United States Coast Guard at Normandy

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Drew5233, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Yes---they are what we called 'mousetraps'---worked with a unit in the wheelhouse they called a' chemical recorder'---something like a computer today, I believe---I was and engineer and had to training on that unit --tracked the sound echo and cutter speed, etc----idea was because depth chages killed the sound contact while these 'rockets armed themselves with a spinner vane nose---no hit, no explosion, no loss of echo (as my memory seves me after all these years)

    It appears to be a similar system to the British hedgehog system, motars from a spigot system and like you say no hit no explosion and better for the asdic operators ears!

    I visited patriots point at Charleston, SC, and toured the WW2 Coast Guard vessel as well as the Submarine and Aircraftcarrier.
    A great day out.

  2. cmomm

    cmomm WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    1--HMS Venus---??

    2--Up Channel to Portsmouth ro form up with Juno Beach convoy

    3--Two Chief Petty Officers--One Ltjg

    Attached Files:

  3. cmomm

    cmomm WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Pics are old, like me, but they don't make any more like them and they carry a world of memories for me---met some of the finest people is this world in 'Merrie Old England' who were able to smile, in spite of all they had been through, and treat strangers like their own---I pray daily that we keep that friendship close for I fear we will need it soon again--
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Excellent pic's matey :)
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From the US National Archives

    "Two Ohio Coast Guardsmen [John R. Smith, on the left, and Daniel J. Kaczorowski] stand at their gun aboard a Coast Guard-manned invasion transport on which they served during the invasion of Normandy." Smith, steward's mate, third class, also served during assaults against North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Found some more on privateletters.net.
    Coast Guard boat transferring casualties off Normandy, June 1944

    Coast Guardsman rescue survivors off Normandy, June 1944.

    Rescueing a survivor off Normandy, June 1944.

    PTs and USCG patrol boats at Cherbourg, France
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Not Normandy but still USCG.
    US Navy seaman relaxing as 2 Coast Guardsman scrape thick coating of oil from his body, after his ship, USS Lansdale, was sunk by Nazi planes off coast of N. Africa, during WWII.
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Back to Normandy off Omaha Beach
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Anyone else got any information on the USCG in Europe?
  10. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Drew, list of USCG Casualties on D-Day


    List of awards given to USCG Personell

    Selected combat award citations of Coast Guardsmen decorated for valor under fire during the Normandy Invasion
    Samuel W. Allison, Silver Star
    Lieutenant Samuel W. Allison was awarded the Silver Star: "For conspicuous gallantry in action as Commanding Officer of LCI(L) 326 during amphibious landings on the French coast June 6, 1944. Displaying superb seamanship and dauntless courage, Lieutenant Allison successfully landed units of the Army, then stood off the beach for salvage duty. Realizing that the services of a control boat were urgently needed, he volunteered for this assignment and, in the face of concentrated shell fire and constant threat of exploding mines, effectively directed boat traffic throughout the remainder of the initial assault."

    George C. Clark, British Distinguished Service Cross
    Lieutenant George C. Clark was awarded the British Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads: "During the landing of commandos at Quistreham by LCI (S) on June 6, 1944, Lieut. Clark's cutter was detailed to act as escort to LCI(S) HM LCI(S) 524 on clearing the beach after landing troops received a direct hit and blew up in a sheet of flames leaving a mass of blazing Octane petrol on the water. Although his cutter burned Octane petrol, he did not hesitate to steer his craft into the flames and rescue the commanding officer and some of his men."

    Gene R. Gislason, Silver Star
    Lieutenant Gene R. Gislason was awarded the Silver Star: "For outstanding heroism as Commanding Officer of the USS LCI (L) 94, while landing assault troops in Normandy June 6, 1944. He successfully directed his ship through numerous beach obstacles to the proper beach, discharged his troops and retracted while his ship was seriously damaged from heavy enemy fire. Ship's communications, engine telegraph and electric steering were disabled by direct hits on the pilothouse which killed three crewmen, and one screw and shaft were rendered inoperative by beach obstacles. By his coolness under fire and excellent seamanship, Lieutenant Gislason overcame these difficulties and brought his ship off the beach on hand steering and one screw. He later supervised repairs and in four hours enabled the LCI (L) to remain operative in the assault area for three weeks."

