The USCG-1, formerly the 83300, escorted the first waves of landing craft into the Omaha assault area on D-Day morning. Her crew pulled 28 survivors from a sunken landing craft out of the English Channel right off the beaches before 0700, 6 June 1944. Here the 83-foot Coast Guard cutter USCG 1 is picturedoff Omaha Beach on the morning of D-Day, tied up to an LCT and the Samuel Chase.
The USCG-6 (83334) off Normandy. Note her unofficial skull and cross-bone insignia hand-painted beneath her flying bridge.
USCG-20 (83401) and USCG-21 (83402) off the coast of Normandy. The USCG-20 was later driven ashore during the storm that destroyed the artificial harbors in June, 1944. She was repaired and transferred to the Royal Navy (through the WSA) later that year.
The crew aboard the USCG-6 with the cutter's unofficial insignia painted on their helmets.
From a quick bit of research on the USCG site they had a wide role on D-Day from manning some of the many Landing Craft Infantry (LCI's) to the bigger Assault Transport ships off shore helping to co-ordinate the landings. In total 100 vessels were manned by the USCG. The craft pictures above are several of the sixty 83ft Cutters that patrolled the shore under sometimes direct enemy fire rescuing survivors in the sea and ferry wounded back to larger ships off shore to receive medical treatment.
Some further info on the cutters.
During the spring of 1944, prior to the onset of Operation Overlord, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the Coast Guard to provide search and rescue craft for the invasion. The Coast Guard had a fleet of 83-foot wooden-hulled patrol craft that were used for coastal patrols in U.S. waters and so the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet, Admiral Ernest King, USN, ordered the Coast Guard to deploy 60 of these cutters to the United Kingdom for service during Operation Neptune/Overlord. Their hull numbers were removed and they were given new designations of 1 to 60, preceded by "USCG", to ease identification issues in the Allied invasion fleet. Each cutter was transported piggy-back on freighters to the U.K. where they were offloaded, formed into "Rescue Flotilla One" based at Poole, England, and modified for service as rescue craft. They earned the nickname "Matchbox Fleet" due to their wooden hulls and two Sterling-Viking gasoline engines -- one incendiary shell hitting a cutter could easily turn it into a "fireball."
They were assigned to each of the invasion areas, with 30 serving off of the British and Canadian sectors and 30 serving off the American sectors. During Operation Neptune/Overlord these cutters and their crews carried out the Coast Guard's time-honored task of saving lives, albeit under enemy fire on a shoreline thousands of miles from home. The cutters of Rescue Flotilla One saved more than 400 men on D-Day alone and by the time the unit was decommissioned in December, 1944, they had saved 1,438 souls.
The USCG suffed 15 casualties on D-Day, mainly from crewing the LCI's.
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