The Beach Party consists of three officers and forty-three enlisted men to each platoon. Each company consists of
three platoons and the battalion contains three companies.
Each platoon is broken down into four sections. They are as follows: The Hydrographic Section, The Boat Repair
Section, The Communications Section and The Medical Section.
Attached is a chart showing a complete breakdown of our own beach party company. Lt. (jg) E.V. Hall, Company B
Commander, is the Regimental Beachmaster. Ensign W.D. Ludwig is the Company Communications Officer. Lt. Hall has a
staff of seven men to aid him in running a regimental beach.
|ROSTER OF "B" COMPANY OFFICERS
Lt(jg) Emmett V. Hall
Lt(jg) Walter Cooper
Ens. W.D. Ludwig
Lt(jg) Virgil S, Weathers
Ens. William N. Turner
Lt(jg) Ralph A. Hall
Ens. Almon L. Hagerty
Ens. E.B. Gostin
Lt(jg) Eugene D. Guyton
Lt(jg) George E. Wade
Ens. James E. Allison
Lt(jg) James F. Collier
Beachmaster Platoon B-4
Asst. Beachmaster Platoon B-4
Medical Officer Platoon B-4
Beachmaster Platoon B-5
Asst. Beachmaster Platoon B-5
Medical Officer Platoon B-5
Beachmaster Platoon B-6
Asst. Beachmaster Platoon B-6
Medical Officer Platoon B-6
Briefly, I shall give a description of the duties of each of the four sections of a platoon. The hydrographic section
contains all right arm rates. This section is divided on the beach into smaller sections and stationed at the most
convenient places for craft to land. While craft are on the beach, they handle the bowlines of these to prevent them
from broaching. All salvage work is handled by these men. Channels and satisfactory landing conditions are marked
by buoys. Underwater surveys are made to ascertain where, if any, obstacles are located so that they may be
removed or marked so that craft will stay clear of them. They clear the beach of all obstructions, especially
at low tide, to make it safe for craft landing at high tide and to facilitate transportation of vehicles on
the beach. In cases of emergency, this section will also act as litter bearers.
The duties of the Boat Repair section are to maintain and repair the small boats which become damaged on their way
into the beach. In the regimental phase, one main pool is established to repair all damaged craft and is maintained
by all boat repair sections. When necessary, this section will act as litter bearers or help with the hydrographic
The communications section work in conjunction with your message center. They handle shore to ship communications by
means of radio, flashing lights and semaphore flags. When in a regimental phase, these men handle lateral
communications between the beaches.
The duties of the Naval Medical section are to land with the assault troops, set up an evacuation and first aid
station; clear the beach of the wounded and give them first aid and make arrangements to evacuate patients back
over the beach to the transports awaiting out at sea. As soon as the invading forces set up their evacuation
system, our Navy station is the last link in the chain back to the ships.
The demolition units, with Lt. (jg) Cooper in charge, [D-Day Gap Assault Teams] are responsible for clearing
all underwater obstacles which may hinder the landing of troops or supplies and to assist in demolition of
all obstacles as beach mines up to the high tide line.
Although nothing definite has been decided as to the position of these units in the waves, the most probable position
will be post assault with duties of clearing all obstacles, mines and booby traps remaining after a previous beach
Obstacles which may be encountered and which these units are trained to cope with are: barbed wire, horned scullys,
Belgium element "C," reinforced walls, tubular scaffolding and A.T.C. mines.
The rest of our group consists of two bakers and eight cooks, whose duties are self-explanatory. Also, we have with
us nine Stewart's mates who, ordinarily, take care of the officer's mess and quarters.
Hale Boyle Looks for Relative, Finds Him-In D-Day Grave
War correspondent Hal Boyle, "AP's first columnist," covered World War II beginning in 1942, resulting in the Pulitzer
Prize in 1945. When he retired in 1974, after 30 years with the Associated Press, Boyle had written 7,680 columns. He
also had a personal interest in the 6th Naval Beach Battalion.
By Hal Boyle
SAINT LAURENT-SUR-MER, FRANCE, July 5, 1944 (Delayed) (AP) - I finally caught up with John Norbert Murphy after
searching the war zones for more than a year.
Almost seven years ago my older brother, Ed, married John's sister, Monica, in Kansas City. John wasn't even in high
When I was back home last spring Monica asked if I had ever come across her "kid brother."
Landed In Italy
"He is in the navy and landed with a navy beach party during the invasion of Sicily last July," she said. "He talked
to some other correspondents and learned you had landed with General Patton on the same stretch of beach, but wasn't
able to get in touch with you."
When I went to England in May I still couldn't find him.
Today I found him, over here.
He was lying in plot B, row five, grave 84, of the first American cemetery in France in World war 2.
Flower On Grave
Into the mound of earth was a stake to which was wired his identifying "dog tag." And a withered Normandy rose left
there by French peasants who have put a flower over each of 2,000 American graves in the cemetery.
The cemetery overlooks the stretch of beach on which John died on D-day. A few hundred yards away is a ruined 88-mm
gun which could have fired the shell that killed him.
Walking in a heavy rain across a rutted beach I found a young radioman who told me about it.
Shell Hits Foxhole
"Murph landed an hour after H-hour," he said. "He was carrying a tommygun. He was a radioman second class and in
charge of communications for his platoon. He soon had the ship-to-shore radio working so the officers could direct
the movement of troops and materials ashore.
"He had to keep moving because he was on the hottest section of the beach. It was almost covered with German 88
shells, mortars and machinegun fire.
"About 7 o'clock that night Murph and his buddy, Radioman 3rd class Lawrence Meredith, from Oklahoma City, and two
other men were in a foxhole. An 88 shell landed right in the foxhole. Murph and Meredeth were killed instantly. One
of the other fellows was wounded, but the fourth man wasn't even hurt."
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