    Coit T. Hendley, Silver Star
    Lieutenant, junior grade Coit Hendley was awarded the Silver Star: "For heroism as Commanding Officer of the USS LCI (L) 85 while landing assault troops in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. Lieutenant Hendley successfully landed his troops despite the mining of his vessel, fire in three compartments and a concentration of enemy fire while unloading. His courage and seamanship in directing repairs and retracting from the beach resulted in saving the lives of many wounded aboard."

    George F. Hutchinson, Silver Star
    Lieutenant, junior grade George F. Hutchinson was awarded the Silver Star: "For gallantry in action against the enemy as Commanding Officer of the USS LCI (L) 83 while landing assault troops in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. Lieutenant Hutchinson directed his ship to the beach through heavily mined obstacle while under heavy enemy fire that caused numerous Army casualties, successfully unloaded troops after the ship was mined and remained with the ship effecting repairs that enabled it to come off the beach on the next tide."

    Miles H. Imlay, Silver Star
    Captain Miles H. Imlay was awarded the Silver Star: "For conspicuous gallantry as Deputy Commander of an Assault Group participating in the initial invasion on the coast of France, June 6, 1944. Undaunted by heavy enemy fire, Captain Imlay courageously took station close to the shore on the early morning of D-Day and, throughout the most bitter period of the fighting, coolly and promptly made spot decisions on the reorganization, grouping and dispatching of craft to the beach, subsequently relieving the Task Group Commander of his duties when he withdrew his transport from the assault area. Immediately thereafter, he was placed in charge of operations afloat as assistant to the Naval Officer in Charge of one of the beaches and, discharging the duties of this responsibility with distinctive professional ability, contributed essentially to the rapid clearing of the backlog of ships."
    Note: he also earned the Legion of Merit for his actions at the invasion of Sicily and a gold star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for his role during the invasion of Salerno, Italy.

    Gene E. Oxley, Silver Star
    Seaman 1/c Gene E. Oxley was awarded the Silver Star: "For gallantry while on the USS LCI(L)-85 during the assault on the coast of France June 6, 1944, and for extraordinary courage in volunteering and twice taking a line ashore, in the face of heavy machine gun and shell fire, in order to assist troops unloading from the ship to the beach through chest deep water."

    Robert M. Salmon, Silver Star
    Lieutenant Robert M. Salmon was awarded the Silver Star: "For gallantry as commanding officer of a U.S. LCI (L) while landing assault troops in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. He pressed the landing of troops despite the mining of his vessel, a serious fire forward and heavy enemy gunfire. He supervised the unloading of troops, directed the fire fighting despite the loss of proper equipment and exhibiting courage of a high degree remained with the ship until it was impossible to control the progress of the fire until it was impossible to control the progress of the fire and it was necessary to abandon ship over the stern. After abandoning he directed a party searching for fire fighting equipment and subsequently fought the fire on another LCI (L) and assisted her commanding officer until she was abandoned."

    William F. Trump, Silver Star
    Motor Machinist's Mate 1/c William F. Trump was awarded the Silver Star: "For gallantry and intrepidity in action in the assault phase of an LCI (L) which landed troops in the face of severe enemy fire and despite a profusion of beach obstacles on the coast of France June 6, 1944. Having volunteered for the assignment he waded between the heavily mined beach obstacles and dragged an anchor and anchor-line to shallow water, thereby providing a safety line for troops to follow."

