LCT(5) Flotilla 18 at Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944
In this pursuit of history, we learn to question every source of information. And we are advised to seriously question the oral histories that are the popular basis for D-Day, by Stephen Ambrose. Were better advised to be skeptical even of action reports and consider the possible motives of the reporters. I would feel better about the accounts of heroism if the sources were third person reports instead of first person.
For example, a comparison of two action reports for LCT 199 serves my skeptical point. The first action report filed 26 June 1944, was signed by John Stiegman, Asst OinC. It runs a modest eight lines and reads like a routine day at the office. Two months later, 7 August 1944, a second action report was written and signed by D.F. Littlefield, OinC. It runs three pages. Endorsements by Captain M.H. Imlay to this second action report recommended the OinC for both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. This second action report was submitted at the request of the LCT Flotilla Commander "as it was evident that many interesting details were missing." Report #2 certainly is more exciting reading.
The vignette of LCT 30 slamming full speed through the obstacles, all weapons firing is told in at least three separate documents. Its on page 438 of Stephen Ambroses D-Day, 1994. Its on page 22 of The Order of Battle, Operation Overlord, by James Arnold and Roberta Wiener, 1994. Its on page 82 of Omaha Beachhead, American Forces in Action Series, Historical Division of the War Department, 1984.
Which is the original source of this information? The War Departments 1984 publication precedes the others. It introduces the LCI(L) 544, and the others repeat the reference, although there was no LCI(L) 544 listed in the Normandy operational plan.
And somehow, the Arnold and Wiener book states that the performance of LCT 30 and LCI(L) 544 in "breaching the obstacles by ramming" was "key to the 18th Infantrys ability to cross the beach with relatively light losses." An astounding leap!
The outcome of LCT 30s landing? According to the Flotilla Commanders action report, LCT 30 discharged its load of anti-aircraft half-tracks and, while retracting from the beach, was struck by an enemy shell knocking out all engines and flooding the engine room. It also hit an underwater obstacle, and the boat was abandoned. One of the crew was killed.
The more I have studied the more I suspect Stephen Ambrose spun a great romantic yarn in D-Day with something less than a scholars discipline for accuracy.
First, a few facts to jog fading memories and support these reports of actions by US LCTs in Flotilla 18 at Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944.
Tides on 6 June 1944 at Omaha Beach:
Low tide 0530 1800
High tide 1130 2300
Mean spring tide .22.9 ft.
Mean neap tide 18.9 ft
The beach gradient was very gradual. The difference between low and high tide made about 500 yards of dry land.
Four fatalities accounted for
W. L. Davis, SC1c, LCT 25
L. Halford, MoMM 1c, LCT 25
R. W. Saunders, SC2c, LCT 305
J. Anderson, MoMM 1c, LCT 30
LCT Force O-1, commanded by Lt Cmdr L.B. Pruitt, USNR
LCT Force O-2, commanded by Lt Cmdr William Leide, USNR
LCT Force O-3, commanded by Lt Cmdr Alphord Hays, USN
LCT Force O-4 is a mystery. Only one LCT was assigned, and there is no record available.
The effect of tides
In most published reports of D Day there is little mention of the tides and their effect on the landings. There is a general understanding that the assault was smartly planned for a rising tide. Landing craft are less likely to get stranded as the tide rises. From the action reports it becomes quite evident that the rising tide also proved a great hazard to landing craft. So many of the army vehicles drowned out immediately (caused by faulty waterproofing in unexpected depths), they were quickly submerged by the rising tide. They became underwater obstacles for the ensuing waves of landing craft that morning. They undoubtedly account for much of the hull damage and fouled anchors among LCTs and other craft.
The timing of high and low tide may also explain, at least partially, why so many LCTs did not succeed in landing their loads until late afternoon. Only two boats in this flotilla landed and discharged their load within one hour of their scheduled landings. Very few published accounts report that all landings were suspended at 0830 by order of the commander of the 7th Naval Beach Battalion. Most of those who landed before 1500, either lost their loads or were damaged beyond further use. Eighteen LCTs beached and unloaded after 1500, four hours and more after high tide. At high tide the beach was crowded and the water was cluttered with submerged wreckage. By 1600 the receding tide left much of the debris, and enemy obstacles, above water. The beach was clearer at low tide than at high tide. And there was considerably more room in which to maneuver once on land. Only nine out of 36 boats in Flotilla 18 were operational on D+1.
