GOLD Area LTIN-Hull Number matches for US LST

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Michel Sabarly, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. I've been trying for a while to progress on finding which actual craft/ships were assigned which Serial or Landing Table Index Numbers (LTINs) on D-Day, and following a post about US LST 359 here:
    GOLD BEACH - Seeking any written/oral/photographed experiences of landing on Gold Beach
    I've had a look at the various docs available on fold3 and elsewhere regarding the US LST assigned to GOLD Area. I'll start with the easiest part: Force G Group 17 (and Groups 11 & 13 as a bonus :)):

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From ONEAST/G. THREE. - Appendix "B". - Composition and Timetable of Groups - Group Seventeen, 20th May, 1944:

    COMPOSITION
    Sector JIG: LST Serial 2916+, 2917+, 2918+, 2919+, 2920
    Sector KING: LST Serials 2814+, 2815+, 2816+, 2817, 2818+
    + towing Rhinos

    1 Rescue Craft

    SENIOR OFFICER - Commander 28th L.S.T. Group

    ESCORT - H.H.M.S. "KRIEZIS", H.M.S. "CAMPANULA"

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From COM LST GR 33 - War Diary, 6/1-30/44:

    LST GROUP 33, FLOTILLA 11
    U.S.S. LST 345, Flagship
    LST-G33/A12-1
    WAR DIARY
    1 July 1944.
    S-E-C-R-E-T


    LST Group 33, Flotilla 11, Eleventh Amphibious Force,
    Atlantic Fleet, is composed of twelve (12) LSTs as follows:
    Division 65 - LSTs 2, 308, 312, 344, 345 and 370; Division
    66 - LSTs 311, 346, 371, 380, 382 and 400; and Division 101
    for administrative control - LSTs 17, 21, 25, 72, 73 and 520.


    LST DIVISIONS 65 and 101
    (...)
    5 June, 1944.
    For Operation "NEPTUNE", Group 17 of Force "G" of the
    Eastern Naval Task Force, is a unit composed of the following
    US LSTs: 345, 344, 308, 312, 370, 17, 21, 72, 73 and 520;
    Escort vessels: H.H.M.S. KREIZIS and H.M.S. CAMPANUAL and
    U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Craft #58. Lieutenant Commander David
    H. ADAMS, USNR, Commander LST Group 33, is Senior Officer (em-
    barked in LST 345).

    All LSTs except US LSTs 308 and 520 have Rhino Ferries
    and Rhino Tugs alongside.
    (...)
    6 June, 1944. (D-Day)
    (...)
    Commanding Officer of LST Division
    101 in LST 21 assumed Command of LSTs 17, 72 and 520, destination
    Jig beach.
    (...)
    LSTs 25 and 264 which had made
    the passage with Groups 11 and 12 were unloaded and anchored in
    the outgoing waiting position.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Therefore, because:
    1. the sequence for the first five LST (for KING) is not the numerical sequence,
    2. this sequence nearly matches the LTINs towing or not a Rhino, with the exception of LST 308 (not towing Rhino) being listed one position before its turn,
    3. the SO is usually in the first LTIN of the Group,
    we may assume the following matches for the LST bound for KING Sector (until proven wrong by a photo or else :) ). Bold characters indicate certain matches:
    Div 65, LST Gp 33 - KING:
    2814 - US LST 345 - towing Rhinos
    2815 - US LST 344 - towing Rhinos
    2816 - US LST 312 - towing Rhinos
    2817 - US LST 308
    2818 - US LST 370 - towing Rhinos

    For the LST bound for JIG Sector, we can assume that LST 73 not being mentioned as under command of CO LST Div 101 is an oversight or a typo. The sequence given (numerical sequence) also matches the LTIN sequence for Rhino towing ships, and what's more, we already have the confirmed match (from a photograph) LTIN 2917 - LST 21. We would thus have:
    Div 101, LST Gp 33 - JIG:
    2916 - US LST 17 - towing Rhinos
    2917 - US LST 21 - towing Rhinos
    2918 - US LST 72 - towing Rhinos
    2919 - US LST 73 - towing Rhinos
    2920 - US LST 520

    Additionally, the mention (last para in War Diary LST Gp 33 above) of LST 25 and 264 must mean that they are the two lone LST LTIN 2190 and 2570 in Groups 11 and 13 respectively (in spite of the typo stating "Group 12" instead of "Group 13": Group 12 had no LST).