    Aden C. Unger, Silver Star
    Commander Aden C. Unger was awarded the Silver Star: "For outstanding services as a deputy assault group commander in the assault on the coast of France, June 6, 1944. He took his station close to the beach under heavy enemy fire on the day of the assault and remained under fire during the most bitter period of the fighting, when with great coolness he made decisions on the spot, reorganized, grouped and dispatched craft to the beach, and made the weight of his judgment felt in a manner which contributed materially to the success of the operation."

    Arend Vyn, Jr., Silver Star
    Lieutenant junior grade Arend Vyn was awarded the Silver Star: "For gallantry in action as Commanding Officer of USS LCI 91 in the assault on the coast of France June 6 1944. Lt (jg) Vyn beached his ship and discharged the Army elements therein in the face of murderous fire and a labyrinth of obstacles and mines. In spite of the fact that his ship was mined and repeatedly struck by artillery fire and small-arms fire, he continued to land the army load in the face of certain loss of his ship. His determination to put the Army ashore was in keeping with the highest traditions of the offensive spirit of the United States Naval Service."

    Quentin R. Walsh, Navy Cross
    Lieutenant Commander (later Captain) Quentin R. Walsh was a member of the Logistics and Planning Section, US Naval Forces during World War II. Prior to the Normandy invasion, he planned the occupation and operation of the ports that were to be captured from the Germans, including Cherbourg. He was awarded the Navy Cross for: "Heroism as Commanding Officer of a U.S. Naval party reconnoitering the naval facilities and naval arsenal at Cherbourg June 26 and 27, 1944. While in command of a reconnaissance party, Commander Walsh entered the port of Cherbourg and penetrated the eastern half of the city, engaging in street fighting with the enemy. He accepted the surrender and disarmed 400 of the enemy force at the naval arsenal and later received unconditional surrender of 350 enemy troops and, at the same time, released 52 captured U.S. Army paratroopers."

    Robert G. Ward, Silver Star
    Seaman 1/c Robert G. Ward was awarded the Silver Star: "For conspicuous gallantry in action during the landing operations against the enemy on Cotentin Peninsula, France, June 6, 1944. While acting as coxswain of a landing craft in the first wave, Ward successfully landed his troop personnel despite enemy opposition. Upon retracting from the beach he observed the stranded crews from two other landing craft whose boats had been destroyed by enemy mortar fire. Ward returned to the beach, took off both crews despite continued shelling, and returned safely with them to his ship."

    SOURCE : Normandy: D-Day

    Loads more info here, including personal account, casualte numbers, ship losses etc etc

    Coast Guard at War Main Index
    World War II241,093574 **unknown1,917
  11. Paul Dahl

    Paul Dahl Junior Member

    Your welcome Paul,

    The pictures stood out to me and made me remember I met some of your lady colleagues down in the port at Um Qasar in Iraq, 2003.

    Here's a little USCG humour for you too.
    I think this is either taken in the UK on the South Coast (Pre Invasion) or on the French Coast (6th June). I think its the latter though. The Cutter is USCG 60 (Taken from the USCG site) and I think it would have been attached to the British sector of beaches. Ironically the British contingent in the photo is from what I can make out two Corporals from The Royal Corps of Signals and a chap from the Royal Tank Regiment. I'm not sure who the Royal Navy chap is though- If anyone has any ideas?



    Too funny! I met some of your lady marines in Um Qasar, Iraq in 2007! All the Royal Marines working their were very impressive, doing a hard job.

    Warmest Regards!
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    :lol: Lady Marines? :unsure: Royal Marine Commandos and like Yorkie Bars - No Girls Allowed :D

  13. Paul Dahl

    Paul Dahl Junior Member

    Could they have been Royal Navy? They were medical personnel. They were very friendly to us Colonials. Could it be they were tired of Royal Marines? :D

    Warmest Regards!
  14. Andy H

    Andy H Member

    1--HMS Venus---??