Nobody had every attempted anything on this scale under these particular conditions (tide, topography, defense preparation). It was a very big gamble. And it was a very new experience for everyone, even the admirals and generals in charge.
From the action reports it is evident that much of the engine failure among LCTs may have been due to carelessness or immature feverish excitement. Most of the men in charge of engine rooms were kids 18 or 19 years old, caught in the most exciting experience of their lives. Some must have failed to drain the water from their ready (fuel) tanks. Water in diesel fuel caused engines to fail. Ramp failures were due to improper preparation. Mark 5 LCTs were equipped with ramp extensions to adapt to the shallow beach gradient, but without compensatory additions to the block and tackle or to the small four-cyle engine on the winch. The added weight was too much.
It also appears that action reports were not prepared with consistent direction. Some were drafted literally from the ships logs. Others were drawn from memory, sometimes faulty, sometimes selfishly motivated and embellished.
If any skipper in Flotilla 18 deserved a medal, it had to be Lt. (jg) John Rock, OinC of LCT 195. The records show, his actions that day were more selfless and courageous than any other recorded.
I dont think we will ever have a satisfactory accountin accuracy, in detail, and in truthto explain the events of June 6, 1944. But it certainly makes an interesting story. After reading all these action reports and rereading other texts like Ambroses
D-Day, I find myself questioning the accuracy and the veracity of everything, including the action report for my own boat, LCT 149. Im sure my memory is faulty. There are things in the report I dont remember at all. But there are things I do remember quite clearly that dont match the action report. I suspect the people who wrote these reports didnt realize that they were writing valuable history. I suspect at least one was bucking for hero status. Others may have been protecting themselves against criticism or serious discipline. We may never know.
"Few people, if any, tell the truth about the past. Not because they dont want to, necessarily. But because they innocently tend to reconstruct rather than remember. And each reconstruction changes each remembrance. So say the experts. All history, they say, is bent out of shape."
Robert D. Blegen
LCT 149, Flotilla 18, Omaha Beach
May 9, 1998
LCT Flotilla 18 losses at Normandy, June 1944
Source: All Hands, December 1945, matching with Force O-2 Roster
Force O-1 - Omaha
US LCT 25 Mine, 6 June 44
200 Lt(jg) E.J. Kelly Amphib, June 44
209* Lt (jg) D.C. Ragsdale Grounding, 10 June 44
Ens. Robt. S. Mueller
293 Weather, 11 Oct 44
305 J.W. McClellan Mine, 6 June 44
Force O-2 - Omaha
US LCT 27 Ens John W. Natale Grounding, 6 June 44
Ens Frank D. Curtis
30 Lt.jg S.W. Brinker Mine, 6 June 44
Lt.jg J. Green
147 Lt.jg R.A. Gilmore Grounding, June 44
Ens. Mal Roach
197 Ens W. Whitney Mine, 6 June 44
Ens. S. Boaz
244 Ens G. Goodrich Amphib, June 44
Ens John Quiner
294 Ens C.A. Johnson Mine, 6 June 44
Ens C.S. Middleton
332 Lt.jg W. Fitzpatrick Mine, 6 June 44
Ens Henry Doennicke
364 Ens J. Fuller Mine, 6 June 44
Ens M.J. Frosali
Notes: Weather = foundered in heavy weather.
Grounding = destroyed in grounding.
Amphib = sunk in amphibious operations.
Mine = sunk by mine.
This publication reports LCT 209 lost, grounding, 10 June. In fact it was abandoned on 19 June near shore, but the boat was repaired and returned to service, according to an endorsement to its action report.
Flotilla 18 at Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944
The following are digests from action reports and from published sources, accounting for the actions of 32 of the 36 LCTs in Flotilla 18 on D-Day at Omaha Beach. The National Archives has been unable to find action reports for the remaining four boats. The complete action reports are available from my file.
