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The St. Nazaire Society
Photographed from the very spot on the outer gate of the Normandie Dock where HMS Campbeltown struck, is the main pumping station (above left), a target of huge importance to the success of the raid. Protected during wartime by a blast wall and with two 20mm cannon mounted high on its roof, the building extended far below the dockside to where its four crucial impeller pumps were located (below right). Having forced an entrance to the ground floor the wounded Lieutenant Stuart Chant and his four Lance-Sergeants, Ron Butler, Bill Chamberlain, Arthur Dockerill and Bill King, found themselves having to negotiate a maze of galleries (top right) in almost pitch darkness in order to locate and descend the metal stairs leading down into the depths. Working by torchlight they placed their specially-designed explosive charges on each pump before staging a hasty exit with only seconds to spare before a huge blast destroyed the pumps and collapsed much of the floor above on top of them.