- Detailed Resume (continued):
||One craft was struck by an artillery shell and had to discharge its personnel
200 yards offshore. Some men were lost by drowning, and those that swam ashore were met by heavy machine
gun fire. An LCI struck a mine and blasted a hole in one compartment and at the same time was struck by
artillery fire. About 56 casualties resulted, and 9 corpsmen of the battalion, 4 of whom were wounded,
gave first aid until the casualties could be put aboard an APA.
Upon landing, each platoon sought the engineer combat company to which it was
attached. The Battalion Headquarters and Company C upon landing, found that the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment
was pinned down to the beach by the heavy fire which the enemy was delivering from his emplacements. Members
of these units, at the request of the Commanding Officer, 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment moved along the beach
under the heavy fire to locate officers so that the Infantry Regiment could be reorganized to attack inland.
Other members placed rifle and carbine fire on German machine guns so that patrols could move forward and
Upon landing, members of the battalion found that the gap assault teams, severely
decimated by the fierce enemy fire, were far behind schedule in clearing gaps in the beach obstacles. Officers
and men of the battalion worked side by side with these teams in clearing the obstacles under the heavy fire on
the beach. The gaps were frequently interdicted by enemy artillery fire, which caused numerous casualties.
Other elements set up control stations on the beach to direct the landing of craft and
salvaged equipment to mark safe lanes of approach. A detail from Company C helped rescue two platoons of infantrymen
from the water. These men had debarked in deep water and their load of equipment was pulling many men down. Movement
on the beach was made extremely hazardous by the heavy fire and by the large number of mines which had become
detached from the obstacles and buried in the sand. In addition to these hazards, there were many burning vehicles
along the beach sending showers of projectiles from exploding ammunition and fragments of metal as mines and demolition
The medical sections also performed their duties in an especially heroic manner. They collected
casualties, gave first aid and evacuated the casualties to landing craft. Groups of casualties on the beach were subjected
to heavy concentrations of mortar fire, and craft were under observed artillery fire the entire time they were grounded.
By 1200 hours, the communication sections had established ship-to-shore communication, and later
in the afternoon had established three such nets. Later, however, two of these nets were put out
of action by enemy fire as the radio antennae attracted artillery fire.
Casualties sustained on D-Day:
Killed in action: 4 Officers, 18 Enlisted Men
Wounded in action: 12 Officers, 55 Enlisted Men
- Results of Action:
The outstanding action of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion under heavy enemy fire contributed materially to the successful establishment
of the Omaha beachhead. This battalion not only performed all of its own missions, but aided many other units in the accomplishment
of theirs. But for this aid, the precarious situation of the units on the beach might have been turned into disaster.
Colonel, Corps of Engineers
A proposed Citation
R E S T R I C T E D
File No. P15
UNITED STATES FLEET
UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCES, FRANCE
c/o Fleet Post Office,
New York, N.Y.
26 February 1945
FIRST ENDORSEMENT to:
5th Eng.Sp.Brig., Com Z
ETOUSA 1tr. 200.6 of
12 February 1945
From: Commander U.S. Naval Forces, France.
To: Secretary of the Navy.
Via: Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Europe.
Subject: SIXTH Naval Beach Battalion Unit Citation for.
- Basic correspondence and proposed citation for the SIXTH Naval Beach
Battalion are forwarded herewith, recommending approval.
- It is considered that the duties performed by the SIXTH Naval Beach
Battalion at OMAHA Beach during the assault landing on Normandy, France, 6 June 1944, were,
because of the nature of opposition, considerably more difficult and dangerous, and required
a great deal of initiative and bravery on the part of each individual assigned to this unit.
- The actions of the SIXTH Naval Beach Battalion as a unit contributed
immeasurably to the future success and security of the Allied Nations, the United States Army and
United States Navy, and were performed in accordance with the highest traditions of the United
A. G. KIRK
Y furnished Lt. Col. I.M. Rice, USA
5th Eng. Special Brigade
By 05, 2/27/45
CERTIFIED TO BE A TRUE COPY:
LEONARD O. ERICKSON
1st Lt., CE
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