1st (US) Infantry Division – June 1944
G3 – Operations
After Action Report
Headquarters 1st US Inf. Div.
APO #1, U. S. Army
1st. Inf. Div.
A. 6 June 1944
First wave was landed at 0635B 6 June and the second wave at 0636B. The 16th Infantry and 116th Infantry were landed at 0635B. Word was received by the USS CHASE at 0655B that the entire first wave had floundered. The advance Division command post with the Assistant Division Commander landed on Beach Easy Red at 0839B and opened a temporary command post above the high water line below the top of a shelf of coarse gravel extending along that part of the beach and some casualties were suffered by the command post group and the Military Police Platoon. The remainder of the advance Division command post established a temporary command post aboard the control craft PC 533 which was off Easy Red Beach.
The following message was received by the Naval Commander Western Task Force, “First wave landed Dog Green 0635B, second wave 0636B, first wave assault group O-1 landed 0635B, one LCA capsized, one LCT (A) sinking with engine room flooded. Success signal for capture of PONTE DU HOE was reported by V Corps”. A report was received at 0807B that “Returning boats reported floating mines near the beach endangering landing; many boats swamped and many personnel in the water”.
The control vessel off Easy Red Beach reported at 0807B, “First wave landed at 0635B, the seventh wave at 0735B, unable to determine on waves between them, but believe they are evenly spaced and on time”. An Army intercept at 0811B from 3d Battalion, 16th Infantry, stated that battalion had not landed yet and was moving to the right.
The 50th Division (British) notified the 1st US Infantry Division that the 69th Infantry Brigade and 231st Infantry Brigade first landed at 0725B. By 0827B, the 3d Battalion, 16th Infantry reported they were moving forward and one and two sections had not landed yet.
Division Headquarters was informed by control vessel Dog Red that obstacles were mined and there was no chance yet to destroy mines by demolition.
At 0928B, the Division was informed by the Ranger Commanding Officer that the enemy gun fire on exit D-G and an enemy battery behind Dog Green were hindering the landing.
The Division Commander notified Commanding General, 50th Division that progress was slow, with fighting on the beaches.
Word was received at 0930B that the Rangers had landed safely with heavy opposition; the beach was not clear of obstacles and dangerous for LCA’s. At this time, the Division was told that one Allied squadron armed with 2000 pound bombs was attacking MAISY battery, which was reported by 0945B as being completely destroyed.
The Division notified the Navy that enemy fire on beach Easy Red was keeping LCI’s from landing. At 0950B, the Assistant Division Commander notified the Division Commander aboard the USS ANCON, “There are too many vehicles on the beach; send combat troops”. Special Situation Report 1 to the Naval Commander, WTF, stated, “The first wave landed Easy Red at 0635, Dog Green 0635 second wave Dog Green 0636 and second through seventh wave landed Easy Red by 0735. 3d Battalion 16th Infantry Regimental CP exit E-3 Easy Red and moved to the right. Unconfirmed reports from V Corps report capture of POINTE DU HOE. Landing boat from USS JEFFERSON reported mines and heavy seas. No enemy activity over convoy last night. E boats expected north of CAPE LEVY”. Combat Team 116 reported that they by-passed opposition on beach and were moving forward slowly.
An Army information radio message was received which stated “At 0900B several companies 16th Infantry were seen on Easy Red and Fox Red Beach; enemy artillery and machine gun fire was still effective; about 30 LCT’s were standing by to land; obstacles seemed thicker than in photos; Btry A 7th Field Artillery in DUKWS just arrived. LCI 85 was hit after unloading and is smoking; 2 LCT’s are burned. 10 tanks are on Fox and landing resuming on Dog”.
Division Headquarters intercepted a radio message from CVER to the USS CHASE stating that boats and vehicles were piling on beaches; troops were dug in on beach; enemy held fire until craft beached. Fifteenth wave landed 0840B; there were many LCT’s and LCI’s off beach, but few LCVP’s were available. It was reported by control vessels that many wounded on Dog Red Beach needed immediate evacuation and many LCT’s were standing by, but could not be landed because of heavy enemy shell fire on beach. The Division command post ashore sent the Division Commander the following radio message: “Reinforce 2d Battalion 16th at once”. At 1031B, the Division notified the advance command post ashore “The 18th Infantry is landing as planned; use where needed”. The 18th Infantry was ordered to reinforce 2d Battalion 16th Infantry at once.
