Action Report for June 6 to 22, 1944

25th U. S. Naval Construction Regiment
c/o Fleet Post Office, New York, N.Y.

23 June 1944
25th USNCR
Serial:	FS003
From:		Executive Officer.
To  :		Officer in Charge, 25th USN Construction Regiment.

Subject:	Action Report - Seabee Activities on Far Shore.

Enclosure:	(A)  Casualty Report.

1.	The following is a resume of the principal activities of the 25th 
Regimental Seabee Units engaged in Far Shore operations. This report 
concerns the period commencing with D-Day, 6 June 1944, up to and including 
1800 on 22 June 1944. It is, of necessity, brief, since its preparation in 
the field under conditions prevailing in a combat sector precludes the 
preparation of a smooth form giving detailed account. The report is sub-
divided into locations OMAHA and UTAH:

This operation employed the following personnel:
    Officers  Enl. Personnel
  28th USN Construction Battalion	 5	 297	
 108th USN Construction Battalion	19	 315	
 111th USN Construction Battalion	66	1245	
 146th USN Construction Battalion	 5	  97	
1006th USNCB Detachment			 7	 135						
---	----						
102	2089

2.	The duties for which these units were trained and assigned are as 
  28th USNCB- Relief crews for Rhino Ferries.
 108th USNCB- Instillation of Phoenixes and Whale elements.
 111th USNCB- Operation and maintenance of Rhino Ferries and		
      Tugs, Construction of Beach Camp, Transport,		
      Accommodation and Administration of all Seabee		
      activities ashore.
 146th USNCB- Instillation of P.O.L. facilities.
1006th USNCBD-Instillation, operation and maintenance of Causeways.