    The ships profile is wrong for HMS Venus, and is more akin to that of a Frigate, rather than a Destroyer


    Andy H
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just stumbled on this one. USCG transfering casualties on D-Day.
  16. cmomm

    cmomm WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Most likely pre-invasion pr long after D-Day---nobody would have been in 'dress blues' with 'flat hat' during invasion period (looks like he is going on liberty)---then again, stranger things have happened---USCG 60 should have been assigned to Sword Beach
  17. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    I’ve been trying, over the last year, to put together a list of the USCG Rescue Fleet One and their CO’s. Also, I HAVE determined which ships were assigned to Force O and U (and Follow up Force B), but if anyone has information which ships were assigned to individual Force G, J and S. If anyone one could add to my list below or correct me if I’m wrong, I would really appreciate it.

    LtCdr Alexander Stewart, USCGR

    FORCE “O”

    USCG-1 (83300)
    Ens BB Wood

    USCG-2 (83304)
    Ens T Meekings

    USCG-3 (83320)
    Lt(JG) WJ Starrett

    USCG-4 (83321)
    Lt(JG) JF Smith

    USCG-5 (83327)
    Ens JF Pattyson

    USCG-6 (83334)

    USCG-7 (83337)

    USCG-8 (83360)
    Ens RS Peer

    USCG-9 (83361)

    USCG-10 (83362)

    USCG-11 (83366)

    USCG-12 (83370)
    Lt(JG) MF Frank

    USCG-13 (83372)

    USCG-14 (83373)

    USCG-15 (83375)

    FORCE “U”

    USCG-16 (83377)
    Lt(JG) RV McPail

    USCG-17 (83378)
    Ens AD Arnhart

    USCG-18 (83398)

    USCG-19 (83399)

    USCG-20 (83401)

    USCG-21 (83402)

    USCG-22 (83407)

    USCG-23 (83408)

    USCG-24 (83409)

    Follow Up FORCE “B”

    USCG-25 (83411)

    USCG-26 (83412)

    USCG-27 (83415)

    USCG-28 (83416)

    USCG-29 (83417
    LT(JG) WH Williams

    USCG-30 (83425)

    FORCE “G”, “J’ & “S”

    USCG-31 (83428)
    Lt(JG) BI Clark

    USCG-32 (83431)

    USCG-33 (83432)

    USCG-34 (83435)
    Lt (JG) GW Crafts

    USCG-35 (83439)
    Lt(JG) G Clark

    USCG-36 (83440)

    USCG-37 (83442)

    USCG-38 (83443)

    USCG-39 (83445)

    USCG-40 (83447)

    USCG-41 (83462)

    USCG-42 (83463)

    USCG-43 (83464)

    USCG-44 (83465)

    USCG-45 (83466)
    Lt(JG) P Chase

    USCG-46 (83468)

    USCG-47 (83471)

    USCG-48 (83473)
    Arrived Poole 17 Jun

    USCG-49 (83490)

    USCG-50 (83493)

    USCG-51 (83494)

    USCG-52 (83500)

    USCG-53 (83501)
    Lt(JG) G Clark

    USCG-54 (83502)

    USCG-55 (83503)

    USCG-56 (83511)

    USCG-57 (83512)
    Donald Banks

    USCG-58 (83513)

    USCG-59 (83514)

    USCG-60 (83516)
    Slipdigit likes this.
  18. Temujin,

    The Naval Orders specify that "Ten U.S. Coastguard rescue craft will be alloted to each of the Assault Forces", and I have USCG 35 with Force S and USCG 43 with Force J.