Robert D. Blegen
Assigned to Force O-3, there is no record of this boat in the landing diagrams, and no action report. Yet in early August, S.C. Middleton, Asst. OinC of LCT 294 on D-day, had recovered from his injuries and was placed in charge of LCT 7 in England with a new crew. According to Middletons 1994 recollection LCT 7 spent the rest of the season, until November at Omaha Beach.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn. There is no action report available.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn. There is no action report available. See LCT 294.
Assigned to Force O-3, this boat is not identified on the landing diagrams, and there is no action report available.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Easy Red at H+120, loaded with 197 AAA Bn. There is no action report. In attempting to beach, [LCT 25] struck an underwater obstacle which caused a hole in the underwater structure immediately below the engine room. Vehicles could not be discharged because of the depth of the water. The engine room became flooded preventing the craft from retracting for a more suitable beaching. Heavy firing from the beach caused several casualties aboard, and two men, Davis, Wilfred Lawrence, 725 97 51, SC1c, USNR; and Halford, Leonard, 628 17 94, MoMM1c, USNR, were killed before the craft was abandoned. Enemy mortar fire later in the afternoon of D-Day set the vehicles afire, and flames swept through the craft. Attempts to salvage are now being made. Source: 11July 1944 report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog Green at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn. Underway in convoy to the invasion coast, [LCT 27] developed a decided starboard list, cause undetermined. At 0400 6 June 1944 the starboard screw was missing and by the time the craft reached the beach area at 0830 the list had increased considerably despite attempts to pump out the ballast tanks. Heavy fire from the beach caused damage to the port engine and prevented beaching. LCT 535 towed this craft to a repair tug, but further attempts to pump out the ballast tanks proved futile. Two large holes in the starboard quarter developed as a result of the craft banging against the tug. After continuous unsuccessful attempts to pump out the ballast tanks, the tug was called away to other duty. LCT 207 attempted to tow the craft to the beach but the towing cable broke in the attempt. Shortly afterward a destroyer came within 25 yards of the craft and fired six salvoes at the beach. The concussion visibly affected LCT 27, and the craft, listing badly to starboard with the bow completely inundated, was abandoned. It turned over and capsized within 1500 yards of the beach with all vehicles aboard at about 1700. (See LCT 207) There were no casualties. The tide pushed the craft onto the beach where it lay on D+1, overturned. Further battering during ensuing heavy weather has further damaged the craft, and it is unlikely that salvage will be possible. Source: 11 July report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land 58th Armored Field Artillery at Dog White at H+90. No action report available.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Easy Green at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn. On Easy Red, key to the 18th Infantrys ability to cross the beach with relatively light losses was the performance of two small landing craft, LCT 30 and LCI(L) 544. These craft steamed full speed ahead through the obstacles while firing their weapons at the defenders of the Colleville draw (Exit E-1). Their effort demonstrated that the obstacles could be breached by ramming. Source: Order of Battle, Operation Overlord, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc, by James Arnold and Roberta Wiener. [Curiously, there is no LCI(L) 544 anywhere in the operational plan. There is a US LCT 544, in Force O-1, scheduled to land at H-160, loaded with the 5th Engineer Special Brigade tractors and vehicles. We must be alert to possible errors in all the records, including the operational plan.]
