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D-Day Documents

1st Division - 16th Regiment - Cannon Company - After Action Report

At about H-3 hours, the six howitzer sections loaded on Dukws aboard LST 376 were driven into ocean approximately twelve miles out from the beach. As the Dukws were driven down the ramps of the lSTs, they were filled with water because of the steep angle of the unloding ramp. Every effort was made to bail out the Dukws as they were driven toward the rendez-vous area. Others Dukws of the Company took these stalled Dukws into tow and continued on. Later, the heavy load of twing two loaded Dukws caused the towing vehicles to stall also. The two ropes were then cast off and furious efforts made to again start the motors. Success was gained with two of the Dukws and these continued on. The stalled vehicles sunk under the heavy seas. Most of the men from the Dukws were rescued by navy small boats. Of the four remaining Dukws, one sank enroute for help fro the men in the water from the sunken Dikws. Most of these men were also picked up by Navy small boats. One sinking Dukw reached a Rhino Ferry and was unloaded. The two remaining Dukws reached the Rendezvous area and proceeded toward the beach. Due to heavy seas these Dukws one by one flooded and sank along the route, despite effort to lighten the loads and continuous bailing. The men were rescued by navy small boats.Twenty four men are still missing from thse Dukws. The remaining men were assembled on an LST and brought to the beach at 1300 hours.

On “D” day the two forward observer teams landed on beach, “Easy Red” at H+50, (ten minutes late). These team were attached to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, with the mission of rendering the close support for the battalion advance to it’s objective. They were then to join the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry and continue on with the 1st Battalion to it’s objective. As these two forward observer teams were landing, the officer in charge of one team was wounded and an enlisted men, radio operator, of the other team was wounded. The enlisted man was evacuated, the officer continued to lead his men until again wounded and was forced to be evacuated. No equipment was lost on the beach. These two forward observer teams continued to advance with the 2nd Battalion until joined by the Cannon Company Commander. They then joined his party and accompanied the 1st Battalion advance.
On “D” day at H+60, the two LCTs [LCT 541 & LCT 538] carrying the company Half Tracks attempted to land on beach, “Fox Green”. Both of these LCTs were hit by enemy fire. Machine gun fire killed and wounded a number of men. The LCTs then withdrew from the beach without unloading the half tracks.

At about H+120, one LCT returned to the beach and unloaded the company half tracks. Three of the drivers were wounded at this point. The half tracks could not be moved from the beach due to the fact that the beach was lettered with tanks and half-traks and that the beach exits were not open.

At about H+360, the other LCT returned to the beach and unloaded the remaining company half traks. Three men were wounded at this time. A total of four half-traks were destroyed on the beach due to the enemy shell fire. The remaining half tracks were driven to a vehicle assembly area when the beach exits were opened later in the day.

On “D”day at H+100, the Company Commander and party landed on beach, “Easy Red”. This party had the mission of coordinating Cannon Company support of the 1st Battalion. After spending some time on the beach working on the tanks, this party moved inland with the 1st Battalion. No equipment was lost. No casualties.