The following is not intended to be a thorough report of the Utah Beach operation at Normandy, but rather some background information to better understand the role of the LCT's in the invasion.
World War II served as one of the watershed events of the 20th Century. It provided the backdrop for political, social, technological, and economic changes that totally altered the face of the world. As a flashpoint for all these changes, D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy indelibly marked the men who participated. This report describes the invasion from the perspective of the landing craft operation, to create a context for the offloading of men and weapons within the overall battle strategy.
The assault site selected lay on the southeast part of the Cotentin Peninsula: Utah Beach, specific sectors designated as Tare Green and Uncle Red. Previous attempts to invade the French Coast had resulted in more losses than the Allies were willing to risk. Chief of Staff Supreme Allied Command (COSSAC) received the assignment of deciding how and where to invade Fortress Europa. COSSAC was comprised of a joint United States and British staff. COSSAC created several innovations and developed different strategies for what was to be the largest amphibious attack ever planned.
Admiral Sir B. H. Ramsey, Royal Navy, led the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force as it prepared for the invasion of Fortress Europa. Under his command, the Western Naval Task Force was assigned to Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk (Commander Task Force 122).
The area to be assaulted was codenamed "Utah Beach." The assault force was designated Assault Force "U" (Utah Beach), under the command of Rear Admiral D. P. Moon (Commander Task Force 125). (See ATTACHMENT A: Task Force 125 [RAdm Donald Moon] organization.) The primary mission of Force U was "to successfully place a large volume of tank-supported infantry on the enemy beach within a few hours."
Force "U" would transport the 4th Infantry Division under Major General R. O. Barton, as well as units of VII Corps under Major General J. Lawton Collins. Force "U" would consist of a Bombardment Group and a Gunfire Support Group, the latter under the command of Captain Lorenzo S. Sabin.
Intelligence indicated extremely heavy enemy defenses against landings on Utah Beach on the Cotentin Peninsula, with batteries consisting of 111 guns of medium to heavy calibre. Detailed post-invasion studies of the original Tare Green Beach indicated some 28 such German strong points with 88-mm anti-tank guns. This weaponry effectively covered the north and south portion of the beach, with a blind spot in the middle protected by a French 4.7-inch gun. There were about 20 such defensive positions in the Utah Beach area alone. These defense positions were enclosed by very thick concrete blockhouses which in turn were built into the sand dunes behind the seawall and were typical of the defenses to be found.
Responsible for protecting the landing, the Heavy Bombardment Group prescribed heavy naval bombardment from the battleship Nevada and cruisers along with saturation of the beach by bombers from the US Army Air Corps. Scheduled to commence at H minus 30 minutes, this bombardment would be followed by rocket attack from the rocket ships of the Close Gunfire Support Group.
Captain Sabin and the Gunfire Support group moved to acquire British shallow-water landing-craft. This acquisition took place in a "reverse lend lease" arrangement. The craft would be turned over to the US Navy to operate with US Naval forces, hauling US troops, vehicles, and equipment. The detailed plans developed for the assault included:
1. five British Mark 4 LCT(R)'s;
2. four Mark 4 LCG(L)'s gun ships;
3. twenty LCA's, similar to US LCVP's (as required);
4. eight British Mark 4 LCT's, carrying LCM (3)'s for underwater demolition work;
5. thirty-two sea-going duplex-drive Sherman tanks, to be loaded on LCT (6)'s;
6. eight unique Mark 5 LCT(A)'s;
7. four British LCF's, providing anti-aircraft defense; and
8. two LCC's, to act as secondary control vessels.
Battle tested from North Africa, Algiers, Sicily, and Salerno, the 70th Battalion was chosen to provide tank support for the early waves of infantry. The battalion was moved to England in late 1943, working with the new Mark 4 Sherman Medium tank and moving to the south coast of Devon in March. Companies A and B participated in training similar to training that US submariners undergo on escape procedures. Also arriving were the five bull dozer tanks that Company C would use (equipped with bull dozer blades across the front).