LCT 30, after discharging its load and attempting to retract, was hit by an enemy shell which exploded amidships directly in the engine room, knocking out all engines and flooding the engine room. Enemy 88mm shells and machine gun bullets riddled the bulkheads, and the ship was abandoned. Attempts are being made to salvage the craft. One man, Anderson, John Emanuel, 638 30 08, MoMM1c, USNR, was killed. Source:
11 July 1944 report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-2 and scheduled to land at Dog Red at H+120 loaded with 467th AAAW Bn, first platoon. LCT 80 arrived off Easy Red and waited for orders to beach. Picked up 35 infantry soldiers from LCVP that couldnt get through the obstacles to the beach. Beached at 1150 and unloaded infantry. Retracted to find more suitable place to land vehicles. Beached alongside LCT 25, which was knocked out by enemy fire. At 1205 received direct hit by mortar on port side amidships, wounding three soldiers. Retracted. Transferred wounded to Coast Guard craft for evacuation. Beached at 1600 and unloaded all vehicles. Source: action report dated 26 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog White at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn, LCT 147 passed secondary control vessel at 0810 and proceeded toward beach on schedule. Made several passes at beach but could find no opening among obstacles and was driven off beach by enemy fire. In consultation with senior army officer aboard, it was decided the beach was not ready for this load. Ordered wave to operate independently. Offered assistance to LCT 27, in distress, requesting Pacific pump, but couldnt comply. None in working order. Finally beached at 1615, unloaded one halftrack with Jeep, but vehicle stalled in water. Retracted and beached again at 1619. Discharged load successfully. Proceeded to rendezvous area, then to LSTs. Called to aid damaged British LC(V) and towed it into the beach. Source: action report dated
25 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog Red at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn. Message from wave leader at 0820: wait until he retracts, no space for all in wave. Attempted to beach at 0900, discharged one half-track, but it drowned out in water too deep. Retracted and tried to beach again at 1100, but water at bow still too deep. Beach cluttered with men and vehicles, with enemy firing constantly. Army officer-in-charge aboard urges a wait until beach is cleared because his half-tracks would be useless on the beach at this time. Beach again at 1900, unload all vehicles under fire. Ramp engine failed. Lost ramp. Source: action report dated 26 June 1944.
Curiously, while this experience was common among LCTs that morning, Admiral J.L. Hall, Jr. chose to single out this particular LCT and its action report with this negative endorsement: "The action of the Officer-in-Charge in delaying beaching and unloading was erroneous. The Landing Attack Plan was part of an order and as such should have been obeyed implicitly unless circumstances made obedience impossible. Such was not the case here. If every officer-in charge of landing craft is to disregard the Force Commanders order, and decide for himself when to land, the chances for a successful assault are small."
All landings were suspended at 0830 by order of the Commander of the 7th Naval Beach Battalion, and "during the next few hours scores of craft, including dukws and rhino-ferries were milling around off Easy Green and Easy Red waiting for a chance to come in." Source: Omaha Beachhead, American Forces in Action Series, page 79. There is no mention of this order in either the action report of LCT 149 or in the Admirals endorsement, two months later, on 9 August. Perhaps the hindsight of fifty-four years and the historical record help support the position that decisions made at the line of fire are often smarter than the view from the flagship ten miles over the horizon.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land 467th AAAW Bn at Dog White at H+120. No action report available.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn. Beached at 0945 at Easy Red. Underwater obstacle damaged starboard screw, hit by enemy fire below waterline, forward, starboard side. Retracted, without completing discharge of load. Crowded condition on beach made unloading impossible. At noon was ordered to standby for instructions before beaching again. At 1545 went alongside LCT 305 and took command of the 305. Beached next to LCT 305 at 1630, unloaded both boats. Tried but was unable to tow LCT 305 from the beach because of crowded conditions. LCT 195 continued operations under Asst. OinC. Source: action report, dated 7 July 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog White at H+120, loaded with 58th Armored Field Artillery, LCT 197 attempted to beach at 1000 on D-Day, Omaha Area, but was prevented from doing so by underwater obstacles and heavy fire. Terrific concussions were felt aboard, and the seams of the craft were split open as a result of the mine explosions. The after section began to fill with water and the craft listed badly to port. Handy Billys were used to pump out the water until the craft reached the ATR 4 when larger pumps were used. After ninety minutes of pumping, the repair tug was ordered to another area. The craft attempted three more beachings with one engine but was unsuccessful. All attempts to secure aid were futile. The craft headed seaward to transfer its load to an LST. At 2035 all engines were out, the afterdeck on the port side was inundated. All Army personnel had been previously removed, and at 2055 the ship was abandoned with its complete load aboard. The craft turned over to port almost immediately and sank slowly, approximately four miles off Omaha Beach. One officer remains unaccounted for; all other personnel survived. Source: 10 July 1944 report of loss of landing craft US LCT(5) 197, LCT(5)294, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Easy Red at H+120, loaded with 197th AAAW Bn. Landed at 0845, Easy Red Beach. Retracted without damage. Took a second load of 18 Jeeps and 300 army personnel and beached successfully at 1330, Easy Red. Evacuated 12 survivors from LCI(L) 91, plus five Army wounded. Took survivors to APA. Anchored for the night at 1800. Source: action report, dated 26 June 1944, signed by Asst OinC; and a second action report dated 7 August 1944 signed by OinC.
