CHAPTER III ALERTING FOR INVASION DUTY - 31 MAY 1944 In the early part of May, emphasis was placed on the outfitting of personnel and equipment. All personnel were equipped with infantry and gas defense gear. Rigorous refresher courses were instituted in seamanship, small arms marksmanship, chemical warfare and decontamination, first aid, swimming, abandon ship drill, aircraft recognition, signaling, fire and damage control, diving, demolition and recognition of and defense against booby traps. Subsequently, efforts were concentrated on unit training of personnel assigned to Rhino Ferries, tugs, causeways, sinking teams, riding teams, towing teams and camp duties. By 20 May, all personnel were in condition readiness, and the Rhino twos, causeways, tugs, Phoenixes, bridge trains and pierheads were arranged for tows to the marshaling areas. These rendezvous were located on the southern coast of England; at Dartmouth, Salcombe, Falmouth, Portland, Fowey, Weymouth, Helford, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and Selsey Bill. On 31 May, at 1800, all construction remaining under the 25th Construction Regiment was turned over to the 13th Regiment in accordance with a previously determined schedule. The 81st, the 108th, the 111th, a detail of the 146th, a detachment of the 28th Naval Construction Battalion and the 1006th Detachment were alerted for invasion duty. During the brief period that followed, final inspection of all personnel and equipment, and the outfitting of all floating equipment was made by the Officers in Charge of the subordinate units. All officers in charge of units were called in by Commanders of Task Force U and O for briefing - during which time the final plans were laid. (See Appendix A). A last minute arrangement was perfected with U. S. Army forces for the spotting of ranges on the beaches for the purpose of locating the causeways and Rhino unloading areas. The units of the 25th Regiment were ready for the start of the largest amphibious landing of the war. (Figure 2).
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