At that time, Companies A and B of the 70th Battalion were introduced to the 64 "secret" DD tanks, a modified 33-ton tank. This new weapon was vital in the mission the 70th Tank Battalion would have in supporting the 8th Infantry Division. The new "swimming tanks" would provide initial fire-support for the first wave of the assaulting infantry and then provide flank protection for the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 8th Combat Team. The DD tanks, after beaching, would shed their shrouds and help secure Utah Beach so that they could provide continuous support for the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 8th Infantry Regiment.
Early in 1944, LCT's began arriving in the UK, mostly in three sections aboard merchant ships. The LST's were also bringing many of the LCT's, which were awaiting officers and crews to assemble them and make them operable. More visible daily, Mark 6 LCT's (with their hull numbers in the 500's) soon outnumbered the US Mark 5 LCT's in the ports and harbors of the Devon and Cornwall coast. The Slapton Sands dry runs provided vital on-the-job training.
The 70th Tank Battalion engaged in several practice landings, the last of which was Operation Tiger. Even as late as May of 1944, the Battalion did not know the exact dates or locations of the pending invasion. Inspections, reviews, and meetings were held to finalize plans for the invasion; meetings with 4th Infantry occurred as well. By June 2, 1944, COSSAC's two special projects were in place. The 70th Battalion moved to Dartmouth and boarded the landing craft, their homes for the next 70 hours.
A thorough, detailed briefing meeting was held to review landing plans for the invasion. Carrying the voluminous plans back to the landing craft required two officers (Officer in charge and Assistant Officer in charge). To maintain the highest secrecy, plans were not shared or released to the crew. The landing plans for LCT's assigned to Tare Green Sector and Uncle Red Sector identified the skipper and executive officer, the load to be carried, time and location of unloading, etc. (See ATTACHMENT B, Tare Green Beach LCT's, and ATTACHMENT C, Uncle Red Beach LCT's).
Company A (under the command of Capt. J. Stewart Williams) and Company B (under the command of Lt. Francis Songer) each received 16 DD tanks to be used on the invasion of Utah Beach. Company C (under the command of First Lt. John Ahearn) inherited five dozer tanks (with bulldozer blades in front), as well as 16 of the new General Sherman medium tanks. Company D (under the command of Lt. Gordon Brodie) were to land their light tanks at H hour plus 260 minutes. Their role was to protect units of the VII Corps of General Collins and then to link up with the 101st Airborne.
To coordinate and implement the plan, planners organized the Gunfire Support Group, which consisted of various types of shallow-draft landing craft. The Gunfire Support Group ("GFS") was designed to augment the Heavy Bombardment Group. The US Navy would contribute LCT Flotillas 17 and 4 (see ATTACHMENT D for LCT Flotilla 17 Assignment [Uncle Red Beach]; ATTACHMENT E for LCT Flotilla 4 Assignment [Tare Green Beach]; and ATTACHMENT F for LCT Flotilla 4 Assignment [Uncle Red Beach]. The British contributions to the invasion force would be LCT Squadron "O" (see ATTACHMENT G: British LCT Squadron "O" [Uncle Red Beach]) and "G" (see ATTACHMENT H: British LCT Squadron "G" [Tare Green Beach]).
The GFS was composed of approximately 50 British landing-craft, many of which were the shallow draft type that were part of the reverse lend lease arrangement. The GFS contained 8 Mark 6 LCT's carrying the DD tanks [identified as LCT(DD)'s] and 8 LCT(A)'s. The LCT(A)'s were converted Mark 5's, which would transport gun-firing tanks to the beach. These modified LCT(A)'s were able to fire at targets of opportunity as well. The US Mark 6 LCT was the choice to deliver the new secret "swimming tanks" (see illustration, ATTACHMENT I: DD "Swimming Tanks" Illustration); the Mark (6) LCT(DD)'s were to land on the beach at the same time as the first two waves of infantry. There would be 8 of these LCT DD's divided between Tare Green and Uncle Red Beaches.