Unquestionably, LCT 199 was the luckiest boat in the flotilla. Admirals endorsement to the second action report (7 August) recommended the skipper for both a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. Whether he was lucky enough to collect either medal, he surely should have earned a Pulitzer Prize!
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Easy Red at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn, Approached beach on schedule and tried to follow LCT 199 into the beach. Obstacles prevented landing, proceeded to left and forced through obstacles to the beach. The first halftrack stalled in water. In trying to maneuver around stalled vehicle, anchor cable became fouled with that of LCT 244 alongside. At 0932 completed discharge. Anchor cable now fouled by underwater obstacles. Cut the anchor cable and retracted. Rescued T/5 Carl Dingledine from water where he was guarding a submerged halftrack. At 0950 engine room was flooding too fast for bilge pump and handy billy. Screws and rudders fouled by wire. All engines and generator quit at 1002 about 500 yards off the beach. LCT 293 [??or 276? See action reports of 276 and 293.] towed the 200 to LCT 20, which then towed 200 to salvage tug Pinto. On 7 June at 0805 the Pinto secured a small kedge anchor to the 200s bow line and cast off. LCT 200 drifted 10 miles until signals for help were answered by LCT 199, which salvaged some gear from the sinking boat. LCT 199 was then called to attend a sinking transport. At 1007 the kedge fouled the anchor of LCT 195. Cut loose again, LCT 201 came alongside and towed 200 to LCT 434 where Group Commander Lt. Williams provided equipment to pump out living quarters and to counterflood forward tanks. Damage control succeeded. On 8 June (1735) Pinto towed 200 to repair ship #4. On 9 June towed to Southhampton. Source: unsigned action report dated 16 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Easy Red at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn. Approached beach at 0839 but could not land due to enemy fire and underwater obstacles. Remained in area until 1215, went to assistance of a disabled dukw, picked up eleven men from 116th Infantry Cannon Company. Ordered to beach at 1700. Beached at 1715 under heavy enemy fire. Unloaded all vehicles and personnel, including 116th Infantry Cannon Company. Returned to transport area with port engine out and listing heavily to starboard. Source: action report, dated 26 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-3, scheduled to land at Dog Red, not found on landing diagram, load identified only as V Corps HQ. Underway to Easy Red Beach at 0930. Standing by at 1130. Beached at Dog White at 1754, retracted and beached to left, discharged vehicles and personnel at 1800. Retracted and took one wounded from LCT 644. Discharged casualty to LCI 84. Anchored 1500 yards off Fox Red at 1945. Rhino ferry cut anchor cable at 2045. Underway and moored, bow on, to LCT 149 for night. General quarters at 2230. Claimed hits on JU88; plane crashed into water 400 yards west. Source: action report signed 13 July 1944
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land 62nd Armored Field Artillery at Fox Green at H+90. No action report available.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog White at H+90 after firing artillery prior to H hour, loaded with 58th Armored Field Artillery Bn. Commenced shelling beach at 0630. Underway for beach at 0800 but unable to approach due to enemy shelling and beach obstacles. Finally proceeded into Dog Red at 1600. Unloaded and retracted at 1638. Went to assistance of LCT 27 at 1700 and removed Army and Navy personnel. LCT 27 capsized and sank almost immediately with a full load of vehicles. Transferred rescued personnel to LCF 6. Source: action report, dated 25 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn. at Fox Green at H+90 after firing artillery prior to H hour. Commenced firing 105mm howitzers at 0600. Landing at 0800 was repelled by enemy fire. Hit by enemy fire while approaching beach at 0940. Retracted with one wounded by shrapnel. Stood by for opportunity to beach until 1655. Discharged all vehicles and Army personnel at 1705. Source: action report, dated 26 June 1944. The report continues for four pages through 19 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land 62nd Armored Field Artillery at Fox Green at H+90. No action report available.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog Green at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn. On approach to the beach (Easy) was ordered away by small boat. At 0842 attempted to beach 200 yards west. Unable to get in. Waited 200 yards off beach looking for opening. At 0940 went in to assist LCT 332, which appeared to be sinking. Assistance was refused and LCT 214 waited off Easy and Dog Beaches for opportunity to land. Ordered back to point of departure by small boat at 1410. At 1530 PC 567 signaled not to beach until ordered. At 1657, was ordered to beach at Dog Green. Approached toward starboard of LCI 91, gutted on the beach. At 1712 was ordered to back out. Ordered by Lt. Cmdr. Leide to "try it down to the left." Beached at Dog Red at 1730, discharged ten half tracks and one Jeep without loss. Source: action report,, dated 26 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Easy Green at H+120, loaded with 467th