USS Dorothea L. Dix
After Action Reports
Western Task Force – Omaha Beach
INVASION OF NORTHERN FRANCE
WESTERN TASK FORCE
From: Commanding Officer USS DOROTHEA L. DIX (OMAHA BEACH), Boat Group Commander
Summary of Landing Reports of Boat Officers and Boat Crews Attached to this vesselThe wave of six boats shoved off at 0542 to Fox Green Beach and landed at 0725 on a rising tide. All boats landed together in the midst of many obstructions. Heavy surf running almost parallel to beach caused boat to swamp when ramp was lowered. All troops got ashore through water approximately waist deep. Troops showed no hesitation in leaving boats, as machine gunfire and larger explosions (believed to be mines and 88’s) made them run for cover. Boat #12 was believed to have hit an obstruction causing a hole in the stern, as that part sank first even though the ramp was down. Crew abandoned boat as it could not be taken off the beach. No salvage boats were seen.
A control boat (a PC, but not flying a Zero Flag) was contacted on the way in, but it was marked only by flags from the yardarm and was hard to identify. No marked channels were seen, and at time of landing no beach obstructions had been removed. All of the designated types were plainly visible on the beach and down into the water. Many carried mines.
The crew moved up the beach to the left, where they joined the crew of #10 boat under a sand dune at a point where cliffs begin to raise from the beach. From there they observed that the beach was closed as only one wave of 2 MCAs came in about 0830. Both of these were blown up in the water either by mines or 88’s, but it was believed that most of the troops got ashore. Finally a demolition unit, (time of arrival 1500) arrived and began removing obstacles and mines. By evening a channel 100 yards wide had been cleared. There were no beach markers or ranges to come in on. Destroyers continually fired on gun emplacements and machine gun nests on the hill behind the beach.
There were many casualties, boat crews carried stretchers and administered what first aid they could during the afternoon. There was a noticeable lack of medical aid.
Approximately 15 tanks were knocked out on the beach, about 5 LCVPs broached to, as well as one unidentified LCI(L) and an LCT, which had apparently been hit.
Boat #3: Experienced difficulty alongside Empire Anvil because of hooks on davit falls and poor lines. Took aboard approximately 36 men, 2 mortars and a radio with other small gear. A First and Second Lieutenant were aboard.
The entire wave of six boats landed on the left flank of Fox Green Beach at approximately 0725. Troops left craft quickly and in good order, leaving some small gear in the boat.
Many obstructions were seen, but none were hit and boat retracted without difficulty although surrounded by machine gun fire. They observed all the obstructions upon which they had been briefed as well as a gate type affair which appeared to be a steel girder mounted athwart two triangular shaped uprights. On the center of this bar was a white disc believed to be a mine.
No control boat was recognized and there were no marked channels or beach markers. Demolition and salvage units were not present.
They observed boats #7, 10, 12 sunk on the beach but because of heavy machine gun fire were unable to give assistance. Only the crew of #12 was still in the boat. It appeared that LCVP#7 hit a mine.