Covering these two initial waves of Infantry the
Mark 4 LCF (landing craft flak) would provide anti-aircraft defense. LCT(R)'s would fire rockets drenching the beach area just prior to the first troops debarking. Three of these LCT(R)'s would have in tow an LCVP smoker, which would be released to perform at the Line of Departure. There would be eight LCG(L)'s, each towing an LCPL smoker, which would be released close to the Line of Departure. The gun ships would protect the flanks of the convoy, two on the port side of Uncle Red and two on the starboard side of Tare Green.
The British also provided 8 Mark 4 LCT's, each towing a LCM(3). These LCM's were to land detachments of the 237th and the 299th Combat Engineers.
For the Normandy operation, arrangements were made to have eight of the British Mark 5 LCT's converted to LCT(A)'s ("A" standing for armored). The British LCT's would be converted to LCT(A)'s by British shipyards.
On completion, LCT(A)'s would have a solid steel 2-inch armor plating placed up against the crew living quarters. Each bow would have 2-inch armor plating to protect the ramp operators. The pilot house would also have some of the composite metal placed on the bridge. A raised platform made of 4 by 12-inch wood made it possible for tanks to fire at targets of opportunity while going into the beach.
Task Force 127 developed the loading plan for the Invasion of Normandy. This report deals with the loading of LCT's in Dartmouth and Salcombe (as covered in the directive of May 17, 1944). The plan called for loading of 159 LCT's. The United States was to provide 24 Mark 5 LCT's (including 8 LCT(A)'s) and
54 Mark 6 LCT's (including LCT(DD)'s). The British were to provide 36 Mark 4 LCT's and 45 Mark 5 LCT's (all to be numbered 2xxx). (It was not widely recognized that these would be British-manned landing craft hauling US troops and equipment to the Normandy beachhead.) The British would man and operate the 81 LCT's (36 Mark 4 LCT's plus 45 Mark 5 LCT's), hauling US personnel, troops, and vehicles for use in the invasion.
The two special project LCT's would load and transport the 70th Tank Battalion to Normandy and offload the swimming tanks in Wave 1(A). The LCT(A)'s in Wave 3 would possess the ability to fire at targets of opportunity as they rode into the beach. These DD tanks would meet up with the 1st wave of LCVP's or provide fire power and other tank support as needed.
The initial wave of LCT's (592, 593, 594, and 595) were assigned a load of 16 DD tanks manned by 80 tankers from the 70th Tank Battalion, Company A, under the command of Captain J. S. Williams, USA. This wave was slated to land at the Tare Green sector of Utah Beach at H-hour (0630).
The first wave also included Company B of the 70th Tank Battalion (under the command of Lt. Francis Songer, USA). Loaded on LCT's 596, 597, 510, and 531, Company B consisted of 16 DD tanks (4 per LCT) and a force of 80 tankers. The landing site for this wave was the Uncle Red sector of Utah Beach. The LCT's had the modified ramp extensions named "mulocks," which provided a smoother launch for the tanks.
Scheduled to land their tanks fifteen minutes later, Wave 3 consisted of eight of the LCT(A)'s especially modified by the addition of a raised platform (see ATTACHMENT J: LCT(A) With Raised Platform); this design aimed to increase visibility by the tanks and also included armor plating. The Company C tanks under Lt. Ahearn would be carried aboard eight LCT(A)'s the 2488, 2282, 2301, 2310, 2309, 2402, 2454, and 2478. Ahearn had 16 tanks, including 5 dozer tanks, and an additional three engineers per dozer tank. Assigned to both Tare Green and Uncle Red sectors, these tanks had a force of 60 tankers, including three demolition engineers per tank. The engineers were assigned to blow holes in the sea walls; the dozer tanks would then enlarge the holes, allowing them to then penetrate the sea wall.
Loaded by June 1, 1944, these Gun Fire Support Craft LCT(A)'s were ordered to Salcombe. The LCT(A)'s remained moored up-river, awaiting the start of the invasion on June 3, 1944, when these craft would join Force "U" for the Invasion of Normandy.