(A) Rhino Ferries and Rhino Tugs.
The advanced party to reach the beach head consisted of 111th 
Construction Battalion crews for Rhinos and Rhino tugs. They arrived in the 
vicinity of the beach at 0530 on 6 June, and made actual contact with the 
beach at 1200 on the same day. They were followed by succeeding crew units 
of the 111th Construction Battalion to man the remaining Rhinos and tugs.
During the initial stages of the foregoing operations, intensive
combat activity prevailed, which resulted in some casualties to Seabee
personnel - all as indicated on Enclosure (A). Continuous round-the-clock 
operations have been in effect since, with the exception of the delay in 
unloading Rhino ferries at the onset to await clearing of beach obstructions
and suspension of unloading operations due to storm action commencing with 
0100 on Monday, 19 June.
During the initial stages heavy seas were running, which made the 
program of marrying Rhinos to LSTs very difficult. It was accomplished, 
however, and upon arriving at the beach head the Rhinos were signaled to 
remain at sea since obstructions and mines prevailed and made unloading 
impossible. During the initial marrying operations the knees of the Rhinos 
were damaged somewhat and this method of unloading is no longer resorted to 
at this beach since LSTs are dried out during unloading. The Rhinos are 
utilized principally to discharge Liberty Ship via causeway or direct to the
They have demonstrated beyond a shadow of dough that they are a 
useful medium in an operation of this type. Their enormous cargo capacity and 
ability to operate in shallow water, and ability to land on causeways or on 
beaches, adapts them ideally for work of this type. The crews of these Rhinos
and tugs, and attendant repair units have covered themselves with glory in 
the way they about their duty in spite of handicaps. Without adequate sleep 
or substantial food and subject to sever exposure, they carried on. Every 
commanding officer, both Army and Navy, has praised their performance 
Twenty Rhino units were employed, in all, in the Omaha operation, of
which nineteen were in service prior to the storm of 0100 on Monday, 19 June.
In reference to ship casualty, reports indicate they were all beached and 
many will require reconditioning prior to resuming service. Over the span of
operations, fifteen units have been in actual use. Use of Rhino tugs has 
been discontinued. As a matter of fact, half of them have been sunk and 
proved themselves unmanageable. They were equipped with inboard propulsion 
units, which experience indicates are not adaptable for use on this 
particular type of beach. Outboard units, such as used on Rhino ferries 
are being requested for all replacement units.
The merchant crews of many Liberty Ships accelerated unloading 
operations onto the Rhinos. Some were undoubtedly influenced by the anxiety
to get out of this area. However, in a number of instances long delays have 
ensued and Rhino crews have been forced to stand duty on bare decks for 
fifteen and eighteen hours at a stretch, and upon requesting food from the 
merchant vessels, they were refused. It is felt that unloading could be 
expedited considerable is stevedores were available in ports as the work 
done directly by crews is inconsistent. The assignment of a mother ship, as 
was requested for these Rhinos, would have provided facilities for housing 
and making repairs, and also as a depot for spare parts and food stowage. 
The "Bernard Carter" was made available for this purpose, in a limited way, a
after operations were in effect for several days, but is now being withdrawn a
d the crews will be required to come ashore for relief after securing from 
duty and to obtain food. An expedient has been in effect to cope with the 
situation prevailing, which involves working the crews 24 hour shifts - they
taking sandwiches and coffee aboard the Rhino until relieved, when they are 
either taken to the "Bernard Carter" or ashore.
Very little unloading was accomplished during the night of Saturday,
17 June and throughout the day and night of Sunday, 18 June. Weather was 
ideal, but apparently the schedule did not call for deliveries during this 
time. Late Sunday night and throughout the early morning hours of Monday 
morning a northwesterly wind arose, commencing with a velocity of about 10 
to 15 knots, and continued increasing in intensity by Monday afternoon, 19 
June. This necessitated the abandonment of unloading operations throughout 
the day and night Monday, and all day Tuesday. The beach is cluttered with 
ships and boats of all descriptions that have broken their moorings, been 
damaged and forced adrift, and those that sought shelter of beaching. 
Considerable damage has taken place, and the beach is strewn with debris. 
Working parties were organized to clear this up - this work being in 
progress the afternoon of Tuesday, 20 June. The following summary indicated 
the number of ships and boats that were piled up on the beach as of 1900, 
Tuesday 20 June:
LST		 2		LCVP		34	
LCT		43		LCVP Br.	 5	
LCI		 4		Liberty		 3	
LCT Br.		 35		LBV Br.		17	
LCI Br.		 4		BVD Br.		 6	
LCF		 1		SC		 2	
LCM		82		Control Ship	 1	
LCM Br.		 1		Rep. Brg. Br.	 2	
RHINOS		19		Petrol "  Br.	 1	
RHINO Tugs	22		Food   "  Br.	 1	
RHINO Rep. Brg.  1					
Many of these ships will require extensive repairs before they can 
be put back into service. The Rhinos are in urgent need of spare parts and 
additional outboard propulsion units, which have been pleaded for on 
previous occasions.
Remarks:   Average wind - 30 knots.		
   Wave action  - Exposed portion of beach, 8 to 10 ft.		
   Wave action  - Sheltered harbor, 6 to 8 ft.
   Easterly Causeway - Angles broken at first and second		
   blisters. Five bombardons have been washed up on Causeway		
   No. 1, between first and second blisters.		
   Whale - Westerly - Bridging in fair condition.		
   Intermediate string has lost most of its moorings and is		
   not expected to last through the storm.			
   Easterly - String has been washed out of alignment		
   to the shore.
The storm continued throughout 21 June. Wind velocity of approximately 
30 knots was maintained, increasing to 35 knots during the early morning 
hours. The weather cleared during the morning of 22 June, and by 1600 the 
wind velocity had decreased to approximately 14 knots. Sea action diminished 
to such an extent that it was possible to commence unloading some cargo with 
Dukws and dry three LSTs. None of the Rhino ferries were operative, but they 
will be pressed into service as soon as it is possible to make the necessary 
repairs, which further investigation reveals includes much damage to pontoons
 as well as to propulsion units. Another dispatch request has been made to 
COMLANCRAB11thPHIB, asking that spare propulsion units and parts be expedited
 to far shore.