    LST 25's War History specifies that on 2 Jun she loaded 21 DUKW ("vehicles including 21 Dwks"). Since LTINs 2190 and 2570 were the only LST loaded with 21 DUKW, LST 25 must be one of them. The date of loading of June 2 or D-3 (with respect to the originally planned D-Day date of 5 Jun) also matches the ONEAST/G orders for these two LTINs.
    Checking the many photos shot on board LST 25 confirms that her load does indeed match that of LTIN 2190 and not that of LTIN 2570. We thus have:
    2190 - US LST 25 (Div 101 att LST Gp 33) - towing Rhinos
    2570 - US LST 264 (Div 55 LST Gp 28) - towing Rhinos

    Notes:
    a. We can see that the respective roles of LST Groups 28 and 33 have been exchanged: in ONEAST/G3, LST Group 28 was initially assigned to Group 17 and LST Group 33 to Group 18, but the War Diaries and at least one photo prove that in the event the reverse took place.
    b. in ONEAST/G. FOUR - Part III. App. "C" - Detailed Orders for Groups on KING Sector - Group Thirteen of 20th May, 1944, LTIN 2190 was given as "L.S.T. 52" [Div 55 LST Gp 28]. Either this is a typo for "L.S.T. 25", or (more probably) the two ships were exchanged, possibly following the exchange of their respective LST Groups.

    Force G Group 18 is unfortunately not as clear, because I could not find any docs for US LST Group 28 at all, and the various other docs for US LST Group 11, LST Flotillas or individual ships are either missing or not precise enough :(. Any info would be most welcome!

    More later...

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  2. AdamEdward

    AdamEdward Active Member

    Hi, have you access to JIG Sector manifests for 6/6 or 7/6 showing any Flails of 79th Armoured Division on board ?
    I ask because my Dad was B Sqn,Westminster Dragoons and spoke of American crew on his vessel He may not have been on the first wave in RN LCTs Regards Adam
     
  3. ...and here is said photo:
    LTIN 2818 LST 312 - Allies battle past Atlantic wall - 09.03.jpg
    Source: Allies battle past Atlantic wall--outtakes | Moving Image Research Collections

    I'll therefore amend my tentative list of the LST of Group 17 bound for KING as follows, the italicized numbers meaning there is no hard evidence for this specific allocation apart from LST 345 accomodating the Commander LST Group 33 and Senior Officer Group 17 and thus likely to be the first LTIN in the Group:

    Div 65, LST Gp 33 - KING:
    2814 - US LST 345 - towing Rhino
    2815 - US LST 344 - towing Rhino
    2816 - US LST 370 - towing Rhino
    2817 - US LST 308
    2818 - US LST 312
    - towing Rhino

    Incidentally, the Beaching Diagram in 50 Div OO No.1 dated 9 May 44 shows that LTIN 2817 tows a Rhino Ferry while 2818 does not (see 24th Lancers - LST Query), in contradiction with ONEAST/G which has 2817 without a Rhino and 2818 towing one (see beginning of this thread). The above photo, plus the statement by COM LST Group 33 that LST 308 (not 312) was "Rhino-less" prove that ONEAST/G is correct and the OO is wrong. Can't blame the typist too much for this mistake though, as the Diagram must have been a hell of a job to type!

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    SDP likes this.
  4. Group 18

    Thanks to priceless contributions by SDP, by DannyM and by Mark C. Keever of Convoy CU 49 website, the LTIN-Hull number matches for the Landing Ships Tank in Group 18 of Force G are no longer a mystery!