At 1500 on June 3, 1944, the Invasion Task Force began forming for the crossing of the English Channel. The LCT's departed Salcombe and Dartmouth and proceeded to join the armada. LCT(A)'s were loaded with tanks and personnel from the 70th Tank Battalion. Their mission was to provide gunfire support for the 4th Infantry Division, which was slated to land on Tare Green sector. Personnel included 15 crew members for the LCT(A)'s and 20 for each DD tank.
At 1800, on June 3, 1944, Cruising Disposition 3, including the 70th Tank Battalion joined the U-2A(1) convoy in the swept channel opposite the Salcombe Bay entrance (see swept channel chart, ATTACHMENT K: Swept Channel Chart). There were 8 convoys in all, the GFS group designated as Convoy U-2A(1). (See ATTACHMENT L: Cruising Disposition #3, which indicated the speed of advance of 5 knots for convoy U-2A(1).)
The convoy was to steam at 5 knots and was led by the destroyer Corry. As the convoy progressed, almost 250 GFS craft were exposed to a force-5 gale. Worsening weather conditions caused the postponement of D-Day); at 1300, the convoy reversed course and made its way to the lee of Portland and Weymouth, anchoring at 1900 of the new D minus 2, June 4, 1944.
At 0200 on June 5, 1944, they were ordered to get under way and to resume convoy position. Weighing anchor in the darkness and hunting for correct positioning in the convoy resulted in near chaos. There would be another 95 miles to the transport area.
The convoy attempted to cruise at five knots per hour, a feat difficult for LCT's even in calmer weather. The weather took its toll on the convoy, the intensifying winds creating a rougher ride.
About 0300 on June 5, 1944, the landing craft had been under way for up to twenty-five hours, leaving another ten to twelve hours of pitching and rolling for the troops. LCT's lacked the facilities to handle a crew of ten and as many as 20 seasick Army personnel (e.g., only nine bunks, limited food storage, and one head).
At 1500 on June 5, 1944, the small convoy joined with the armada and headed for Utah Beach. The weather continued to take its toll on the army personnel because the LCT's were not a hospitable mode of transportation. After the delay (i.e., the postponement of D-Day), the convoy resumed its journey. At 0200 on June 6, 1994, the convoy arrived at the transport area, 11 miles off the beach.
Weather remained a factor, with westerly winds combining with tidal flow to make steering the LCT's a real problem. Another steering problem involved listing of vessels, caused in part by gunnel modifications to permit easier loading of tanks were a disaster. The extra tonnage of the tanks added a further burden; these factors made remaining on station increasingly difficult. These obstacles heightened the vessels' difficulty in staying in formation, following the swifter guide vessels, and maintaining course. Designed to obscure enemy visibility, smokers manufactured smoke to conceal Allied movements. LCT(A) 2454 and LCT(A) 2478 (Tare Green group) and LCT(A) 2309 (Uncle Red group) towed the LCPL smokers; because this towing forced the LCT(A)'s to cut speed and hindered their ability to steer a course, they arrived at their assigned beaches late.
The Channel crossing was not without its problems:
1. LCT(A) 2402 lost two of its engines because of salt water in the fuel. Although a minesweeper was sent to tow the 2402, the towing was unsuccessful; and the sweeper was forced to abandon the LCT(A). While the crew and tank personnel were removed to a Coast Guard cutter, all three tanks were lost.
2. About midway across the Channel, LCT(A) 2301 lost power. After the LCT and tank crews were transferred safely to an English subchaser, LCT(A) 2301 rolled over and sank off Juno Beach; all three tanks were lost.
3. Two LCT(A)'s had mechanical problems and arrived late at the rendezvous area. After losing her starboard engine, LCT(A) 2310 began to list from an inability to pump her bilges and was unable to maintain speed. Heavy seas caused LCT(A) 2282 to lose large sections of the starboard bulkhead, which eventually collapsed. Despite pumping continuously, the vessel was unable to eliminate all the water; the weight hindered her speed and progress. Both vessels made temporary repairs and proceeded independently as assigned.