    Assuming that allocation of U.S. C.G.C. to the ETF was also sequential, we should therefore have:

    Force "S" - USGC 31-40
    Force "J" - USCG 41-50
    Force "G" - USCG 51-60

    A few additions/corrections to your list above:

    The official abbreviation was "RESFLOT ONE".
    USCG 5 was commanded by Ensign S. G. Pattyson
    USCG 16 - Lieutenant (jg) R. V. McPhail
    USCG 19 - Lieutenant (jg) Edwin N. Frost, USCG
    USCG 23 - Ensign John N. Kellam, USCGR
    USCG 31 - Lieutenant (jg) Burke I. Powers
    USCG 41 - Lieut. (jg) Thomas Kroetch, USCGR
    USCG 56 - Ensign John K. Mallard, USCGR

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  19. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Michel. Thank you very much for the additional information. Adding to my chart now
  20. Bin There

    Bin There Member

    Sometimes it is interesting to see how much, or how little, of the actual events made it into award citations. Gislason's case is a good example.

    Gislason commanded LCI(L)-94, which was to land in Wave 11 (H+70 / 0740 hours) on Dog Red. For some unexplained reason, he did not take it in at the specified time. While holding off shore, he witnessed LCI(L)-91 (part of his Wave 11) beach and after some misadventures, get set aflame. After next witnessing LCI(L)-92 (Wave 13) come to a similar fate shortly after it beached at 0810 hours, Gislason, decided to look for a safer landing site and headed east along the beach. Two beach sectors and roughly 2000 yards farther east, he spotted the gap in the obstacles made by GAT 10 on Easy Red and successfully took his LCI in (roughly 40-50 minutes after his scheduled landing time). About halfway through debarking troops, the current was sweeping the craft towards a mined obstacle, so he retracted the LCI and beached again a hundred yards farther east, smashing through at least one unmined obstacle in the process (as a result of which the ship lost use of the screw and shaft). There he completed debarking troops. As the last soldier left the ramp, the ship was hit in rapid succession by three 47mm shells in the pilothouse, causing the casualties noted in the citation.

    This ship was also notable for the pictorial coverage it received. Gislason was an amateur photographer and snapped a few photos of the beaching; copies of those photos were given to 94 crewman Jarreau, who later donated them to the WWII museum in New Orleans (the photos are typically credited to Jarreau, though in his interview with Ambrose he stated they were Gislason's photos). The ship also had USCG Chief Photographer's Mate David Ruley aboard; Ruley was a motion picture cameraman. Many of the best and most well known movie clips from Omaha are snippets taken by Ruley. And finally, LCI(L)-94 was the craft Life photographer Robert Capa fled to when he left Easy Red; he supposed boarded after the last troop debarked and reached the deck just as the first shell hit. You can see LCI(L)-94 in the background of Capa's Face In The Surf picture; the 94 was approaching for its first beaching. In a freakish coincidence, Capa and Ruley captured images of the same landing scene from opposite angles, separated by only a minute of two.

    Both Ruley and Capa photographed the ship's crew tending to their casualties; in fact, the pictures were taken from nearly identical positions on the bridge looking aft, down on the boat deck. Capa's pictures were later published in Life's 19 June 1944 issue and Wertenbaker's 1944 book Invasion, as well as Capa's own Slightly Out Of Focus. Ruley's clip of the scene is standard B-roll for most D-Day documentaries covering Omaha Beach.

    And finally, earlier in this thread Paul Reed included a list of seven Coast Guardsmen resting in the Colleville cemetery (post #4). Three of those seven were crewmen of LCI(L)-94: Burton, Buncik and DeNunzio (DeNunzio is apparently the casualty the crew is working on in Capa's and Ruley's images).

    Gislason was a bit of an exception among Coast Guard LCI commanders. He was about 30 and had captianed ships on the Great Lakes before the war, and this ship-handling experience must have gone a long way to helping him see his ship through on D-Day.

    [Note, there are several accounts that went into this summary, all of which conflict at many points. The most reliable - and least well known - is that of Ruley, who was on the bridge or at a ramp during the actual beaching. Others, such as Lewis and Jarreau, were at their stations below deck and not eye witnesses to the events. I don't want to hijack this thread, so if anyone has questions about how I concluded what I did, please message me and I'll be happy to explain.]

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