3.	(B) Causeways.
On 9 June 1944, the 1006th USN Construction Battalion Detachment 
landed and commenced instillation of the causeways, which were completed and 
in satisfactory operation - the easterly one on 11 June, and the westerly one
on 16 June.
The causeways are used mainly for unloading LCTs, Rhino ferries and 
for LCIs carrying troops, which permits them to go ashore with dry clothing 
and feet over a hard roadway. The conditions of the beach have made for 
difficult causeway instillation and they require continual maintenance and 
adjustment; Runnel and bar action causing a difference in elevation of as much 
as 18" at intersection of causeway sections, at the ends, and athwartship. 
Causeways are four-wide, consisting of two sections (2x30). The easterly 
causeway extends seaward for a length of eight sections, or approximately 
1400 feet. The westerly causeway extends seaward for a length of six 
sections, plus a 4z12 blister, or approximately 1110 feet. Sunken stages, 
(blisters) 4x12 each, generally were spotted at tops of sand bars opposite 
each other, on either side of the four-wide causeway.
The westerly causeway in contained within an area protected by 
block ships (Gooseberries, etc.). The easterly causeway is placed in an 
exposed area without any protection whatsoever, and is subject to considerable
sea action. The positions at which these causeways were placed was 
dictated by the Army authority in command, who also issued instructions 
to install units four-wide in place of two-wide as originally planned. 
This latter decision seems very wise since it has proven to make for the 
most practical arrangement. Exception is taken, however, to the wisdom 
of installing a causeway in an exposed area.
Easterly Causeway, No. 1.  From 11 June to 17 June, this causeway 
operated 110 hours, unloading 12 LCTs, 14 Rhino Ferries and 95 
miscellaneous craft, which included LCMs, LCVPs, and British small craft.
The number of vehicles unloaded during this period totaled 946. Total 
tonnage was 3500, and personnel unloaded amounted to 8695.
Westerly Causeway, No. 2.  This causeway in operation 16 and 17 June, 
a total of 32 hours, and unloaded 49 LCTs and 139 small craft, discharging a 
total of 4700 personnel.
Cooperation seemed to be lacking between Ferry Control and causeway 
operation, as craft had to be flagged in by causeway crews. This was taken 
care of by notifying Ferry Service. Pipe markers, with appropriate flags, 
were welded to blisters and off-shore end of causeways. However, small boats
kept knocking these flags down by cutting across the causeway at high tide. 
12x12x10' wooden bumpers were then welded on the sides at proper intervals 
to keep craft from swinging on the causeway. Still LCMs and other craft coming
in knocked these down. Steel bumpers were then tried-with somewhat more success.
The personnel of the 1006th USNCB Detachment has worked diligently 
in making installations and keeping the causeways clear and maintained. This, 
also, has been done under conditions of stress, and since this operation 
represents the third similar activity of this unit, it is recommended that 
steps be taken to relieve them from duty upon completion of this assignment 
and return this unit to the States for rehabilitation and reassignment.