Highlights of the invasion included the following chain of events (ATTACHMENT M: Keith Dixon Narrative [Force "U" DD LCT's]) provides additional detail):event
0420 Convoy U-2A(1) arrived in the rendezvous area. Seas were moderating, and the winds were from the west at 18 knots.
0430 Primary Control vessel PC 1176 was ordered to lead eight LCT(DD)'s in two columns (four assigned to Red Beach, four assigned to Green Beach) to the Line of Departure. The control vessel was underway at a speed of eight knots, with the LCT(DD)'s making flank speed to arrive at the Line of Departure at 0600. After hitting a mine at 0552, LCT(DD) 593 sank, losing four tanks; only three of 22 army personnel survived, along with three navy crew members.
0445 The LCT(DD)'s were running late and fell into position behind LCC 60.
0525 PC 1261 (primary control vessel) hit a mine and sank. LCC 80 fouled a screw on a dam buoy and was inoperative.
LCC 60 assumed the guide role for the LCT(DD)'s while LCH 95 assumed the guide role for the LCT(A)'s and other LCT's. LCT(DD)'s moved into phalanx movement.
0530 LCT(A) 2310 lost its starboard engine during the crossing and was unable to keep up with the guide vessel. It was listing to starboard and its bilge pump was inoperable. It beached with anchor and successfully disgorged its load in heavy gunfire from the beach. While retracting, its port engine went dead, the rudder failed to function, and the radio was dead; under continuing gunfire, the vessel proceeded with one engine. Two men were wounded, and the craft suffered fifteen hits. The vessel was towed to the transport area where it remained for ten days until towed back to England for repairs.
0545 (first light) US Air Force B 26 bombers unloaded their bombs on Utah Beach while warships of the Bombardment Force commenced to blaze away with high explosives at the German fortifications defending Utah Beach. The German shore batteries returned the fire. The LCT(R)'s also fired their rockets at the beach. In no time at all, visibility became minimal, with smoke, haze, and debris all mucking up any chance to identify objects on the beach. Limited visibility also hindered the Germans and protected oncoming vessels.
0547 LCT(DD) 593 hit a mine and sank, losing all four tanks.
Despite increasing gunfire from the shore batteries, the remaining LCT(DD)s continued toward beach through the 3000 yard Line of Departure and beached with anchor.
The actual landing was 1700 yards south of the original proposed landing area at Le Madeleine. Missing the landing site turned out well, because the area was less-well defended.
0550 Improving visibility enabled enemy shore batteries to inflict heavier damage on the LCT(A)'s and other craft approaching the beach. LCT(A) 2310 had lost its starboard engine, and the engine room was flooded, creating a heavy list. Although the guide vessel was out of sight, 2310 successfully discharged its three Sherman tanks, despite accurate gunfire from shore batteries (which resulted in ten hits; the loss of its middle engine, generator and steering control; and injuries to the coxswain and throttleman). An LCF towed 2310 to the transport area.
0555 LCT(A) 2282 beached under fire, amidst considerable shelling and blasting by the Demolition Unit. While lowering its ramp, it took a shell through the ramp; it unloaded its three tanks successfully and managed to get a tow to the transport area. Ten days later, it was towed to Southampton for repairs.anchor. After disgorging the tanks, the LCT(DD)'s retracted and headed for the transport area, dodging the incoming LCVP's and LCT(A)'s. LCT(DD) 597 struck a mine and sank, the second of eight LCT(DD)'s that was lost.
0600 LCG's and LCTR's fired at targets of opportunity. The remaining LCT(DD)'s moved to flank speed, moving through the Line of Departure.
