Operation Darlington

This was a British combined naval and special forces undertaking to rescue Allied prisoners of war in the area to the south of Ancona on the east coast of central Italy (25/26 May 1944).

Under the command of Major M. R. H. Allen, a 75-man party of No. 9 Commando was carried in an infantry landing craft from Termoli to a point 30 miles (50 km) from Ancona and thus 70 miles (115 km) behind the German lines. Here the commandos met elements of Brigadier Dudley W. Clarke’s ‘A’ Force British deception organisation, which was also responsible for the handling escaped prisoners of war. After an initial navigating error the British force was guided to the correct beach by a US Navy ‘Beach Jumper Party’, and 120 prisoners were located and evacuated.