3.	(C) Phoenixes and Whales.
Personnel of the 108th Construction Battalion were afloat in the 
vicinity of the beach head on the evening of 7 June, but actual 
instillation of the Phoenixes began on 8 June. Whale units began to arrive 
on 9 June and installation started at once. Additional personnel were landed
on the successive tows that delivered units from marshaling areas at 
Weymouth, Selsey and Isle if Wight.
Work of placing the Phoenix units and installing Whale elements has 
been prosecuted rapidly since 8 June. Up to the time of the storm, 19 June, 
35 of the Phoenixes were in place - leaving a balance of four to be installed, 
which will be done immediately upon arrival at the beach head. One of the 
units allocated for this purpose sank in tow; another was destroyed when it 
struck a mine. The center train of bridge was installed, ready for unloading 
for traffic, on Friday, 16 June, at 1400, when LSTs that were brought along 
side buffer pontoon had cargo discharged directly over pierhead and bridged 
to shore. Some adjustment of spans was necessary in the field due to the fact
that trains, supported on concrete beetles, were not utilized. These were on 
hand awaiting arrival of NL pontoon alternate beetles constructed expressly 
for the purpose of substituting in place of concrete beetles that proved 
unsatisfactory. In addition three  trains of bridges were sunk, which required
alterations to the middle train of bridging, since one of these units sunk
was of special construction. During the period of unloading vehicles over the 
middle train (25 tons) a tank unit weighing in excess of this was conveyed over 
the structure, causing a beetle to collapse. The routing of traffic in directing 
movements of vehicles over the bridge was an Army responsibility. It would appear 
that some clarification is needed on this arrangement since it is essential 
that overloading of the spans be avoided. The westerly span is designed for 
40 tons; the easterly and intermediate span, for 25-ton loads.
The crews of the Phoenixes and Bridge riding and placing teams, pierhead
crews and Whale element assembly personnel have exhibited great skill in executing 
their assignments. The handling of these units represents a difficult undertaking, 
and especially in the rough water that was encountered during certain stages of the 
operation. Much of the work has been done under combatant conditions and the injuries 
and deaths recorded in Enclosure (A) were sustained during such action.
During the storm, considerable difficulty was experienced in keeping 
the pierheads in position, and considerable lateral and vertical movement of 
bridge spans took place - the center span being the only one operable prior to 
commencement of the storm, during which time all unloading was abandoned on the 
Whale element. The westerly span was in place, but not yet in operation. Both of 
these spans are composed entirely of steel beetles, substitution having been 
made for the concrete ones originally intended for a portion of the span. Use 
of the concrete ones is entirely out of the question. They have proved a failure. 
A number of steel ones have been damaged by being struck by smaller craft. The
westerly span, on which two trains were in place, was used as a mooring facility
by a number of small craft, and this caused these trains and the shore ramp section
to be dislodged and broached across the beach with resultant damage to the bridge 
trains, shore ramps and craft sections thereto. This condition cannot be ascribed 
to any fault in the bridging design, but rather to the conditions of the storm 
and the fact that no effective control over movement of craft exists in the 
harbor and the waters adjacent - with the result that everything remains in a 
state of confusion.

*	It is the writer's opinion that the Whale element will not function over 
a period of time. The wear and tear to the bridge sections and other appurtenances 
will cause repeated failures in the elements and be a constant source of trouble. 
Extensive maintenance will undoubtedly be prolong the life of these units, and if 
smooth weather is experienced they will provide facilities for discharging 
considerable cargo before being rendered obsolete. However, this beach head 
is notorious for bad weather and heavy seas, and unless the condition in the 
inner harbor can be improved considerable concern is felt over the ability 
of these elements to stand the action to which they will be subjected. Opinion 
is also expressed by the writer that this beach head offers very little 
possibility for other than temporary operation and should be abandoned at 
the earliest  possible date - that is, when a real port is available. Without 
installation of extensive improvements, it would not appear feasible to 
operate the port in heavy weather such as would be experienced in the Fall 
and Winter months.

*	The bombardons, which were intended to break wave action, were mostly
all broken loose by wave action and are distributed all over the beach. Three
were broached on the easterly causeway. Some were sunk, and considerable damage 
was inflicted by these units on vessels when they were torn adrift. Two 
Phoenixes were damaged; One sidewalk was broken in by wave action; one end 
wall was broken by wave action. 

*	Block ships (Gooseberries) were mostly thrown out of alignment by wave 
action - some being shifted as much as 45 degrees.