0630 (H-hour) Despite increasing gunfire from the shore batteries, the remaining LCT(DD)s continued toward the beach through the Line of Departure (3000 yards from the beach) and beached with anchor. After disgorging the tanks, the LCT(DD)'s retracted and headed for the transport area, dodging the incoming LCVP's and LCT(A)'s. LCT(DD) 597 struck a mine and sank, the second of eight LCT(DD)'s that was lost.
0630 (revised H-hour) the LCT(DD)'s landed their tanks under unsuccessful German gunfire. The oncoming LCT(A)'s faced more accurate, intense gunfire.
0650 Improving visibility enabled enemy shore batteries to inflict heavier damage on the LCT(A)'s and other craft approaching the beach.
a. LCT(A) 2310 had lost its starboard engine, and the engine room was flooded, creating a heavy list. Although the guide vessel was out of sight, 2310 successfully discharged its three Sherman tanks, despite accurate gunfire from shore batteries (which resulted in ten hits; the loss of its middle engine, generator and steering control; and injuries to the coxswain and throttleman). An LCF towed 2310 to the transport area.
b. LCT(A)'s 2488 successfully beached on Uncle Red Sector and disgorged its three tanks while under fire. The vessel escaped unscathed.
0655 LCT(A) 2282 beached under fire, amidst considerable shelling and blasting by the Demolition Unit. While lowering its ramp, it took a shell through the ramp; it unloaded its three tanks successfully and managed to get a tow to the transport area. Ten days later, it was towed to Southampton for repairs.
0700 LCT(DD) 597 hit a mine and was lost with no survivors.
LCT(A) 2282, LCT(A) 2310, LCT(A) 2478, LCT(A) 2454, LCT(A) 2488 all were damaged, but were successful in retracting from the beach and returning to the transport area with minimal injuries.
After disgorging the tanks, the LCT(DD)'s retracted and headed for the transport area, dodging the incoming LCVP's and LCT(A)'s. LCT(DD) 597 struck a mine and sank, the second of eight LCT(DD)'s that was lost.
(ATTACHMENT N: C. Fabian Narrative [Flotilla 17 --D-Day]) provides additional detail):
0710 LCT(A) 2454 and 2478 successfully beached on Tare Green Sector and each disgorged their three tanks while under fire. The vessels escaped unscathed.
1000 The next LCT's were scheduled for the 13th wave, Flotilla 4. LCT 362 (one of five LCT's) was lost en route to the Uncle Red Beach. The 14th wave on Tare Green Beach, also Flotilla 4, lost LCT 458. At the Uncle Red Sector, three of the LCT's were sunk during the landing, LCT Mark(5)'s 486, 443, and 489. (On the 14th wave, four of the eleven LCT's were lost).
In summary, seven of the LCT(DD)'s successfully landed 28 of 32 tanks on the beach. One LCT(DD) was lost returning to the Transport area. Of eight LCT(A)'s, three were sunk before disgorging their tanks. The remaining five LCT(A)'s were successful in putting their fifteen tanks on the beach, but the vessels were damaged, leaving only two operational.
VI BUILDING UP BEACHHEAD
Many LCT's served to offload ships, providing vitally needed supplies to the beach. LCT 474 distinguished itself while unloading a damaged Liberty Ship. The Liberty Ship had received damage from 88-mm shore batteries and a direct hit from a German dive bomber. The 474 had been assigned to offload the Liberty Ship, which contained a cargo of ammunition-loaded vehicles. For eight hours, the 474 helped keep the Liberty Ship afloat before having to back off. In the June gale (June 20, 1994), the 474 was damaged and returned to England for repairs. The 474 remained working the beach until Omaha Beach was closed down on November 11, 1944.
Pursuant to their commitment, the Royal Navy provided two squadrons of LCT's ("O" and "G"), which the British manned and operated during the invasion. LtCdr. C. P. McArmstrong commanded British Squadron "G." LtCdr. C. J. Skiles commanded British Squadron "O," consisting of three flotillas of 22 Mark(5)'s. Waves 15 and 16 were British-manned LCT's, with 14 Mark(4)'s and nine lend-leased Mark(5)'s. Wave 18 was manned by 5 LCT's from Flotilla 17 and another 5 LCT's from Flotilla 4.