    All LSsT of Force G came from five US LST Divisions from three US LST Groups (the equivalent of the RN LST Flotillas) and totalled 29 ships:

    LST Group 11
    (Division 21 – not part of Force G)
    Division 22 – LST 1, 359, 377, 378, 379, 519

    LST Group 28
    Division 55 – LST 30, 52, 264, 287, 493, 503
    Division 56 – LST 44, 229, 279, 280, 293

    LST Group 33
    Division 65 – LST 2, 308, 312, 344, 345, 370
    (Division 66 – not part of Force G)
    For administrative control:
    Division 101 – LST 17, 21, 25, 72, 73, 520

    Main Source: US Supplement to the Green List corrected to 5 Jun 44 (received in 2011 from a Belgian friend), page 15 (see attachment 1)
    Now also available thanks to Mark who purchased a copy from TNA:
    32C - U.S. Landing Ships & Landing Craft in the U.K. corrected to June 5, 1944

    From these 29 potential candidates for Group 18, we shall disqualify the ten ships of Group 17 (308, 312, 344, 345, 370, 17, 21, 72, 73 & 520) plus the two of Groups 11 & 13 (25 & 264) (see posts above), as well as:

    LST 377, 378 & 379, which joined Force L Sailing Group 1
    Source: fold3 – LST 379 Action Report for 6 Jun p1 (attachment 2)

    LST 279, which loaded on 6 Jun
    Source: fold3 – LST 279 Jun 44 War Diary p1 (attachment 3)

    Remaining candidates are thus reduced to 13 ships (for 12 LTINs, i.e. one ship too many):

    Division 22 – LST 1, 359, 519
    Division 55 – LST 30, 52, 287, 493, 503
    Division 56 – LST 44, 229, 280, 293
    Division 65 – LST 2

    Now let’s list those LTIN/Hull number matches that we do have. As usual, Bold characters indicate certain or almost certain matches:

    LST 493 = LTIN 2825
    4. LST 493 = LTIN 2825 - 1016049301.jpg
    Source: navsource from Jim Worth

    LST 293 = LTIN 2823
    5. LST 293 = LTIN 2823 - new.lstmemorial.org.jpg
    Source: 6 June 1944: D-Day Photos of Donald Hickey’s LST-293 on the Beaches of Normandy

    Additionally, DannyM found out (in the War Diary for 22 Hyg Sec RAMC) that LTIN 2924 was LST 280:
    LST 280 = LTIN 2924
    6. LST 280 = LTIN 2924 - 22 Fd Hyg Sec WD - 1 Jun 44 - DannyM - Notes.JPG

    LST 503 loaded on 1 Jun at Hard S2 from 1013hrs (Source: fold3 – LST 503 Jun 44 War Diary p1, attachment 7), thus must be either 2923 or 2924. Since we now know, thanks to Danny, that 2924 is LST 280, LST 503 must be 2923:
    LST 503 = LTIN 2923
    8. ONEAST-G2 - App A - Ann II - Embarkation Time Table - Notes.jpg
    Source: fold3 – ONEAST/G

    LST 2 loaded on 2 Jun at Hard S3 (Source: fold3 – LST 2 Action Report, attachment 9) and therefore must be 2822, as per above Embarkation Time Table.
    LST 2 = LTIN 2822

    LST 229 carried personnel and tanks of 24th Lancers (Source: SDP) to GOLD on the Second Tide and was therefore one of LTINs 2921 to 2926. The 56 Inf Bde Landing Table specifies (a rather rare occurrence) that LTINs 2921 & 2922 are ships of the two davit type, all the remaining ones being of the six davit type. Since LST 229 has only two davits:
    LST 229 = LTIN 2921 or 2922
    10. LST 229 - MHS71 p38 - IWM A23907 part.jpg
    Source: IWM A23907 scanned from Militaria Hors Série 71 p38

    From the webpage on LST 493 we learn that “On June 2, while loading more troops and vehicles, LST 52 rammed one anchor fluke into the hull of the 493 while trying to anchor on the starboard side”, which must mean that 52 loaded at the same hard and time as 493:
    LST 52 = LTIN 2824 (probably)

    In summary:

    2822 – LST 2
    2823 – LST 293

    2824 – LST 52
    2825 – LST 493

    2921 or 2922 – LST 229
    2923 – LST 503
    2924 – LST 280


    That’s about 6 ½ matches, so, 5 ½ more to go :)