AAAW Bn. Hit Easy Green Beach at 0855, discharged load by 0910. Tried to tow LCT 294, sinking at stern. Transferred crew of LCT 294 to tug and proceeded to take load of two trucks and twelve Jeeps from LST 375. Unloaded at beach at 1635. Source: action report, dated 26 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Easy Red at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn, At 0830 cruising off Easy Red. Beach overcrowded, beaching impossible. Beached at Easy Red at 0958 in space vacated by LCI. Shallow water was clogged with swamped vehicles from previous LCTs. Retracted to look for better opportunity. Beached again at 1316. Anchor fouled. Unloaded vehicles in two feet of water. Also landed party of fifty men of engineers unit put aboard from LCVPsurvivors of LCI 89. Retracted at 1340. LCT 413 beached in spot vacated. Arrived in rendezvous area at 1630 with hole in engine room. Bilge pump operated ten hours a day to stay operational. Dropped anchor at 2000. Source: action report dated 27 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+90 after firing artillery prior to H hour, loaded with 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn. Commenced firing M-7 105mm Howitzers at 0615. Proceeded toward beach at 0645 but was forced to stand off due to enemy fire on the beach. Went to assistance of LCT 200, and towed her offshore. Headed for beach again at 1030, but was repulsed. Hit Easy Red Beach at 1700 and unloaded two M-7s with trailers and two half tracks. Two wounded by shrapnel, holes in starboard side. Headed for transport area to transfer wounded at 2130 to DD Plunkett. Source: action report dated 25 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+90 after firing artillery at 0612, loaded with 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn. Commenced firing at beach at 0612. Ceased firing at 0625. No lanes open into beach at 0850. Was ordered back to line of departure to wait for beaching order. No order ever came. Finally beached Easy Green at 1830. Retracted at 1850 and took aboard five army casualties for evacuation to the USS Thurston. Returned to transport area. The Thurston had left the area. Anchored near transport area at 2230. General Quarters at 2355. Source; action report dated 26 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Easy Green at H+120, loaded with AT Co. 116th RCT, this craft attempted to beach at 0830, 6 June 1944, in the Omaha Area but struck a mine that exploded directly beneath the center of the crews quarters. The engine room filled rapidly, and the stern began to sink slowly. In an effort to find a more suitable spot for beaching the craft retracted but was unable to beach because of the congested condition of the area. LCT(5) 20 came to the assistance of the craft and towed it to a salvage tug, USS Pinto. LCT(5) 20 then unloaded the stricken craft by coming up bow to bow. The stern had by this time almost completely filled with water. The craft was abandoned without loss of personnel or vehicles and it was sunk by charges put aboard by direction of the Commanding Officer, USS Pinto. Source: 10 July report of loss of landing craft US LCT(5) 197, LCT(5) 294, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-1, scheduled to land at Fox Green at H+120, loaded with 197th AAA Bn. Approached the beach at 0900, was raked by machine gun fire. OinC was wounded. Retracted and tried again 500 yards west. Army captain went ashore, returned with advice not to land there. Retracted again, lost engines, towed out a few hundred yards where engines were restarted. Tried beaching three more times before detonating a mine. The explosion completely demolished the crews quarters, but the craft was able to retract successfully. Went alongside LCT 195 at 1400. OinC was removed to the USS Ancon for treatment and was replaced by Lt (jg) Rock of the LCT 195. At a later attempt in beaching (1500), all vehicles were discharged, but as the craft attempted to retract, it again hit an underwater obstacle and was heavily hit by enemy shell fire. The craft was abandoned as it began to sink by the stern. One man, Saunders, Robert William, 316 91 16, SC2c, USNR, was killed. Seven men and the OinC were injured. The men were evacuated by an LCT while the OinC was ashore seeking medical aid. The officer was taken to AKA 57 for treatment. Observation on D+1 indicated that the craft was split along the center section, hung up on an element C obstacle. Attempts were made to salvage the craft but were abandoned, temporarily at least, when further battering by ensuing heavy weather further split the craft in two. Source: action report, dated 13 July 194;a second action report by LCT 195 dated 14 June 1944: and 11July 1944 report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-2 scheduled to land at Dog White at H+90, loaded with 58th Armored Field Artillery Bn. In attempting to beach it struck an enemy mine which exploded directly beneath the bow, blowing off the ramp and a section of the bow on the starboard side, twenty by five feet wide. The concussion of this explosion apparently affected the complete framework causing the midsection to buckle. The condition of the craft was further worsened by ensuing heavy seas. Salvage is not probable. All personnel survived. Source: 11 July 1944 report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18. No action report available.