The British LCT commitment on D-Day was largely unknown to US skippers and crew. Action reports, if filed, had not yielded information as to their efforts. The current information about the British involvement has as its major source British historian Tony Chapman, associated with the 500-member LST Landing Craft Association. A major problem the British face is locating information as to loss and damaged craft. The British stored the information (records of crew and operations) with the base not the ships; much of it has been destroyed. As to information collected to date, four of the landing craft on D-Day were damaged, and three were sunk; interestingly enough, three were "dried out" during the tide ebbing. Accurate information currently exists as to 1/2 of the British LCT's.
The LCT's transported various personnel to the beachhead. The following list includes the combat groups which represented some of the largest percentage of D-Day offloadings. While this list of LCT's working Utah Beach is not inclusive, it demonstrates the larger groups moved during D-Day:
1. 238th Engineers, C Battalion (546 personnel and 106 vehicles) transported to Tare Green sector of Utah Beach by British LCT(5)'s: 2057, 2304, 2477, 2056, 2235, 2011, 2269 2074, 2302, all headed for Tare Green sector of Utah Beach.
2. 44th Field Artillery Battalion (force of 293, with 70 vehicles) transported to Tare Green sector by LCT(6)'s in the 19th wave: 534, 532, 526, 533, and 525.
3. 22nd Infantry (force of 440 and 154 vehicles) to Tare Green sector of Utah Beach by British LCT's: 2045, 2440, 2261, 3628, 2053, and USLCT's 585 and 447.
4. 29th Field Artillery Battalion (force of 240 and 62 vehicles) put ashore on Tare Green sector of Utah Beach by USLCT's 459, 458, 511, and 497.
5. 746th Tank Battalion taken to Tare Green sector of Utah Beach by: USLCT 516 and Mark 4 British LCT's 1050, 646, 837, 997, and 512.
6. 65th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (366 troops and 90 vehicles) transported to Uncle Red sector of Utah Beach by USLCT's: 495, 475, 474, 486, 443, and 489.
7. 49th Engineers, C Battalion (force of 559 and 101 vehicles) transported to Uncle Red sector of Utah Beach by British manned Mark 5 LCT's: 2004, 2423, 3627, 2429, 2483, 2188, 2498, 2138, and 2437.
8. 42nd Field Artillery Battalion (force of 342 with 91 vehicles) transported to Utah Beach aboard LCT(6): 765, 620, 621, 662, 763, and British LCT 2421.
9. 8th Infantry (force of 438 with 134 vehicles) brought into Uncle Red sector of Utah Beach by: British manned LCT's 2363, 2055, 2203, 2131, 2046, and USLCT's 476 and 764.
10. 746th Tank Battalion (force of 267 and 28 vehicles) brought to Uncle Red sector of Utah Beach by British Mark 4 LCT's: 691, 836, 797, and 801.
The LCT's continued their schedule of landings. By the end of D-Day, all the vessels had unloaded their initial loads. The
attached charts indicate the breakdown of vessels in Flotillas 4 and 17.
The operational LCT's continued to offload vessels in the transport area and ferry men and equipment to the beach. Ten days later, the worst Channel storm in years effectively closed down the beach. When the weather cleared, many landing craft were stranded on the beach. Of the five remaining LCT(A)'s, four were towed to Southampton or Portland for repairs. In August, 1944, the remaining operational LCT(A)'s were transferred to the Royal Navy. Interestingly enough, LCT(A) 2310 ended up in Burma. The LCT(DD)'s worked the beaches until they closed and then were returned to the United States.
During the Invasion of Normandy, 16 LCT's were lost (two from Utah Beach). Personnel losses included four killed in action, five missing in action, and 28 wounded, on both beaches. The landing craft and men who manned them played a pivotal role in the success of this dramatic invasion.
© 2000 LCT Flotillas of World War II ETO PTO