*	In spite of the fact that the majority of the Phoenixes, all the bombardons, 
and all the block ships (Gooseberries) were in place, considerable wave action 
was experienced in the so-called sheltered area - this being aggravated by 
high water (tide was unusually high), sea action at openings between Phoenixes
 and Gooseberries, and the fact that the action of the waves was oblique to 
the alignment of these units permitted introduction of considerable turbulence 
and wave action from a westerly direction.
During the night of 20 June and early morning of 21 June, intermediate
and westerly bridge sections were completely torn out of alignment. Damage is 
so extensive that it would appear that the utmost that can be expected 
through salvage will permit the reconstruction of one bridge unit. In addition
to the fact that these elements are too fragile to stand the wave action that 
takes place at this location, their vulnerability is further aggravated by 
the number of craft getting out of control, breaking adrift and colliding 
alongside. Buffer pontoons, intermediate PC pontoons have broken loose and are 
beached. Considerable damage to these elements was caused in beaching and 
colliding with other vessels.

*This portion of report is transcribed from situation report notes maintained 
by the writer since considerable apprehension existed over the ability of 
Whale element to stand up. It is reported in this action report since it 
depicts developments leading up to damage suffered by Whale elements in the 
succeeding storm.
Additional block ships (Gooseberries) were forced out of position; 
some sink to a depth which rendered them ineffective at high water. It 
appears that this method of providing a breakwater is feasible, but additional
l block ships are required. Perhaps an additional row or two, placed 
alongside block ships of existing line would be a sufficient barrier to 
provide the necessary protection. Some of the damage to Phoenixes and block 
ships was undoubtedly caused by collisions with drifting ships. It is 
reported, although not confirmed, that seventeen bridge sections enroute 
from the UK to Far Shore were lost at sea.
The 108th Construction Battalion was brought ashore during 22 June. 
A member [or Members?] of this unit were received as stragglers at the 111th 
Construction Battalion Camp. Camp facilities, such as tents, are being 
procured from salvaged equipment of the 108th Battalion, 111th Battalion's 
issue and from the Army. A site has been made available from the Army on 
high ground just west of Vierville-Sur-Mer. Practically all of the 108th 
Construction Battalion's personnel lost its gear. Arrangements are being 
made to outfit these men with necessary items, taken from salvage, survivor's 
issue, and such other stocks as remain on hand at available sources.
Repairs have been instituted and salvage begun on Whale elements. Work
of rehabilitating and installing the remnants of the original units is in 
progress. Damage to Whale elements is as previously depicted and it is 
further confirmed that apparently only one bridge train can be constructed 
from the units that remain undamaged and lend themselves to rehabilitation. 
This can only be counted on to function and remain in place if good weather 
is experienced. Any repetition of a storm similar to the one experience 
during the past four days will undoubtedly cause damage to pierhead and 
bridging elements, since it seems evident that this brittle construction 
cannot be counted upon to stay afloat in operating condition in other that 
smooth water.
A re-check of the damage to Phoenix elements reveals that the 
following condition exists:
Out of 35 units that were installed, 27 have been damaged beyond 
repair, and so extensively that they are practically worthless as a 
breakwater - especially at high water. Eight only remain intact. The four 
added units that would bring the total to 39, originally contemplated, have 
not as yet arrived and no knowledge is at hand regarding their condition. 
Unconfirmed reports have it that one or two units are at sea - location 
It had been estimated that the average draft of the Phoenix when 
placed in final position was approximately 33 feet at low tide. Tide 
averaging 20 feet at high water indicated a 7 foot freeboard. However, on 
some units it was actually two feet.