At 0915B, Navy reported to the Division Commander that they could find no targets of opportunity without endangering own landing and asked for any information on right target for LCG. Later the Navy said they believed the LCG(L) could lay down close barrage over heads of troops on Fox Green Beach, if own troops had made no progress in landing. Division Headquarters told the Navy not to fire the LCG(L). The Division Commander was notified at 0959B by PC 522, “First wave of DD tanks floundered on Fox Green Beach, second wave incomplete and 22 minutes late and fourth wave dispatched by primary red; 5th wave did not appear; 6th wave dispatched 15 minutes late; 7th no information; 8th dispatched and all landed; 9th sent late; only half of the 10th wave reported and those were late; 11th wave dispatched on time; 12th wave only LCT’s were on time when dispatched”.
By 1105B, the 16th Infantry reported no beach exits were open in the regimental sector. At 1110B, the 2d Battalion 18th Infantry landed and rest of regiment was on the way in; 2d Battalion 16th Infantry was in COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER.
It was reported at 1105B bt PC 564 that the 20th wave had just landed. The 16th Infantry reported that exits would be opened shortly.
At 1026B, the Division requested the USS ARKANSAS to endeavor to locate and destroy batteries impeeding the landing on beach Dog Red bye heavy shell fire.
Control vessel Easy Red radioed to the Division Commander that the Chief of Staff Advance command post says, “Condition of Beach D-3, E-1, E-3, F-1 still critical and beach between exits are drawing mortar and artillery fire”. At 1125B, beachmaster Easy Red notified USS ANCON “Information is still incomplete; enemy holding vigorously; combat troops needed; H/195 needed Easy Red Beach”.
The 115th Infantry was ordered to clear high ground south-west past Easy Red in 16th infantry sector, to coordinate with Commanding Officer, Combat Team 16 Commanding Officer, Combat Team 18 and Assistant Division Commander. At 1134B, the Division Commander instructed the Beachmaster Easy Red and Easy Green to expedite calling in 115th and 18th Infantry Regiments.
Just prior to noon, the Division received information, “The fire support on Easy Green Beach is reported as excellent and Germans are reported leaving position and surrendering to American soldiers”. The 50th Division was informed that fighting continues on the beaches and reinforcements were being employed. The division Commander ordered control vessels to rush all infantry elements to beach.
Shortly after noon, the Division was informed that Fox Green Beach was not securely established yet. The Division Commander notified the Navy to instruct beachmaster to request fire through Shore Fire Control Parties, if possible. The Division Commander was informed that there was a “jam-up” on Easy Green Beach; new outcropping of enemy fire on right end of Dog Green Beach was slowing up progress. At 1213B, the Division was informed that troops previously pinned down on beach were advancing up heights behind Easy Red, Easy Green, Fox Red and Fox Green Beaches.
The USS ANCON informed the Division that Rhino Ferries were on the line of departure; the beach was temporarily closed due to congestion and advice was requested.
At 1257B, USS ANCON was told by Beachmaster Dog Green that a large number of 116th Infantry was still on Easy Green exit and Dog 3 was progressing.
At 1230B, Division Commander was informed by Commander LCT Flotilla 19, “LCT 623 reported Easy Red Beach closed by enemy fire”. The Commander asked, “Do you intend to shell or shall we continue to beach LCT’s?”. The Division intercepted a radio message to V Corps which stated that enemy artillery was registering on Easy Red Beach and firing when craft arrived there; believed craft could be seen from church spire at VIERVILLE.
At 1256B, the Division instructed PC 552 to give priority to ships carrying infantry. At 1300B, the Division Commander was informed by the Assistant Division Commander that 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, had taken town at 1233B. At 1318B, the Commanding General received a message from Beachmaster Dog Green stating “Beachmaster, 7th Beach Battalion, suggests 116th move inland; DG exit still blocked”.
The Division Headquarters received information from an intercept that there was a general advance up the slop of Easy Red, and the advance continued on Fox Red with some men moving on ridge toward PORT EN BESSIN.
