushworth, who was born in Dublin but grew up in Manchester, enlisted with the Royal Artillery at the outset of World War Two

Post-war, Sergeant Rushworth left the army and returned to the Manchester Fish Market.

He died aged 81 in 2001. The archive being sold also includes his combat knife, ID bracelet and SAS badges. The two albums contain over 100 photos in total.

Bernard Pass, auctioneer at Bosleys, said: ‘The nice thing about these albums is that there are pictures in the field in combat, blowing up bridges and preparing their Jeeps to go out on patrol.

‘It is quite common to get a snapshot of life in camp, but very rare to get this insight into what went on in the field.

SAS troops alongside their aircraft ready for the next mission. The Special Air Service was founded in 1941 as a regiment. Sergeant Rushworth transferred to the Parachute Regiment after starting his military career in the Royal Artillery. He then and joined the 2nd Special Air Service (SAS). Shortly after, Sergeant Rushworth landed in France, his patrol was ambushed and he was shot in the backside by machine gun fire

Two of Sergeant Rushworth’s SAS comrades pose for a photograph together. The commandos of the 2nd Special Air Service were tasked with disrupting German reinforcements dispatched to Normandy following the Allied landings

Members of the SAS are seen carrying out rifle practice in a field as they prepared for one of the operations which Sergeant Rushworth was involved in. Bernard Pass, auctioneer at Bosleys, said: ‘The nice thing about these albums is that there are pictures in the field in combat, blowing up bridges and preparing their Jeeps to go out on patrol

Mr Pass added: ‘It is quite common to get a snapshot of life in camp, but very rare to get this insight into what went on in the field’. Pictured: A scene captured on Sergeant Rashworth’s camera shows SAS members laying charges to blow up a road block in Germany. In the foreground a jeep armed with three visible machine guns can be seen

SAS troops load jeep onto a barge to cross the Rhine in March 1945, after bridges were destroyed by the fleeing German forces

‘The paratroopers were not meant to carry cameras with them and these photos have never been published.

‘Samuel was first dropped into France ahead of D-Day to cause problems to German communications, blowing up railway lines.

‘He was shot in an unfortunate place but then was dropped for a second time into Vosges next to an SS division.

‘SAS men who were captured were shot but he survived and in the final throes of the war was one of the first people to liberate Belsen, before finishing the war in Norway putting down the final Nazi stand there.’

The sale of the archive, which is tipped to fetch £600, takes place on June 30.

SAS troops take part in parachute training. The sale of the archive, which is tipped to fetch £600, takes place on June 30

The moment that SAS troops blew up a road block in Germany was captured on Sergeant Rushworth’s clandestine camera

Post-war, Sergeant Rushworth left the army and returned to the Manchester Fish Market. He died aged 81 in 2001

D-Day: Huge invasion of Europe described by Churchill as the ‘most complicated and difficult’ military operation in world history

Operation Overlord saw some 156,000 Allied troops landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

It is thought as many as 4,400 were killed in an operation Winston Churchill described as ‘undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place’.

The assault was conducted in two phases: an airborne landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6.30am.

The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing. Some 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. 

US Army troops in an LCVP landing craft approach Normandy’s ‘Omaha’ Beach on D-Day in Colleville Sur-Mer, France June 6 1944. As infantry disembarked from the landing craft, they often found themselves on sandbars 50 to 100 yards away from the beach. To reach the beach they had to wade through water sometimes neck deep

US Army troops and crewmen aboard a Coast Guard manned LCVP approach a beach on D-Day. After the initial landing soldiers found the original plan was in tatters, with so many units mis-landed, disorganized and scattered. Most commanders had fallen or were absent, and there were few ways to communicate

A LCVP landing craft from the U.S. Coast Guard attack transport USS Samuel Chase approaches Omaha Beach. The objective was for the beach defences to be cleared within two hours of the initial landing. But stubborn German defence delayed efforts to take the beach and led to significant delays 

An LCM landing craft manned by the U.S. Coast Guard, evacuating U.S. casualties from the invasion beaches, brings them to a transport for treatment. An accurate figure for casualties incurred by V Corps at Omaha on 6 June is not known; sources vary between 2,000 and over 5,000 killed, wounded, and missing

The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing. Some 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved.

The landings took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

The assault was chaotic with boats arriving at the wrong point and others getting into difficulties in the water.

Destruction in the northern French town of Carentan after the invasion in June 1944

Forward 14/45 guns of the US Navy battleship USS Nevada fire on positions ashore during the D-Day landings on Utah Beach. The only artillery support for the troops making these tentative advances was from the navy. Finding targets difficult to spot, and in fear of hitting their own troops, the big guns of the battleships and cruisers concentrated fire on the flanks of the beaches

The US Navy minesweeper USS Tide sinks after striking a mine, while its crew are assisted by patrol torpedo boat PT-509 and minesweeper USS Pheasant. When another ship attempted to tow the damaged ship to the beach, the strain broke her in two and she sank only minutes after the last survivors had been taken off

A US Army medic moves along a narrow strip of Omaha Beach administering first aid to men wounded in the Normandy landing on D-Day in Collville Sur-Mer. On D-Day, dozens of medics went into battle on the beaches of Normandy, usually without a weapon. Not only did the number of wounded exceed expectations, but the means to evacuate them did not exist

Troops managed only to gain a small foothold on the beach – but they built on their initial breakthrough in the coming days and a harbor was opened at Omaha.

They met strong resistance from the German forces who were stationed at strongpoints along the coastline.

Approximately 10,000 allies were injured or killed, including 6,603 American, of which 2,499 were fatal.

Between 4,000 and 9,000 German troops were killed – and it proved the pivotal moment of the war, in the allied forces’ favour.

The first wave of troops from the US Army takes cover under the fire of Nazi guns in 1944

Canadian soldiers study a German plan of the beach during D-Day landing operations in Normandy. Once the beachhead had been secured, Omaha became the location of one of the two Mulberry harbors, prefabricated artificial harbors towed in pieces across the English Channel and assembled just off shore

US Army Rangers show off the ladders they used to storm the cliffs which they assaulted in support of Omaha Beach landings at Pointe du Hoc. At the end of the two-day action, the initial Ranger landing force of 225 or more was reduced to about 90 fighting men

Source: Read Full Article