3.	(D) P.O.L. Unit.
The 146th Construction Battalion shipped out of Plymouth and arrived 
in the vicinity of the beach at 0600 on 9 June. This operation was scheduled 
to commence on 9 June; two days, however, ensued in unloading Navy POL cargo.
On 11 June, the first of the POL personnel arrived on the beach and commenced 
the installation of facilities on 13 June. Sixty percent of the operation is 
complete. The job was scheduled for completion on 16 June, but changes in the
plan to meet existing field conditions and the storm of 19 June, have retarded 
Upon arrival, it was found necessary to secure a 4 x 12 pontoon barge
for the floating fuel station. This barge was towed to the easterly end of the 
beach, and moored ashore, where outfitting had begun. Due to the storm action, 
the barge has become wedged in by various craft forced ashore and until these 
obstructions can be removed this part of the operation is at a standstill.
Two LCMs were obtained for the use in dragging out pipe lines to 
proposed two fathoms of water. During the storm, these LCMs were washed 
ashore and it is doubtful whether either of the craft will be available.
The job consists of a 6-inch diesel line, 4-inch gasoline line and 
4-inch water line. Change of plan has necessitated installing tanks for 
gasoline, diesel and water storage to connect in with storage tanks. Tanks 
have been procured from the Army and are being erected. A source of water 
of somewhat limited extent has been procured, and approximately one mile of 
water-line has been laid. The reservoir has been developed and a pump 
A 6-inch diesel line, 4-inch gasoline line and 4-inch water line 
extending from the high-tide to low-tide line has been constructed and is 
in place. The balance of the submerged diesel line has been laid and is 
ready to be floated into place.

It is desired to call attention to the fact that location of the marine 
connection is in an exposed area not protected by the Gooseberry, and it 
is predicted that considerable difficulty will take place with this 
installation in this position. Recommendations are being made for a 
revision of this location - but final decision rests with the Army.
The 146th Construction Battalion has made remarkable progress in 
its work, and had carried on in face of considerable hardships and 

3.	(E) Camp Construction.
Construction Battalion personnel is housed in bivouac area, in pup 
tents, at the easterly extremity of the beach on a high cliff which was 
mined by the enemy. A certain number of these mines remained after the Army's 
demolition squads had ostensibly cleared the area. One fatality and several 
casualties have resulted and more can be expected. The area, generally, is 
subjected to nightly bombings, alerts, and exposure to flak fragments from 
AA batteries throughout the area. The Seabee camp site, particularly, makes 
a fine target and enemy planes have dived to low levels on several occasions, 
dropping bombs in close proximity thereto. As yet there have been no direct 
hits, but there has been some strafing and damage from flack. Much loss of 
sleep had been occasioned by taking cover in fox holes dug by personnel. 
Attempts are being made to procure approval from the Naval officers in charge, 
and from the Army command in over-all command for assignment of new camp 
site since the one now utilized is not considered desirable.

3.	(F) Dry Docks.
The 475-ton drydock which arrived Omaha beach head on Friday, 16 June, 
was moored in as sheltered a position as could be procured during the period of
the storm. However, drifting craft continually collided, with principal 
damage being done on Tuesday, 20 June, to the extent that it rendered it 
unfit for further use.
Comment is offered that this beach does not offer a desirable 
location to moor a drydock since sheltered harbor facilities are limited - 
being curtailed to an area smaller that originally planned since wrecks of 
other units have rendered certain areas unsafe for use, and it is understood
that they are prohibited zones; thereby reducing the size of the anchorage 
area within a sheltered section such as it is. It is suggested that minor 
repairs to craft could be accomplished on the beach, through drying out of 
vessels, and no further drydocks be shipped to this location.

1.  It seems evident that this beach can be used only for temporary 
purposes, and then with no assurance of continuos operations. In order to 
install a harbor that will be usable the year around, extensive installations
 will be required, which time apparently does not permit, and then after 
great expenditure of time and money, port facilities would be mediocre 
since the beach, generally, does not have characteristics that will permit 
its adaptation to this purpose.


