Assault Force O-2
After Action Reports
Western Task Force – D-Day – Battle of Normandy
INVASION OF NORTHERN FRANCE
WESTERN TASK FORCE
From: Deputy Commander Assault Force O-2
After the LCT(A)s, LCT(DD)s and demolition LCMs had headed for the beaches, I, in the LCH 86, inspected the unloading of LSTs. LSTs carrying dukws, immediately launched them, but unfortunately, many of them sank. This was due to the heavy sea and to the fact that artillery carrying dukws did not have enough stability. Practically all personnel from foundered dukws were saved due to the efforts of Lieutenant Commander Pattie. Surviving dukws were dispatched to the beach in accordance with the prearranged schedule.
The 118th RCT, embarked in LCI Group 34, were landed on call on the fox beaches. The exact time of this is not known, but it occurred in the early afternoon, when there was a call to land all available infantry. The Fox beaches were used, because the obstacles were lose formidable and the enemy artillery was less heavy on this beach. These troops were all landed under considerable fire, with only two LCI’s lost in the procedure.
Upon my arrival in the beach area, I immediately began moving away from the beach, the LCTs previously scheduled in waves, but now, Per force, on call. I did this as many of them were under fire, and the waves were disorganized. They were moved back to the original line of departure, organized into proper waves, and instructed to await orders. Throughout the afternoon, with communications established with some beach masters, we dispatched LCTs into the beach singly. It was necessary for them to pick their way through the obstacles in order to land. Whenever LCTs were beached, artillery fire and a particularly murderous mortar fire was greatly increased on the beaches. At times it was necessary for LCTs to withdraw from the beach. This dribble of equipment going ashore seemed almost futile as the vehicles were unable to obtain any shelter from enemy fire after their arrival on the beach. I attempted to keep the Task Force Commander informed of these conditions by dispatch. By mid-afternoon, all rhinos, with LST loads, had joined the craft waiting in the line of departure.