Assigned to Force O-2, scheduled to land at Dog White at H+90 after artillery shelling, loaded with 58th Armored Field Artillery Bn. Struck a mine which exploded through the crews quarters and pilot house causing a hole approximately ten feet square. Simultaneously the craft was hit below the waterline by an enemy shell which knocked out all engines. All personnel survived. Salvage is being attempted. Source: 11 July 1944 report of damage to landing craft due to enemy action, by Commander, LCT Flotilla 18.
Assigned to Force O-4, scheduled to transport Rangers on dukws to Point du Hoc at
H-hour. There is no action report available. But there is evidence in other action reports that LCT 413 carried a second load to the beach on D-day. See action report of LCT 460. [LCT 413 was fully operational in the days following D-day.]
Assigned to Force O-3, but not listed on landing diagrams, load unidentified. Lost its ramp in rendezvous area early in the morning. Proceeded to line of departure at 0805. But not instructed to beach until 1815 [could this be a typing error?]. Beached at 1830 on right flank of Easy Red Beach, but could not discharge load without a ramp. Retracted and tried to transfer load to LSTs and rhino-ferries, but failed. Beached again at 1130 on 7 June and tore holes in port side on obstacles, wrecked vehicles and landing craft. Three more attempts at unloading before finally transferring load to LCT 195 at 1900. Out of operation until 15 June when it was loaded aboard LSD HMS Oceanway and returned to Portland for repairs. Source: action report, dated 17 June 1944.
Assigned to Force O-3, scheduled to land 348th Engineer (C) Battalion on Easy Red at H+220, this boat was unable to land at 1010 due to congestion . After four attempts, it succeeded in unloading at 1755. At 1825 took F.R. Wilt, S1c, a survivor of LCT 30. Source: action report dated 1 July 1944.
Assigned to Force O-3, scheduled to land 348th Engr (C) Battalion on Easy Red at H+220, received signal from PC 553 at 0915 to stand by. Ordered to return to line of departure at 1347. Beached at Easy Red at 1645, retracted at 1653. Ordered at 1815 to unload LST 375. Unable to marry with LST because LST ramp chains were broken. Anchored at 2034, awaiting orders. Source: action report dated 19 June 1944.
Cannot find landing assignment for this LCT in the landing diagrams. But it is listed in Force O-3. No record of its assault load. Perhaps scheduled to land later than H+220. At 0940, while proceeding from transport area toward beach, engine room was reported to be flooding. Generator flooded out, handy billys could not check the flood. At 1100 all engines quit 500 yards from the beach. It is unclear what happened next, until D+1 at 1700 when LCT 209 towed 460 to the beach and assisted in beaching, retracting, and then towed 460 to the LST area. According to LCT 209 action report, 460 was taken in tow on D+1 at 1947, beached at 2008. The tow was transferred to LCT 413 at 2040.
LCT 460 remained inoperative in the transport area until D+9 when it was loaded into HMS Oceanway (LSD) for transportation to UK. Source: action report dated 17 June 1944 and from action report of LCT 209.
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