1.	This operation employed the following personnel:
    Officers  Enl. Personnel
  28th USN Construction Battalion	 5	 270	
  81st USN Construction Battalion	40	 690	
1006th USNCB Detachment			 8	 125						
---	----						
53	1085

2.	The duties for which these units were trained and assigned are as 
  28th USNCB- Relief crews for Rhino and Tugs.
  81st USNCB- Operation and maintenance of Rhino Ferries and		
      Tugs. Construction of Beach Camp and Administration		
      of all Seabee activities ashore.
1006th USNCBD- Operation and maintenance of Causeways.

(A) Rhino Ferries and Rhino Tugs.
The advanced party consisted of five Rhino ferries with their tugs, 
operated by the 81st USN Construction Battalion. The first loaded Rhino, 
No. 21, reached the beach head at approximately 1400 on 6 June, 1944, 
followed closely by the remaining units in the area. These five Rhino 
ferries were augmented on 7 June by six other Rhinos reserved for this 
area, and all made landings throughout 7 June. During the succeeding days 
there were in operation, capable of carrying loads, at least nine Rhino 
ferries at all times; due largely to the excellent work of the Rhino Repair 
Barge standing off-shore.
During the initial stages of the operation all Rhino ferries were 
subjected to enemy fire from the beach head. One instance of enemy dive 
bombing resulted in the loss of one Rhino tug, and twelve Seabee casualties. 
The officer-in-charge is especially proud of the officers' and men's 
performance of duties under the prevailing conditions. One man, Eitel, 
George F., S1c, a bulldozer operator on Rhino #22, has been recommended 
for a commendation.
Up to the date of the storm, which began at 0100 on 19 June, the 
Rhino ferries in operation had made 175 trips to the beach head, bringing 
ashore about 50,000 tons of the cargo landed at Utah beach. On 19 June a 
30-35 knot wind prevailed, causing, by actual count on the morning of 21 
June, a total of 212 ships and boats of all sizes to beach. Following is a 
resume of the ships beached:
 LCI		 1		 LCVP Br.	10		
 LCT		33		 RHINO Fer.	10		
 LCT Br.	12		 RHINO Tugs	11		
 LCF		 3		 Br. Petro B.	 1		
 LCM		64		 Liberties	 5		
 LBV Br.	25		 Br. Repair S.	 2		
 LCVP		35
 TOTAL:	        212
Many of these ships will require extensive repairs before they can 
be returned to service. Out of the 10 Rhino ferries beached prospects for 
immediate use, after drying out, will probably make available only three 
to four Rhino ferries. Propulsion units are urgently needed for the remaining 
ferries as their present units have been damaged due to beaching action and 
damage caused by drifting ships and boats ramming Rhinos.
On 22 June the weather cleared, and the wind velocity had decreased 
to approximately 15 knots. Sea action diminished to such an extent that it 
was possible to commence operations.
At 0300 on 23 June the first of three Rhinos still operable resumed 
unloading Liberty Ships. The remaining units will be pressed into service as 
soon as necessary repairs can be accomplished.

3.	(B) Causeways.
Causeways operation at Utah beach consists of two causeways. The 
causeways are two-wide, reaching out 2200 feet each. There are eight 
blistered on Causeway No.1 and five blisters on Causeway No. 2.
The first set of pontoons for the easterly causeway arrived on 7 
June and on 8 June the causeway was in operation. Full advantage of this 
facility was taken by LCTs, LCIs, LCMs and Rhino ferries, both unloading 
infantry and supplies.
On 11 June one string of pontoons for the second causeway arrived 
in the vicinity, and on the following day the second string was delivered 
to the area. By 14 June the second causeway was in operation.
Due to the storm action which began 19 June, ships and boats have 
broached the causeways causing considerable damage. Also, due to the 
underwater current, the easterly causeway outside the protected area, has 
been canted severely. To place this unit back in operation necessitates 
re-floating of the strings which should be placed inside inner-harbor area 
for protection against wave-action. The westerly causeway, as a result of 
mine damage and storm action, causing numerous craft to broach the pontoons, 
is at present inoperable, and considerable repairs are necessary before this
unit can resume operations.
Up to the time of the storm, after which unloading was made impossible, the two causeways had unloaded a total of 750 ships and craft 
of all sizes.