At 1256B, The Assistant Division Commander reported to the USS ANCON that no identification of the beach defenses was known; spasmodic artillery fire was falling in the area; advance elements Combat Team 115 had cleared beach 1135B, 50th Division (British) was notified that 16th Infantry was in COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER (687882); other units were progressing slowly and beaches were not yet cleared of fire. Commanding General instructed the LCG to fire on church steeple in VIERVILLE.
At 1341B, the Navy informed the Division Commander, “Beach Dog Green, White, and Red are entirely clear of opposition and ready to land troops; no opposition on beach. Easy Green and Red troops are ashore apparently waiting infantry reinforcements. All fire support ships are waiting for target assignment on shore”. At 1429B, the Assistant Division Commander informed the Commanding General that he had arrived on the beach 0830B; the situation was difficult; information was limited; progress slow; liaison with combat units only; radio out and wire going in at present.
The USS ANCON notified advance headquarters, 9th Air Force, that the Commanding General, V Corps, requested fighter-bomber squadrons attack batteries suspected south of L’AURE River, firing on beaches; batteries could not be located from ground; gave L’AURE river as bomb line.
Division Commander notified the Navy that both Dog Red and Easy Green Beaches were again being shelled. Division Headquarters was informed that an enemy battery was infilading Easy Red Beach; seemed to be heavy caliber from an undetermined direction, probably west.
At 1507B, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, reported that they had about 30 casualties and men were pinned down on Dog Green Beach by sniper fire; Navy fire was also a hindrance.
Remainder of Advance Division command post arrived on Easy Red Beach at 1530B. The Commanding General notified the Assistant Division Commander that tanks from the Landing Ship Dock enroute to Fox Green were attached to the 16th Infantry. Division Headquarters was informed that the 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, had passed through COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER (684877).
At 1635B, two Ranger Battalions reported that there was no opposition in their sector and other battalions were “OK”.
The Division command post group aboard the USS ANCON departed at 1700B for Easy Red Beach. The Assistant Division Commander notified the Commanding General that the Advance command post location was 676999 with contact by phone with Division Artillery and 116th Infantry and by radio with 18th Infantry. Division Commander was requested to land 26th Infantry as soon as possible. The USS ANCON group arrived Beach Easy Red at 1900B.
By 1604B, five guns of the 7th Field Artillery Battalion were in position plus some Cannon Company of the 29th Division and by 1655B it was reported to the Advance Division command post that four guns of the 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion were ashore on the beach.
At 1700B, the 115th Infantry reported the 1st Battalion had been sent to 116th phase line and 116th was not there; the 2d Battalion was on the D-day phase line and the 3d Battalion was on a strong point on D-3 exit. The 18th Infantry was told to continue the mission of pushing forward to extend 16th right flank and report when contact with 16th and 116th was made.
The 26th Infantry landed at E-3 at 1930B. At 2010B, the 26th Infantry was given the mission to move 1st Battalion behind the 16th Infantry with 2d and 3d Battalions “to clear out” ST LAURENT on the right flank of the 18th Infantry.
At 1935B, the 1st Engineer Battalion was informed that if they were any DD tanks located, the battalion was to give them to anyone needing them.
At 2035B, the 16th Infantry reported the regimental command post was located on the reverse slope of hill, inland drom LCI(L) 457487 and the 2d Battalion, 18th Infantry was in COLLEVILLE. The Division received a report that the Ranger Force had captured pillbox 588939 and had 15 men wounded. The 18th Infantry Situation Report as of 2400 hours stated that the 1st and 3d Battalions landed at 1200 hours with forward regimental command post and moved to assembly area at 680895; The 2d Battalion took over the mission of the 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry; 3d Battalion was committed to the right of the 2d Battalion to take high ground in the vicinity of 666875; the 1st Battalion was in reserve and at 2345B hours was committed to take over mission of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry.
(1) The situation at the close of 6 June 1944 is shown on Appendices A (1) – Map: GSGS 4250, 1/50,000, FRANCE, Sheets 6F/2, 7F/1, 6F/4, 7F/5 and A (2) Overlay showing Progressive Movement Commencing D-Day.