    The missing pieces of the puzzle came from Mark Keever who found, in their respective Deck Logs which he ordered from NARA (NND 927605 / NND 803052), the Pre-Sailing Berth allotted to most ships in Group 18 as follows (see attachments 11 to 19). All Berths are in Berthing Area 4:

    LST . . 1 – B 11
    LST . . 2 – A 16
    LST . 30 – B 7
    LST . 44 – A 17
    LST 229 – B 8
    LST 287 – B 12
    LST 293 – A 15
    LST 493 – A 13
    LST 503 – B 9

    which becomes, if we sort by Berth Number (in reverse sequence for Line A, and in normal, upwards sequence for Line B) and add the known or probable LTINs, plus the Berths whose allotted ship we do not know (yet):

    A 18
    A 17 – LST 44
    A 16 – LST 2 = LTIN 2822
    A 15 – LST 293 = LTIN 2823
    A 14
    A 13 – LST 493 = LTIN 2825

    B 7 . – LST 30
    B 8 . – LST 229 = LTIN 2921 or 2922
    B 9 . – LST 503 = LTIN 2923
    B 10
    B 11 – LST 1
    B 12 – LST 287

    This, I believe, clearly demonstrates that the Berths were allotted in LTIN sequence (up or down), which is fully consistent with what I’ve seen elsewhere (for LCT Groups for example).
    We now simply have to fill in the blanks with the missing LTINs and the corresponding ships when known (in green colour below):

    A 18 – 2820
    A 17 – 2821 = LST 44
    A 16 – 2822 = LST 2
    A 15 – 2823 = LST 293
    A 14 – 2824 = LST 52
    A 13 – 2825 = LST 493

    B 7 .2921 = LST 30
    B 8 .2922 = LST 229
    B 9 . – 2923 = LST 503
    B 10 – 2924 = LST 280
    B 11 2925 = LST 1
    B 12 – 2926 = LST 287

    Only 2 ships remain unallocated: LST 359 & 519, for only 1 LTIN: 2820. This is where the Cruising Disposition for Group 18, as also found by Mark (in LST 2’s Deck Log) saves the game:
    20. Group 18 Cruising Disposition - LST 2 Deck Log - Notes.jpg

    which, when displayed in column form, gives:

    KING . JIG
    493 ..... 30
    . 44 ... 229
    ... 2 ... 503
    293 ... 280
    . 52 . ..... 1
    359 ... 287

    We note that LST 519 is conspicuous by its absence, and can thus be deleted from the list of candidates, while the Cruising Disposition furiously resembles the Berthing Plan, with the only exception of 493 & 359 having exchanged their respective positions (probably because the Senior Officer Present was on board LST 493 and wanted to lead the KING column). This is hardly surprising since in all known cases the Cruising Disposition reflects (sometimes with minor exceptions) the LTIN sequence.

    This confirms that the one remaining LST, allotted Berth A 18, must be LST 359. The final complete Berthing Plan and LTIN allocation must therefore have been as below (with a couple of Rhino Ferry and Rhino Tugs “hull” numbers, when identified in the Deck Logs or elsewhere, added as a bonus):

    KING
    A 18 – 2820 = LST 359 – towing Rhinos
    A 17 – 2821 = LST 44
    A 16 – 2822 = LST 2
    A 15 – 2823 = LST 293
    A 14 – 2824 = LST 52
    A 13 – 2825 = LST 493

    JIG
    B 7 .2921 = LST 30 – towing RHF 28? & RHT
    B 8 .2922 = LST 229 – towing RHF 16 & RHT 26
    B 9 . – 2923 = LST 503 – towing RHF 4 & RHT 53?
    B 10 – 2924 = LST 280 – towing Rhino Ferry & RHT 29?
    B 11 2925 = LST 1
    B 12 – 2926 = LST 287

    Every other indication in the Deck Logs is consistent with the above matches.

    I want to again express my thanks to Steve, Danny and Mark without whose crucial contributions, doubtless the result of many months, if not years, of data collection and analysis, this mystery would remain unsolved! :salut:

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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