3.	(C) Camp Construction.
	Camp facilities began on 10 June. The administration group, consisting of 
six officers and 121 men, arrived on 8 June from UK marshaling area at Omaha Beach, 
were unloaded at Omaha Beach where they bivouacked for the night. On 10 June this 
group was reloaded aboard an LCI and sent to Utah Beach. Construction group, 
consisting of three officers and eighty men arrived in the vicinity of Utah Beach 
on 7 June, but were forced to remain aboard ship due to priority of cargo, until 
10 June, when both men and cargo were transferred ashore.

	The camp had been extended to three areas. Men are dispersed in these areas 
according to categories of personnel. Fox hole living has been made a necessity due 
to enemy action, and all men are dug in for protection against flak. The camp 
facilities, housing, transport and subsistence have been utilized to the fullest 
extent. Survivors recently beached due to the storm have swelled these facilities 
to about 1600 men. Administration of all Seabee activities in the area was carried 
out at the camp.


	1. There is a definite need for an anchor of greater weight, with 
	   suitable winch on each Rhino.
	2. Causeways should be placed inside Gooseberries or protected 
	   areas to escape wave action.
	3. Rhino tugs are not necessary and have not been able to carry on 
	   the work originally intended for them.
	4. Whenever a large fleet of Rhinos is assembled for operations of the 
	   type similar to that on Omaha and Utah, a mother ship should be provided 
	   to provide subsistence for crews, act as a medium for transport, for 
	   stowage of food and supply facilities for repairs and storage of parts, 


	The foregoing is a recapitulation taken from the writer's rough log. Comment 
has been segregated therefrom into related subjects. However, description given for 
each subject is a running form from rough log references. The following appendixes or 
P.S.'s are offered to supplement the data submitted.


1.	Delivery of 20 outboard propulsion units and 10 inboard propulsion units on 
23 June 1944 will somewhat relieve this situation.

2.	During the night of 22 June and throughout the 23rd mild weather prevailed, 
with wind velocity of 5 to 10 knots, and little or no wave action - thus permitting 
drying LSTs on the beach and unloading directly thereto, and removal of ammunition 
by Dukws from coasters. Only one Rhino was in service to unload Liberty Ships, but 
it is hoped that before 2400 an additional six or seven units can be made available.

3.	Regarding Causeways: The westerly one was repaired and put into service 
throughout the night of Thursday, 22 June and during the day of 23 June, unloading 
troops and their equipment directly from LCMs and LCTs. The eastern causeways is 
still out of service pending removal of the bombardons broached thereon, which 
presents quite a problem since these obstructions must be removed by cutting torches.

4.	The repairs to damaged sections of Whale elements continues. This work is 
attendant to that of clearing considerable debris and wrecked craft. No estimate of 
the length of time required to construct one bridge span and Lobnitz unit is firmed, 
and the survey of damaged units continues under way. It can be assumed, however, 
that the utmost that can be retrieved and utilized will be sufficient elements to 
install on train of bridging and Lobnitz pierhead.

5.	During the day (23 June) permissions was received from Army and Navy 
authorities to relocate the Seabee camp. A survey is under way and transition will 
be accomplished as soon as it is consistent with work load of operating activities, 
Rhinos, etc. The new location, while not immune from all hazards, is as good as 
can be procured in this vicinity and is located closer to Naval activities. In 
addition to subsisting and billeting personnel of Seabee battalions, the 111th 
Construction Battalion is operating a Navy camp and galleys at which over 1400 
survivors, stragglers and casuals are being accommodated daily.
6.	Accompany this report are three film packs (undeveloped) that contain views 
of vital port elements, showing the extent of damage, etc., due to action.

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SeabeeCook Publishing, Shingle Springs, CA.
Last update: February 15, 1997 at 1350